Author Topic: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise  (Read 144736 times)

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Steve

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #40 on: April 26, 2007, 04:22:05 AM »
And has anyone had experience with the Rostropovich set?

I wasn't fond of the orchestra. This seemed to distant for me.  :(

karlhenning

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #41 on: April 26, 2007, 04:31:42 AM »
Quote from: Victor Carr
This is the middle ground between the sheer hysteria evoked by Kondrashin and Mravinsky . . . .

Well, I am sure that Mr Carr has heard more of the Mravinsky recordings than have I.  All I can say is, I hear no hysteria in the Mravinsky discs that I have of the Fifth and Eleventh.

Quote from: Victor Carr
The set includes all of the fillers from the original releases except in one case--the fine performance of Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death that was coupled with No. 10 is now gone.

That is terrible news!  Robert Lloyd's performances of these, accompanied by the Philadelphia Orchestra, is a highlight all its own!

Drasko

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #42 on: April 26, 2007, 04:49:08 AM »
Well, I am sure that Mr Carr has heard more of the Mravinsky recordings than have I.  All I can say is, I hear no hysteria in the Mravinsky discs that I have of the Fifth and Eleventh.

I have heard few more and still no hysteria sighting. Here is video of what looks like a play-through rehearsal of Shostakovich 5th finale, so could someone pinpoint the hysteria bit for me?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0iqZbM1Pdc

Choo Choo

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #43 on: April 26, 2007, 05:00:06 AM »

Karl, have you heard Mravinsky in Shostakovich?  If so, did you like his style of conducting?

Only the Fifth and the Eleventh.  Both very fine interpretations;  I only wish the condition of both orchestra and recording were better!

Karl, if you get a chance, try his 8th on BBC Legends.  Notwithstanding that it was recorded live in a London hall (seemingly) full of emphysema sufferers, it is second to none for the tension and excitement it evokes.  Hysterical?  No - the tension is real and substantial.

George

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #44 on: April 26, 2007, 05:17:33 AM »

Personally, I find Hysteria to be completely overrated. I always have. Now Pyromania, that was a great album.

Anything that screams for sugar to be poured upon it, is clearly an inferior work.  ;D

Seriously, though, has anyone considered the possiblilty that Mr. Carr was using the word "hysteria" a bit loosely? That's the way I read it and IMO the description fits like a glove.

Answers.com gives this definition, of the word:
1. Behavior exhibiting excessive or uncontrollable emotion, such as fear or panic.

This doesn't seem to me to be far from what I hear. Especially when compared to some of the others.  Compared to Haitink, Kondrashin and Mravinsky sound like madmen. :)
« Last Edit: April 26, 2007, 05:20:47 AM by George »

karlhenning

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #45 on: April 26, 2007, 05:22:14 AM »
Answers.com gives this definition, of the word:
1. Behavior exhibiting excessive or uncontrollable emotion, such as fear or panic.

Well, yes.

I hear no excessive or uncontrollable emotion, such as fear or panic, in the Mravinsky discs that I have of the Fifth and Eleventh.

karlhenning

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #46 on: April 26, 2007, 05:22:58 AM »
Karl, if you get a chance, try his 8th on BBC Legends.  Notwithstanding that it was recorded live in a London hall (seemingly) full of emphysema sufferers, it is second to none for the tension and excitement it evokes.  Hysterical?  No - the tension is real and substantial.

Thanks for reminding me of this, Nigel!  I have heard it well bespoken, and must seek it out.

Choo Choo

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #47 on: April 26, 2007, 05:23:07 AM »
1. Behavior exhibiting excessive or uncontrollable emotion, such as fear or panic.

That's not what I hear.  I would have said heightened emotion, maybe - but always total control.

George

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #48 on: April 26, 2007, 05:28:16 AM »
Well, yes.

I hear no excessive or uncontrollable emotion, such as fear or panic, in the Mravinsky discs that I have of the Fifth and Eleventh.

Just to be clear, which version of each? I have heard the Praga 11th and find it to be exactly as Mr. Carr describes. In fact, I am very afraid when listening to it. This is precisely what I like about Mravinsky's work, it is often excessive, intense and provokes extreme emotions in me when I listen to him. These emotions include, but aren't limited to, fear and panic. 

George

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #49 on: April 26, 2007, 05:32:04 AM »
That's not what I hear.  I would have said heightened emotion, maybe - but always total control.

