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The Music Room => Great Recordings and Reviews => Topic started by: karlhenning on April 25, 2007, 11:02:09 AM

Title: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on April 25, 2007, 11:02:09 AM
What do you feel are the strengths or weaknesses of the following sets, in particular? —

Barshai

Gergiev (a partial set, right? 'The War Symphonies')

Haitink

Jansons

Maksim Dmitriyevich

Thank you all!

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on April 25, 2007, 03:17:07 PM

 Jansons (https://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=10434) and  Barshai (https://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=4581) are the two that I am most interested in.

I hope to hear from folks who have heard both.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on April 25, 2007, 03:19:06 PM
What do you feel are the strengths of weaknesses of the following sets, in particular? —

Barshai


Strength: entire set costs about the same as a SINGLE CD from Hyperion !
Weakness: None whatsover.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on April 25, 2007, 03:24:26 PM

What about  Kondrashin (http://www.amazon.com/Shostakovich-Symphonies-Kirill-Kondrashin-Set/dp/B00094H7KS/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-2949723-2736732?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1177546967&sr=8-1)?

I've heard good things.

Here's a review (http://www.musicweb.uk.net/classrev/2004/Aug04/Shostakovich_Kondrashin.htm), including mention of some of the others in the comcluding paragraphs.

...and another review (http://www.siue.edu/~aho/musov/kondrashin/kondradisc.html) of the same set.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Don on April 25, 2007, 03:41:39 PM
What about  Kondrashin (http://www.amazon.com/Shostakovich-Symphonies-Kirill-Kondrashin-Set/dp/B00094H7KS/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-2949723-2736732?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1177546967&sr=8-1)?

I've heard good things.

Here's a review (http://www.musicweb.uk.net/classrev/2004/Aug04/Shostakovich_Kondrashin.htm), including mention of some of the others in the comcluding paragraphs.

Kondrashin's set is the most compelling and primitive set I've heard.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on April 25, 2007, 03:52:06 PM
Kondrashin's set is the most compelling and primitive set I've heard.

I have heard some of his work with other composers, but not with DSCH.

Do you have the Aulos issue?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on April 25, 2007, 04:03:22 PM
Jansons (https://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=10434) and  Barshai (https://www.classicstoday.com/review.asp?ReviewNum=4581) are the two that I am most interested in.

I hope to hear from folks who have heard both.  :)

Having recently gone through the heap of Shostakovich Boxed Sets, I will immediately reccomend the Jansons. This set is especially critical for the early symphonies, especially #2, which is utterly fantastic. Jansons is polished, without being distant. This is a consistently conservative set, and it shows in the ater symphonies. The Barshai, simply due to the low price, is really a must buy as well. I found his performance of #15 to be considerably more dynamic and energetic, compared to the stately recordings of Jansons in these later symphonies. I purchased them both, and reccomend that you do the same.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 25, 2007, 04:15:36 PM
Karl - thanks for starting this thread -  :)  I'm in the 'market' for a complete Shosty symphony set - currently own about 2/3 of his symphonic output performed by various conductors, including Haitink in Nos. 5/9 (really enjoy); but, I can't make any comments on the others, although Barshai seems to be mentioned often - looking forward to the upcoming posts -  :D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on April 25, 2007, 04:28:08 PM
Having recently gone through the heap of Shostakovich Boxed Sets, I will immediately reccomend the Jansons. This set is especially critical for the early symphonies, especially #2, which is utterly fantastic. Jansons is polished, without being distant. This is a consistently conservative set, and it shows in the ater symphonies. The Barshai, simply due to the low price, is really a must buy as well. I found his performance of #15 to be considerably more dynamic and energetic, compared to the stately recordings of Jansons in these later symphonies. I purchased them both, and reccomend that you do the same.  :)

Well you certainly don't make my decision any easier!  :P

Seriously though, I really am excited about the Kondrashin.

I have all 15 already, with various conductors, so I probably will wait.

I have dug too deep into my check protect these past weeks, so must restrain myself.  :(   
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on April 25, 2007, 04:46:51 PM
Well you certainly don't make my decision any easier!  :P

Seriously though, I really am excited about the Kondrashin.

I have all 15 already, with various conductors, so I probably will wait.

I have dug too deep into my check protect these past weeks, so must restrain myself.  :(  

If your resolved to purchase the Kondrashin, and can only have one of those two other sets, I'd go with the Jansons. You will get an unrestrained energetic performance to complement the more conservative Jansons.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on April 25, 2007, 04:56:43 PM
If your resolved to purchase the Kondrashin, and can only have one of those two other sets, I'd go with the Jansons. You will get an unrestrained energetic performance to complement the more conservative Jansons.

So is Barshai somewhere between the extrovert Kondrashin and Conservative Jansons? If so, is he more on one side than the other?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on April 25, 2007, 05:05:24 PM
So is Barshai somewhere between the extrovert Kondrashin and Conservative Jansons? If so, is he more on one side than the other?

On the earlier works, he stays closer to the conservative Jansens, but on the later symphonies- particularily 13-15, he is more experimental, unrestrained, and deliberate. I recently purchased the Kondrashin to contrast sharply with my Jansons, and I can say the final symphonies are remarkable. Much livier, raw, and simply more powerful. Of these three sets, I would say that Jansons is simply indispensible for the first 10 or so, while you really need one of the Kondrashin/Barshai for the later symphonies. Here it really depends, on your preference. You may find the Kondrashin too radical for your liking, and prefer a vivid, but more restrained performance. From what I've heard, coupled with your excitement for the Kondrashin, (yes I read that favourable review), I would say go for the Jansons/Konrashin.

But do not let yourself be without the Jansons. I rarely listened to the second symphony in the past, but now, it rarely leaves my desk. This is a must buy  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 25, 2007, 05:09:25 PM
So is Barshai somewhere between the extrovert Kondrashin and Conservative Jansons? If so, is he more on one side than the other?

George - I feel your PAIN -  ;D  I've held off on the Barshai for a long time, waiting for other recommendations - like Jansons, so 'what' to choose; plus, are there others?  Dave  ;) :D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on April 25, 2007, 05:11:31 PM
George - I feel your PAIN -  ;D  I've held off on the Barshai for a long time, waiting for other recommendations - like Jansons, so 'what' to choose; plus, are there others?  Dave  ;) :D

A tough decision, indeed. I've already purchased Three Sets (Kondrashin, Jansons, and Barshai), and there are still sets that are tempting me.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on April 25, 2007, 05:14:06 PM

Just dug up another review (http://www.siue.edu/~aho/musov/kondrashin/kondradisc.html) of the Kondrashin set.

And for those who want to sample the entire set, start to finish, visit RussianDVD.com. I am listening to the finale of the 5th as I type.

Russian DVD has a great price, too. $79.99.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on April 25, 2007, 05:15:33 PM
But do not let yourself be without the Jansons. I rarely listened to the second symphony in the past, but now, it rarely leaves my desk. This is a must buy  :)

Thanks for the info!

As long as his conservatism doesn't go as far as Haitink's does, I think that I'll be happy with it.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 25, 2007, 05:22:40 PM
A tough decision, indeed. I've already purchased Three Sets (Kondrashin, Jansons, and Barshai), and there are still sets that are tempting me.  :)

Steve - OK, I was about to 'buy into' the Barshai set in the past, now the Jansons recordings interest me - both received 4+* on Amazon, and are about $50 or so on their Market Place, so cost not an issue.  I own Jansons in other recordings - so, would Jansons be a good 'first' choice in these works?  Thanks - Dave  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on April 25, 2007, 05:28:06 PM
Steve - OK, I was about to 'buy into' the Barshai set in the past, now the Jansons recordings interest me - both received 4+* on Amazon, and are about $50 or so on their Market Place, so cost not an issue.  I own Jansons in other recordings - so, would Jansons be a good 'first' choice in these works?  Thanks - Dave  :)

Sorry to butt in, but...

That depends how you like your Shostakovich, Kondrashin is more extrovert, in your face, and Jansons seems to occupy a "middle ground" between Kondrashin and the much more conservative Haitink.

From Classics today:

Jansons maintains a high standard of excellence from the first recording (Symphony No. 7) to the last with his lean, taut approach that emphasizes musical values as well as emotional impact. This is the middle ground between the sheer hysteria evoked by Kondrashin and Mravinsky and the dark warmth found in Haitink's Concertgebouw Orchestra recordings. But Jansons' readings are compelling in their own right, reaching a level of intensity that is often gripping.

Barshai's powerful, idiomatic, and impressively single-minded set is still the one to beat, but Jansons' highly accomplished cycle is a compelling alternative, especially now at bargain price.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on April 25, 2007, 05:38:15 PM


 Music Web review of the Barshai set (http://www.musicweb.uk.net/classrev/2002/July02/Shostakovich_Barshai.htm)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Bogey on April 25, 2007, 05:38:45 PM
Sorry to butt in, but...

That depends how you like your Shostakovich, Kondrashin is more extrovert, in your face, and Jansons seems to occupy a "middle ground" between Kondrashin and the much more conservative Haitink.

From Classics today:

Jansons maintains a high standard of excellence from the first recording (Symphony No. 7) to the last with his lean, taut approach that emphasizes musical values as well as emotional impact. This is the middle ground between the sheer hysteria evoked by Kondrashin and Mravinsky and the dark warmth found in Haitink's Concertgebouw Orchestra recordings. But Jansons' readings are compelling in their own right, reaching a level of intensity that is often gripping.

Barshai's powerful, idiomatic, and impressively single-minded set is still the one to beat, but Jansons' highly accomplished cycle is a compelling alternative, especially now at bargain price.

I have not finished Haitink's cycle (only have four of them), but his will be my direction over the next few years.  Thanks for the review George.  I thought I was missing something, but Haitink seems to be the perfect fit for me based on your post.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on April 25, 2007, 05:41:43 PM
I have not finished Haitink's cycle (only have four of them), but his will be my direction over the next few years.  Thanks for the review George.  I thought I was missing something, but Haitink seems to be the perfect fit for me based on your post.

Yeah, I have noticed that with this composers works that there are very different interpretations. Some are much better suited to my taste, so I know what you mean.   
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: DavidW on April 25, 2007, 06:10:46 PM
The only thing I can add to this discussion is that outside the box Mravinsky is worth hearing.

Karl, have you heard Mravinsky in Shostakovich?  If so, did you like his style of conducting?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on April 25, 2007, 07:45:27 PM
Steve - OK, I was about to 'buy into' the Barshai set in the past, now the Jansons recordings interest me - both received 4+* on Amazon, and are about $50 or so on their Market Place, so cost not an issue.  I own Jansons in other recordings - so, would Jansons be a good 'first' choice in these works?  Thanks - Dave  :)

Quite frankly either set could serve as a 'first' choice, but if I had to pick between the two, I would go with the Jansons. While I enjoy the raw power of the Barshai in the later symphonies- the Jansons really is a first-rate set from start to finish. For the early symphonies, (especially 2, 3, 6) , I simply cannot overstate the stirring effect of listening to the Jansons rendition. Listening to Jansons really opened my eyes to the beauty of some of the lesser known symphonies. Jansons intimate orchestration, really helped me expand my appreciation for these works. For a single set, Jansons simply can't be beat. In the future, picking up a more charged performance like Mravinsky or Haitnik might be a wonderful contrast, but I can't think of a more complete package than the Jansons. I simply cannot say enough about it.

Hope this helps.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on April 25, 2007, 08:14:14 PM
Rather than write anew about Barshai, Jansons, and Haitink, I ask pardons for a cut & paste job from the old board:


Haitink is the the strictest of the three. He keeps a very watchful eye on the musical line and allows nothing of an exaggerated nature to get by. He's content with making his musical points from the inside-out and substitites fireworks for a strong sense of architecture...as well as providing a level of refinement that's second to none. I wouldn't say his approach is 'deliberate' for that connotes 'yawnsville'. No, the guiding hand that is Haitink is too imaginative for that. But it takes patience. It's not Shostakovich with the burners on, here. It must unfold at a decent pace or the effect is nil.

As far as Jansons he sees things through a more dynamically diverse lens than Haitink. More kaleidoscopic and rhythmically contrasting. More, well, "elbow room" to his approach. Refinement, as such, is less prominent. But nothing is left to chance and everyting sounds beautifully thought-out.

Barshai has bits of both approaches in his renditions. Greater dynamics and bolder than either yet all the while keeping everything tucked and organized with a fine muscular grip. Contrasts swing wide and sound more, well, "Russian" yet transparency is an essential ingredient in his approach. We can see straight through Shostakovich's complex and multi-layered textures and are granted an 'insiders' view of the workings. It's a thrill.

But which to choose? Well, I'd hate to be without any of the three (though I still lack a few of Haitink's). None seem to have a price advantage though Barshai used to be THE super-budget buy. Apparently that isn't the case anymore.



Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Don on April 25, 2007, 08:19:15 PM
I have heard some of his work with other composers, but not with DSCH.

Do you have the Aulos issue?

Yes.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on April 25, 2007, 08:45:25 PM
As far as Gergiev, I have his 4, 5, 7, & 9 and enjoy his undeniable sense of commitment. To my ears he's cut from the same "urgent" cloth as some of the other Russians but with a level of refinement and understatement that is most becoming of Shostakovich's soundworld.

Plenty of color, too.

Drawbacks? Some people lament the sound on one or two of the recordings but I've never found reason for complaint.


Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Danny on April 25, 2007, 10:16:02 PM
The Haitnik set just arrived; will let you know what I think! :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: david johnson on April 26, 2007, 12:06:44 AM
go barshai for a box and supplement w/various single performances.

dj
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: alkan on April 26, 2007, 01:50:08 AM
Just a mention for the Sanderling set.      This is not complete   (1, 5, 6, 8, 10 and 15 only), but I found it to be an amazing experience.   Sanderling knew the composer closely and lived through the same era in Russia.       The readings are generally quite sombre and in some cases quite the opposite of "traditional" readings.     The most spectacular examples are the finale of the 5th  (starts fast, but the end is grotesquely slow, powerful, artificial and despairing ...... quite shattering compared to, say, Kondrashin) and the first movement of the 15th (not a hilarious pastiche of musical quotations ..... Shostakovich said to imagine a toy shop, but Sanderling imagines it to be filled with dead puppets being jerked around ..... it is quite macabre) and the end of the 15th  (an image of life (Shostakovich's) slowly expiring in a hospital ..... the percussion represents life-support machines .... a horrible image).

I know it all sounds quite macabre, but I believe that Sanderling got closer to the real Shostakovich than any conductor.   

Outside of this, my highlights are Kondrashin in the 8th (the second allegro is awesome ..... at the climax the tom-tom pounds away monstrously like a gigantic machine running out of control ..... I have never heard this in other recordings ... even Sanderling),
and Kondrashin in the 4th ..... a fantastic version, although the sound shows its age.         
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Harry on April 26, 2007, 02:01:50 AM
Barshai is for me the set!
And plenty of sets to complement it. :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on April 26, 2007, 03:40:08 AM
Barshai is for me the set!
And plenty of sets to complement it. :)

Harry, have you heard the Jansons? I, too enjoyed the Barshai, but with the Jansons you get a first rate orchestra and significantly better sound quality.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Harry on April 26, 2007, 03:49:53 AM
Harry, have you heard the Jansons? I, too enjoyed the Barshai, but with the Jansons you get a first rate orchestra and significantly better sound quality.

The Jansons is a fine set overall, no doubt about that my friend.
That said, the orchestra Barshai works with is a excellent one, and the sound is very good too, so I have no complains there, furthermore the way Barshai handles the music, his lucidness, and firm tight lines brings a openness to the music, that allows me to dive deeper into the emotional side of Shostakovich. Second on my list is Haitink, before Jansons, for Haitink brings saneness into the sometimes hectic music, and finds rest in places that appeal hugely to me. Thirdly comes Klaus Tenstedt, for the fire and passion, and the logical approach.
So better sound quality with Jansons as with Barshai?, well not for me. :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on April 26, 2007, 03:54:43 AM
Strength: entire set costs about the same as a SINGLE CD from Hyperion !
Weakness: None whatsover.

Nah, the clarinetist of the WDR Symphony isn't quite clean in the hot solo which opens the Presto third movement.  The point could be debated, but I'd call that a weakness rather than a fine point.  YMMV, of course.

Mind you, I do not know the entire set, and there is a lot of good stuff in what I have heard in the set.  And one might well feel that the price justifies such weaknesses as there may be.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on April 26, 2007, 03:59:50 AM
The Jansons is a fine set overall, no doubt about that my friend.
That said, the orchestra Barshai works with is a excellent one, and the sound is very good too, so I have no complains there, furthermore the way Barshai handles the music, his lucidness, and firm tight lines brings a openness to the music, that allows me to dive deeper into the emotional side of Shostakovich. Second on my list is Haitink, before Jansons, for Haitink brings saneness into the sometimes hectic music, and finds rest in places that appeal hugely to me. Thirdly comes Klaus Tenstedt, for the fire and passion, and the logical approach.
So better sound quality with Jansons as with Barshai?, well not for me. :)

Still, its nice to have the BPO backing any recording  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Harry on April 26, 2007, 04:14:44 AM
Still, its nice to have the BPO backing any recording  :)

Of course it is Steve! :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on April 26, 2007, 04:15:34 AM
Haitink is the the strictest of the three. He keeps a very watchful eye on the musical line and allows nothing of an exaggerated nature to get by. He's content with making his musical points from the inside-out and substitites fireworks for a strong sense of architecture...as well as providing a level of refinement that's second to none. I wouldn't say his approach is 'deliberate' for that connotes 'yawnsville'. No, the guiding hand that is Haitink is too imaginative for that. But it takes patience. It's not Shostakovich with the burners on, here. It must be allowed unfold at a decent pace or the effect is nil.

I’d like to add the odd comment.  I think actually that Haitink’s architecture works splendidly in (say) the Seventh and Eighth, particularly.  The first movement of the Seventh is tough to carry off, and if Haitink does not quite achieve the brillance of either Ančerl (in the celebrated mono recording) or of the Gergiev/Mariinka performance I heard live in Worcester, Mass, Haitink’s is nonetheless a high success.  Haitink’s Eighth I’d call roughly on par with the Jansons (with the Pittsburgh Symphony).  I’ve not heard strings sound as good in the Fourteenth as the Concertgebouw in the HaitinkHaitink’s Thirteenth is overall a marvelous job.

Quote from: donwyn
As far as Jansons he sees things through a more dynamically diverse lens than Haitink. More kaleidoscopic and rhythmically contrasting. More, well, "elbow room" to his approach. Refinement, as such, is less prominent. But nothing is left to chance and everyting sounds beautifully thought-out.


That is certainly the case of those few Jansons recordings I've heard: the Eighth, and a particularly outstanding Tenth and Fifteenth.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on April 26, 2007, 04:17:20 AM
I?d like to add the odd comment.  I think actually that Haitink?s architecture works splendidly in (say) the Seventh and Eighth, particularly.  The first movement of the Seventh is tough to carry off, and if Haitink does not quite achieve the brillance of either An?erl (in the celebrated mono recording) or of the Gergiev/Mariinka performance I heard live in Worcester, Mass, Haitink?s is nonetheless a high success.  Haitink?s Eighth I?d call roughly on par with the Jansons (with the Pittsburgh Symphony).  I?ve not heard strings sound as good in the Fourteenth as the Concertgebouw in the HaitinkHaitink?s Thirteenth is overall a marvelous job.
 

That is certainly the case of those few Jansons recordings I've heard: the Eighth, and a particularly outstanding Tenth and Fifteenth.

Then, Karl, you must try Jansons in the 14th. Just revisisted it again this morning. Wonderfully inspiring.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on April 26, 2007, 04:18:16 AM
So better sound quality with Jansons as with Barshai?

From what I've heard of both, yes, I think so.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on April 26, 2007, 04:19:23 AM
And has anyone had experience with the Rostropovich set?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on April 26, 2007, 04:21:07 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!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve 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.  :(
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning 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!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Drasko 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 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0iqZbM1Pdc)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Choo Choo 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.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George 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. :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning 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.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning 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.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Choo Choo 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.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George 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. 
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George 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. 
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning 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.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George 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.  :-\
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning 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.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George 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.

 :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Choo Choo 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 Hallé) was a dreadful example of this.  Never once saw him conduct without wanting to slap him into his senses.

Mravinsky, on the other hand...
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: MishaK 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.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Brewski 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.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: MishaK 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.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Drasko 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.

--Bruce

Or get it for pittance from downunder

http://www.buywell.com/cgi-bin/buywellic2/efly.html?mv_arg=11262 (http://www.buywell.com/cgi-bin/buywellic2/efly.html?mv_arg=11262)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Brewski on April 26, 2007, 01:18:29 PM
Or get it for pittance from downunder

http://www.buywell.com/cgi-bin/buywellic2/efly.html?mv_arg=11262 (http://www.buywell.com/cgi-bin/buywellic2/efly.html?mv_arg=11262)

Thanks much for that link!

--Bruce
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on April 27, 2007, 02:16:09 AM
I have recently purchased the Barshai set and I don't think it is all that it is cranked up to be. The only real reason to buy it is the price, since if you really want a Russian recording, I see no reason not to get Kondrashin.

I don't know all the symphonies well and some not at all, but for those I do know, I really do quite like Haitink. His 5th, for example, is very satisfying (despite the fact that some people slag it off); his sense and straightforward approach is quite refreshing in a catalogue of Russian conductors who sound like they are on crack cocaine. And there is definately a power in these interpretations; Haitink takes a slow burning, controlled Karajan-esqe approachas opposed to the explosions of Kondrashin, for example. And I think that suits the 5th. I would also imagine that it also suits the 15th but I have not heard it.

Nevertheless, I still think in some of the symphonies, nobody comes close to Mravinsky, who is an absolutely wonderful conductor in my view (having enjoyed a drive home last night listening to his brilliant Tchaikovsky 5). His Shostakovich 8th is unsurpassed. Bleak, harrowing and brillianty performed; so much so it seems absurd listening to it in the summer. It is definately one for longsome dark winter nights.Try comparing that particular recording with Barshai; it makes the latter's interpretation seem like a nursery rhyme.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on April 27, 2007, 05:36:27 AM
I have recently purchased the Barshai set and I don't think it is all that it is cranked up to be. The only real reason to buy it is the price...

Nevertheless, I still think in some of the symphonies, nobody comes close to Mravinsky, who is an absolutely wonderful conductor in my view (having enjoyed a drive home last night listening to his brilliant Tchaikovsky 5). His Shostakovich 8th is unsurpassed. Bleak, harrowing and brillianty performed; so much so it seems absurd listening to it in the summer. It is definately one for longsome dark winter nights.Try comparing that particular recording with Barshai; it makes the latter's interpretation seem like a nursery rhyme.

Which Mravinsky 8th? I have his Philips recording and putting that along side Barshai makes Mravinsky seem banal.

And the Barshai set isn't so cheap anymore (at least in the States). So budgetary consideration is no longer the prime reason for buying this set. It's the quality of Barshai's performances that make it recommendable.



Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on April 27, 2007, 05:43:58 AM
Barshai has bits of both approaches in his renditions. Greater dynamics and bolder than either yet all the while keeping everything tucked and organized with a fine muscular grip. Contrasts swing wide and sound more, well, "Russian" yet transparency is an essential ingredient in his approach. We can see straight through Shostakovich's complex and multi-layered textures and are granted an 'insiders' view of the workings. It's a t[h]rill.


I sure like the sound of this, Don. Have you heard the Kondrashin?  If so, how does he fit into the mix?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on April 27, 2007, 06:53:44 AM
Which Mravinsky 8th? I have his Philips recording and putting that along side Barshai makes Mravinsky seem banal.

And the Barshai set isn't so cheap anymore (at least in the States). So budgetary consideration is no longer the prime reason for buying this set. It's the quality of Barshai's performances that make it recommendable.

What do you mean by Banal? And, as George said, are you suggesting Barshai should be selected over Kondrashin?! Thats madness!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Harry on April 27, 2007, 08:13:48 AM
Which Mravinsky 8th? I have his Philips recording and putting that along side Barshai makes Mravinsky seem banal.

And the Barshai set isn't so cheap anymore (at least in the States). So budgetary consideration is no longer the prime reason for buying this set. It's the quality of Barshai's performances that make it recommendable.





Agreed wholeheartily. :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Harry on April 27, 2007, 08:17:33 AM
What do you mean by Banal? And, as George said, are you suggesting Barshai should be selected over Kondrashin?! Thats madness!

I put it the other way around my friend, the opinion that Barshai is below Kondrashin is madness!
I cannot expect that everyone has the same opinion, and that's fine, but to annihilate the efforts of Barshai is indeed banal.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on April 27, 2007, 08:40:09 AM
What do you mean by Banal? And, as George said, are you suggesting Barshai should be selected over Kondrashin?! Thats madness!

You misunderstand George.

He never said any such thing.  :-\
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on April 27, 2007, 08:57:32 AM
I put it the other way around my friend, the opinion that Barshai is below Kondrashin is madness!
I cannot expect that everyone has the same opinion, and that's fine, but to annihilate the efforts of Barshai is indeed banal.

Right, thats it. I've just ordered Haitink and Kondrashin. I'm going to put this issue to bed over the next few months!!!  ;D ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on April 27, 2007, 09:01:27 AM
We will read the results of your discovery of these sets with interest, Michel!  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on April 27, 2007, 09:02:02 AM
Thanks Karl, I think I'll do a symphony by symphony approach, starting with those I know best. The 5th, 8th, 11th and 15th. Also, does anyone have a view on Rozhdestvensky?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on April 27, 2007, 09:21:51 AM
I've heard his Shostakovich Fourth, which is very good, though again one wishes the orchestra and recording were a match for the conductor.

And of course he's great on the megaphone in Järvi's recording of the Prokofiev October Cantata  ;)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on April 27, 2007, 11:16:31 AM
Right, thats it. I've just ordered Haitink and Kondrashin. I'm going to put this issue to bed over the next few months!!!  ;D ;D

When you revisit it, perhps you will give the Jansons a listen?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on April 27, 2007, 11:20:35 AM
When you revisit it, perhps you will give the Jansons a listen?

Which symphony, or do you mean all of them!?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on April 27, 2007, 11:29:08 AM
Nos 14 and 15 would do.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on April 27, 2007, 12:09:50 PM
Nos 14 and 15 would do.  :)

I saw Jansons do Mahler 6th a couple of years ago; a good, very good performance but not amazingly memorable. I would quite like to hear him in 15, certainly, I could see that as enjoyable. Not so sure about the more extreme symphonies, though.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: MishaK on April 27, 2007, 12:14:49 PM
I heard Jansons live with the Concertgebouw at Carnegie do a phenomenal 7th, February last year. Absolutely superlative playing by the orchestra. I gather there is a live recording on the RCO live label, but I haven't heard that or any of his other Shosty recordings, so I don't know how they measure up to my live experience.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on April 27, 2007, 01:51:57 PM
Oh good lord I've got a problem. I've just ordered Jansons complete cycle too. So in one day I've ordered three complete cycles!!!!!

Still, this was relatively cheap too, so what the heck!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 27, 2007, 02:00:24 PM
Oh good lord I've got a problem. I've just ordered Jansons complete cycle too. So in one day I've ordered three complete cycles!!!!!

Still, this was relatively cheap too, so what the heck!

Michel - GREAT!  I was 'eyeing' that Jansons cycle for my initial choice of a complete set, so will look forward to your comments on his performances, and of course the other sets purchased!  :D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on April 27, 2007, 02:05:35 PM
Oh good lord I've got a problem. I've just ordered Jansons complete cycle too. So in one day I've ordered three complete cycles!!!!!

Still, this was relatively cheap too, so what the heck!

Wise choice  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Brewski on April 27, 2007, 02:11:14 PM
I heard Jansons live with the Concertgebouw at Carnegie do a phenomenal 7th, February last year. Absolutely superlative playing by the orchestra. I gather there is a live recording on the RCO live label, but I haven't heard that or any of his other Shosty recordings, so I don't know how they measure up to my live experience.

I was at that concert, too!   :o

--Bruce
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: MishaK on April 27, 2007, 02:13:48 PM
I was at that concert, too!   :o

--Bruce


Are you, like, stalking me or something?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Brewski on April 27, 2007, 02:16:09 PM

Are you, like, stalking me or something?

It is a little weird... ;D...if we ever meet in person, I'll probably go, "Oh, you're THAT guy..."  ;D

Seriously, as with most venues here, many of the same faces populate the same events.  I'm going to hear Pollini at Carnegie on Sunday -- are you going to that one?  ;D -- and I suspect I'll see some of the same faces that show up for most good piano recitals.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on April 27, 2007, 07:09:19 PM
Oh good lord I've got a problem. I've just ordered Jansons complete cycle too. So in one day I've ordered three complete cycles!!!!!

Still, this was relatively cheap too, so what the heck!

That's certainly quite a haul, Michel! And one that should bring you many lasting returns.

What you'll no doubt discover is that what makes one conductor tick doesn't necessarily make another tick. Jansons, Kondrashin, and Haitink each have very individual things to say about Shostakovich. And each equally valid.

And, really, I don't think I'd have it any other way! A "one size fits all" approach to Shostakovich (or any music!) for me takes all the fun out of the exploration.

As far as my preference for Barshai over Mravinsky, or Kondrashin, or whomever...it's simply that: preference. In fact, on the old board I had a very lengthy and edifying (and HIGHLY entertaining!!) discussion about this very issue with the Master of Sidozery (where are you, Tony?!? ;D). M Forever chipped in as well. If you're interested in reading it, look here. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,4275.msg373013.html#msg373013) The discussion lasts a couple of pages so keep scrolling! 


Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on April 27, 2007, 07:34:58 PM

I sure like the sound of this, Don. Have you heard the Kondrashin?  If so, how does he fit into the mix?

George,

I have Kondrashin's 5, 9, 10, & 13.

If my above link doesn't answer all your questions, feel free to query me further. :)



Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on April 27, 2007, 09:50:27 PM
That's certainly quite a haul, Michel! And one that should bring you many lasting returns.

What you'll no doubt discover is that what makes one conductor tick doesn't necessarily make another tick. Jansons, Kondrashin, and Haitink each have very individual things to say about Shostakovich. And each equally valid.

And, really, I don't think I'd have it any other way! A "one size fits all" approach to Shostakovich (or any music!) for me takes all the fun out of the exploration.

As far as my preference for Barshai over Mravinsky, or Kondrashin, or whomever...it's simply that: preference. In fact, on the old board I had a very lengthy and edifying (and HIGHLY entertaining!!) discussion about this very issue with the Master of Sidozery (where are you, Tony?!? ;D). M Forever chipped in as well. If you're interested in reading it, look here. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,4275.msg373013.html#msg373013) The discussion lasts a couple of pages so keep scrolling! 




Thank you Don, for that link. I actually remember that discussion at the time, but it was good to refresh my memory. I actually don't think it gets to the root of the issue in really comparing the different conductors and what they are trying to achieve. And by that I mean Haitink was clearly trying to convey something quite different from Kondrashin, for example. And I know you now take the view that they are all good recordings, just different, which is always a useful and admirable perspective to take, but I would like these ideas fleshed out a little more, and discussed as single symphony recordings rather than en masse, as they are quite varied, aren't they? And this is what I intend to do. The thing I can't see a this point in time, is what Jansons is going to bring to the party...but, we will have to wait and see!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on April 27, 2007, 10:01:51 PM
I suppose he is certainly bringing this to the party, that is at least interesting:

"Jansons uses no fewer than eight different ensembles, and it's remarkable how he maintains interpretive consistency."

And, perhaps if this is true (although this does not consider Barshai, strangely, which would seem to offer this too):

"This is the middle ground between the sheer hysteria evoked by Kondrashin and Mravinsky and the dark warmth found in Haitink's Concertgebouw Orchestra recordings."
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: MishaK on April 28, 2007, 04:46:35 AM
It is a little weird... ;D...if we ever meet in person, I'll probably go, "Oh, you're THAT guy..."  ;D

Seriously, as with most venues here, many of the same faces populate the same events.  I'm going to hear Pollini at Carnegie on Sunday -- are you going to that one?  ;D -- and I suspect I'll see some of the same faces that show up for most good piano recitals.

--Bruce

Well, now that I've moved to Chicago, the risk of that happening has been reduced. I did come to NY two weeks ago to hear the Saturday performance of the Magic Flute at the BAM. Did you go to that?  ;)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 01, 2007, 11:17:36 AM
Reading through this thread, it appears that the three sets to acquire are the Barshai, Jansons, and Kondrashin complete symphony cycles.

Has anyone heard all three (3) sets so as to compare/contrast them?  If I were to purchase only one set, could I go wrong with the Jansons?  Or do I need all three?

Also, I don't care for symphonies 1,2 and 3 . . . . . . at least for now . . . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 01, 2007, 11:19:54 AM
Reading through this thread, it appears that the three sets to acquire are the Barshai, Jansons, and Kondrashin complete symphony cycles.

Has anyone heard all three (3) sets so as to compare/contrast them?  If I were to purchase only one set, could I go wrong with the Jansons?  Or do I need all three?

Also, I don't care for symphonies 1,2 and 3 . . . . . . at least for now . . . . . .

Kondrashin is expensive. Haitink can be picked up for a good price on the new re-release. But I am going to write something hopefully intelligent about these over the coming weeks.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Don on May 01, 2007, 11:22:18 AM
Kondrashin is expensive.

The set only costs about $8 per disc.  That's not much for the best Shostakovich cycle on the market.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Brewski on May 01, 2007, 11:24:01 AM
Well, now that I've moved to Chicago, the risk of that happening has been reduced. I did come to NY two weeks ago to hear the Saturday performance of the Magic Flute at the BAM. Did you go to that?  ;)

Alas, no (not to digress from DSCH).  But then, I'm not a huge fan of the opera...

--Bruce
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 01, 2007, 11:24:34 AM
Kondrashin is expensive. Haitink can be picked up for a good price on the new re-release. But I am going to write something hopefully intelligent about these over the coming weeks.

Excellent.  I'm very much looking forward to that . . . . . .

Prices @ AMAZON MARKETPLACE (USA):

Barshai = $55
Jansons = $51
Kondrashin = $79
Haitink (2006) = $49.99

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41WJ6Z6KD3L._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 01, 2007, 11:27:43 AM
The set only costs about $8 per disc.  That's not much for the best Shostakovich cycle on the market.

That's true.  Maybe Kondrashin is the way to go . . . . . . .  But now Haitink is looking pretty sweet . . . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 01, 2007, 12:07:01 PM
The set only costs about $8 per disc.  That's not much for the best Shostakovich cycle on the market.

Are you referring to the recently re-released Melodiya one? I agree even at £50 this is not expensive, but it is still at least double the others.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Don on May 01, 2007, 12:11:38 PM
Are you referring to the recently re-released Melodiya one? I agree even at £50 this is not expensive, but it is still at least double the others.

Sorry, but I can't get excited about price when great music-making is involved (except when some pig is trying to gouge consumers).
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 01, 2007, 12:14:22 PM
Excellent.  I'm very much looking forward to that . . . . . .

Prices @ AMAZON MARKETPLACE (USA):

Barshai = $55
Jansons = $51
Kondrashin = $79
Haitink (2006) = $49.99

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41WJ6Z6KD3L._SS500_.jpg)


D Minor, I have two cycles already (Jansons and Barshai), and was considering the Kondrashin, but at the 49.99, I might have to give the Haitink another look.

Could the Kondrashin be cheaper any place else?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 01, 2007, 12:32:02 PM
Sorry, but I can't get excited about price when great music-making is involved (except when some pig is trying to gouge consumers).

That is true for you but not necessarily for others, though. And since you have already made your mind up, I was trying to help someone else who might use economy as a measure! :)

I for one certainly don't use economy as a measure; after all, I've just gone and needlessly bought them all.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 01, 2007, 12:47:17 PM
That is true for you but not necessarily for others, though. And since you have already made your mind up, I was trying to help someone else who might use economy as a measure! :)

I for one certainly don't use economy as a measure; after all, I've just gone and needlessly bought them all.

Agreed. That Kondrashin is looking mighty expensive from my end. Especially given that I already own two cycles!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 01, 2007, 02:29:21 PM
Excellent.  I'm very much looking forward to that . . . . . .

Prices @ AMAZON MARKETPLACE (USA):

Barshai = $55
Jansons = $51
Kondrashin = $79
Haitink (2006) = $49.99

Guys - looks like the four cycles listed by D Minor have come to the 'top' for choices in this symphony series - think that I'm still favoring Jansons for my first 'complete cyle' - all seem quite acceptable, though; I guess Barshai or Kondrashin would be my other choices, but I must admit that I do own Haitink in a couple of these works, so 'how' to choose.  Still will await Michel's thoughts on the Jansons' series - thanks for all of the opinions - just a hard decision, esp. if only one set is your choice -  :D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 01, 2007, 02:34:55 PM
Agreed. That Kondrashin is looking mighty expensive from my end. Especially given that I already own two cycles!

Go for it! We need another opinion of all three!  ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 01, 2007, 02:52:19 PM
George! For shame! Would you lay a snare at a friend's feet?  0:)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 01, 2007, 02:54:55 PM
George! For shame! Would you lay a snare at a friend's feet?  0:)

For the greater good, Karl
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 01, 2007, 02:56:10 PM
For the greater good, Karl

So when does it arrive?  ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 01, 2007, 03:08:49 PM
Guys - looks like the four cycles listed by D Minor have come to the 'top' for choices in this symphony series - think that I'm still favoring Jansons for my first 'complete cyle' - all seem quite acceptable, though; I guess Barshai or Kondrashin would be my other choices, but I must admit that I do own Haitink in a couple of these works, so 'how' to choose.  Still will await Michel's thoughts on the Jansons' series - thanks for all of the opinions - just a hard decision, esp. if only one set is your choice -  :D


I was leaning toward Jansons earlier today, but now I'm leaning toward Kondrashin . . . . . . and I DO NOT feel like buying both . . . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 01, 2007, 03:12:21 PM

This is what finally convinced me to get (at the next opportunity) to get the Kondrashin.

From the Music Web review:

"What about the choice between Kondrashin, Rozhdestvensky (Olympia if you can find this set), Barshai (Brilliant) and Haitink (Decca)? Rozhdestvensky has a good sense of fantasy and brilliance and is aided by 1980s Russian sound. Barshai is excellent and in very good modern sound - German Radio originated. Haitink always strikes me as having knocked some of the rough edges from Shostakovich. I'd prefer mine with those jagged corners still in place. Haitink is at the bottom of my recommendation list. I'd rate Rozhdestvensky at about the same level as Barshai but would recommend Barshai as the best modern-sounding version. However if you want Shostakovich raw and rasping, red in tooth and claw, smarting with vitriolic humour, and do not have a problem with the gloriously distinctive sound of the Soviet brass then there is now no choice - Kondrashin on Aulos. Snap it up before it disappears. Ideally you should have both Barshai and the Kondrashin."
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 01, 2007, 03:13:10 PM
So when does it arrive?  ;D

It's just now been purchased. My, I really thought I was going to stop at 2  ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 01, 2007, 03:14:00 PM
It's just now been purchased. My I really thought I was going to stop at 2  ;D

I'll visit you in collector's rehab.  ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 01, 2007, 03:14:52 PM

I was leaning toward Jansons earlier today, but now I'm leaning toward Kondrashin . . . . . . and I DO NOT feel like buying both . . . . . .


I'm sure you'll end up with both in good time.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 01, 2007, 03:19:27 PM
I'll visit you in collector's rehab.  ;D

You should see my to buy list this week...  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 01, 2007, 03:21:53 PM
However if you want Shostakovich raw and rasping, red in tooth and claw, smarting with vitriolic humour, and do not have a problem with the gloriously distinctive sound of the Soviet brass then there is now no choice - Kondrashin on Aulos. [/u]Snap it up before it disappears. Ideally you should have both Barshai and the Kondrashin."

OK, Kondrashin it is . . . . . . .  :D  I like my Shosty rasping and red in tooth & claw . . . . .

(http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/resources/ofstedal/couper/devil.jpg/medium.jpg)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 01, 2007, 03:32:27 PM
Now all we need is a wounded Gazelle for Haitink to the complete the metaphor!  ;D

(http://static.flickr.com/35/70302909_18e2261e56_m.jpg)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Don on May 01, 2007, 03:54:05 PM
OK, Kondrashin it is . . . . . . .  :D  I like my Shosty rasping and red in tooth & claw . . . . .

(http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/resources/ofstedal/couper/devil.jpg/medium.jpg)

You're making the best selection and won't be sorry.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 01, 2007, 03:57:32 PM
With all of this toutin the horn of the Kondrashin, how could I not buy it?  ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 01, 2007, 03:59:49 PM
With all of this toutin the horn of the Kondrashin, how could I not buy it?  ;D

I haven't . . . . :-\






















































































yet.  ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 01, 2007, 04:04:10 PM
My, George, thats what I call a void.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 01, 2007, 04:06:35 PM
My, George, thats what I call a void.

I was wondering if someone was going to not see the bottom and quote it.  ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 01, 2007, 04:17:24 PM
Which Kondrashin?  The remastered?  The Melodiya contains two extra tone poems . . . . . .

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/4137S41RC9L._SS500_.jpg)

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41ITXXeJpaL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 01, 2007, 04:29:30 PM
OK - this is getting even more confusing as to preferences!  ::)  Everyone 'changing their minds' - I'll await some further listening advice; further, can't decide @ the moment 'how' I like my Shosty - will need to re-listen to what I own at the moment -  ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 01, 2007, 04:31:13 PM
OK - this is getting even more confusing as to preferences!  ::)  Everyone 'changing their minds' - I'll await some further listening advice; further, can't decide @ the moment 'how' I like my Shosty - will need to re-listen to what I own at the moment -  ;D

This is the most crucial point, Dave. Once you figure that out, it'll be smooth sailing.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 01, 2007, 04:49:24 PM
OK - this is getting even more confusing as to preferences!  ::)  Everyone 'changing their minds' - I'll await some further listening advice; further, can't decide @ the moment 'how' I like my Shosty - will need to re-listen to what I own at the moment -  ;D

Sorry for the flipflop, SonicMan . . . . . .

As to Kondrashin's Audos vs. Melodiya (from an Amazon review dated April 17, 2007):

The sound on this new set is an improvement over the prior set and is much clearer. Distortions have been markedly reduced (the louder moments in Stepan Razin remain affected). The accompanying booklet contains a good in-depth discussion of all of the works in the set but it does not have, like the earlier set, any of the texts. Each CD is in a cardboard sleeve that has different woodcut illustrations on the face with a complete description of the contents on the CD, including timings, on the reverse. The CDs are held in a flimsy cardboard box that is certain to become slightly crushed or bent in one place or another. I would have preferred a hard case as with the older Kondrashin set.

Also:

[The Melodiya set] also includes all of the Kondrashin/Shostakovich recordings that include The Execution of Stepan Razin, the symphonic poem October, The Second Violin Concerto with David Oistrakh (for whom the concerto was dedicated) and the cantata The Sun Is Shining Over Our Motherland. The total discs in the set are greater by one and the symphonies are arranged chronologically with the additional works as fill-ups.  


Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Drasko on May 02, 2007, 12:16:31 AM

The sound on this new set is an improvement over the prior set and is much clearer. Distortions have been markedly reduced (the louder moments in Stepan Razin remain affected). The accompanying booklet contains a good in-depth discussion of all of the works in the set but it does not have, like the earlier set, any of the texts. Each CD is in a cardboard sleeve that has different woodcut illustrations on the face with a complete description of the contents on the CD, including timings, on the reverse. The CDs are held in a flimsy cardboard box that is certain to become slightly crushed or bent in one place or another. I would have preferred a hard case as with the older Kondrashin set.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 02, 2007, 12:30:28 AM
God that does look flimsy....
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 02, 2007, 01:47:47 AM



But isn't that the old set? The review said that they'd prefer the more durable packaging on the old set. I'm confused... :-\
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 02, 2007, 02:08:44 AM
Thats the new one, on Melod.

The "old" is Auros, or whatever that label is called.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 02, 2007, 02:12:44 AM
No, I think the old one is the Melodiya.

From Music Web:

"Aulos, using DSD technology, have here produced a much more cleanly focused sound than BMG-Melodiya were able to do in 1994 when the discs were last issued. The transfer has also been done at a much higher level. It is a joy to hear and is surely the best CD account of those original tapes now between four decades and a quarter century old."

Aulos were released in January of this year. Was there another Melodiya release after that?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 02, 2007, 02:23:32 AM
Or are they one in the same (in terms of transfers), with just different packaging (Melodiya having the added performances)?

 January 2007: It proved to be almost impossible to find this Aulos release but the set has now been repacked by Melodiya on 11 CDs  (http://www.musicweb.uk.net/classrev/2004/Aug04/Shostakovich_Kondrashin.htm)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Drasko on May 02, 2007, 02:31:50 AM
No, I think the old one is the Melodiya.

From Music Web:

"Aulos, using DSD technology, have here produced a much more cleanly focused sound than BMG-Melodiya were able to do in 1994 when the discs were last issued. The transfer has also been done at a much higher level. It is a joy to hear and is surely the best CD account of those original tapes now between four decades and a quarter century old."

Aulos were released in January of this year. Was there another Melodiya release after that?

Aulos is from 2003, I think, and bespectacled Melodiya is from 2006. Musicweb is refering to previous Melodiya release. 
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 02, 2007, 02:45:36 AM
Aulos is from 2003, I think, and bespectacled Melodiya is from 2006.  

So the two above releases are different transfers?

I think the Melodiya is preferable, as its from the original tapes.

I've also heard that the Aulos may have been overfiltered (by M Forever:  See discussion here. (http://groups.google.com.vc/group/rec.music.classical.recordings/browse_frm/thread/35525dc0e62047af/5bb7154d804c260d?lnk=gst&q=Kondrashin+Shostakovich+Symphonies+Aulos+Melodiya&rnum=1&hl=en#5bb7154d804c260d))
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 03:07:10 AM
OK, Kondrashin it is . . . . . . .  :D  I like my Shosty rasping and red in tooth & claw . . . . .

Gosh, whenever I've actually listened to a recording which had been lauded with that phrase ("red in tooth & claw") I did not find that the music, itself, reflected that vivid depiction (though, in some cases, the recording was still very fine).

The Kondrashin recordings (not Shostakovich, BTW, at least not within the past twenty years) which I have heard have not so much struck me as "red in tooth & claw," as rather unkempt.

Anyway, you will have divined by now that I have grown wary of the phrase "red in tooth & claw" by now, having come to feel that when a reviewer speaks so, he's pushing a pig in a poke . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 03:10:34 AM
FWIW, cardboard boxes with the sleeves do not trouble me at all.  At this point I have three such boxes (a Beethoven symphony set [Masur/Gewandhaus], Britten Operas II, and the Emersons playing the Shostakovich Quartets);  I don't think they are liable to any greater damage than the plastic jewel-cases.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 03:13:46 AM
Which Kondrashin?  The remastered?  The Melodiya contains two extra tone poems . . . . . .

Well, whether or not you do choose to go with the Kondrashin, at some point, you will want a recording of The Execution of Stepan Razin, Opus 119  ;)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 03:15:12 AM
Now all we need is a wounded Gazelle for Haitink to the complete the metaphor!  ;D

I revisited the Haitink recording of the Leningrad last night;  better than the Barshai (e.g.) IMO.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Choo Choo on May 02, 2007, 03:55:10 AM
God that does look flimsy....

I don't know that I'd worry.  The Gielen / Mahler box - another cardboard box containing disks in paper sleeves - arrived here the other day rattling around loose in a padded envelope - from someone who'd also bought it by post and then played it (a lot) - and there's not a mark on either the box, the sleeves, or the disks.

Whereas I couldn't begin to count the number of plastic boxes I've received which had cracked covers or broken hinges - or, more seriously, securing lugs which had shattered and so allowed the disks to scrape around across the fractured stubs in transit.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 02, 2007, 04:01:47 AM
FWIW, cardboard boxes with the sleeves do not trouble me at all.  At this point I have three such boxes (a Beethoven symphony set [Masur/Gewandhaus], Britten Operas II, and the Emersons playing the Shostakovich Quartets);  I don't think they are liable to any greater damage than the plastic jewel-cases.

They take up less space, too. I much prefer them actually.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 02, 2007, 04:02:32 AM
I don't know that I'd worry.  The Gielen / Mahler box - another cardboard box containing disks in paper sleeves - arrived here the other day rattling around loose in a padded envelope - from someone who'd also bought it by post and then played it (a lot) - and there's not a mark on either the box, the sleeves, or the disks.

Whereas I couldn't begin to count the number of plastic boxes I've received which had cracked covers or broken hinges - or, more seriously, securing lugs which had shattered and so allowed the disks to scrape around across the fractured stubs in transit.

Exactly.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 02, 2007, 06:05:29 AM
I don't know that I'd worry.  The Gielen / Mahler box - another cardboard box containing disks in paper sleeves - arrived here the other day rattling around loose in a padded envelope - from someone who'd also bought it by post and then played it (a lot) - and there's not a mark on either the box, the sleeves, or the disks.

Whereas I couldn't begin to count the number of plastic boxes I've received which had cracked covers or broken hinges - or, more seriously, securing lugs which had shattered and so allowed the disks to scrape around across the fractured stubs in transit.

I agree, I hate plastic cases, they always smash. I particularly like the DG boxes, they are very robust. So is it just a normal card box? The thing about that photo is that it makes them look much thinner, etc than DG. And the cool thing about box sets is that they are chunky, bulky and sturdy, and satisfying to hold. Especially my 21 disc Schubert lieder box!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 02, 2007, 06:56:28 AM
I agree, I hate plastic cases, they always smash. I particularly like the DG boxes, they are very robust. So is it just a normal card box? The thing about that photo is that it makes them look much thinner, etc than DG. And the cool thing about box sets is that they are chunky, bulky and sturdy, and satisfying to hold. Especially my 21 disc Schubert lieder box!


Having just read some of these posts, I was rather worried about the condition of this recording when it arrived. But,
i construction is like a DG Set, where the sleeves are thin, but the box is taut and sturdy, I have no problem.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 02, 2007, 07:20:31 AM
Having just read some of these posts, I was rather worried about the condition of this recording when it arrived. But,
i construction is like a DG Set, where the sleeves are thin, but the box is taut and sturdy, I have no problem.

So it already arrived?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 02, 2007, 11:09:46 AM
So . . . . . . . . can we all agree that this Kondrashin performance is a wise choice (Melodiya with bespectacled cover)?

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41ITXXeJpaL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 02, 2007, 11:21:14 AM
I respectfully abstain  0:)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 02, 2007, 11:24:35 AM
I respectfully abstain  0:)

Threadmaster must participate . . . . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 02, 2007, 01:03:37 PM
So it already arrived?

No, I need to fix that post. I should have read 'if the construction is as sturdy..." I've only placed the order yesterday. Now that would be quite speedy!  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 02, 2007, 01:19:27 PM
No, I need to fix that post. I should have read 'if the construction is as sturdy..." I've only placed the order yesterday. Now that would be quite speedy!  :)

Indeed! Though I think you can get stuff sent overnight. As long as it isn't Conman, I mean Caiman.  ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 02, 2007, 01:20:18 PM
So . . . . . . . . can we all agree that this Kondrashin performance is a wise choice (Melodiya with bespectacled cover)?<

No, we can't. Rozhdestvensky Rules!


Besides Rozh, my favorite Shostakovich conductors are Jansons, Haitink, Previn, Ormandy, Sanderling, Bernstein and Rostropovich. But since this is a thread on cycles, I've refrained from participating because I only own one, Jansons. The only reason I'm here now is because I've nowhere else to go at the moment. ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 02, 2007, 01:21:02 PM
No, we can't. Rozhdestvensky Rules!


Besides Rozh, my favorite Shostakovich conductors are Jansons, Haitink, Previn, Ormandy, Sanderling, Bernstein and Rostropovich. But since this is a thread on cycles, I've refrained from participating because I only own one, Jansons. The only reason I'm here now is because I've nowhere else to go at the moment. ;D

Sarge

 ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 02, 2007, 01:32:57 PM
No, we can't. Rozhdestvensky Rules!


Besides Rozh, my favorite Shostakovich conductors are Jansons, Haitink, Previn, Ormandy, Sanderling, Bernstein and Rostropovich. But since this is a thread on cycles, I've refrained from participating because I only own one, Jansons. The only reason I'm here now is because I've nowhere else to go at the moment. ;D

Sarge

. . . . . I was just about to click "PLACE ORDER" . . . . . . .  ::)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 02, 2007, 01:52:32 PM
. . . . . I was just about to click "PLACE ORDER" . . . . . . .  ::)

Well, I can be serious if you want: I own about half of each of their cycles: I do prefer Rozhdestvensky to Kondrashin: the more expansive pacing, the superior sound quality (notwithstanding some fierceness in climaxes). To my ears Kondrashin tends to run roughshod over much of the music and his brass blares. He can be exciting, but how deep does he go?

My preference shouldn't surprise anyone who knows me: I'll almost always go for the slower, more considered performance.

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Robert on May 02, 2007, 02:15:14 PM
Well, I can be serious if you want: I own about half of each of their cycles: I do prefer Rozhdestvensky to Kondrashin: the more expansive pacing, the superior sound quality (notwithstanding some fierceness in climaxes). To my ears Kondrashin tends to run roughshod over much of the music and his brass blares. He can be exciting, but how deep does he go?

My preference shouldn't surprise anyone who knows me: I'll almost always go for the slower, more considered performance.

Sarge
I guess like me you love Celibidache.... :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 02, 2007, 02:25:59 PM
I guess like me you love Celibidache.... :)

I do, most definitely.

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 02, 2007, 04:33:27 PM
. . . . . I was just about to click "PLACE ORDER" . . . . . . .  ::)

I do apologize for making this decision harder for you, as I have been constantly tooting the horn of the Jansons. As of right now, I own two of the great cycles, Jansons and Barshai. Well, I return often to the Barshai for his consistent power and dramatic style, it is the Jansons that receives the most play in my house. As you may know from my replies in this thread, I recently placed an order for the Kondrashin.

I selected expedited shipping, (2 Business Days), and now look for its arrival tomorrow. When it comes, it will automatically climb to the top of my playlist, and I shall be able to report back with my thoughts immediately thereafter. If you wanted to wait, I could offer a symphony by symphony comparison for the major ones, and perhaps nudge you further in one direction.

After some comparison, I should be able to decide to whom will go my superlative
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 02, 2007, 04:55:03 PM
I do apologize for making this decision harder for you, as I have been constantly tooting the horn of the Jansons. As of right now, I own two of the great cycles, Jansons and Barshai... I recently placed an order for the Kondrashin.......

Steve - will look forward (and await) your comments & those by others - thanks for all of your efforts!  ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 02, 2007, 05:00:15 PM
If you wanted to wait, I could offer a symphony by symphony comparison for the major ones...

I would very much appreciate this, Steve.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 02, 2007, 05:11:32 PM
I do apologize for making this decision harder for you, as I have been constantly tooting the horn of the Jansons.

After some comparison, I should be able to decide to whom will go my superlative

Looking forward to that.

Right now, I plan on definitely purchasing Kondrashin and Barshai . . . . . .      just because . . . . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 02, 2007, 06:18:57 PM
Looking forward to that.

Right now, I plan on definitely purchasing Kondrashin and Barshai . . . . . .      just because . . . . . . .

You won't be dissapointed with the The Barshai, thats for sure!   :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 02, 2007, 09:13:23 PM
I respectfully abstain  0:)

Familiar territory, but this is my sentiment exactly. ;)

It always makes me feel uneasy talking down about a musician whose shoes I'm not fit to shine but I have to admit, when it comes to these "legendary" Kondrashin recordings, I can't help but, well, offer two cents worth of...indecisiveness, maybe?

I'm trying to put a positive spin on it, of course, as indecisiveness isn't really an issue. Convincing me, so far, is!

Anyway, my reasonings for my distaste are spelled out at length in my link a few posts back and it would probably do me good to leave it at that.

Ah, as it's late, maybe I will...

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Danny on May 02, 2007, 10:11:06 PM
Love the Haitnik set so far, and especially love his version of the Tenth.

And what a delight to know that the Second and Sixth Symphonies don't suck!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 03, 2007, 12:33:28 AM
One thing is for sure, Kondrashin's Mahler 1 IS the best! And thats that!

Any performance where the conductor walks off and then dies as a result must be a must purchase!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 03, 2007, 02:18:38 AM
Dmitri Kitaenko / Cologne Orchestra (Gurzenich-Orchester Köln) / Capriccio / Hybrid SACD

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/CDUCoverArt/Music/Large/01811109622.jpg)

Received many smokin' reviews . . . . . . but it's also among the most expensive sets ($94 at CD UNIVERSE; $135 @ AMAZON)


Has anyone heard this set?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 03, 2007, 03:10:13 AM
Love the Haitnik set so far, and especially love his version of the Tenth.

And what a delight to know that the Second and Sixth Symphonies don't suck!

Oh, the Sixth is a great piece!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 03, 2007, 03:15:47 AM
Well, I can be serious if you want: I own about half of each of their cycles: I do prefer Rozhdestvensky to Kondrashin: the more expansive pacing, the superior sound quality (notwithstanding some fierceness in climaxes). To my ears Kondrashin tends to run roughshod over much of the music and his brass blares. He can be exciting, but how deep does he go?

Very similar to my own read, Sarge, which is significant (I think) partly because you and I do not necessarily share an inlcination to expansive readings for their own sake.  (I haven't had my morning tea, and I could very likely have phrased that better, but let it stand.)

D Minor, what I will venture to say is, that the set which I am most inclined to purchase, based on what I have heard in individual recordings, is Maksim Dmitriyevich's.  He hasn't gotten any attention on this thread (an observation, not a criticism), but from what I have tasted, I'd like to hear what he has to bring to the whole cycle.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Lethevich on May 03, 2007, 04:01:55 AM
Prices @ AMAZON MARKETPLACE (USA):

Barshai = $55
Jansons = $51
Kondrashin = $79
Haitink (2006) = $49.99

What the hell? Didn't the Barshai use to be half that price? :-\

I guess if I'm going to throw in a whine post, I may as well do something constructive too: the Barshai is easy to overlook because of its (evidently no longer) very low price, but it has excellent sonics and the interpretation has plenty of grit/pathos/aggression (insert more generic "Shostakovichy" words here) as well, making it less boring than the "middle ground" nature of the interpretations may suggest.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 03, 2007, 08:16:47 AM
Prices @ AMAZON MARKETPLACE (USA):

Barshai = $55
Jansons = $51
Kondrashin = $79
Haitink (2006) = $49.99

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/41xkr5TvSEL._SL130_.jpg)

Price @ amazon.com (USA):  $111.49
Price @ AMAZON MARKETPLACE (USA): from $68.43 (new)
Price @ arkivmusic.com:  $59.49 (current sale price)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 03, 2007, 09:20:51 AM
Haitink came through the post today, so on it goes.....
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 03, 2007, 09:22:01 AM
Start with the Eighth or the Thirteenth!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 03, 2007, 09:32:43 AM
One thing is for sure, Kondrashin's Mahler 1 IS the best! And thats that!

Any performance where the conductor walks off and then dies as a result must be a must purchase!

We'll see about that. Until then Jansons is my top choice.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 03, 2007, 10:12:11 AM
We'll see about that. Until then Jansons is my top choice.

I'm betting that Haitink doesn't replace Jansons for you, Steve.  :-\
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Danny on May 03, 2007, 10:50:17 AM
Start with the Eighth or the Thirteenth!

I just love the Tenth.  But, then again, I love that symphony period. 

The Sixth is indeed a delight, and am finally happy to have heard it! :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 03, 2007, 11:01:41 AM
I'm betting that Haitink doesn't replace Jansons for you, Steve.  :-\

Well I haven't ordered the Haitink, yet. I will probably hold off until I've had a chance to sample a friends' copy. I'm most excited about the Kondrashin, actually.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 03, 2007, 12:42:19 PM
What the hell? Didn't the Barshai use to be half that price? :-\

I guess if I'm going to throw in a whine post, I may as well do something constructive too: the Barshai is easy to overlook because of its (evidently no longer) very low price, but it has excellent sonics and the interpretation has plenty of grit/pathos/aggression (insert more generic "Shostakovichy" words here) as well, making it less boring than the "middle ground" nature of the interpretations may suggest.

The Barshai set is a no-brainer (even with this elevated pricing): Russian conductor + excellent orchestra + modern sonics!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 03, 2007, 12:43:26 PM
But a Russian conductor + Russian orchestra + modern sound is also a winning formula.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 03, 2007, 12:44:28 PM
(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/41xkr5TvSEL._SL130_.jpg)

Price @ amazon.com (USA):  $111.49
Price @ AMAZON MARKETPLACE (USA): from $68.43 (new)
Price @ arkivmusic.com:  $59.49 (current sale price)

That's a good sale price, Karl.  Very tempting, frankly.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 03, 2007, 01:23:21 PM
Why is everyone talking about the great sonics of Barshai? I am a little way into my comparisons and the intial findings suggest the opposite. They are very unbalanced, with a lot of shrill, little or no midrange, with a booming, ineffective and crass bass. Haitink, on the other hand, is a sonic masterpiece. The lusch sonority of the Concertgebouw is glorious. And lets be honest, I would not describe the Kondrashin sonics as bad, or substantially worse than Barshai for the latter to gain a point.

Anyway, I just couldn't help saying this but I must abstain until I have further organised my thoughts.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 03, 2007, 01:54:47 PM
Why is everyone talking about the great sonics of Barshai? I am a little way into my comparisons and the intial findings suggest the opposite. They are very unbalanced, with a lot of shrill, little or no midrange, with a booming, ineffective and crass bass. Haitink, on the other hand, is a sonic masterpiece. The lusch sonority of the Concertgebouw is glorious. And lets be honest, I would not describe the Kondrashin sonics as bad, or substantially worse than Barshai for the latter to gain a point.

This is agonizing. 
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 03, 2007, 01:57:45 PM
Why is everyone talking about the great sonics of Barshai? I am a little way into my comparisons and the intial findings suggest the opposite. They are very unbalanced, with a lot of shrill, little or no midrange, with a booming, ineffective and crass bass. Haitink, on the other hand, is a sonic masterpiece. The lusch sonority of the Concertgebouw is glorious. And lets be honest, I would not describe the Kondrashin sonics as bad, or substantially worse than Barshai for the latter to gain a point.

Anyway, I just couldn't help saying this but I must abstain until I have further organised my thoughts.

I was not 'thrilled'' with the sonics either, but the playing is just terrific. There simply seems to be just the right amount of energy interjected into each of the movements, without compromising the mood of the work. Barshai knows these works. While the sound my not be as good, as say the Jansons, the performance is consistentantly an easy rec for me.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 03, 2007, 02:00:20 PM
I was not 'thrilled'' with the sonics either, but the playing is just terrific. There simply seems to be just the right amount of energy interjected into each of the movements, without compromising the mood of the work. Barshai knows these works. While the sound my not be as good, as say the Jansons, the performance is consistentantly an easy rec for me.

Sonics is not rocket science, folks . . . . . . . Grrrrrr

(http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/non-muze/full/144655.gif)

Says David Hurwitz: "The bottom line is that [Maxim Shostakovich] doesn't put a foot wrong anywhere. There's nothing controversial here, no extremes of fast or slow, no exaggerating the dark and miserable--but there's also no underplaying of the music's intensity. Shostakovich catches the flow of each piece, finding a balanced and unusually rich range of expression on both the happy and sad sides of the emotional ledger.  *** The live sonics are very faithful to the sound of the orchestra, and the audience, while present, is invariably well-behaved. I think it's important that Maxim Shostakovich's views on this music have been preserved at last, and if the result hasn't the technical perfection of the best of the competition, it has such honesty and genuine excitement that it really doesn't matter. This is a cycle to live with--a true reference for anyone wanting a baseline view of how each work ought to go, and what it expresses."  
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: sonic1 on May 03, 2007, 02:01:25 PM
I have never heard anyone really MESS UP Shostakovich symphonies, but please, don't prove me wrong. Let me stay ignorant if anyone has really screwed them up.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BorisG on May 03, 2007, 03:39:18 PM
Jansons may be the best bargain at $31 plus at Amazon Marketplace. The upside, this set has very good sound with a variety of orchestras turning in good to very good performances. The downside, few if any of the readings can vie for number one status.

I think Haitink at $15 to $20 more? is overall the best value. Some performances can vie for number one, and the sound is often of demonstration quality.

The less available Rozhdestvensky, and newly remastered Melodiya Kondrashin, are THE two Russian contenders. Some performances vie for number one. Sound is good on Rozhdestvensky, and acceptable to good on Kondrashin. Both are overpriced.

As is Barshai. $50 for Barshai is too high. If it was $30, then I could suggest someone get it for some Russian flavor.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 03, 2007, 03:50:27 PM
Jansons may be the best bargain at $31 plus at Amazon Marketplace.


Damn . . . . . . . that's a good price . . . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 03, 2007, 04:27:31 PM
Interesting exchange between Donwyn and M Forever:

Quote from: donwyn on November 03, 2006, 01:26:51 AM

With Mravinsky/Kondrashin I'm often disturbed by that "grab 'em by the throat" approach they both favor. I'd be happy if they decided to "linger" once in a while over the music, giving some space to the music to let it...sing. Yes, sing.

Quote from: M Forever

*** I thought about what I could say to make these recordings more appealing to you, but I couldn't really come up with anything that might help you. I don't find them lyrically wanting at all, it is just a different sort of lyricism from expansive, drawn out, speeled out lyricism. I find these performances by Kondrashin and Mravinsky very expressive, in a more stern, terse way, and they both emphasize the classicist aspect of Shostakovich' music. It is not really classicist in the sense of looking back in nostalgia, but in the concentration of form and expression which holds even the longest and most epic pieces together on the inside. Remember Mravinsky was intensely involved in the premieres of several of these pieces, not just because he happened to be there, but because he was Shostakovich' preferred conductor and one of his most ardent champions for many years. Later, the friendship went sour, but that is a different story. In any case, I don't find either Kondrashin or, and especially, Mravinsky far from being underexposed when it comes to the lyrical, expressive sides of Shostakovich' music. Both seem to me to be "spot on" when it comes to transporting a certain "tone" in the music that I find very apt and which sounds to me very "idiomatic".
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 03, 2007, 04:36:43 PM
Jansons may be the best bargain at $31 plus at Amazon Marketplace. The upside, this set has very good sound with a variety of orchestras turning in good to very good performances. The downside, few if any of the readings can vie for number one status.

I think Haitink at $15 to $20 more? is overall the best value. Some performances can vie for number one, and the sound is often of demonstration quality.

The less available Rozhdestvensky, and newly remastered Melodiya Kondrashin, are THE two Russian contenders. Some performances vie for number one. Sound is good on Rozhdestvensky, and acceptable to good on Kondrashin. Both are overpriced.


As is Barshai. $50 for Barshai is too high. If it was $30, then I could suggest someone get it for some Russian flavor.




As for the Jansons, many of his recordings can vie for elite status. Take for example the 2nd or the 15th- I have connected more with these symphonies than nearly anything in the Shostakovich repotoire thanks to Mariss Jansons. He suceeds on an entirely emotional level, bringing an intimate connection to works that have long struggled to appreciate.

As for the Barshai, I do feel that 50 dollars is a reasonabe rate. I own that set for the superior performances, excellent sound, and good tempi make this really a wonderful comapnion to the Jansons. I would reccomend it, even at 50 dollars.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BorisG on May 03, 2007, 04:55:34 PM



As for the Jansons, many of his recordings can vie for elite status. Take for example the 2nd or the 15th- I have connected more with these symphonies than nearly anything in the Shostakovich repotoire thanks to Mariss Jansons. He suceeds on an entirely emotional level, bringing an intimate connection to works that have long struggled to appreciate.

As for the Barshai, I do feel that 50 dollars is a reasonabe rate. I own that set for the superior performances, excellent sound, and good tempi make this really a wonderful comapnion to the Jansons. I would reccomend it, even at 50 dollars.

Well, we must completely disagree.

Jansons has more things to say, as is clearly expressed in his recent Concertgebouw Shostakovich 7 recording. A considerable improvement over his earlier Leningrad. I am most optimistic for his and Concertgebouw's Shostakovich future.

I feel Barshai is a hack compared to Kondrashin and Rozhdestvensky. If one is hankering for Russian, that $50 would be better spent toward Kondrashin and Rozhdestvensky. Spend some more and get the real thing, which a true Russian lover would probably end up with anyway.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 03, 2007, 05:08:22 PM
Well, we must completely disagree.

Jansons has more things to say, as is clearly expressed in his recent Concertgebouw Shostakovich 7 recording. A considerable improvement over his earlier Leningrad. I am most optimistic for his and Concertgebouw's Shostakovich future.

I feel Barshai is a hack compared to Kondrashin and Rozhdestvensky. If one is hankering for Russian, that $50 would be better spent toward Kondrashin and Rozhdestvensky. Spend some more and get the real thing, which a true Russian lover would probably end up with anyway.

Yes, we will have to disagree. While I haven't heard the Kondrashin yet, I find that there is more to Barshai then a Russian touch on these symphonies. The orchestration is fantastic, there is abundant flavor and enthusiasm pulsating through the entire set. Barshai knew how to lead Shostakovich.  :)


Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BorisG on May 03, 2007, 05:17:26 PM
Yes, we will have to disagree. While I haven't heard the Kondrashin yet, I find that there is more to Barshai then a Russian touch on these symphonies. The orchestration is fantastic, there is abundant flavor and enthusiasm pulsating through the entire set. Barshai knew how to lead Shostakovich.  :)




Also, you could compare Barshai and Bychkov WDR recordings.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 03, 2007, 05:19:36 PM
Also, you could compare Barshai and Bychkov WDR recordings.

I'm not familiar with those. Are you implying that they are similar recordings?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BorisG on May 03, 2007, 05:22:20 PM
I'm not familiar with those. Are you implying that they are similar recordings?

No, no Hattogate.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 03, 2007, 05:29:53 PM
Well, I really should look into those, then. At the moment, I'm thrilled to find out if the Kondrashin really lives up to expectations. It was ordered with expedited delivery a couple of days ago, and so I expect it shortly. I would gladly engage in a discussion on how it fairs against the Barshai.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 03, 2007, 06:58:09 PM
This is agonizing. 

It's also not true.

Barshai's set has been consistently hailed as a sonic success.

I have it and can attest to that.


Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 03, 2007, 07:01:44 PM
I feel Barshai is a hack compared to Kondrashin and Rozhdestvensky. .

Oh?

As Barshai premiered the 14th symphony, played viola in both the Beethoven and Borodin Quartets, founded the Moscow Chamber Orchestra (and even transcribed some of the quartets for chamber orchestra)...

...not to mention worked closely with Shostakovich, and, well...IS RUSSIAN...

Just how is he a hack?

Please, please enlighten us...




Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 03, 2007, 07:09:21 PM
Oh?

As Barshai premiered the 14th symphony, played viola in both the Beethoven and Borodin Quartets, transcribed some of the quartets for chamber orchestra, founded the Moscow Chamber Orchestra...

...not to mention worked closely with Shostakovich, and, well...IS RUSSIAN...

Just how is he a hack?

Please, please enlighten us...



I'm more eager to understand how a single Russian interpreter of these works is sufficient. I've sampled the Kondrashin, and find them to be radically different interpretations. There is not simply a single Russian touch
to these works.

As for the sonics, I found the sound to be impeccable.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 03, 2007, 07:24:19 PM
There is not simply a single Russian touch
to these works.


Yes, judging by the recorded evidence, there is no single 'correct' Russian approach to these works.

There's Kondrashin who sounds nothing like Roszdestvensky who sounds nothing like Mravinsky who sounds nothing like Barshai (haven't heard Maxim ;)).

Which leaves the door wide open for all kinds of approaches.

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 03, 2007, 09:46:10 PM
I am going to have to interject here again because, Donwyn, despite the fact that Barshai is Russian, he doesn't sound typically Russian, not like Kondrashin, Rozhdestvensky or Mravinsky. I take your point about there not being "one" Russian sound, but if a listener is after the stereotypical one, Barshai certainly is not it.

And anyone who thinks the sonics are impeccable, I seriously urge you to hear the 8th adagio of Haitink, then put on Barshai - you will suddenly see what I am saying.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: AnthonyAthletic on May 03, 2007, 09:54:03 PM
Michel, did you get your Barshai from Britannia, if so does their set come in jewel cases or paper sleeves?  I have the old jewel edition and am looking to save space  ;D

I recently bought his Shostakovich Chamber Symphonies, superb workings of 5 of his quartets, now for orchestra....even if Shosty didn't like what Barshai did with them (his own orchestrations), they are very grand stuff...lovely double flip slimline packaging too.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Harry on May 03, 2007, 10:08:51 PM
Why is everyone talking about the great sonics of Barshai? I am a little way into my comparisons and the intial findings suggest the opposite. They are very unbalanced, with a lot of shrill, little or no midrange, with a booming, ineffective and crass bass. Haitink, on the other hand, is a sonic masterpiece. The lusch sonority of the Concertgebouw is glorious. And lets be honest, I would not describe the Kondrashin sonics as bad, or substantially worse than Barshai for the latter to gain a point.

Anyway, I just couldn't help saying this but I must abstain until I have further organised my thoughts.

Michel, I am a bit wondering about your equipment!
I am sorry to say to you that the notion that the Barshai sound is not that good as Haitink, is simply not true.
I have both sets, true they have a totally different sound picture, and a different acoustic, but both are very good.
If you have shrillness, and little mid-range and a booming bass, than first look at your listening room, and if that is oke, change your gear.
Because neither of the things you say is true in the general sense. The recording from Barshai is very good.
Haitink is lush yes, Barshai is lucid and tight, different acoustics.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Harry on May 03, 2007, 10:09:45 PM
Yes, we will have to disagree. While I haven't heard the Kondrashin yet, I find that there is more to Barshai then a Russian touch on these symphonies. The orchestration is fantastic, there is abundant flavor and enthusiasm pulsating through the entire set. Barshai knew how to lead Shostakovich.  :)




Totally agreed upon!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Harry on May 03, 2007, 10:13:02 PM
I am going to have to interject here again because, Donwyn, despite the fact that Barshai is Russian, he doesn't sound typically Russian, not like Kondrashin, Rozhdestvensky or Mravinsky. I take your point about there not being "one" Russian sound, but if a listener is after the stereotypical one, Barshai certainly is not it.

And anyone who thinks the sonics are impeccable, I seriously urge you to hear the 8th adagio of Haitink, then put on Barshai - you will suddenly see what I am saying.

Well lets say, alot of people think that the Barshai is oke, and you think not.
But please define if you will, what in your opinion a Russian flavour is and what not!
I did listen Michel, and both sound top-notch.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 03, 2007, 11:01:38 PM
Michel, did you get your Barshai from Britannia, if so does their set come in jewel cases or paper sleeves?  I have the old jewel edition and am looking to save space  ;D

I recently bought his Shostakovich Chamber Symphonies, superb workings of 5 of his quartets, now for orchestra....even if Shosty didn't like what Barshai did with them (his own orchestrations), they are very grand stuff...lovely double flip slimline packaging too.

Yeah, it is the box with card sleeves - much better than that bulky lot!!

And its only 13 quid isnt it?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Drasko on May 04, 2007, 12:48:43 AM
I was not 'thrilled'' with the sonics either, but the playing is just terrific. There simply seems to be just the right amount of energy interjected into each of the movements, without compromising the mood of the work. Barshai knows these works.

As for the sonics, I found the sound to be impeccable.

So, which is it?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 04, 2007, 01:13:01 AM
So, which is it?

Well spotted Drasko!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 04, 2007, 03:41:10 AM
That's a good sale price, Karl.  Very tempting, frankly.

Well, and with $2.95 shipping, a temptation which I did not see fit to resist, mon vieux  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 04, 2007, 03:46:57 AM
Why is everyone talking about the great sonics of Barshai? I am a little way into my comparisons and the intial findings suggest the opposite. They are very unbalanced, with a lot of shrill, little or no midrange, with a booming, ineffective and crass bass. Haitink, on the other hand, is a sonic masterpiece. The lusch sonority of the Concertgebouw is glorious. And lets be honest, I would not describe the Kondrashin sonics as bad, or substantially worse than Barshai for the latter to gain a point.

Anyway, I just couldn't help saying this but I must abstain until I have further organised my thoughts.

That all sounds pretty much to the point, by me.  It is, for instance, a large part of Barshai's account of the Seventh not striking me as any gain upon the Haitink (terrific sound overall whether the orchestra is the Concertgebouw, or [as is the case with the Leningrad] the London Phil).
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 04, 2007, 03:49:42 AM
I have never heard anyone really MESS UP Shostakovich symphonies, but please, don't prove me wrong. Let me stay ignorant if anyone has really screwed them up.

Well, at the risk of offending von Karajan devotees (and You Know Who You Are  ;D), the recording of the Tenth (and no, I don't know which of the two) I've heard buries the brass back in the mix.  Whether the fault rests with the conductor, or with the sound mixer, I do not know;  but the result is a regrettable muting of some of my best-loved highlights in the piece.

In my book, that recording messes up the Tenth.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 04, 2007, 03:52:32 AM
Jansons may be the best bargain at $31 plus at Amazon Marketplace. The upside, this set has very good sound with a variety of orchestras turning in good to very good performances. The downside, few if any of the readings can vie for number one status.

Well, I've got to think the Tenth (Phila) and the Fifteenth (London Phil) contenders there.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 04, 2007, 03:54:44 AM
Well, we must completely disagree.

Jansons has more things to say, as is clearly expressed in his recent Concertgebouw Shostakovich 7 recording. A considerable improvement over his earlier Leningrad. I am most optimistic for his and Concertgebouw's Shostakovich future.

I feel Barshai is a hack compared to Kondrashin and Rozhdestvensky. If one is hankering for Russian, that $50 would be better spent toward Kondrashin and Rozhdestvensky. Spend some more and get the real thing, which a true Russian lover would probably end up with anyway.

Gentlemen both, it is certainly true that we will often disagree as to what a good price will be, of a given artistic commodity.

That's simply the turf.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 04, 2007, 04:10:17 AM
Interesting exchange between Donwyn and M Forever:

Quote from: M Forever
*** I thought about what I could say to make these recordings more appealing to you, but I couldn't really come up with anything that might help you. I don't find them lyrically wanting at all, it is just a different sort of lyricism from expansive, drawn out, speeled out lyricism. I find these performances by Kondrashin and Mravinsky very expressive, in a more stern, terse way, and they both emphasize the classicist aspect of Shostakovich' music. It is not really classicist in the sense of looking back in nostalgia, but in the concentration of form and expression which holds even the longest and most epic pieces together on the inside. Remember Mravinsky was intensely involved in the premieres of several of these pieces, not just because he happened to be there, but because he was Shostakovich' preferred conductor and one of his most ardent champions for many years. Later, the friendship went sour, but that is a different story. In any case, I don't find either Kondrashin or, and especially, Mravinsky far from being underexposed when it comes to the lyrical, expressive sides of Shostakovich' music. Both seem to me to be "spot on" when it comes to transporting a certain "tone" in the music that I find very apt and which sounds to me very "idiomatic".


Very interesting.  Great insight viz. the classicist aspect of Shostakovich (which may seem at odds with the composer's well-known fondness for Mahler).  Yet, FWIW (and from what I've heard of both conductors) I don't take these comments as absolutely selling me on Mravinsky or Kondrashin . . . .

Incidentally, though, this angle of the classicist Shostakovich is partly why I cherish the Haitink recordings I've got.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 04, 2007, 04:41:01 AM
Well, at the risk of offending von Karajan devotees (and You Know Who You Are  ;D), the recording of the Tenth (and no, I don't know which of the two) I've heard buries the brass back in the mix.  Whether the fault rests with the conductor, or with the sound mixer, I do not know;  but the result is a regrettable muting of some of my best-loved highlights in the piece.

In my book, that recording messes up the Tenth.

I've got this and find others more satisfying. I will return to it, though, in the survey I am currently undertaking. My biggest problem, despite this however, is actually that I don't much like the symphony!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 04, 2007, 05:25:53 AM
(http://www.arkivmusic.com/graphics/covers/non-muze/full/144655.gif)

Says David Hurwitz: "The bottom line is that [Maxim Shostakovich] doesn't put a foot wrong anywhere. There's nothing controversial here, no extremes of fast or slow, no exaggerating the dark and miserable--but there's also no underplaying of the music's intensity. Shostakovich catches the flow of each piece, finding a balanced and unusually rich range of expression on both the happy and sad sides of the emotional ledger.  *** The live sonics are very faithful to the sound of the orchestra, and the audience, while present, is invariably well-behaved. I think it's important that Maxim Shostakovich's views on this music have been preserved at last, and if the result hasn't the technical perfection of the best of the competition, it has such honesty and genuine excitement that it really doesn't matter. This is a cycle to live with--a true reference for anyone wanting a baseline view of how each work ought to go, and what it expresses."  

Thanks for finding that review, Mr. Minor. I've never considered this set before because every review I can recall was lukewarm about Maxim's recordings. This changes the picture completely. I feel sorry for, Karl, though...he hates Hurwitz and this might put him off the set completely ;D

By the way, anyone looking for Bashai and wanting the best price should check out JPC:

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/hnum/4460486/rk/classic/rsk/hitlist

Even with the poor dollar/Euro exchange rate and shipping costs to the States that can be horrendous, it might still be a bargain.

At this price it should be a no-brainer for me, but I'm still hesitating about Barshai. I'm really happy with Jansons (with the exception of his Sixth: first movement way too fast; he completely misses the desolation this music should project) and even more happy with my individual picks for the symphonies.

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 04, 2007, 05:33:12 AM
I am going to have to interject here again because, Donwyn, despite the fact that Barshai is Russian, he doesn't sound typically Russian, not like Kondrashin, Rozhdestvensky or Mravinsky.

Well, I'm not exactly sure what it is that you're disagreeing with, Michel. I didn't intend to say Barshia sounds "typically" Russian. My point is simply each Russian has their own ideas of how to approach this music.

Quote
I take your point about there not being "one" Russian sound, but if a listener is after the stereotypical one, Barshai certainly is not it.

Well, what exactly is a "stereotypical" Russian sound? As I pointed out the Big Three (Kondrashin, Rozhd, Mravinsky) sound nothing alike.

I'd add that Pletnev in his Russian recordings sound nothing like the Big Three. Ditto Polyansky, Gergiev, and so on...

Harry, I think, asked it best:

But please define if you will, what in your opinion a Russian flavour is and what not!





Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 04, 2007, 05:33:56 AM
Michel, I am a bit wondering about your equipment!
I am sorry to say to you that the notion that the Barshai sound is not that good as Haitink, is simply not true.
I have both sets, true they have a totally different sound picture, and a different acoustic, but both are very good.
If you have shrillness, and little mid-range and a booming bass, than first look at your listening room, and if that is oke, change your gear.
Because neither of the things you say is true in the general sense. The recording from Barshai is very good.
Haitink is lush yes, Barshai is lucid and tight, different acoustics.

I agree, Harry.





Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 04, 2007, 05:37:23 AM
Thanks for finding that review, Mr. Minor. I've never considered this set before because every review I can recall was lukewarm about Maxim's recordings. This changes the picture completely. I feel sorry for, Karl, though...he hates Hurwitz and this might put him off the set completely ;D

Nay, Sarge;  I am chilled steel where Hurwitz is concerned  8)

He has frequently puzzled me by his scornful contempt for recordings which my ears find excellent;  but there have been instances before now where he has been enthusiastic for other recordings for whose excellence I can vouch as well.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 04, 2007, 05:43:48 AM
Nay, Sarge;  I am chilled steel where Hurwitz is concerned  8)

He has frequently puzzled me by his scornful contempt for recordings which my ears find excellent;  but there have been instances before now where he has been enthusiastic for other recordings for whose excellence I can vouch as well.

This pleases me, Karl. And, yes, I understand your objections to Hurwitz; he can be puzzling at times and certainly overly harsh but his way of objecting to a recording can be so amusing, I find myself laughing even when I'm violently disagreeing with him on a purely critical level.

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 04, 2007, 05:49:31 AM

An idea:

Perhaps we could start with #1 and listen to the recordings we have in our collection. Then report back with our findings and discuss.

Once we've done that, we could move on to #2 and continue in this fashion until we reach #15.

That way, we could take a closer look at these works and evaluate how many of them are done well by each of the conductors who offer them as sets and then pick a set to buy based on this information. Or, perhaps conclude that buying separate performances is the way to go?

What do folks think about this?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 04, 2007, 06:27:54 AM
I agree and is what I previously promised to undertake. Otherwise you just get everyone, including me, talking generalisations.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 04, 2007, 06:29:59 AM
I think it's a great idea in principle, and I applaud it;  I don't know if I could keep track with it, in practice.

But I'll still undertake to talk specifics where applicable  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 04, 2007, 07:19:09 AM

OK, I will listen to my recordings of #1 in the next few days, take a few notes, and post my thoughts here, unless we want to start another thread. I realize that it wasn't quite the original intent of this thread, so I'd be glad to start up another. What do folks think? 
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: sonic1 on May 04, 2007, 07:22:30 AM
I will try to participate in this, however most of my CDs and LPs are terribly unorganized because I just moved to a new place. So I am not sure how completest I can be. I will try.

jared
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 04, 2007, 07:23:08 AM
OK, I will listen to my recordings of #1 in the next few days, take a few notes, and post my thoughts here, unless we want to start another thread. I realize that it wasn't quite the original intent of this thread, so I'd be glad to start up another. What do folks think? 

I consider that within the larger mission of this thread;  but if it is felt that a fresh thread should be started, I have no objection either way.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 04, 2007, 08:58:03 AM
An idea:

Perhaps we could start with #1 and listen to the recordings we have in our collection. Then report back with our findings and discuss.

Once we've done that, we could move on to #2 and continue in this fashion until we reach #15.

That way, we could take a closer look at these works and evaluate how many of them are done well by each of the conductors who offer them as sets and then pick a set to buy based on this information. Or, perhaps conclude that buying separate performances is the way to go?


What do folks think about this?

George, I think its a fine idea. Once the Kondrashin comes in, I will have three recordings of each symphony to compare.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Bunny on May 04, 2007, 09:56:28 AM
I also have the Maxim Shostakovich set, and while it's very good it's also very cautious.  I suppose I've been spoiled by the Kondrashin set which lets all the stops out.

Meanwhile, has anyone heard anything about the Yakov Kreizberg recording of the 5th and 9th symphonies?  I have heard from friends whose opinion I trust that it's a magnificent recording -- and in SACD/hybrid sound.

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/513M8glGvTL._SS400_.jpg)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 04, 2007, 10:00:49 AM
I also have the Maxim Shostakovich set, and while it's very good it's also very cautious.  I suppose I've been spoiled by the Kondrashin set which lets all the stops out.

Hmm.  I admit that along with "red in maw, tooth and claw," I am wary of the phrase "lets all the stops out."  Too many critics have sexed up one recording too many with that one, too.  Just saying.

Also, that Maksim Dmitriyevich's recording of the Fourth, which is thus far the only of the symphonies I have heard under his direction, does not strike me as "cautious" in the least.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Bunny on May 04, 2007, 10:09:36 AM
Hmm.  I admit that along with "red in maw, tooth and claw," I am wary of the phrase "lets all the stops out."  Too many critics have sexed up one recording too many with that one, too.  Just saying.

Also, that Maksim Dmitriyevich's recording of the Fourth, which is thus far the only of the symphonies I have heard under his direction, does not strike me as "cautious" in the least.

Karl, I like the Maxim Shosty set, but unless you've heard the Kondrashin, you really can't comment on it.  It's not sexed up hype, it's just that Kondrashin is the most exciting and vibrant Shostakovich I've heard -- and I prefer it despite it's awful sound quality.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 04, 2007, 10:14:22 AM
Karl, I like the Maxim Shosty set, but unless you've heard the Kondrashin, you really can't comment on it.

That is true, save only two minor qualifications.

I have heard a recording of his Fourteenth (a cassette I used to have in the 80s), yet it does not loom as great in sonic memory as some of the print I have read suggests it ought.

And other recordings I have heard more recently (not of Shostakovich) conducted by Kondrashin strike me more as ragged than as exciting.

Those points aside, I am certainly interested in hearing more of the Kondrashin cycle, especially now that the sound has been cleaned up.  But you will agree, I think, that on the basis of my own listening experience, I cannot be expected to think the Kondrashin a sound investment (no pun intended) at this price.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 04, 2007, 10:17:05 AM
Karl, I like the Maxim Shosty set, but unless you've heard the Kondrashin, you really can't comment on it.  It's not sexed up hype, it's just that Kondrashin is the most exciting and vibrant Shostakovich I've heard -- and I prefer it despite it's awful sound quality.

Just curious: do you have the early Melodiya issue, the Aulos one, or the most recent Melodiya issue with the red eyeglasses on the cover?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 04, 2007, 10:17:12 AM
I feel Barshai is a hack compared to Kondrashin and Rozhdestvensky.

That statement is not supported by the evidence . . . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 04, 2007, 10:18:17 AM
Barshai's set has been consistently hailed as a sonic success.

I have it and can attest to that.

Bless you!  :-*
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 04, 2007, 10:19:27 AM
Music is discovery, mon vieux!   0:)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 04, 2007, 10:21:13 AM
There's Kondrashin who sounds nothing like Roszdestvensky who sounds nothing like Mravinsky who sounds nothing like Barshai (haven't heard Maxim ;)).

Which leaves the door wide open for all kinds of approaches.

I think that's really the bottom line . . . . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 04, 2007, 10:21:37 AM
Bless you!  :-*

The Barshai was actually my first complete cycle of the Shostakovich Symphonies. To this day, I have never had any qualms with the sonics.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 04, 2007, 10:24:25 AM
Well, and with $2.95 shipping, [the Maxim Shosty set represents] a temptation which I did not see fit to resist, mon vieux  :)

I agree . . . . . . . irresistible . . . . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 04, 2007, 10:26:57 AM
I agree . . . . . . . irresistible . . . . . . .

You're familiar with that set, D Minor? What do you think of it?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 04, 2007, 10:28:35 AM
An idea:

Perhaps we could start with #1 and listen to the recordings we have in our collection. Then report back with our findings and discuss.

Once we've done that, we could move on to #2 and continue in this fashion until we reach #15.

That way, we could take a closer look at these works and evaluate how many of them are done well by each of the conductors who offer them as sets and then pick a set to buy based on this information. Or, perhaps conclude that buying separate performances is the way to go?

What do folks think about this?

Too sensible an idea, George . . . . . . . This is GMG, afterall . . . . . . where systematic, rational approaches simply do not fly! . . . . . . .  :D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 04, 2007, 10:29:50 AM
You're familiar with that set, D Minor? What do you think of it?

No, I don't have it . . . . . my point is that I agree that it's a tempting purchase (based on numerous factors). . . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 04, 2007, 10:31:22 AM
I will try to participate in this, however most of my CDs and LPs are terribly unorganized because I just moved to a new place. So I am not sure how completest I can be. I will try.

jared

We're here for you, Jared . . . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 04, 2007, 10:37:51 AM
I am certainly interested in hearing more of the Kondrashin cycle, especially now that the sound has been cleaned up. 

Well, based on that Amazon review (cited earlier), the sonics have been measurably improved . . . . . . So, if for no other reason, the newest remastered Kondrashin cycle should be purchased as a reference set . . . . . . . (in addition to at least a half-dozen other sets  ::)) . . . . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 04, 2007, 10:42:32 AM
No, I don't have it . . . . . my point is that I agree that it's a tempting purchase (based on numerous factors). . . . . .

Ahh, noted.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 04, 2007, 10:45:28 AM
Here is a review posted at amazon by an esteemed friend no longer with us:

Quote from: Bob Zeidler
I am actually more than mildly surprised to see this boxed set of the Shostakovich symphonies, performed by Rudolf Barshai and the Southwest Radio Orchestra (Germany) available here at Amazon.com. Brilliant Classics is not a label that gets wide distribution in the U.S. (although one can find releases on this label if one knows where to look).

Any - perhaps every - collector of the Shostakovich symphonies can put together a listing of his or her favorite performances, work-by-work, without once referring to this Barshai boxed set. I know that I can, and that such a listing for me would include performances by Bernstein (the 5th), Gergiev (the 7th) Haitink (several, but most especially the 8th and the 15th), both Janssons and Karajan (the 10th), Ormandy (the 4th), Rostropovich (the 11th, in his new LSO Live recording), Stokowski (the 1st and the 11th) and Zander (the 5th). All of these (and more) are already in my library, and I wouldn't want to be without any of them.

But all of this is beside the point. In virtually every way (including performance and sonics), these Barshai recordings are highly competitive, and, as an integral complete set, are topped only by the Haitink set (at considerably higher cost). Barshai, for many years, was a close associate of Shostakovich (and the arranger of, among other pieces, Shostakovich's remarkable 8th Quartet for chamber orchestra as his "Chamber Symphony"), and he has this music in his blood. This long personal association means that Barshai understands not only what we have come to call "authentic performance practice," but all of the myriad "hidden meanings" to be found in this most autobiographical of composers.

Overall, the weaknesses are very few. The packaging is Spartan, and the documentation even less than that. If I continue to prefer Haitink for the 8th and 15th Symphonies, it is by the smallest of margins. Ditto for Gergiev in the 7th Symphony. Everywhere else, Barshai elicits performances that are truly "top drawer," with recorded sound to match. And how often will one go out of one's way to obtain recordings of Shostakovich's 2nd and 3rd Symphonies on a full-price label? Not often at all, meaning that most people miss these two works entirely. Not that they are Shostakovich at his best (particularly with their "agitprop" finales), but I must confess that there are some pleasant surprises in the early movements of the Shostakovich 2nd Symphony, written during his most "experimental" phase and sounding quite like Charles Ives in places: "Gorky Park in the Dark" might be a clever way of putting matters.

Those already having good collections of the symphonies are probably already aware of this bargain box, and will get it (or have already gotten it) just for its comprehensiveness and uniformity of interpretation and quality. Those just starting out to discover Shostakovich and his symphonies could hardly do better than acquire this bargain box: For about what one would normally pay for just three or four of the symphonies on full-price labels, you can have the full set of works by Barshai, and begin your journey comfortable with the fact that these are authoritative performances by an acknowledged Shostakovich master. [ posted June 30, 2003 ]
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 04, 2007, 10:55:22 AM
Yes, judging by the recorded evidence, there is no single 'correct' Russian approach to these works.

I agree. In the end, we really only have our opinions, right? If we stick to saying what we like or what don't like, we absolutely can't be wrong. If I say I love Kondrashin's work in Shostakovich, no one can tell me that I don't like it. This statement is an opinion, but it is also a fact. Its only when people make that jump from I love Kondrashin's DSCH to "Kondrashin's DSCH is how it should be done" or "anyone other than Kondrashinin DSCH is a knucklehead" that we run into problems. Sure, it can be argued that that these are also opinions, but it isn't also fact. To me that the difference. As you say, there is no one "correct" way to approach these works. 

In a similar way, I find it very strange when someone tells me that they don't like pizza or ice cream, but that certainly doesn't make that person wrong.  :)   
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 04, 2007, 10:57:53 AM
Here is a review posted at amazon by an esteemed friend no longer with us:


In virtually every way (including performance and sonics), these Barshai recordings are highly competitive, and, as an integral complete set, are topped only by the Haitink set (at considerably higher cost).

One problem with a symphony-by-symphony approach is that you miss the full, cumulative effect of the entire cycle, in all of its grandeur (or all of its morass) . . . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 04, 2007, 11:00:29 AM
Its only when people make that jump from I love Kondrashin's DSCH to "Kondrashin's DSCH is how it should be done" or "anyone other than Kondrashinin DSCH is a knucklehead" that we run into problems.

Or when someone presents opinion as fact  . . . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Bunny on May 04, 2007, 11:10:59 AM
Just curious: do you have the early Melodiya issue, the Aulos one, or the most recent Melodiya issue with the red eyeglasses on the cover?

The Aulos set. It looks like this:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/4137S41RC9L._AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 04, 2007, 11:11:23 AM
Interesting that Bob Z preferred the Haitink Eighth to Barshai, I thought!  (No, I haven't heard Barshai in the Eighth.)

And I admit I am tickled that his favorites in the Tenth are both Jansons and von Karajan, where of these two, I find it very easy to Choose One™  ;)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 04, 2007, 11:18:47 AM
(pictured below: Karl with his anti-Karajan mallet . . . . . .)

(http://www.bobcongdon.net/images/sledgehammer.jpg)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Bunny on May 04, 2007, 11:19:37 AM
The Barshai was actually my first complete cycle of the Shostakovich Symphonies. To this day, I have never had any qualms with the sonics.

I have the Barshai (my first set), Mravinsky, Kondrashin, Rozhdestvensky and Maxim Shostakovich.  Of all of them, the Maxim Shostakovich has the best sound quality with the Barshai a very, very close second.  The Kondrashin sounds a bit better than the Mravinsky and Rozhdestvensky which have very indifferent sound quality.  Although the Soviet system may have funded the arts, their recording science was not really up to commercial Western standards.  I'm not sure that there is any way to completely clean up the old recordings.  Of course, who knows what wizardry Barrington Coupe might be able to do if he gets  his hands on them. >:D 
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 04, 2007, 11:19:55 AM
The Aulos set. It looks like this:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/4137S41RC9L._AA240_.jpg)

RussianDVD.com has that on sale for $79.99 with free shipping . . . . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 04, 2007, 11:23:24 AM
Aulos is from 2003, I think, and bespectacled Melodiya is from 2006. Musicweb is refering to previous Melodiya release. 

Anyone know who's got the best price on the newer Melodiya set?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 04, 2007, 11:28:04 AM
Anyone know who's got the best price on the newer Melodiya set?

RussianDVD has both the new and old priced at $79,99 . . . . . . best I've found so far . . . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 04, 2007, 11:30:49 AM
I've recently heard the Haitink (No. 2, 10, 15), with the help of a good friend. I find it strange that so many that praise Barshai also are fond of the Haitink. The latter was far too dry for me. The Haitink sounded over-dramatic, and really lacking in the sponteniety that I love about the Barshai. They are so radically differnt approaches. Hatink fell off my to buy list almost as fast as it got there in the first place.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 04, 2007, 11:32:52 AM
RussianDVD has both the new and old priced at $79,99 . . . . . . best I've found so far . . . . . .

I only saw the Aulos. I have to check that out again, thanks.


George (who will soon go deeper into debt)  >:D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 04, 2007, 11:35:22 AM
I only saw the Aulos. I have to check that out again, thanks.


George (who will soon go deeper into debt)  >:D

Whoa, take it easy, George!  :D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 04, 2007, 11:35:42 AM
I only saw the Aulos. I have to check that out again, thanks.


George (who will soon go deeper into debt)  >:D

My, thats pricey.  :-\
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Bunny on May 04, 2007, 11:38:38 AM
That's where I found it when it was first released; btw the price was higher then.  I suppose the price on that is reduced because the newer set which includes some concertos is now available at the same price I paid for that.  I'll bet that new set has the same remasterings.  If they had remastered again, with all the new material included, they would have asked a steeper price.

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 04, 2007, 11:39:26 AM

To be clear, I will be 100% out of debt in one year. If I purchase the Kondrashin, I'll increase my monthly payment by $7.50 or something, that way I'll still be debt free. the card I have is interest free until next April.  8)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 04, 2007, 11:40:59 AM
That's where I found it when it was first released; btw the price was higher then.  I suppose the price on that is reduced because the newer set which includes some concertos is now available at the same price I paid for that.  I'll bet that new set has the same remasterings.  If they had remastered again, with all the new material included, they would have asked a steeper price.



The Amazon review of the Melodiya claims that it was remastered using the original tapes. Plus $80 isn't exactly a steal.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 04, 2007, 11:41:59 AM
That's where I found it when it was first released; btw the price was higher then.  I suppose the price on that is reduced because the newer set which includes some concertos is now available at the same price I paid for that.  I'll bet that new set has the same remasterings.  If they had remastered again, with all the new material included, they would have asked a steeper price.



The new set has flimsy cardboard packaging/boxing and paper sleeves . . . . . . so that helps keep the price down . . . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Harry on May 04, 2007, 11:52:59 AM
I've recently heard the Haitink (No. 2, 10, 15), with the help of a good friend. I find it strange that so many that praise Barshai also are fond of the Haitink. The latter was far too dry for me. The Haitink sounded over-dramatic, and really lacking in the sponteniety that I love about the Barshai. They are so radically differnt approaches. Hatink fell off my to buy list almost as fast as it got there in the first place.

Steve my friend think again.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 04, 2007, 12:05:33 PM
Steve my friend think again.  :)

I may listen to more of it, but I doubt it will have any significant impact on my purchasing decision. It lacked the needed enthusiasm. Much too sterile for my liking.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Harry on May 04, 2007, 12:20:21 PM
I may listen to more of it, but I doubt it will have any significant impact on my purchasing decision. It lacked the needed enthusiasm. Much too sterile for my liking.  :)

Well maybe when you are older, and have heard as much as I, you will find the true merits of Haitink.
Tis not sterile at all, but that is beside the point now.
Barshai is also a very good choice. :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 04, 2007, 12:25:30 PM
Well maybe when you are older, and have heard as much as I, you will find the true merits of Haitink.
Tis not sterile at all, but that is beside the point now.
Barshai is also a very good choice. :)

While Haitink isn't me preference for a great many works, I can appreciate his stylings, too. I just dont appreciate his Shostakovich interpretations. But, it may, come with repeated listening, or it may not.

Either way, I'm glad we are of a similar mind when it comes to the Barshai

Are those the two that you own, Barshai? Or, do you own the Kondrashin as well?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Harry on May 04, 2007, 12:38:23 PM
While Haitink isn't me preference for a great many works, I can appreciate his stylings, too. I just dont appreciate his Shostakovich interpretations. But, it may, come with repeated listening, or it may not.

Either way, I'm glad we are of a similar mind when it comes to the Barshai

Are those the two that you own, Barshai? Or, do you own the Kondrashin as well?

I have the Jansons/Haitink/Barshai.
Kondrashin is not my thing.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Danny on May 04, 2007, 12:38:56 PM
I've got this and find others more satisfying. I will return to it, though, in the survey I am currently undertaking. My biggest problem, despite this however, is actually that I don't much like the symphony!

The Tenth is probably my favorite symphony! ;D

Both of the Karajan versions are outstanding (I prefer the '82, though).  I think the Haitnik one is excellent, too, and has excellent orchestration with a good balance among the various instruments.  I don't know if I prefer it to the HVK versions, but it is indeed a marvellous interpretation.   :)

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Harry on May 04, 2007, 12:41:10 PM
The Tenth is probably my favorite symphony! ;D

Both of the Karajan versions are outstanding (I prefer the '82, though).  I think the Haitnik one is excellent, too, and has excellent orchestration with a good balance among the various instruments.  I don't know if I prefer it to the HVK versions, but it is indeed a marvellous interpretation.   :)



Most interesting my friend, I am glad you like the Karajan's too! :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 04, 2007, 12:44:35 PM
The Tenth is probably my favorite symphony! ;D

Both of the Karajan versions are outstanding (I prefer the '82, though).  I think the Haitnik one is excellent, too, and has excellent orchestration with a good balance among the various instruments.  I don't know if I prefer it to the HVK versions, but it is indeed a marvellous interpretation.   :)



I envy you, Danny, as I'm still on the hunt for the perfect 10th. I, too enjoy Karajan, but some technical issues prevent me from issueing the superlative.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Danny on May 04, 2007, 12:47:13 PM
Most interesting my friend, I am glad you like the Karajan's too! :)

HVK is one of my favorites--guilty as charged!   ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Danny on May 04, 2007, 12:48:44 PM
I envy you, Danny, as I'm still on the hunt for the perfect 10th. I, too enjoy Karajan, but some technical issues prevent me from issueing the superlative.

I'll still keep looking for great versions of the Tenth, Steve.  No reason to stop! (especially for a piece I place in my 10).
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 04, 2007, 01:06:57 PM
Thanks, Danny! Along with the 15th, my two favourite Shostakovich Symphonies.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: sonic1 on May 04, 2007, 04:19:33 PM
Can we post our favorite versions of each symphony? It would be great to compare everyone's choices.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 04, 2007, 05:20:35 PM
I agree. In the end, we really only have our opinions, right? If we stick to saying what we like or what don't like, we absolutely can't be wrong. If I say I love Kondrashin's work in Shostakovich, no one can tell me that I don't like it. This statement is an opinion, but it is also a fact. Its only when people make that jump from I love Kondrashin's DSCH to "Kondrashin's DSCH is how it should be done" or "anyone other than Kondrashinin DSCH is a knucklehead" that we run into problems. Sure, it can be argued that that these are also opinions, but it isn't also fact. To me that the difference. As you say, there is no one "correct" way to approach these works. 

That's how it should play out, of course.

Events conspire, however... ;D

Quote
In a similar way, I find it very strange when someone tells me that they don't like pizza or ice cream, but that certainly doesn't make that person wrong.  :)   

Rank snobbery!!

;D


Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 04, 2007, 06:48:47 PM
Can we post our favorite versions of each symphony? It would be great to compare everyone's choices.

Yes, I think thats a wonderful idea. I've only now received my copy of the Kondrashin, so I may be revising this list. As of right now, I'm reveling in a new complete cycle of the Sibelius Symphonies, so my review of the Kondrashin will be forthcoming.

I'll gladly post my revised list soon!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 05, 2007, 04:48:41 AM
Rank snobbery!!

;D


*scratches Don off the guest list for my next pizza party*  ::) 



 ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 05, 2007, 05:21:27 AM

*scratches Don off the guest list for my next pizza party*  ::) 
;D

Oops...I gave the wrong impression.

I meant to say (jokingly) it's rank snobbery for someone to dismiss pizza/ice cream. ;D


Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 05, 2007, 05:22:22 AM
Oops...I gave the wrong impression.

I meant to say (jokingly) it's rank snobbery for someone to dismiss pizza/ice cream. ;D

Ok, I'll pencil you back in.  ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 05, 2007, 05:23:32 AM
So what does your 'bucket' of Firsts look like, George?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 05, 2007, 05:24:54 AM
Ok, I'll pencil you back in.  ;D

*Whew*

 ;D


Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 05, 2007, 05:26:24 AM
So what does your 'bucket' of Firsts look like, George?

Its more of a teaspoon, actually. I have only Rozhdestvensky on Moscow studio archives. 
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 05, 2007, 05:28:04 AM
Do you want to hold off until the sets you've ordered come rolling in? :-)

And viz. "teaspoon" -- delightfully turned!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 05, 2007, 05:31:12 AM
Do you want to hold off until the sets you've ordered come rolling in? :-)

I actually haven't ordered one, though Kondrashin will surely be next.

I don't expect the discussion to be that organized anyway, so I will listen to my #1 over the weekend and post my findings. I love the interpretation, but don't know it well enough to say anything specific yet.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 05, 2007, 05:34:06 AM
Speaking of 1sts, my Kondrashin has finally arrived. I'm unwrapping as we speak. First up, the 1st symphony, of coursse. After that, I'll just give Jansons and Barshai a listen for comparision....  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 05, 2007, 05:57:39 AM
My Firsts:

Lopez-Cobos, Cincinnati
Ancerl, Cz Phil
Barshai, WDR
Bernstein, CSO


Will report, but gradually :-)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 05, 2007, 05:58:24 AM
My Firsts:

Lopez-Cobos, Cincinnati
Ancerl, Cz Phil
Barshai, WDR
Bernstein, CSO


Will report, but gradually :-)

Karl, how is dear old Lenny with this one?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 05, 2007, 06:02:19 AM
Karl, how is dear old Lenny with this one?

I should speak to more nuts and bolts, but my initial answer is, just a little "big-boned" . . . fine sound, enjoyable reading, just a little on the "grand" side, perhaps.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 05, 2007, 06:05:56 AM
I should speak to more nuts and bolts, but my initial answer is, just a little "big-boned" . . . fine sound, enjoyable reading, just a little on the "grand" side, perhaps.

Still with that mighty CSO behind you, its hard not to sound a tad 'grand'. I may look into this one. How's he handle the slow movement?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 05, 2007, 06:08:28 AM
Stand by!  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 05, 2007, 06:14:47 AM
My Firsts:

Lopez-Cobos, Cincinnati
Ancerl, Cz Phil
Barshai, WDR
Bernstein, CSO


Will report, but gradually :-)

No Jansons, Karl?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: edward on May 05, 2007, 06:15:43 AM
I only have Ancerl and Barshai, but I guess a comparative listening might be interesting.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 05, 2007, 07:03:57 AM
Can we post our favorite versions of each symphony? It would be great to compare everyone's choices.

Okay...you first  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 05, 2007, 07:09:08 AM
Alright, I've just finished the Kondrashin 1st. While the sound is less than spectacular, certainly a great deal more  impatient and energetic than either the Jansons or the Barshai. Perhaps, a little frantic for my taste at times, but it makes it's point rather quickly. Overall, Kondrashin really does a fantastic job with this symphony. I hope the rest are as inticing. Right now, I'm going to put on the Jansons for a comparison.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Don on May 05, 2007, 07:16:11 AM
The firsts I own:

Haitink/Decca
Jarvi/Chandos
Rattle/EMI
Temirkanov/RCA
Skrowaczewski/Halle
Bernstein/DG
Barshai/Brilliant
Jurowski/PentaTone
Kondrashin/Aulos
Masur/LPO
Caetani/Arts
Sanderling/Berlin Classics
Rozhdestvensky/Moscow Studio Archives
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 05, 2007, 07:18:14 AM
My, that's an impressive list, Don. Any favourites?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Don on May 05, 2007, 07:22:09 AM
My, that's an impressive list, Don. Any favourites?

Kondrashin (tops)
Sanderling
Barshai
Bernstein
Rozhdestvensky
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 05, 2007, 07:23:04 AM
Kondrashin (tops)
Sanderling
Barshai
Bernstein
Rozhdestvensky

I've just now listened to the Kondrashin for the first time. My what energy!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Don on May 05, 2007, 07:24:12 AM
I've just now listened to the Kondrashin for the first time. My what energy!

Yes, the energy is amazing.  Best of all, it isn't a well-buttoned form.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 05, 2007, 07:28:05 AM
Yes, the energy is amazing.  Best of all, it isn't a well-buttoned form.

Yes, loose threads abound!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 05, 2007, 09:09:31 AM
Alright, I've just finished the Kondrashin 1st.

Could we have the timings for that one?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 05, 2007, 10:48:20 AM
Could we have the timings for that one?

Sorry, George, I'm not actually in my room right now. I'm at a local cafe. I will post them as soon as I return.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 05, 2007, 10:49:20 AM
Sorry, George, I'm not actually in my room right now. I'm at a local cafe. I will post them as soon as I return.  :)

Thanks.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 05, 2007, 12:34:41 PM
Lopez-Cobos, Cincinnati

Excellently played, and there is a cleanness and transparency (both in the sonics and the performance) which is part of what, for me, means excitement (so long as the music itself is exciting, of course).  This was the recording by which I first got well acquainted with the piece.  I don't believe that this means that it's the recording to which I expect all subsequent recordings to sound similar :-) . . . but it has always felt to me a faithful and stimulating account of the score, and its merits have held up well as I have listened to other recordings.


Ancerl, Cz Phil

Good sound, though slightly dated (a bit more so than a number of other Ancerl Gold Edition recordings I've heard).  Nothing fatal, only there are moments (such as the measure of divided basses / divided celli/ divided firsts and seconds, five bars before the Allegro molto of the last movement) one dreams of such an account of the piece favored by the sonic advantages of the Lopez-Cobos, for instance.  Something I should mention, which I have gotten used to discounting in favor of other benefits of these Ancerl & al. recordings of the Cz Phil:  the flavor of the winds is a bit different, there's often a little more 'flexibility' in some of the woodwinds (not reaching the degree to be called a warble), and there are times when the brass tone is not so solid as I tend, what?, to be used to, or to prefer, or whatever;  nonetheless, overall and 95% of the time, the tone is good, and certainly markedly better than some vintage Russian orchestra recordings I have heard, e.g.

The second movement is especially interesting.  The opening Allegro is nicely driven, just half a notch perhaps faster than in the Lopez-Cobos, but very excitingly 'locked in' and not a runaway train.  It seems to be something of a liberty (though Ancerl makes it work) but he takes the Meno mosso (where the flutes start in the repeated perfect fifths) a bit under tempo -- it feels almost eighty-ish to the quarter, rather than the 100 marked.  But the contrast to the opening material, the return to the first theme in the slower tempo, and the subsequent accelerando back to Tempo I, are all very nice.

Should say here that both Lopez-Cobos and Ancerl start that accelerando a few bars before it is notated in the score;  they both make it fit the character.


Barshai, WDR

First off the sound environment is more resonant than in any of the other recordings I've heard.  That does not make any of these others less 'warm', but there are quite a few points in the Barshai where things get muddy, to the disadvantage of a very nicely colored score (the eight-part string choir measure I mentioned above, for instance, hardly seems like an event here).

As with the Presto of the Ninth Symphony I mentioned earlier, there are half a dozen places, perhaps, where things don't sound together, or under control, or either, and given the cloudy acoustics, there's a bit more mush than I like.  A particularly 'fuzzy' moment -- at a point where you really don't want fuzz -- is five bars before the end of the piece.  The four-bar tutti sustained chord has just cut off, and the trumpets, trombones, tuba and side drum come in;  the brass seem all together enough, but they and the side drum don't quite match.

(These is by no means a general problem;  the synchronization of the two clarinets, strings and cymbals at the Allegro molto of the last movement is above reproach, for instance.)

One instance of particularly mourning the 'cloud':  the piano trills in octaves accompanying the horn solo in a Meno mosso section of the last movement get sort of swallowed up.

Oh!  And peculiarly, of these four recordings, Barshai is the only one to rush the Lento.


Bernstein, CSO

In many ways a powerful reading, partly just because of the sound of the band and the quality of the recording.  There are a couple of characterizations which seem a but unorthodox on Bernstein's part (perhaps a bit more like Mahler -- or even, a bit more like the Fourth or Seventh Symphony -- than like Shostakovich the wunderkind at the Leningrad Conservatory) but they carry off well, all the same.  The march-like tune in the first theme group of the first movement (clarinet solo against low strings beating time) is a little more ponderous and menacing, than like a "Symphony-Grotesque";  and Lenny gives the waltzing second theme an expanded, nigh-unto-fin-de-siecle lilt, which is unlike any other reading I've heard in this piece.

Bernstein makes more of the tutti sections of this predominantly chamber-textured symphony than the other three in my mini-survey, but the effect is organic, never excessive.  This is one of those Bernstein interpretations (like the Sibelius Sixth with the NY Phil) which, if I cannot quite endorse some of the decisions in principle, the performance itself is justification enough.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 05, 2007, 12:44:58 PM
No Jansons, Karl?

No, I haven't heard Jansons in this, yet.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 05, 2007, 01:04:23 PM
Alright, I've just finished the Kondrashin 1st. While the sound is less than spectacular,

Please describe the sonics (I assume that you have the newest remastered version?). Are the sonics a distraction?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 05, 2007, 01:55:25 PM
Please describe the sonics (I assume that you have the newest remastered version?). Are the sonics a distraction?

I friend of mine owns one of the original discs containing the 1st Symphony, and he was just mortified by the poor sound quality. The only reason that I bothered with these was that they have been remastered. The sound is significanty improved over the original. This is especially important given the manner in which these recordings where performed. Kondrashin is exciting, and seems desperate to leave his mark on these works. The brass is nothing short of phenominal- with the improved sound, I can feel the magnificence of Kondrashin. This performance is faster than I would normally go for, but he manages not to sacrafice much in the means of quality. While this lacks the depth or intimacy of the Jansons, it succeeds elswhwere. While I would probably stick with the Jansons for the slow movements, its in the faster places where he shines. He injects a sense of urgency that just never was there for me. These recordngs are dymanic, but always deliberate.

Sound is still less than optimal. However, it is no longer a obstacle in the way of being able to appreciate this excellent conducting. Quite amazing.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 05, 2007, 01:58:52 PM
I friend of mine owns one of the original discs containing the 1st Symphony, and he was just mortified by the poor sound quality. The only reason that I bothered with these was that they have been remastered. The sound is significanty improved over the original. This is especially important given the manner in which these recordings where performed. Kondrashin is exciting, and seems desperate to leave his mark on these works. The brass is nothing short of phenominal- with the improved sound, I can feel the magnificence of Kondrashin. This performance is faster than I would normally go for, but he manages not to sacrafice much in the means of quality. While this lacks the depth or intimacy of the Jansons, it succeeds elswhwere. While I would probably stick with the Jansons for the slow movements, its in the faster places where he shines. He injects a sense of urgency that just never was there for me. These recordngs are dymanic, but always deliberate.

Sound is still less than optimal. However, it is no longer a obstacle in the way of being able to appreciate this excellent conducting. Quite amazing.

Thanks for that, Steve. So you have the box with the red eyglasses on the front (11CD's), or the Aulos release (10 CD's)?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 05, 2007, 02:43:07 PM
Thanks for that, Steve. So you have the box with the red eyglasses on the front (11CD's), or the Aulos release (10 CD's)?

The newly remasterd, 11CD set with the eyeglasses.

Might I add, that the packaging qualtity was extremely poor. The whole unit seems very flimsy.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Don on May 05, 2007, 04:21:56 PM
I'm a little surprised at the skepticism some have about the sound quality of the Kondrashin set.  I'll take it on faith that the newly remastered set has better sound than the Aulos or even earlier sets.  However, I've not had any problem with the sound quality on the Aulos set, finding that the performances easily overcome sonic limitations.  Cortot, Richter, Oistrakh, Casals, Toscanini, etc. all overcome sound deficiencies; Kondrashin is on this level also.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 05, 2007, 04:49:49 PM
I'm a little surprised at the skepticism some have about the sound quality of the Kondrashin set.  I'll take it on faith that the newly remastered set has better sound than the Aulos or even earlier sets.  However, I've not had any problem with the sound quality on the Aulos set, finding that the performances easily overcome sonic limitations.  Cortot, Richter, Oistrakh, Casals, Toscanini, etc. all overcome sound deficiencies; Kondrashin is on this level also.

I haven't actually heard much of the Aulos set beyond some online previews. It was a friend of mine who warned me against buying it because of the poor sound quality. So, I really can't be sure about the sonics on that set. I will say that there nearly every review that I have read about this new set speaks to some improvement in the sound. As far as I can tell, the sonics are still not optimal- but overall, they aren't an obstacle to enjoying the music. Sorry, I can't be more helpful on the matter.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Greta on May 05, 2007, 08:15:30 PM
I'm watching this thread as I don't have a Shosty set, in fact despite loving this composer, I'm not familiar with all his symphonies yet.  :o

I don't have the $$$ to spend on a cycle this month, but this summer I'm definitely going for one after I've thought about it. I have no idea who I'd like.

The 5th Symphony is one of my all-time favorites and I finally got to hear it live this year in a surprisingly great performance by our regional symphony. I also simply adore his Piano Concertos and lately have been spending time with the Fitzwilliam's Complete String Quartets. Brilliant stuff.

I may have a chance to borrow the Rostropovich set sometime, would it be an okay introduction?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 05, 2007, 10:56:17 PM
I'm a little surprised at the skepticism some have about the sound quality of the Kondrashin set.  I'll take it on faith that the newly remastered set has better sound than the Aulos or even earlier sets.  However, I've not had any problem with the sound quality on the Aulos set, finding that the performances easily overcome sonic limitations.  Cortot, Richter, Oistrakh, Casals, Toscanini, etc. all overcome sound deficiencies; Kondrashin is on this level also.

Absolutely agree, Don. The obsession everyone is having over sonic's here is bizarre. Especially with regard to Barshai, as we don't go about suprised that a recent LSO release has "good sonics", so why should we with Barshai? Its a modern recording for christs sake (and yes I know they haven't mucked about with it like they used to in Russia) but that is what we should expect...although in saying this, I still think it is unbalanced - worse, in some places than lets say a pre-war recording (since a lot of those may have distortion, but at least they have balance, something the Barshai systemically lacks in places)


But regardless of all this, like you say, sometimes sonics don't matter and most of the time, they should only be considered a nice bonus. There are other things far more important.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 05, 2007, 11:20:09 PM
Does anyone have any views on this box set generally? (as opposed to the conducting - ie, the sound, the quality of the release, etc?)

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/MRAVINSKY-Shostakovich-Symphonies-6CD-Box-MELODIYA-NEW_W0QQitemZ140114625953QQihZ004QQcategoryZ43585QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: SimonGodders on May 05, 2007, 11:41:27 PM
Hi Michel,

Tiny thread here:

http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,13452.0.html

Was listening to the 12th last night. As said before, the sound is a little 'agricultural' on some, partic. the 5th IIRC. Yet the intensity....Mravinsky just piles on the pressure in these works until you're pummelled into submission. Layer after layer, quite relentless interpretations. Therefore despite the sound, essential listening methinks.

 :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 06, 2007, 02:16:19 AM
Sound is still less than optimal. However, it is no longer a obstacle in the way of being able to appreciate this excellent conducting. Quite amazing.

Thanks . . . . . . . That's pretty much what I was assuming . . . . . . .  8)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 06, 2007, 02:18:22 AM
The newly remasterd, 11CD set with the eyeglasses.

Might I add, that the packaging qualtity was extremely poor. The whole unit seems very flimsy.

Did you purchase your Kondrashin set at Russiandvd.com for 79,99?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 06, 2007, 02:25:59 AM
Sometimes sonics don't matter and most of the time, [sonics] should only be considered a nice bonus. There are other things far more important.

Does anyone have any views on . . . . the sound, the quality of the release, etc?

So with Mravinsky, sonics/sound quality IS important; but with Barshai and Kondrashin, sonics/sound quality ISN'T important . . . . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 06, 2007, 05:01:13 AM
Did you purchase your Kondrashin set at Russiandvd.com for 79,99?

I did! Last night.  8)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 06, 2007, 05:04:56 AM
So with Mravinsky, sonics/sound quality IS important; but with Barshai and Kondrashin, sonics/sound quality ISN'T important . . . . . . .

To me, if the performance is superb (as with much of Richter's recordings or Serkin, Rachmaninov or Schnabel's historical recordings), then the sonics automatically become a secondary issue. If they are not superb, then issues like sound and price become more important.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 06, 2007, 06:08:23 AM
So with Mravinsky, sonics/sound quality IS important; but with Barshai and Kondrashin, sonics/sound quality ISN'T important . . . . . . .

I wasn't referring to Sonics, I was referring to the quality of the transfers, etc.

And that does make a massive differance, because it is things like the transfer that seriously affect the balance, etc. And, moreover, the reason why I am interested in transfers, is really to ask the question, "is this the CD to get, or should I aim for another transfer?" - not questioning the performance itself. Like when you compare exactly the same performances between Naxos Historicalm and Pearl, for example.

So, despite what you think, you haven't caught me out! Although you probably don't understand this, as you dont' seem to have any idea of historical performance and transfers.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 06, 2007, 08:45:42 AM
Absolutely agree, Don. The obsession everyone is having over sonic's here is bizarre. Especially with regard to Barshai, as we don't go about suprised that a recent LSO release has "good sonics", so why should we with Barshai? Its a modern recording for christs sake (and yes I know they haven't mucked about with it like they used to in Russia) but that is what we should expect...although in saying this, I still think it is unbalanced - worse, in some places than lets say a pre-war recording (since a lot of those may have distortion, but at least they have balance, something the Barshai systemically lacks in places)


But regardless of all this, like you say, sometimes sonics don't matter and most of the time, they should only be considered a nice bonus. There are other things far more important.

That's not what Don is saying, Michel.

And as far as "obsessed with sonics"...who's obsessed with sonics??

Not I.

As I've mentioned before my all-time favorite Shostakovich symphony recording is Koussevitzky's Boston Symphony recording of the 9th from 1947!

And it's on LP!!!!!!!

So, no, sonics isn't an obsession in these parts.



Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 06, 2007, 08:50:59 AM
I wasn't referring to Sonics, I was referring to the quality of the transfers, etc.

And that does make a massive differance, because it is things like the transfer that seriously affect the balance, etc. And, moreover, the reason why I am interested in transfers, is really to ask the question, "is this the CD to get, or should I aim for another transfer?" - not questioning the performance itself. Like when you compare exactly the same performances between Naxos Historicalm and Pearl, for example.

So, despite what you think, you haven't caught me out! Although you probably don't understand this, as you dont' seem to have any idea of historical performance and transfers.

If sound doesn't matter then get any 'ol transfer you want! ;D ;D




Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 06, 2007, 11:33:43 PM
What is he "not saying". I don't reference this post other than "absolutely agree". I then move on to make another point.

But to make it explicit: I absolutely agree, Don, who cares about sound when superb musianship is abundant?

Happy?  ;)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 07, 2007, 04:14:52 AM
I did! Last night.  8)

We await your report! :-)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 07, 2007, 04:16:01 AM
Interesting discussion on 'sonics'.

Two of the matters important to my ears are:  how the musicians are playing;  and “depth of field” in the musical texture, whether I can hear (and how well I can hear) all that’s going on, how well it is balanced, how together it all is.

As to how the musicians are playing, the sound quality of the recording itself is irrelevant, ironically – an analogy might be the composition of a photo, regardless of the condition of the print.

For the latter point, there are many factors which can spoil what might, for instance, be in other respects an outstanding performance:  poor balance on the part of the players, poor balance or otherwise faulty imaging in the micing or mixing, unflattering acoustics in the space.

In a profound sense, I don’t care how exactly it went wrong, when I’m listening to a recording;  the important thing is, the recording is for whatever reason not “displaying” the piece and./or performance properly.  Figuring out just where the fault (or collective fault) lies, is a distant second, by me.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 07, 2007, 05:46:18 AM
Welcome, Greta!

. . . I may have a chance to borrow the Rostropovich set sometime, would it be an okay introduction?

At least one neighbor has found it wanting in some respect. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,576.msg10801.html#msg10801)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 07, 2007, 06:35:42 AM
And one impression I had as I listened through my survey of firsts was Bob Z's frank remark at the outset of his review, that one could readily find favorite accounts of all the symphonies without reference to the Barshai.  Still, I confess myself pretty sturdily disappointed in the First here;  it is perhaps the sixth of those from the Barshai set that I've had occasion to listen to (including the Fourth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth and Thirteenth), and of these, the account of the First seems to me below the mean.  FWIW, on one hand, I should not condemn the set for the lowest point on the curve (if it be the lowest);  on the other, it does seem like setting off on the wrong foot . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 07, 2007, 07:06:47 AM

I apologize to the rest of the group that I have not revisited and posted about my Rozhdesvensky DSCH #1. I shall do so this week.

Also, for those who are curious about RussianDVD.com as a seller of the Kondrashin, I can tell you that they are an impressive seller with outstanding customer service. My copy should be here by the end of the week, so I am obviously stoked.  8)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 07, 2007, 10:17:50 AM
I will add, having now listening to the both of them twice over, that the Jansons remains my favourite for the 1st. Somehow, Kondrashin does not seem to be able to capture my imagination in the way that that the former does. As energetic as the Kondrashin is, his conducting seems slightly distant (epecially in the slow movement) for me. Still, both are excellent performances.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 07, 2007, 12:20:43 PM
I might buy the Kondrashin cycle just for the kickass Execution of Stepan Razin

(http://history.wisc.edu/sommerville/351/351images/razin.jpg)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 07, 2007, 12:24:37 PM
I might buy the Kondrashin cycle just for the kickass Execution of Stepan Razin

(http://history.wisc.edu/sommerville/351/351images/razin.jpg)

(http://www.natespace.com/Chronicle_Art/pictures/Shostakovich.jpg)

 ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 08, 2007, 11:02:19 AM
As promised here are my immediate thoughts on Shostakovich 8, a symphony I know well.

Haitink


This recording is dark, desolate, and deeply depressing - when you listen to the first movement you are convinced there can be no way out of the harrowing suffering that is assaulting your ears and unsettling your stomach.  This recording is a truly disturbing listening experience in a rich sound, with the amazing sonority of the Concertgebouw, that is unequalled on record.

There is a sense in this particular adagio that something truly awful has happened that is deeply tragic and most importantly, irrevocable. In my view,  this is the central element of this interpretation. In the Russians there is a greater struggle, a greater fight and suggestion of action and of war. In the Russian recordings there remains, despite all their ferocity, a glimmer of hope. In Haitink, it is disturbingly absent; you are presented with an already ruined world. I think Haitink consequently comes across as more thoughtful, since I think we can all admit that contemplating the past is by definition more of an intellectual exercise than firing a bullet from a trench! It is important to note, however, that this fact makes it no more a superior interpretation, just different. However, my personal view is that I find this approach more satisfying.

Even the typically more crass instruments, such as percussion - important in every Shostakoivch symphony - in Haitink sounds more interesting and ultimately more convincing. When used it sounds like gun shots and cannon fire flying across the canvas of the music in a hail of destruction. In the militaristic moments the drums sound more like sombre death march than they do simple military advances. The richness of sound also helps here, whereas there are moments in the Barshai, by contrast, that is sounds ugly. This could certainly be argued as being no bad thing, of course, in a symphony which can hardly be described as beautiful, and certainly not something to play to your children, but this difference is an important distinction nevertheless and one that I again find more satisfying in Haitink.

Barshai

Barshai strikes you immediately as more ferocious and more desperate than depressive. Its immediacy is apparent both in the pacing and in the coarseness, even rawness and grit, of the strings. This is intensified by the balance in the recording, which strongly favours the upper notes, despite what others in this thread have suggested. I would even go so far as to say that it is piercing in places that does not add to the music or the apparently desirable “fury”, it instead creates a far less immersive and frankly more irritating experience. Despite this undoubted weakness, the more prominent upper strings do give the interpretation a strong sense of direction, and therefore hope and struggle, prevalent in the Russian recordings as explained in the Haitink review. This, in the rare but powerful moments in the symphony, make for more digestible reprises; in Haitink, on the other hand, no such release is offered. There is a stronger strong interplay  and differentiation between the upper and lower notes in Barshai whereas Haitink sounds more like a mass of darkness. For some, this might equate to sophistication and intelligence, (something normally more associated with a Haitink performance) but for me I think it makes Barshai seem superficial, a little disjointed, and a hundred times less immersive. And this is where Haitink excels; for even if there were flagrant mistakes in the Haitink recording, which thankfully there is not, you probably would not notice them because you are so gripped by the darkness and fear of the music.

One thing often said in favour of Barshai is his closeness to Shostakovich, and therefore immediate legitimacy of his interpretation. But if this symphony, along with the 7th, is, as Shostakovich said, his "requiem", then Barshai can never be considered the authoritative recording. For Barshai is nowhere near dark enough, and not close to being the thoughtful, stirring and deeply emotional turbulent account that you would expect from a requiem, especially if Shostakovich did one, that is delivered by Haitink in spades.

Jansons

I am going to keep my comments here brief, since I am not sure this recording, performed by the Pittsburgh symphony orchestra, should even be considered alongside Barshai or Haitink.

The adagio, the most important movement in this symphony, is grossly underplayed and powerless. It literally sounds whisperingly light; rather than being an oppressive and massive, total, thundering weight upon you, it seems instead like you are peering through a binocular from a thousand yards. Emotionally uninvolved does not convey the weaknesses strong enough, for the playing itself is substandard (though technically sufficient). Part of the reason is the simplistic playing, sure, but it is also the total lack of bass – and this is a conscious choice from Jansons, rather than an inherent orchestra weakness. Why he chooses to be so delicate is beyond me; for the outcome is impotent.

In sum, Barshai is undoubtedly good, but not as good as Haitink. If you want fiery rather than controlled and intense rather than depressing, I would choose a Russian over Haitink, but not Barshai. For Kondrashin and Mravinksy would probably supersede him in this respect (as I cannot say for sure yet as Virgin Megastore have yet to post my bloody Kondrashin box set and I have yet to revist Mravinsky). And other than this “fire”, I fail to see what Barshai brings that Kondrashin would not do better. Haitink, on the other hand, is a different paradigm, and on some level incomparable. For what is better between the brutal stereotypical Russian recording and the thoughtful, beautifully disturbing account of Haitink is a matter of personal choice. But what is probably certain is that Haitink is unique, and Barshai is not, and the latter is probably going to be shadowed when that box set finally turns up, whereas Haitink cannot be beaten on his own turf. The only definite fact at this juncture is the total inferiority of Jansons.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Harry on May 08, 2007, 11:24:50 AM
I love reading your acount Michel, that first said.
But I contradict you opinion about Barshai, and at the same time agree with you about Haitink.
The sound is good, I checked that on my primary system, and if something would be wrong I should here that. But all is fine, with the Barshai in that respect. Must be your equipment then!
But in the end music is a subjective experience, and so are opinions.
So for what its worth I would say to anyone try before you buy.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 08, 2007, 11:52:28 AM
As promised here are my immediate thoughts on Shostakovich 8, a symphony I know well.

In sum, Barshai is undoubtedly good, but not as good as Haitink. If you want fiery rather than controlled and intense rather than depressing, I would choose a Russian over Haitink, but not Barshai. For Kondrashin and Mravinksy would probably supersede him in this respect (as I cannot say for sure yet as Virgin Megastore have yet to post my bloody Kondrashin box set and I have yet to revist Mravinsky). And other than this “fire”, I fail to see what Barshai brings that Kondrashin would not do better. Haitink, on the other hand, is a different paradigm, and on some level incomparable. For what is better between the brutal stereotypical Russian recording and the thoughtful, beautifully disturbing account of Haitink is a matter of personal choice. But what is probably certain is that Haitink is unique, and Barshai is not, and the latter is probably going to be shadowed when that box set finally turns up, whereas Haitink cannot be beaten on his own turf. The only definite fact at this juncture is the total inferiority of Jansons.


Thanks for your extensive post, Michel! I now await my Kondrashin box all the more eagerly.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 08, 2007, 11:53:17 AM
Thanks, Michel!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Robert on May 08, 2007, 12:10:38 PM
Thanks for your extensive post, Michel! I now await my Kondrashin box all the more eagerly.

George
Some things in life are worth the wait....This is one of them.....
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 08, 2007, 02:58:59 PM
George
Some things in life are worth the wait....This is one of them.....

(http://mousestitching.com/wp-content/plugins/more-smilies/graemlins/impatient.gif)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 10, 2007, 09:44:46 AM
Now, to be sure, I have Maksim Dmitriyevich's account of the First to fold into my summary, though I will wait until I can listen to it in the same conditions (i.e., on the home stereo) before commenting.

And whenever we get to Nos. 2 and 3, my work will be simple, since I have only Maksim Dmitriyevich and Barshai to compare on these works.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 10, 2007, 09:47:49 AM
Now, to be sure, I have Maksim Dmitriyevich's account of the First to fold into my summary, though I will wait until I can listen to it in the same conditions (i.e., on the home stereo) before commenting.

And whenever we get to Nos. 2 and 3, my work will be simple, since I have only Maksim Dmitriyevich and Barshai to compare on these works.

Like Michael McDonald, I keep forgettin' to listen to my sole recording.

I feel certain that the arrival of my Kondrashin cycle will jump start me, though.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 10, 2007, 09:50:51 AM
Kondrashin

It finally came through the post, and with much anticipation I opened the packet....

What a disappointment.....

The box is the flimsiest, least professionally put together thing I have ever seen. Absolutely terrible. It came perfectly packed and yet it was still damaged. It is not an exaggeration to say that holding it, you are worried you are going to do so too enthusiastically and break it. The front of it opens with a little male part connecting into a hole to keep it closed that barely grips on and feels like it is going to spring open. The whole shell is atrocious and an absolutely disgrace and should these recordings be worth having, as I will go on to discuss, there is absolutely no point buying this abomination; get a friend to give you copies instead. You could probably design a makeshift box out of rice paper and it be more durable. But on to the recording....

The first movement opens with the quite  beautiful sound of the Moscow Philharmonic's strings. They strike a medium between the coarseness of the Barshai and the deep, rich warmth of the Concertebouw. They certainly have that stereotypical "Russian" sound that we think of. They also exaggerate the character that is often omnipresent in Shostakovich's music; they jump, shoot and dart about as though they are themselves alive, and with a menace and with a humour that the other recordings do not have. But does this colour make for a satisfying 8th? I am not so sure. It is certainly original, and out of the recordings surveyed thus far, the most noticeably different. However, the so called incredible intensity of these recordings makes for a muddled listen; Kondrashin quite frankly sounds out of control during some of the fast, intense moments even to the degree where it sounds amateurish. But while there are moments where this frenzy fails, it other areas it excels. The well known humour at the end of the third movement, where it consequently explodes, is possibly carried off the best on record. It is an absolute joy to hear. And these moments, where Kondrashin excels, do signal a validity to these recordings that may be proven by the Shostakovich quote you will read in a few paragraphs; for few capture the dark and the bright in the same way Kondrashin does.

And for this reason, despite the flaws, it does have a charm; there is something good about the recording that is hard to express. It may be that it sounds, despite Kondrashin's over zealous manipulation, sincere - after all, it sounds "Russian"; it, for reasons I cannot explain, sounds like "Shostakovich". And I think this is why it has captured the hearts and minds of a number of people on the board. It just sounds right.

If there is any point in a reviewer, however, it is to help people to spend their money wisely, and the box set that this comes in more than guarantees that I will not make the recommendation here. But if you want an "interesting" Shostakovich, which will no doubt incite strong opinions both in its favour and in its damnation, this is the one for you. For me, Kondrashin often goes too far, but he does try. And that human ambition is perhaps why he suits Shostakovich's deeply humanistic music so well, and it is why, being human, those that love these recordings will love them regardless of what I say!

NB. I am sending the box set straight back from where it came, for an immediate refund, due to the damage. I will not, however, ask for a replacement, as I will patiently wait for another reissue where it is released sensibly in a decent box. On another note, the sound is absolutely fantastic in this set, and the way they have been recorded do give them an impressive sense of atmosphere and presence; you do really feel like you are hearing the music live, which is a real benefit.

One final note on interpretation: I have taken this fabulous quote from Shostakovich from the inlay, that I think ought to be considered:

"This new work of mine is an attempt to glance at the future, after-war epoch. The eight symphony has a lot of inner conflicts, which are sometimes tragic and sometimes dramatic. But in general this work is optimistic and life-asserting...The Philosophic idea of my new work can be expressed briefly as following: Life is beautiful. All, what is dark in it, will disapear; while its beauty will triumph".

Certainly something to consider; as I struggle to be anything about harrowed by this symphony. But it does seem that Kondrashin, above anyone one else, has taken heed of this intention.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sean on May 10, 2007, 09:53:24 AM
Can't contribute too much re complete sets but here are my urgent recommendations for five symphonies, perhaps never surpassed (4, 6, & 14 here can change you whole life in fact)-

4 Ormandy
6 Berglund
10 Karajan
11 Berglund
14 Bernstein
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 10, 2007, 09:53:54 AM
Kondrashin

It finally came through the post, and with much anticipation I opened the packet....

What a disappointment.....

The box is the flimsiest, least professionally put together thing I have ever seen. Absolutely terrible. It came perfectly packed and yet it was still damaged. It is not an exaggeration to say that holding it, you are worried you are going to do so too enthusiastically and break it. The front of it opens with a little male part connecting into a hole to keep it closed that barely grips on and feels like it is going to spring open. The whole shell is atrocious and an absolutely disgrace and should these recordings be worth having, as I will go on to discuss, there is absolutely no point buying this abomination; get a friend to give you copies instead. You could probably design a makeshift box out of rice paper and it be more durable. But on to the recording....


This might be another topic altogether, but I am willing to bet that someone knows where we can get a nice sturdy box like the ones you get from DG or Brilliant.

Anyone?  ???
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 10, 2007, 09:58:26 AM
. . . my urgent recommendations for five symphonies, perhaps never surpassed [. . .]

4 Ormandy . . .

Sean, if this recording marks something special in your listening, it cannot be gainsaid, of course.  But I've heard this one, and I have two or three others which by my ears are notably better.

. . . but I get ahead of the series . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 10, 2007, 09:59:08 AM
Michel: Rice paper? Crikey  ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sean on May 10, 2007, 11:24:40 AM
Sean, if this recording marks something special in your listening, it cannot be gainsaid, of course.  But I've heard this one, and I have two or three others which by my ears are notably better.

. . . but I get ahead of the series . . . .

The sound's a little dated now but it's demonic like I haven't heard elsewhere.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Robert on May 10, 2007, 11:46:21 AM
Kondrashin

It finally came through the post, and with much anticipation I opened the packet....

What a disappointment.....

The box is the flimsiest, least professionally put together thing I have ever seen. Absolutely terrible. It came perfectly packed and yet it was still damaged. It is not an exaggeration to say that holding it, you are worried you are going to do so too enthusiastically and break it. The front of it opens with a little male part connecting into a hole to keep it closed that barely grips on and feels like it is going to spring open. The whole shell is atrocious and an absolutely disgrace and should these recordings be worth having, as I will go on to discuss, there is absolutely no point buying this abomination; get a friend to give you copies instead. You could probably design a makeshift box out of rice paper and it be more durable. But on to the recording....

The first movement opens with the quite  beautiful sound of the Moscow Philharmonic's strings. They strike a medium between the coarseness of the Barshai and the deep, rich warmth of the Concertebouw. They certainly have that stereotypical "Russian" sound that we think of. They also exaggerate the character that is often omnipresent in Shostakovich's music; they jump, shoot and dart about as though they are themselves alive, and with a menace and with a humour that the other recordings do not have. But does this colour make for a satisfying 8th? I am not so sure. It is certainly original, and out of the recordings surveyed thus far, the most noticeably different. However, the so called incredible intensity of these recordings makes for a muddled listen; Kondrashin quite frankly sounds out of control during some of the fast, intense moments even to the degree where it sounds amateurish. But while there are moments where this frenzy fails, it other areas it excels. The well known humour at the end of the third movement, where it consequently explodes, is possibly carried off the best on record. It is an absolute joy to hear. And these moments, where Kondrashin excels, do signal a validity to these recordings that may be proven by the Shostakovich quote you will read in a few paragraphs; for few capture the dark and the bright in the same way Kondrashin does.

And for this reason, despite the flaws, it does have a charm; there is something good about the recording that is hard to express. It may be that it sounds, despite Kondrashin's over zealous manipulation, sincere - after all, it sounds "Russian"; it, for reasons I cannot explain, sounds like "Shostakovich". And I think this is why it has captured the hearts and minds of a number of people on the board. It just sounds right.

If there is any point in a reviewer, however, it is to help people to spend their money wisely, and the box set that this comes in more than guarantees that I will not make the recommendation here. But if you want an "interesting" Shostakovich, which will no doubt incite strong opinions both in its favour and in its damnation, this is the one for you. For me, Kondrashin often goes too far, but he does try. And that human ambition is perhaps why he suits Shostakovich's deeply humanistic music so well, and it is why, being human, those that love these recordings will love them regardless of what I say!

NB. I am sending the box set straight back from where it came, for an immediate refund, due to the damage. I will not, however, ask for a replacement, as I will patiently wait for another reissue where it is released sensibly in a decent box. On another note, the sound is absolutely fantastic in this set, and the way they have been recorded do give them an impressive sense of atmosphere and presence; you do really feel like you are hearing the music live, which is a real benefit.

One final note on interpretation: I have taken this fabulous quote from Shostakovich from the inlay, that I think ought to be considered:

"This new work of mine is an attempt to glance at the future, after-war epoch. The eight symphony has a lot of inner conflicts, which are sometimes tragic and sometimes dramatic. But in general this work is optimistic and life-asserting...The Philosophic idea of my new work can be expressed briefly as following: Life is beautiful. All, what is dark in it, will disapear; while its beauty will triumph".

Certainly something to consider; as I struggle to be anything about harrowed by this symphony. But it does seem that Kondrashin, above anyone one else, has taken heed of this intention.
I have the set on le chant du monde...I am trying to figure out if it is the same performance...What are the timings of the five movements....
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 10, 2007, 11:59:41 AM
Would it not be easier for me to tell you when it was recorded?

1967
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Robert on May 10, 2007, 12:05:36 PM
Would it not be easier for me to tell you when it was recorded?

1967
thanks,  mine is 61....
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 10, 2007, 02:36:07 PM

Just got my Kondrashin today (the later one on Melodiya with the red eyeglasses on it. It was packed in a solid box, complete with styrofoam peanuts. Got it from Russian DVD.com.

The inner box was slightly torn underneath the plastic wrap, so it is not the fault of the seller. The packaging is indeed flimsy to say the least...

but so far (in Symphony 1) the performance kicks serious ass!! I was seriously frightened a moment ago. :o

The sound is clear and very fine IMO. From M Forever's description of the Aulos as being overfiltered, it is clear that this one is superior.

Run, don't walk my friends. This is fun, enjoyable stuff.  8)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: DavidW on May 10, 2007, 04:30:11 PM
George, the Aulos set did sound fuzzy, maybe I should try that Melodiya set sometime then huh?  Thanks for the remark. :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 10, 2007, 04:35:12 PM
Just got my Kondrashin today (the later one on Melodiya with the red eyeglasses on it. It was packed in a solid box, complete with styrofoam peanuts. Got it from Russian DVD.com.

The inner box was slightly torn underneath the plastic wrap, so it is not the fault of the seller. The packaging is indeed flimsy to say the least...

but so far (in Symphony 1) the performance kicks serious ass!! I was seriously frightened a moment ago. :o

The sound is clear and very fine IMO. From M Forever's description of the Aulos as being overfiltered, it is clear that this one is superior.

Run, don't walk my friends. This is fun, enjoyable stuff.  8)


Glad to see that positive reaction, George. Since my set arrived nearly a week ago, I too have been enjoying it immensely, if only for the aforementioned 'wow' effect. Next stop, Mariss Jansons.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 10, 2007, 04:35:41 PM
George, the Aulos set did sound fuzzy, maybe I should try that Melodiya set sometime then huh?  Thanks for the remark. :)

No problem. Plus, you get the VC #2 with Oistrakh, The Execution of Stephan Razin, The Sun Shines on our Motherland Cantata and October (symphonic poem). 
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 10, 2007, 09:47:40 PM
Glad to see that positive reaction, George. Since my set arrived nearly a week ago, I too have been enjoying it immensely, if only for the aforementioned 'wow' effect. Next stop, Mariss Jansons.  :)

You are going to be extremely disapointed.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 11, 2007, 03:13:59 AM
No problem. Plus, you get the VC #2 with Oistrakh, The Execution of Stephan Razin, The Sun Shines on our Motherland Cantata and October (symphonic poem). 

October is a fine piece, and (it seems) generally off people's radar.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 11, 2007, 03:43:14 AM
Just to sign in on the Boxes On Arrival sub-thread  8) . . . .

My Maksim Dmitriyevich box arrived in a bubblewrap-lined envelope, which was a little too large for the box, and which looked only a little distressed from the journey (the shipper, in Long Island City, had not even thought to mark the envelope "Handle With Care").  If the parcel had been handled a bit more carefully, all the appropriate angles would have remained right angles  ::)

Opening the envelope, I found that one and a half edges of the box had folded slightly;  the sort of cosmetic flaw which, had I intended the set as a gift, for instance, would motivate me to demand a replacement.  As the set is simply for myself, though, I contented myself with verifying that all the discs themselves were in excellent condition.  If the envelope had been of a size better suited to the box, and if the box were not notably too deep for the number of discs plus booklet, there had been no problem.  As it is, the condition of the set is acceptable.  (Musically, I've been enjoying it so well, I simply have not cared a whit about the slight crush to the box.)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Harry on May 11, 2007, 03:48:20 AM
Its good to hear, you are delighted with it.
If you think its good enough, its good for me, and I will order it. :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 11, 2007, 05:08:12 AM
Opening the envelope, I found that one and a half edges of the box had folded slightly;  the sort of cosmetic flaw which, had I intended the set as a gift, for instance, would motivate me to demand a replacement.  As the set is simply for myself, though, I contented myself with verifying that all the discs themselves were in excellent condition.  If the envelope had been of a size better suited to the box, and if the box were not notably too deep for the number of discs plus booklet, there had been no problem.  As it is, the condition of the set is acceptable.  (Musically, I've been enjoying it so well, I simply have not cared a whit about the slight crush to the box.)

My feeing about those bubble thingees is that they only seem to be effective for single discs, and even then are only effective when they fit fairly snug. If my Kondrashin had arrived in one of those, it would have been crushed like an empty milk carton.  :-\

It upsets me most because there are ways to ship all kinds of CD's and boxes without being damaged. Otherwise, how would they arrive to the brick and mortar stores intact? We shouldn't have to settle for poorer quality just because we order online.  :-\

Anyway, to get back on topic, I had to listen to Kondrashin's 2 and 3 last night, since the 1st was so enjoyable. I was not disappointed. His readings were deliciously tense and I am amazed at how good the sound is. This (the 11 disc set on Melodiya) clearly is the one to get if you want Kondrashin. I will refrain from more specific comments until my second time through the set.   
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 11, 2007, 05:43:09 AM
Just to follow up briefly . . . once I'd posted my experience, I thought, it can't hurt to try sending e-mail to Customer Service . . . they've gotten back to me promptly, and will make good.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 11, 2007, 05:44:14 AM
Just to follow up briefly . . . once I'd posted my experience, I thought, it can't hurt to try sending e-mail to Customer Service . . . they've gotten back to me promptly, and will make good.

Good for you!

Who was the seller?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 11, 2007, 05:47:34 AM
ArkivMusic, George.

Schedule is a little hectic these weeks coming; not sure when I can do a proper "sit-down" with the Second and Third;  hopefully this weekend!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 17, 2007, 08:52:51 AM

After a great 4th, Kondrashin offered the first disappointment thus far, his 5th. He rushes too much IMO and sacrifices much of the beauty that other conductors find. I like his slow treatment of the coda, where he clearly understands the non-heroic nature of this conclusion. Rostropovich/LSO remains my favorite in this work. The sound in this one became a bother in spots, with shrill strings and even some sound breakups at some point.

Luckily, I have begun listening to Kondrashin's 6th and he seems to be right back on track.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Bunny on May 17, 2007, 11:35:26 AM
After a great 4th, Kondrashin offered the first disappointment thus far, his 5th. He rushes too much IMO and sacrifices much of the beauty that other conductors find. I like his slow treatment of the coda, where he clearly understands the non-heroic nature of this conclusion. Rostropovich/LSO remains my favorite in this work. The sound in this one became a bother in spots, with shrill strings and even some sound breakups at some point.

Luckily, I have begun listening to Kondrashin's 6th and he seems to be right back on track.  :)

On balance, I get more satisfaction from Kondrashin's Shosty than almost any other cycle.  There are those rare and wonderful individual recordings from others to make up for any deficiencies, though.

Here's one that really rocks and the sound quality is topnotch SACD multichannel:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/513M8glGvTL._SS400_.jpg)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 17, 2007, 11:46:01 AM
(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/513M8glGvTL._SS400_.jpg)

These are two of the most brilliant and insightful Shostakovich performances to come along in quite a while, and that's saying a lot given the excellence of the recent competition. Certainly if you're looking for this coupling, which is becoming a popular one, this is the disc to have. Yakov Kreizberg's account of the Fifth Symphony is simply the most grimly intense since Sanderling's (Berlin Classics). The first movement is implacably urgent and as architecturally cogent in its monothematic single-mindedness as any conductor has ever projected it. An aptly gruff and gawky scherzo precedes a very slow, hushed, and emotionally draining account of the magnificent Largo. Have you ever noticed that this movement uses no brass instruments at all, but still manages the most powerful climax in the entire symphony?

Kreizberg, like Sanderling, is absolutely convinced that the finale does not represent a "happy" ending. After an impressively portentous opening and a brooding central interlude, he grinds out the coda with as much relentless menace as the music can take, and then some. By the time the movement heaves its lacerated carcass through the final bars, the cessation of sound comes as a positive relief. Throughout, the Russian National Orchestra plays with 100 percent conviction, and PentaTone's sonics, whether in stereo or SACD surround, are extremely natural and well-balanced.

What makes this disc even more special is the fact that the Ninth Symphony is every bit as good. The first movement's deadpan humor comes across with perfect clarity and point. The ghostly waltz that follows has the same quiet intensity as the Fifth Symphony's Largo, while the scherzo demonstrates just how well Kreizberg has the orchestra on its collective toes. His account of the finale just might be the best on disc: he goes completely nuts in the recapitulation, with a freedom of tempo that the composer surely would have applauded, and the coda breezes by at a truly startling clip. It's at once the most hilarious as well as the most satisfying account of this movement to have appeared yet. Do not miss this release.  


--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 17, 2007, 11:48:30 AM
I must keep an eye out for that one.  :D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 17, 2007, 11:49:58 AM
I must keep an eye out for that one.  :D

God, this thread is getting expensive . . . . . . .

Karl should insert a warning label in the OP . . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 17, 2007, 11:51:12 AM
 ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 17, 2007, 12:41:45 PM
These are two of the most brilliant and insightful Shostakovich performances to come along in quite a while, and that's saying a lot given the excellence of the recent competition. Certainly if you're looking for this coupling, which is becoming a popular one, this is the disc to have. Yakov Kreizberg's account of the Fifth Symphony is simply the most grimly intense since Sanderling's (Berlin Classics). The first movement is implacably urgent and as architecturally cogent in its monothematic single-mindedness as any conductor has ever projected it. An aptly gruff and gawky scherzo precedes a very slow, hushed, and emotionally draining account of the magnificent Largo. Have you ever noticed that this movement uses no brass instruments at all, but still manages the most powerful climax in the entire symphony?

Kreizberg, like Sanderling, is absolutely convinced that the finale does not represent a "happy" ending. After an impressively portentous opening and a brooding central interlude, he grinds out the coda with as much relentless menace as the music can take, and then some. By the time the movement heaves its lacerated carcass through the final bars, the cessation of sound comes as a positive relief. Throughout, the Russian National Orchestra plays with 100 percent conviction, and PentaTone's sonics, whether in stereo or SACD surround, are extremely natural and well-balanced.

What makes this disc even more special is the fact that the Ninth Symphony is every bit as good. The first movement's deadpan humor comes across with perfect clarity and point. The ghostly waltz that follows has the same quiet intensity as the Fifth Symphony's Largo, while the scherzo demonstrates just how well Kreizberg has the orchestra on its collective toes. His account of the finale just might be the best on disc: he goes completely nuts in the recapitulation, with a freedom of tempo that the composer surely would have applauded, and the coda breezes by at a truly startling clip. It's at once the most hilarious as well as the most satisfying account of this movement to have appeared yet. Do not miss this release.  


--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com


Wonderful, yet another Shostakovich Cycle to tempt me. My poor wallet is wailing...  :-\
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 17, 2007, 12:59:18 PM
Wonderful, yet another Shostakovich Cycle to tempt me. My poor wallet is wailing...  :-\

Has Kreizberg recorded the entire cycle?  If so, I want a full report . . . . . . .  :D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Don on May 17, 2007, 01:07:30 PM
Has Kreizberg recorded the entire cycle?  If so, I want a full report . . . . . . .  :D

No.  PentaTone appears to be putting out a cycle of Shostakovich symphonies with different conductors for each release. 

So far we have:
Syms. 1 and 6/Jurowski
Syms. 5 and 9/You know who
Sym. 8/Berglund
Sym. 11/Pletnev

What binds these together is the Russian National Orchestra.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on May 17, 2007, 01:15:25 PM
No.  PentaTone appears to be putting out a cycle of Shostakovich symphonies with different conductors for each release. 

So far we have:
Syms. 1 and 6/Jurowski
Syms. 5 and 9/You know who
Sym. 8/Berglund
Sym. 11/Pletnev

What binds these together is the Russian National Orchestra.

Who?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 17, 2007, 01:30:52 PM
Who?

On balance, I get more satisfaction from Kondrashin's Shosty than almost any other cycle.  There are those rare and wonderful individual recordings from others to make up for any deficiencies, though.

Here's one that really rocks and the sound quality is topnotch SACD multichannel:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/513M8glGvTL._SS400_.jpg)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on May 17, 2007, 01:33:44 PM
Thanks George.

The Russian National Orchestra, isn't that the pseudonym for the pick-up band Pletnev put together? What a ghastly Tchaikovsky cycle they put together on DG.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 17, 2007, 01:43:07 PM
Fun Fact: Yakov Kreizberg is the younger brother of conductor Semyon Bychkov . . . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 17, 2007, 02:53:34 PM
Hey! A Steve sighting!

D Minor, have any of your orders come in yet?

I received an advisory e-mail that my replacement box of the Maksim Dmitriyevich set had shipped from ArkivMusic.  I waited a few days before shipping my return (that of the damaged box), because I did not want to do without in the entire interim.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Bunny on May 17, 2007, 02:57:30 PM
OMG! The seal of approval from the hurwitzer?  It's almost enough to scare me! But it is a really excellent album.  I guess he gets it right sometimes. ;)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 17, 2007, 02:58:13 PM
Hey! A Steve sighting!

D Minor, have any of your orders come in yet?



Barshai came yesterday (still wrapped).

Received notice that Jansons has shipped from Florida.

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Bunny on May 17, 2007, 02:58:32 PM
Fun Fact: Yakov Kreizberg is the younger brother of conductor Semyon Bychkov . . . . . .

Bychkov has some interesting Shosty too.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 17, 2007, 02:59:17 PM
I received an advisory e-mail that my replacement box of the Maksim Dmitriyevich set had shipped from ArkivMusic.  I waited a few days before shipping my return (that of the damaged box), because I did not want to do without in the entire interim.

What happened to your original box?  (again?)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 17, 2007, 02:59:41 PM
Bychkov has some interesting Shosty too.

AGREED !
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 17, 2007, 03:05:33 PM
What happened to your original box?  (again?)

The parcel came slightly crushed.  One and a half of the shallow sides of the box were fairly neatly creased.  None of the discs seemed to have suffered any actual damage (the box is large enough that the discs have some play both side-to-side and vertically . . . which is probably part of the problem).

I sent a neutral-toned e-mail to their Customer Service, and they promptly promised to make good.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 17, 2007, 03:10:21 PM
The parcel came slightly crushed.  One and a half of the shallow sides of the box were fairly neatly creased.  None of the discs seemed to have suffered any actual damage (the box is large enough that the discs have some play both side-to-side and vertically . . . which is probably part of the problem).

I sent a neutral-toned e-mail to their Customer Service, and they promptly promised to make good.

Karl, I'm saddened that you will be deprived of your newly-acquired Maksim Dmitriyevich cycle for a few days . . . . . .  :'(
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 17, 2007, 03:12:38 PM
I am touched by your friendly concern, mon vieux!

I am braced for the privation . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 17, 2007, 03:16:07 PM
I am touched by your friendly concern, mon vieux!

I am braced for the privation . . . .

Deprivation only heightens your desire . . . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 17, 2007, 04:53:25 PM
Fun Fact: Yakov Kreizberg is the younger brother of conductor Semyon Bychkov . . . . . .

How interesting!

Speaking of Bychkov, apparently he's embarking on a complete cycle for Avie. Can't confirm that but the signs seem to point to it. Should be interesting.

I've picked up the 7th from this Avie set but haven't ventured further since two of the other recordings - the 8th and 11th - are duplicated on his earlier Berlin Philharmonic releases...and I already have those.

In fact, these Berlin recordings (5, 8, 11) have always held a place in my heart and it saddened me he never went further. I credit my fondness for the 11th to Bychkov's very fine Berlin reading. I wonder how the recent Avie compares...

Anyway, as soon as this cycle(?) moves into territory not duplicated by Bychkov/Berlin I'll likely begin following it very closely. His new 4th is perched right atop my want list...




Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: SonicMan46 on May 17, 2007, 05:07:34 PM
Boy, All - w/ so many recommendations (and newer ones 'popping up') - the WAIT continues for me - still looking to purchase my first 'complete' set; just so many choices - maybe I need 5 or 6?  ;) ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 17, 2007, 11:59:28 PM
Just don't get Jansons.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 18, 2007, 04:23:00 AM
Deprivation only heightens your desire . . . . . .

And, there are consolations . . . . (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,9.msg21726.html#msg21726)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 18, 2007, 04:24:38 AM
What has disappointed you about the Jansons set, Michel?  I've only heard his Eighth, Tenth and Fifteenth, but of these the Tenth and Fifteenth are among my favorites!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Hector on May 18, 2007, 04:48:44 AM
Just don't get Jansons.

Oh, that does it for me, the order goes in today! ;)

The trouble is, like everything else I suppose, every set has its strengths and weaknesses.

Whatever set one chooses in the end I, for one, would not want to be without Rattle's EMI 4th, Previn's RCA 5th and HMV 8th, Bernstein's DG 7th, Ancerl's DG 10th, Rostropovich's LSO 11th and Sanderling's 15th, an antidote to Kondrashin's, preferably with the BPO rather than the Berlin SO.

I find Jansons' more convincing than most in the "lesser" symphonies but no better and no worse than many in the "core" symphonies 5, 8 and 10.

Oh, so many choices, so little time.

I will, someday soon, get around to getting Kondrashin although Baba Yar is bowdlerised and he is a tad fast but his orchestra is better than one could hope to expect and the Meloydia recordings have been transformed, I am reliably informed.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 18, 2007, 05:28:58 AM
Interesting, Hector.  I agree wholeheartedly on the excellence of Ančerl's account of the Tenth;  but the Jansons Tenth I find surpassingly good, too.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 18, 2007, 08:36:41 AM
Rostropovich's LSO 11th and Sanderling's 15th...

Yes and yes, although I think Sanderling's Cleveland 15th is even finer, and deeper and blacker.

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BorisG on May 18, 2007, 09:06:04 AM
Yes and yes, although I think Sanderling's Cleveland 15th is even finer, and deeper and blacker.

Sarge

A gentle reminder, Sarge. It is just what you think is finer. Nothing more, nothing less. $:)

Anyone like the Ormandy?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 18, 2007, 09:38:07 AM
A gentle reminder, Sarge. It is just what you think is finer. Nothing more, nothing less. $:)

Anyone like the Ormandy?

I have heard it twice and so far, I haven't been wowed.  :-\
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 18, 2007, 10:43:38 AM
A gentle reminder, Sarge. It is just what you think is finer. Nothing more, nothing less. $:)

No need to remind me. Any time I say that something is better or worse, you can append IMO after the statement. It goes without saying. Nevertheless, listen to the Cleveland version and see if you don't agree.

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 18, 2007, 11:05:53 AM
A gentle reminder, Sarge. It is just what you think is finer. Nothing more, nothing less. $:)


Yeah, Sarge . . . . . . You'd better watch it! . . . . .  :D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Greta on May 18, 2007, 08:39:29 PM
The only Shostakovich symphony I really know well is his 5th, and to a lesser extent his 7th and 8th. Ormandy: I like his recording of the 5th, solid all-around. Of course, I'm imprinted on it, it was my first one.

I got the Bernstein/NYP 5th (late 50s) recently and holy h***, he takes the last movement fast. Too fast for my liking. The playing is wild though! But then the slow section in the middle is so delicate and lovely. And the end isn't that fast. Actually, the performance as a whole is great, even if brash, it's exciting.

Gosh, another symphony I really need to see the score for. Bernstein speeds up and speeds up continously through the first two minutes of this movement. By 2 min he practically has nowhere to go!

I'm still hoping to get a set soon. Where is a logical place to explore next in listening? I want to try the 10th after seeing a video of Gergiev conducting it, I can tell it's going to take some listenings to digest...
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: rubio on May 19, 2007, 06:58:39 AM
I just listened to Haitink's recording of the 8th Symphony borrowed from the library, and I must say I liked it a lot. The orchestral playing is just superb, and the "allegro non troppo" is nicely driven. I think it definately beats Barshai's recording just because of the sound and the playing of the Concertgebouw. I also think the performance hangs really well together. I need to revisit Mravinsky's 8th (BBC legends) to see which one I prefer. Well, for sure Haitink does not have the exciting/wild "allegro non troppo" like Mravinsky.

I have complete cycles by Barshai and Kondrashin + half-complete cycles by Mravinsky (Meldodiya) and Sanderling (Berlin Classics), so I don't think I need any more complete sets. Some individual discs can always be interesting though  :). Are there any more performances from the Haitink on the same level as his 8th? And does Jansons have any must-haves which I at least could sample from my library?

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/21w7bdHf6AL._AA130_.jpg)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 19, 2007, 07:16:02 AM
so I don't think I need any more complete sets.

 :D

I'm destined to buy them all . . . . . . And even then . . . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: rubio on May 19, 2007, 12:54:03 PM
:D

I'm destined to buy them all . . . . . . And even then . . . . . .

It could be that I buy the Haitink as well. I think I saw they had a good price for his set in Poland (where I'm going in June  :)).
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: uffeviking on May 19, 2007, 04:51:10 PM

I want to try the 10th after seeing a video of Gergiev conducting it,

Pray tell, where did you buy-rent-steal the DVD? I spent at least half an hour trying to find it at any place in the business of selling classical recordings and still have no clue!

Thank you very much!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 21, 2007, 05:50:06 AM
Just to sign in on the Boxes On Arrival sub-thread  8) . . . .

The Happy Ending:  the replacement box has judt landed, in excellent condition (all it took was a 'brace' of folded corrugated cardboard, which did not add materially to the shipping weight.

Oh, one happy camper am I!  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 21, 2007, 06:47:32 AM
The Happy Ending:  the replacement box has judt landed, in excellent condition (all it took was a 'brace' of folded corrugated cardboard, which did not add materially to the shipping weight.

Oh, one happy camper am I!  :)

Congrats, Karl!  :)

Personally, I don't find CD buying as something that brings happiness anymore. Unless I am already OK to begin with.  :-\
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 21, 2007, 08:06:17 AM
You may mistake me, George;  this pleasure is largely in the fact that their customer service did the square thing, and all has been made right.

Though the more enduring pleasure is in listening to the music, rather than the purchase, as such, too.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 21, 2007, 08:56:43 AM
You may mistake me, George;  this pleasure is largely in the fact that their customer service did the square thing, and all has been made right.

Though the more enduring pleasure is in listening to the music, rather than the purchase, as such, too.

Gotcha on the first point.  :)

On the second, again, I only experience pleasure through music when I am already feeling at least OK.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 21, 2007, 10:59:32 AM
I just listened to Haitink's recording of the 8th Symphony borrowed from the library, and I must say I liked it a lot. The orchestral playing is just superb, and the "allegro non troppo" is nicely driven. I think it definately beats Barshai's recording just because of the sound and the playing of the Concertgebouw. I also think the performance hangs really well together. I need to revisit Mravinsky's 8th (BBC legends) to see which one I prefer. Well, for sure Haitink does not have the exciting/wild "allegro non troppo" like Mravinsky.

I have complete cycles by Barshai and Kondrashin + half-complete cycles by Mravinsky (Meldodiya) and Sanderling (Berlin Classics), so I don't think I need any more complete sets. Some individual discs can always be interesting though  :). Are there any more performances from the Haitink on the same level as his 8th? And does Jansons have any must-haves which I at least could sample from my library?

(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/21w7bdHf6AL._AA130_.jpg)

I'm generally resoved not to listen to anymore Haitink in these symphonies, but the 8th, might end up being a notable exception. By chance, I caught the first movement of this symphony over at a friend's and I must say that while the style is markedly different then Barsai, this is the one sympnony of his, that might be listetnable for me. It seems more controlled then the others. Glad to see I'm not alone in my appreciation of this one recording.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: rubio on May 21, 2007, 11:33:06 AM
I'm generally resoved not to listen to anymore Haitink in these symphonies, but the 8th, might end up being a notable exception. By chance, I caught the first movement of this symphony over at a friend's and I must say that while the style is markedly different then Barsai, this is the one sympnony of his, that might be listetnable for me. It seems more controlled then the others. Glad to see I'm not alone in my appreciation of this one recording.

Maybe, I should only by this single disc if I find it.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 21, 2007, 11:39:14 AM
and all has been made right.

ahhhhh ..... happy ending ......
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 21, 2007, 11:56:13 AM
Are there any more performances from the Haitink on the same level as his 8th?

I think the 6th and 11th are just as good although the third movement of the 6th isn't as manic as some might like. Michael Oliver of Gramophone says, "there are few recorded performances of either symphony to match these, and none to surpass them in grandeur of sound."

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Danny on May 28, 2007, 03:11:39 PM
Call me crazy, but I feel that the Yablonsky version on Naxos of the Leningrad is better than the Haitinik version with the LSO.  Yablonsky gives an interpretation that strikes me as being more Russian, and, as a result, more chaotic and fiery in areas (the percussion in the first movement comes to mind).
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Don on May 28, 2007, 03:38:35 PM
Call me crazy, but I feel that the Yablonsky version on Naxos of the Leningrad is better than the Haitinik version with the LSO.  Yablonsky gives an interpretation that strikes me as being more Russian, and, as a result, more chaotic and fiery in areas (the percussion in the first movement comes to mind).

DANNY IS CRAZY
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 28, 2007, 05:30:54 PM
Call me crazy, but I feel that the Yablonsky version on Naxos of the Leningrad is better than the Haitinik version with the LSO.  Yablonsky gives an interpretation that strikes me as being more Russian, and, as a result, more chaotic and fiery in areas (the percussion in the first movement comes to mind).

You're crazy .........
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 28, 2007, 11:21:55 PM
You may say he is crazy but lots of others go about saying interpretations are better if they sound "Russian", as though that is an objective yardstick, which it is not. So although his specific reference is a peculiar one, the logic behind it is ubiquitous across this board.

In other news, I got Virgin to send out another Kondrashin box set and this, like the last, is bent and in places torn because it is so flimsy... So I am just going to copy it now and send it back...I give up!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 29, 2007, 03:48:51 AM
I think the cries of “Danny’s off his chump!” might just have been good-natured compliance with his opening clause . . . .

I should revisit the Haitink recording of the Leningrad . . . haven’t listened to it in a while, and the versions I have been listening to lately are the Bernstein/CSO and Maksim Dmitriyevich.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 29, 2007, 03:49:54 AM
In other news, I got Virgin to send out another Kondrashin box set and this, like the last, is bent and in places torn because it is so flimsy... So I am just going to copy it now and send it back...I give up!

Argh.

Somebody ought to be able to figure out how to pack these things for travel . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 29, 2007, 03:51:18 AM
It's not a cycle, and so is technically off-topic . . . but the Temirkanov/St Petersburg Phil account of the Fifth and Sixth is excellent!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Danny on May 29, 2007, 07:03:20 AM
It's good to be crazy!  :o

Seriously, I could lie and say otherwise because the consensus is against me, but why do that?  However, this in no way goes against the cycle (which I love).  Personally, I think Haitinik gives a magnificent rendering of the Fifth, Eighth and Tenth symphonies. So in the Seventh I might find a lesser known name to be better because it has less of the polish and gloss to it, but that's just an IMHO.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 29, 2007, 09:05:22 AM
Argh.

Somebody ought to be able to figure out how to pack these things for travel . . . .

Russian DVD did, mine arrived intact. 
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 29, 2007, 09:07:13 AM
It's good to be crazy!  :o

Seriously, I could lie and say otherwise because the consensus is against me, but why do that?  However, this in no way goes against the cycle (which I love).  Personally, I think Haitinik gives a magnificent rendering of the Fifth, Eighth and Tenth symphonies. So in the Seventh I might find a lesser known name to be better because it has less of the polish and gloss to it, but that's just an IMHO.

I agree. Polish and gloss is not what I look for in my Shostakovich.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 29, 2007, 10:09:47 AM
Okay, the Respectful Opposition will chime in :-)

If by "polish" we mean, that the events as notated in the score are synchronized in performance in a way which faithfully reflects the score, I think that polish can only be a good thing, it is not anything to which any musical objection could be made.

But maybe something else is meant by "polish"?  The fact is, it is not clear to me what is meant by polish . . . so I really cannot say whether I agree or not.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: from the new world on May 29, 2007, 10:21:07 AM
i] Somebody [/i] ought to be able to figure out how to pack these things for travel . . . .

Talking of packaging issues, I have just received the Kitaenko Shostakovich cycle from Germany, and it came wrapped in a plastic bag by the Deutsche Post after the cardboard box was damaged. The good news is that the SACD hybrids seem perfectly fine, and the 14th is playing fine (the first to be played).

There doesn't seem to have been much discussion about this cycle, and I was wondering if anyone has heard these performances. Still, at under £30 for 12 hybrids with great sound, there are definately a bargain.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Danny on May 29, 2007, 11:13:30 AM
Okay, the Respectful Opposition will chime in :-)

If by "polish" we mean, that the events as notated in the score are synchronized in performance in a way which faithfully reflects the score, I think that polish can only be a good thing, it is not anything to which any musical objection could be made.

But maybe something else is meant by "polish"?  The fact is, it is not clear to me what is meant by polish . . . so I really cannot say whether I agree or not.

Always a gentelman, Dr. Karl! :)

Now, I thought it made sense when first writing it, but now........................... :-\

Ok, my thoughts were that by using the word "polish" I meant that the interpretation had an overly refined or controlled quality.  It seems that, in parts, the music didn't erupt like it should have (especially in the culmination to the long march in the first movement). I wasn't impressed by the percussion, and the timpani just wasn't loud enough for my taste.  This isn't to say that I don't like the version by Haitinik (which I do), I just thought that after listening to his version a few times that I still prefered the Yablonsky one.

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Michel on May 29, 2007, 11:17:32 AM
Argh.

Somebody ought to be able to figure out how to pack these things for travel . . . .

Its not that, its the box set, its crap. Bloody Russians.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 29, 2007, 11:17:47 AM
Interesting, Danny, and thank you for your clarification!

I need to revisit the Haitink (and, I don't know the Yablonsky).
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Danny on May 29, 2007, 11:19:55 AM
Interesting, Danny, and thank you for your clarification!

I need to revisit the Haitink (and, I don't know the Yablonsky).

If you want it, I could burn you a copy and send it you. :)

Just let me know.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on May 29, 2007, 11:21:40 AM
Talking of packaging issues, I have just received the Kitaenko Shostakovich cycle from Germany, and it came wrapped in a plastic bag by the Deutsche Post after the cardboard box was damaged. The good news is that the SACD hybrids seem perfectly fine, and the 14th is playing fine (the first to be played).

There doesn't seem to have been much discussion about this cycle, and I was wondering if anyone has heard these performances. Still, at under £30 for 12 hybrids with great sound, there are definately a bargain.

I want that set .......... want it bad .......... want it soon .........
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 29, 2007, 03:02:34 PM
Ok, my thoughts were that by using the word "polish" I meant that the interpretation had an overly refined or controlled quality.  It seems that, in parts, the music didn't erupt like it should have (especially in the culmination to the long march in the first movement). I wasn't impressed by the percussion, and the timpani just wasn't loud enough for my taste.  This isn't to say that I don't like the version by Haitinik (which I do), I just thought that after listening to his version a few times that I still prefered the Yablonsky one.

I thought that's what you were getting at. I agree that Haitink falls into this category, as does Abbado. These days, since I don't like their style, I avoid these conductors.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 29, 2007, 05:15:03 PM
I think I've mentioned this elsewhere, but there is a kind of cool stasis to the wind chorale in the third movement Adagio of the Leningrad in the Haitink/London Phil recording, which I find exquisitely well advised (a stunning echo of, say, the chorales in Stravinsky's L'histoire du soldat).  It is one of many accomplishments in this recording, which drive my high regard for it.  Nor is it to say that the third movement has to be done that way in order for me to approve of a performance (the Bernstein/CSO is notably different in that passage, for instance).

Anyway, lads, this is just an example of why I find it of greater interest, more musically useful, what you will, to compare specific features, rather than to use a general term like "polished" as denoting inferiority.  (And BTW, I have no quarrel with the percussion here, either;  naturally, YMMV.)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 29, 2007, 05:36:25 PM
Anyway, lads, this is just an example of why I find it of greater interest, more musically useful, what you will, to compare specific features, rather than to use a general term like "polished" as denoting inferiority.  (And BTW, I have no quarrel with the percussion here, either;  naturally, YMMV.)

Yes, but Karl, even specific features do not point to inferiority, they just point to what you (or I) like or do not like. I don't recall stating (or Danny stating) that polished meant inferior. If I implied such a thing, I apologize. I merely meant to say that polished and Shostakovich don't go well for me. I would certainly not be so bold as to assume that my negative impressions meant that something was inferior in general, just inferior to me, for me. As Harry reminds us all (daily) it's all subjective. To think that my subjective experience translated into an objective fact (such as something being inferior) would be naive indeed.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on May 29, 2007, 05:37:58 PM
Call me crazy, but I feel that the Yablonsky version on Naxos of the Leningrad is better than the Haitinik version with the LSO.  Yablonsky gives an interpretation that strikes me as being more Russian, and, as a result, more chaotic and fiery in areas (the percussion in the first movement comes to mind).

You don't sound crazy at all. You just sound like you know what you like. Nothing crazy about that.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 29, 2007, 05:43:41 PM
Yes, but Karl, even specific features do not point to inferiority, they just point to what you (or I) like or do not like. I don't recall stating (or Danny stating) that polished meant inferior. If I implied such a thing, I apologize. I merely meant to say that polished and Shostakovich don't go well for me. I would certainly not be so bold as to assume that my negative impressions meant that something was inferior in general, just inferior to me, for me. As Harry reminds us all (daily) it's all subjective. To think that my subjective experience translated into an objective fact (such as something being inferior) would be naive indeed.  :)

Understood, George (though, our esteemed Harry notwithstanding, I don't think it can be all subjective, but that's another tale).  I suppose it boils down to when someone says "polished," (whether or not there's a value-comparison tagged to that), I seldom know what is really meant, especially when applied to a recording generally, e.g.  And so I make free to ask, "What was that part in the middle again . . . ?" :-)

And of course, Danny still does like the Haitink recording  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 29, 2007, 05:49:52 PM
I think I've mentioned this elsewhere, but there is a kind of cool stasis to the wind chorale in the third movement Adagio of the Leningrad in the Haitink/London Phil recording, which I find exquisitely well advised (a stunning echo of, say, the chorales in Stravinsky's L'histoire du soldat).  It is one of many accomplishments in this recording, which drive my high regard for it.  Nor is it to say that the third movement has to be done that way in order for me to approve of a performance (the Bernstein/CSO is notably different in that passage, for instance).

Anyway, lads, this is just an example of why I find it of greater interest, more musically useful, what you will, to compare specific features, rather than to use a general term like "polished" as denoting inferiority.  (And BTW, I have no quarrel with the percussion here, either;  naturally, YMMV.)

You've piqued my interest, Karl. I'll have to take another listen of the Haitink Adagio. I've never really liked the Bernstein interpretation of this symphony, btw
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 30, 2007, 03:08:39 AM
You've piqued my interest, Karl. I'll have to take another listen of the Haitink Adagio. I've never really liked the Bernstein interpretation of this symphony, btw

I think it was one of the first I heard, though only in part on that occasion (and on radio).  It left me pretty cold to the symphony.  Now that the piece itself is firmly in my sonic graces, perhaps there is some 'distance' wherefrom I can appreciate the Bernstein recording.  At any rate, a large part of it is just enjoying the sound of the brass  8)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 30, 2007, 04:28:43 AM
I think it was one of the first I heard, though only in part on that occasion (and on radio).  It left me pretty cold to the symphony.  Now that the piece itself is firmly in my sonic graces, perhaps there is some 'distance' wherefrom I can appreciate the Bernstein recording.  At any rate, a large part of it is just enjoying the sound of the brass  8)

Just as long as it's not too much, Karl  ;)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 30, 2007, 04:33:47 AM
You mean, so long as they don't drown out the percussion, Steve?  8)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on May 30, 2007, 04:41:59 AM
Indeed.  ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 08, 2007, 05:00:47 AM
While exogenous variables (many of them much the right sort of exogenous variable) have set back my plans to prepare a comprehensive survey of the Maksim Dmitriyevich set, I consider this only a delay.

Continued listening is affirming initially favorable impressions, and I will write at greater length hereafter.

Meanwhile I note with interest that Sarge is greatly enjoying his Slava set.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Danny on June 08, 2007, 10:09:26 AM
You mean, so long as they don't drown out the percussion, Steve?  8)

 $:)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 08, 2007, 10:19:33 AM
 ;)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on June 08, 2007, 10:59:39 AM
While exogenous variables (many of them much the right sort of exogenous variable) have set back my plans to prepare a comprehensive survey of the Maksim Dmitriyevich set, I consider this only a delay.

Continued listening is affirming initially favorable impressions, and I will write at greater length hereafter.

Meanwhile I note with interest that Sarge is greatly enjoying his Slava set.

Karl,

Yesterday, I had the chance to listen to an old Berstein recording of the 5th, and enjoyed it immensely. I never remember being particularily drawn to Berstein's Shostakovich, but experience has given me cause to look into these recordings again. What are your opinions of his interpretations?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 08, 2007, 12:55:32 PM
Meanwhile I note with interest that Sarge is greatly enjoying his Slava set.

I am, and chances are good this may become my favorite Shostakovich cycle. But it's still early in the game. I've only heard the first three discs so far, symphonies 1-4, and 9 (I'm already familar with his 13th and 5th...Slava's 5th being my long time favorite along with Bernstein '79). Unlike Maksim, Slava comes from the subjective school of conducting. He is an interventionist and decidedly mannered (I can imagine many thinking his point making exaggerated). Tempos tend to be extreme in both directions, slow and fast. It's been a wild ride so far and I'm enjoying it. Moving on to the Sixth tomorrow. Since I don't have a CD version of this symphony I fully love, I'm hoping Rostropovich will do it for me.

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on June 08, 2007, 01:00:33 PM
I am, and chances are good this may become my favorite Shostakovich cycle. But it's still early in the game. I've only heard the first three discs so far, symphonies 1-4 (I'm already familar with his 13th and 5th...Slava's 5th being my long time favorite along with Bernstein '79). Unlike Maksim, Slava comes from the subjective school of conducting. He is an interventionist and decidedly mannered (I can imagine many thinking his point making exaggerated). Tempos tend to be extreme in both directions, slow and fast. It's been a wild ride so far and I'm enjoying it. Moving on to the Sixth tomorrow. Since I don't have a CD version of this symphony I fully love, I'm hoping Rostropovich will do it for me.

Sarge

You got his first complete set, right Sarge?

Teldec on 12 CDs?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 08, 2007, 01:24:54 PM
You got his first complete set, right Sarge?

Teldec on 12 CDs?

Yes, this one:

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/berlin/SRCom.jpg)

When I saw the JPC price, 48 Euro, I didn't even hesitate.

Of the live LSO recordings, I only have the 11th (stunning, Tony's right). It will be interesting to compare it with the earlier NSO version.

Sarge

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on June 08, 2007, 03:54:38 PM
(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/berlin/SRCom.jpg)

(((Now there is an in-your-face cover ......... )))  >:D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 08, 2007, 06:31:58 PM
Twelve discs?  Any music apart from the 15 symphonies, Sarge?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 08, 2007, 06:41:04 PM
I owe to Slava to revisit his work here.  I soured to him on the basis of one recording, and maybe my ears just weren't into it then.

As to Bernstein, Steve:  You know, I don't think I've heard him with the Fifth.  The First and Seventh with the CSO are powerful accounts, in some details arguably 'textually questionable', but he makes it all work so well, I won't press charges  8)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on June 08, 2007, 06:43:59 PM
I owe to Slava to revisit his work here.  I soured to him on the basis of one recording, and maybe my ears just weren't into it then.

His LSO 5th is very nice. Also midprice.

Say that twice while chewing rice.

 :D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 09, 2007, 04:45:43 AM
Twelve discs?  Any music apart from the 15 symphonies, Sarge?

Unfortunately, no. Just the symphonies. Some of the discs are very short; three come in around the 45 minute mark. They could have put the cycle on fewer discs but then they would have been forced to spread some works over two. Still, the cost per disc is only 4 Euro. I don't feel cheated.

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on June 10, 2007, 04:05:44 AM
So if I am looking for a second cycle should I get the M. Shostakovich or the Jansons. Please, no Haitink please.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on June 10, 2007, 04:52:57 AM
So if I am looking for a second cycle should I get the M. Shostakovich or the Jansons. Please, no Haitink please.

Who's your first?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 10, 2007, 05:02:43 AM
You've piqued my interest, Karl. I'll have to take another listen of the Haitink Adagio. I've never really liked the Bernstein interpretation of this symphony, btw

The Seventh, yes, Steve? What about it has disagreed with you, do you recall?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on June 10, 2007, 05:03:26 AM
Who's your first?
Barshai
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 10, 2007, 05:04:26 AM
Unfortunately, no. Just the symphonies. Some of the discs are very short; three come in around the 45 minute mark. They could have put the cycle on fewer discs but then they would have been forced to spread some works over two.

Curious.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 10, 2007, 05:09:08 AM
Barshai

I'll be interested in how you might compare either Maksim Dmitriyevich or Jansons to the Barshai.

FWIW, I have not heard either the Jansons or Haitink set in its entirety;  from what I have heard (i.e., color this plain speculative) I imagine I should find a complete Jansons set preferable to Haitink, overall.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 10, 2007, 05:11:07 AM
FWIW, Steve, much though I enjoy it, if we take the most abstract of questions "If you could only have one recording of the 'Leningrad' . . ." I would not choose the Bernstein/CSO over others.

The strong argument of the CSO brass notwithstanding :-)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 10, 2007, 05:13:36 AM
Its not that, its the box set, its crap. Bloody Russians.

I should think the distributor should be more local to you than, say, Vladivistok  8)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on June 10, 2007, 05:20:25 AM
FWIW, Steve, much though I enjoy it, if we take the most abstract of questions "If you could only have one recording of the 'Leningrad' . . ." I would not choose the Bernstein/CSO over others.

The strong argument of the CSO brass notwithstanding :-)

And which one would you choose above the others Karl?
I think the Bernstein/CSO is one of the most devastingly beautiful and charged readings of any piece of music I know.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on June 10, 2007, 05:21:14 AM
I'll be interested in how you might compare either Maksim Dmitriyevich or Jansons to the Barshai.

FWIW, I have not heard either the Jansons or Haitink set in its entirety;  from what I have heard (i.e., color this plain speculative) I imagine I should find a complete Jansons set preferable to Haitink, overall.

Do you know who performs the big symphonies like 5, 7, 8, and 10 in the Jansons cycle?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 11, 2007, 03:26:31 AM
Do you know who performs the big symphonies like 5, 7, 8, and 10 in the Jansons cycle?

10 is Phila, and is excellent.  8 is Pbgh, and very good;  in the Eighth I might give Haitink a slightly higher mark than Jansons in this recording, but it's only by a nose.  (I know, it's not really a horse-race, but . . . .)

I haven't heard Jansons in the Fifth or Seventh yet . . . don't know which bands play them.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 11, 2007, 03:32:56 AM
And which one would you choose above the others Karl?
I think the Bernstein/CSO is one of the most devastingly beautiful and charged readings of any piece of music I know.

The question is impossible, as is, PW.  I have a great fondness and loyalty to the Ančerl.  The Bernstein/CSO is excellent, most decidedly a keeper.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 11, 2007, 03:37:46 AM
Moving on to the Sixth tomorrow. Since I don't have a CD version of this symphony I fully love, I'm hoping Rostropovich will do it for me.

Also curious, Sarge!  For long, the Haitink was the only acccount I'd heard, and I liked it very well.  Better still, I'm finding both the Temirkanov/St Petersburg Phil and Maksim Dmitriyevich's.  I've certainly reached the stage where I wonder why I did not love this symphony as well as the Fifth, any earlier (of course, the Fifth has great sentimental attachment for me, anyway).
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 11, 2007, 03:43:55 AM
Barshai came yesterday (still wrapped).

And . . . ?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 11, 2007, 03:45:32 AM
Its good to hear, you are delighted with it.
If you think its good enough, its good for me, and I will order it. :)

Status report, Harry?  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 11, 2007, 03:47:23 AM
I'm watching this thread as I don't have a Shosty set, in fact despite loving this composer, I'm not familiar with all his symphonies yet.  :o

We're here for you, Greta  :)

With which symphonies are you not yet acquainted? Just curious . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 11, 2007, 03:48:21 AM
(Of course, that post was last month; maybe by now, Greta is at least acquainted with them all  0:))
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Harry on June 11, 2007, 03:49:23 AM
Status report, Harry?  :)

Its in a large pile my friend, lying under Tippett, so you understand I have not played it yet. :)
First two Mahler Cycles to go through.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on June 11, 2007, 03:50:21 AM
The Seventh, yes, Steve? What about it has disagreed with you, do you recall?

When I was first assorted through the incredible number of quality Shostakovich recordings, I came across Berstein's Leningrad one day, and found his interpretation to be inconsistent with how I'd conceived of he piece. I've since then read many reviews on this piece, and after hearing a remarkable 5th, I'm going to give this another chance.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 11, 2007, 03:52:44 AM
Its in a large pile my friend, lying under Tippett, so you understand I have not played it yet. :)

At the risk of veering off-topic, what Tippett have you got in the queue, mijn vriend?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 11, 2007, 03:55:40 AM
When I was first assorted through the incredible number of quality Shostakovich recordings, I came across Berstein's Leningrad one day, and found his interpretation to be inconsistent with how I'd conceived of the piece. I've since then read many reviews on this piece, and after hearing a remarkable 5th, I'm going to give this another chance.

Understood, especially what I've italicized above.  For myself, there was something of a watershed when I was at last convinced by the entire piece;  and then, at some subsequent point, a further watershed where I accepted that the piece could sustain to some extent a range of interpretation.  Which, one might say, is part of the measure of a great piece.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Harry on June 11, 2007, 04:04:06 AM
At the risk of veering off-topic, what Tippett have you got in the queue, mijn vriend?

This one.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on June 11, 2007, 04:09:14 AM
Understood, especially what I've italicized above.  For myself, there was something of a watershed when I was at last convinced by the entire piece;  and then, at some subsequent point, a further watershed where I accepted that the piece could sustain to some extent a range of interpretation.  Which, one might say, is part of the measure of a great piece.

Remember his European tour? His rebellious revision of the finale (5th)?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 11, 2007, 04:11:41 AM
Well, it was before my time :-)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on June 11, 2007, 04:13:40 AM
Well, it was before my time :-)

Well done, Sir. But, there are encyclopedias for this very reason.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 11, 2007, 05:03:15 AM
I have not finished Haitink's cycle (only have four of them), but his will be my direction over the next few years.

Which four of the Haitink series have you got, Bill?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 11, 2007, 05:06:17 AM
Well done, Sir. But, there are encyclopedias for this very reason.  :)

I don't have my sources to hand this morning . . . so I'm vaguely remembering a characteristically ambiguous compliment from Shostakovich.

And with Lenny, there is sometimes the question:  Are we still within range of the actual piece?  Or have we wilfully gone Elsewhere?  8)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on June 11, 2007, 05:06:55 AM
I don't have my sources to hand this morning . . . so I'm vaguely remembering a characteristically ambiguous compliment from Shostakovich.

And with Lenny, there is sometimes the question:  Are we still within range of the actual piece?  Or have we wilfully gone Elsewhere?  8)

Good point.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 11, 2007, 05:23:53 AM
The finale of the Fifth I have found a curious question.  Recalls the Bigendian/Smallendian debate in some ways :-)

And the drivers are so ephemeral.  There's the characteristically colorful story in Testimony (and how do we know that's actually Shostakovich talking?)  The typically unfathomable Shostakovich deadpan of the 'broken metronome' remark.  The postcard returned to Celibidache with the laconic "Da" (which, again, knowing both the state of operation of the Soviet postal system, and how some missives wound up on desks of the KGB and never actually reached recipients . . . I just cannot think it much of a document to go on).

Upon this insufficient foundation, in part, we have [ fast ending = triumph / slow ending = dissident sarcasm ] as something of a "line in the sand," in some quarters.

I don't have the firm answer, obviously.  But two of my asides are:

1.) Shostakovich was in probably the tightest of a number of tight spots he experienced throughout his career.  Too much depended on the piece making the right impression in the right quarters;  he was not in the position here, to take the musical risk of (say) the Ninth later on during the war.  So, I'm not sure this was the occasion for him to play such a daring card.  Obviously, I cannot say one way or the other, absolutely.

2.) I consider how broad the ending of the 'Leningrad'  Symphony is, and how unambiguously triumphant.  I don't think it at all a 'slam dunk' that breadth of tempo in the finale of the Fifth, maps onto scornful dissidence.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 11, 2007, 05:30:49 AM
Barshai is for me the set!
And plenty of sets to complement it. :)

This post has a certain Yes! No! quality to it, Harry  ;)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Steve on June 11, 2007, 05:42:38 AM
The finale of the Fifth I have found a curious question.  Recalls the Bigendian/Smallendian debate in some ways :-)

And the drivers are so ephemeral.  There's the characteristically colorful story in Testimony (and how do we know that's actually Shostakovich talking?)  The typically unfathomable Shostakovich deadpan of the 'broken metronome' remark.  The postcard returned to Celibidache with the laconic "Da" (which, again, knowing both the state of operation of the Soviet postal system, and how some missives wound up on desks of the KGB and never actually reached recipients . . . I just cannot think it much of a document to go on).

Upon this insufficient foundation, in part, we have [ fast ending = triumph / slow ending = dissident sarcasm ] as something of a "line in the sand," in some quarters.

I don't have the firm answer, obviously.  But two of my asides are:

1.) Shostakovich was in probably the tightest of a number of tight spots he experienced throughout his career.  Too much depended on the piece making the right impression in the right quarters;  he was not in the position here, to take the musical risk of (say) the Ninth later on during the war.  So, I'm not sure this was the occasion for him to play such a daring card.  Obviously, I cannot say one way or the other, absolutely.

2.) I consider how broad the ending of the 'Leningrad'  Symphony is, and how unambiguously triumphant.  I don't think it at all a 'slam dunk' that breadth of tempo in the finale of the Fifth, maps onto scornful dissidence.

Upon this insufficient foundation, in part, we have [ fast ending = triumph / slow ending = dissident sarcasm ] as something of a "line in the sand," in some quarters.

Having recently listened to the Bernstein interpretation of this Symphony again, I couldnt help but posit some skepticism about those very remarks. A brief summary of that famous debate were included on the back of the originial lp. The comment 'sarcasm wasn't expected to sit well with the Russians", does oversimplify Bernstein's take.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 11, 2007, 10:28:27 AM
Also curious, Sarge!  For long, the Haitink was the only acccount I'd heard, and I liked it very well.  Better still, I'm finding both the Temirkanov/St Petersburg Phil and Maksim Dmitriyevich's.  I've certainly reached the stage where I wonder why I did not love this symphony as well as the Fifth, any earlier (of course, the Fifth has great sentimental attachment for me, anyway).

Well, Slava's Sixth puzzled me. Looking at the timing of the first movement, I thought, ah ha! this will be the one. I want a protracted and terribly desolate sounding first movement. An utter wasteland. But somehow it didn't work. I had a hard time getting a satisfactory balance between the soft and loud parts. When I had it as soft as I wanted, the orchestral body seemed to recede alarmingly. That may have colored my perception of the interpretation. I'll have to listen to it again on my main system. For the moment, Rozhdestvensky's is the best Sixth I own.

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Danny on June 11, 2007, 10:38:37 AM
I hate versions of the Fifth that rush the ending to the finale, but that supposedly makes me a Stalinist or whatever according to Volkov and the late, great Rostropovich.   :'(
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 11, 2007, 10:51:11 AM
Well, Slava's Sixth puzzled me. Looking at the timing of the first movement, I thought, ah ha! this will be the one. I want a protracted and terribly desolate sounding first movement. An utter wasteland. But somehow it didn't work. I had a hard time getting a satisfactory balance between the soft and loud parts. When I had it as soft as I wanted, the orchestral body seemed to recede alarmingly. That may have colored my perception of the interpretation. I'll have to listen to it again on my main system. For the moment, Rozhdestvensky's is the best Sixth I own.

Interesting, Sarge.

As to Temirkanov/St Petersburg Phil and Maksim Dmitriyevich/Prague Symphony, I've had a great time comparing the two of them today.  I like them both, like them both a lot, yet the two take distinct approaches.  Maksim Dmitriyevich takes the Largo markedly broader (his timing in this movement is more than two and a half minutes longer than Temirkanov's, 18:56 vs. 16:23).

Temirkanov is more 'driven' with the Allegro.  On the one hand, then, I think Maksim Dmitriyevich must have stronger support from the text (the marking is Allegro, and not Presto), and the tutti at about a minute and a half in, with the trumpets, has a winning grace and charm.  On the other, Temirkanov makes the nervier tempo work, too.

There are less differences in the character of the final Presto itself;  the difference is in the overall arc of the symphony.  In Temirkanov's reading, there is more of a 'night & day' split between the opening Largo, and the two fast movements.  Where Maksim Dmitriyevich makes it more a whole-cloth progression from the Largo to gradually swifter character.

I'll say again, I like these both a lot.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 11, 2007, 11:00:41 AM
Do you know who performs the big symphonies like 5, 7, 8, and 10 in the Jansons cycle?

Hey, PW. I own the Jansons set. The orchestras are:

1 - Berlin Phil
2 - SOBR
3 - SOBR
4 - SOBR
5 - Vienna Phil
6 - Oslo Phil
7 - St Petersburg Phil
8 - Pittsburgh
9 - Oslo Phil
10 - Philadelphia
11 - Philadelphia
12 - SOBR
13 - SOBR
14 - SOBR
15 - LPO

My favorites from this cycle: 3, 4, 5 (there's a really interesting gear change in the Finale that will either repulse you or excite you), 10, 13 and 14 but most of the others are fine too. The only weak performances, in my opinion, are the 6th (its first movement is simply too fast, too light. It fails to evoke a sense of loss and desolation) and the 9th. I can't judge the 7th. It remains my least favorite symphony (I actually like 2, 3 and 12 more than 7) and Jansons too failed to convince me.

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on June 11, 2007, 11:08:39 AM
Thanks Sarge !
Wow, so the 7th is with the former Leningrad Philharmonic then !

The reason I don't go for complete cycles with Shostakovich is that I only like about half the symphonies. I like 4-10 and 15, am lukewarm towards 1, 11. Don't really care for 12, really really do not like 2 and 3. 13 and 14 are vocal works and I am probably not a good judge on these works so I will not attempt to.

So the upshot is I only like about half the symphonies and really don't want to shell out $50+ for them...
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 11, 2007, 11:10:29 AM
If that's the case, no set would be quite your thing, PW.

Then, too, I cannot imagine being lukewarm to the First!  8)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on June 11, 2007, 11:12:38 AM
If that's the case, no set would be quite your thing, PW.

Then, too, I cannot imagine being lukewarm to the First!  8)

It's a nice pleasant work but I like works that pack a punch like 7, 8 and 10 ;)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 11, 2007, 11:28:46 AM
Upon this insufficient foundation, in part, we have [ fast ending = triumph / slow ending = dissident sarcasm ] as something of a "line in the sand," in some quarters.

I don't have the firm answer, obviously.  But two of my asides are:

1.) Shostakovich was in probably the tightest of a number of tight spots he experienced throughout his career.  Too much depended on the piece making the right impression in the right quarters;  he was not in the position here, to take the musical risk of (say) the Ninth later on during the war.  So, I'm not sure this was the occasion for him to play such a daring card.  Obviously, I cannot say one way or the other, absolutely.

2.) I consider how broad the ending of the 'Leningrad'  Symphony is, and how unambiguously triumphant.  I don't think it at all a 'slam dunk' that breadth of tempo in the finale of the Fifth, maps onto scornful dissidence.

Excellent points. It takes more than a mere tempo to signify what the conductor wants us to think (if said conductor is trying to make a political statement...I'm sure most aren't). Rostropovich does it with both a slow tempo and really heavy, dissonant accents that sound like they're trying to stop the music . Hectoring is how one critic described Slava's final pages.

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Bogey on June 11, 2007, 02:08:02 PM
Which four of the Haitink series have you got, Bill?

5, 6, 8, and 11

Only the 5th here seems to fall short for me Karl even though it is the only account of it that I have ever heard....basing this on others high praise for the piece.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 11, 2007, 02:32:21 PM
Haven't heard Haitink in either the Fifth or Eleventh, Bill;  his accounts of the Sixth and Eighth are indeed very fine.

Revisiting Haitink's Sixth this evening, his is yet a different fingerprint to either Temirkanov or Maksim DmitriyevichHaitink's trademark 'tidiness' -- obligatory disclaimer: not to call the other two sloppy, at all, mind you -- works to excellent effect here, as it has in the best of the rest of his cycle.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on June 11, 2007, 03:08:54 PM
My wife really digs the Leningrad. But she says the Roz. recordings on Russian Revelations sucks sound-wise.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 11, 2007, 03:21:44 PM
My wife really digs the Leningrad. But she says the Roz. recordings on Russian Revelations sucks sound-wise.

They don't have the prettiest sound: they are very upfront and in your face; climactic moments can be glaring and harsh. But you get used to it. Worth it for the performances.

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BorisG on June 11, 2007, 04:23:15 PM
My wife really digs the Leningrad. But she says the Roz. recordings on Russian Revelations sucks sound-wise.

Yes, those Russian Revoltings should be buried.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 12, 2007, 09:12:46 AM
For variety, you know, I'm checking out more of the Jansons cycle and the Gergiev 'War Symphonies' set.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: toledobass on June 12, 2007, 09:20:47 AM
For variety, you know, I'm checking out more of the Jansons cycle and the Gergiev 'War Symphonies' set.

I've been eyeing that Gergiev for a long while.  Let me know what you think,  Karl.


Peace,

Allan
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 12, 2007, 09:59:16 AM
Will report, Allan!

Andy asked about my favorite Fourth.  A number of them are very good.  At the risk of inviting comparisons to a broken record (a simile whose usefulness may not endure the Digital Age), for a number of nerdy, textual reasons — but also because it sounds great — the one I like best is the Prague Symphony directed by the composer's son.  But the Previn/CSO recording gets a special mention, as well.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 13, 2007, 07:19:44 AM
The Gergiev/Mariinka (Kirov) account of the Fifth is at times idiosyncratic.  And so (a) generally, I am still weighing it, and (b) right away I shouldn't call it my favorite.  But a worthwhile listen, certainly.

The Gergiev/Mariinka (Kirov) account of the Fourth, similarly, has its share of idiosyncracies, yet I don't think this effaces the overall profile of the work, in the way it seems to have with the Fifth.  The Fourth starts out a little straightlaced (a little cautious?) . . . on one hand, it's striking me a bit odd; on the other, I might take that as a valid alternative.  Still mulling over that.  Gergiev seems to want to take tempi slower when the bassoons are about . . . he brings in the bassoon/contrabassoon recap of the first movement rather under-tempo;  and the bassoon solo marcia funebre with timpani and double-bass pizz accompaniment which opens the third movement, is at a relaxed pace which sounds more like a ramble than a march.  The brass sound very good in The Huge C Major section of the third movement.

Now, when Gergiev brought the Mariinka to Worcester's Mechanics Hall, their performance of the Seventh was life-changing;  it was also entirely orthodox (in all the right sense).  So I admit I am finding myself a bit surprised with this Fourth and Fifth as I begin surveying Gergiev's 'War Symphonies' set (of course, "war symphonies" is a misnomer for the Fourth through Sixth, but I suppose the idea is to bring the Terror of the 30s under the umbrella of War, which is of itself defensible).

With these accounts of the Fourth and Fifth, Gergiev seems keen to find a fingerprint of his own . . . and I'll have to digest what I hear, before much taking that notion up.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: SimonGodders on June 15, 2007, 07:01:01 AM
Not a cycle (about half), but bought this recently:

(http://images-eu.amazon.com/images/P/B0000035QO.03.LZZZZZZZ.jpg)

And was so impressed, I bought the rest later that evening. They've all arrived today 8):

(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/050/54601.jpg) (http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/050/54603.jpg)
(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/190/193788.jpg)(http://cover6.cduniverse.com/MuzeAudioArt/190/198966.jpg)

Just spinning Symphony 10 now, this is great stuff...

Sanderling really knows how to unravel Shostakovich and demonstrate just what's going on, something I've struggled a fair bit with the symphonic side of this composer. Do not hesitate to purchase!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on June 15, 2007, 07:09:49 AM
Simon, I've seen those in a local shop in a box.




- George, who really needs to get a job and stop all this ruinous coveting.  :-[
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: SimonGodders on June 15, 2007, 07:24:42 AM
Well that's what I did. I'ld bought the disc with 1+6 and then decided I must hear everything else....as you do :-\ and bought the box, found it to be cheapest at German Amazon - 26 Euro's including postage...
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: toledobass on June 15, 2007, 09:06:59 AM
I like the Sanderling performance, too.  Maybe not always my first choice but I find that whenever I listen to the disks I'm engaged from start to finish.  I find he has a lot to offer me in this repertoire.  Some of the tempos seem slow sometimes but he still manages to create a weighty intensity that I find fits the symphonies very well.  I pointed out this box to Sarge not too long ago:

Sanderling Box (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/lang/en/currency/USD/rsk/hitlist/rk/home/hnum/4466204)

Allan
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: SimonGodders on June 15, 2007, 09:16:29 AM
I like the Sanderling performance, too.  Maybe not always my first choice but I find that whenever I listen to the disks I'm engaged from start to finish.  I find he has a lot to offer me in this repertoire.  Some of the tempos seem slow sometimes but he still manages to create a weighty intensity that I find fits the symphonies very well.  I pointed out this box to Sarge not too long ago:

Sanderling Box (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/lang/en/currency/USD/rsk/hitlist/rk/home/hnum/4466204)

Allan

Yes, engagement is the word! Sanderling certainly keeps me on my toes in these performances thus far. Tempos are on the slow side, but crucially, don't feel slow. I'm really chuffed with this purchase and they seem very complimentary to the Mravinsky, Barshai and other bits and bobs I'm steadily acquiring.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 15, 2007, 09:26:13 AM
"Bits and bobs" . . . I like it!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: SimonGodders on June 15, 2007, 09:47:36 AM
"Bits and bobs" . . . I like it!

Not the most descriptive of phrases, granted! It's just the way I'm building my Shostakovich symphonic collection, shunning the box-set 'method' as it were...
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 15, 2007, 10:09:47 AM
I like the Sanderling performance, too.  Maybe not always my first choice but I find that whenever I listen to the disks I'm engaged from start to finish.  I find he has a lot to offer me in this repertoire.  Some of the tempos seem slow sometimes but he still manages to create a weighty intensity that I find fits the symphonies very well.  I pointed out this box to Sarge not too long ago:

Sanderling Box (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/lang/en/currency/USD/rsk/hitlist/rk/home/hnum/4466204)

Allan

Thanks again, Allan. I did order it. Maybe Sanderling's will be the 6th that finally satisfies completely. Looking forward to hearing his Bruckner 3rd too...and the Sibelius!

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on June 15, 2007, 12:28:09 PM
Not the most descriptive of phrases, granted! It's just the way I'm building my Shostakovich symphonic collection, shunning the box-set 'method' as it were...

That's