That's why I said it must be considered that perhaps Mr. Carr is using the term loosely. If he is, then it seems like it would fit what you propose. Especially because I don't feel that any performance of these works could be successful without a great deal of control. Sure, Mravinsky is in full control externally, but that's how he can evoke the out-of-control quality internally. Without the external control of the conductor, you just have a mess. 

karlhenning

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #50 on: April 26, 2007, 05:32:45 AM »
Just to be clear, which version of each? I have heard the Praga 11th and find it to be exactly as Mr. Carr describes. In fact, I am very afraid when listening to it. This is precisely what I like about Mravinsky's work, it is often excessive, intense and provokes extreme emotions in me when I listen to him. These emotions include, but aren't limited to, fear and panic. 

Well, I suppose we just hear the same recording differently, George.  For in fact I have what must be the same Chant du Monde/Praga reissue(s).

I think my hearing of the recording is more in line with Nigel's;  I hear no loss of control, no threat of loss of control.

George

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #51 on: April 26, 2007, 05:34:50 AM »
Well, I suppose we just hear the same recording differently, George.  For in fact I have what must be the same Chant du Monde/Praga reissue(s).

Thanks for clarifying. Yes, I agree. Just different ears.  :)

Quote
I think my hearing of the recording is more in line with Nigel's;  I hear no loss of control, no threat of loss of control.

I tried my best to explain this above, I hope it made some sense.  :-\

karlhenning

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #52 on: April 26, 2007, 05:36:29 AM »
When it comes to using words to describe what goes on in the music, what goes on inside of us when we hear the music, we're all of us trying our best, George.

George

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #53 on: April 26, 2007, 05:39:14 AM »
When it comes to using words to describe what goes on in the music, what goes on inside of us when we hear the music, we're all of us trying our best, George.

 :)

Choo Choo

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #54 on: April 26, 2007, 12:14:20 PM »
Without the external control of the conductor, you just have a mess. 

Yes, exactly.  When I think of "hysterical" performances, that's precisely what comes to mind:  the sort of conductor who wallows and flails about, whipping up froth.  James Loughran (once of the HallĂ©) was a dreadful example of this.  Never once saw him conduct without wanting to slap him into his senses.

Mravinsky, on the other hand...

Offline MishaK

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #55 on: April 26, 2007, 12:30:31 PM »
The only complete Shosty I have is the Barshai which is an endless trove of discovery and rediscovery to me. I just love his attention to detail while keeping the whole in perspective. I have bits and pieces of some of the others mentioned here, but still prefer Barshai. But allow me to offer up another underrated Shosty-interpreter: Solti. AFAIK, he only recorderd 5 (VPO live), 8, 10, 13 and 15 (all CSO). But all of them excellent. His 15th, recorded live on his last CSO subscription concert before his death is my favorite recording of that work.

Offline Brewski

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #56 on: April 26, 2007, 12:36:20 PM »
But allow me to offer up another underrated Shosty-interpreter: Solti. AFAIK, he only recorderd 5 (VPO live), 8, 10, 13 and 15 (all CSO). But all of them excellent. His 15th, recorded live on his last CSO subscription concert before his death is my favorite recording of that work.

I have Solti's Eighth and Tenth and think they are quite marvelous, but not many other people seem to think so!  I would certainly be up for hearing the others, especially that No. 15.  I'll keep an eye out for it at Academy.

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Offline MishaK

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #57 on: April 26, 2007, 12:42:54 PM »
I have Solti's Eighth and Tenth and think they are quite marvelous, but not many other people seem to think so!  I would certainly be up for hearing the others, especially that No. 15.  I'll keep an eye out for it at Academy.

It comes with a very fine set of Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death with Sergey Aleksashkin. The CD made me sad that I missed the concert. I was a student in Chicago at the time and made it to Solti's concert the previous week (which was also (mostly) recorded by Decca - Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms and Symphony in C (as well as Mozart PC 20 with Perahia which was not recorded)). But I didn't go the following week when they did the Shosty and Mussorgsky. I had plans to hear Solti the following season at Carnegie, but he died that fall.

Drasko

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #58 on: April 26, 2007, 12:43:41 PM »
I would certainly be up for hearing the others, especially that No. 15.  I'll keep an eye out for it at Academy.

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Or get it for pittance from downunder

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Offline Brewski

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #59 on: April 26, 2007, 01:18:29 PM »
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY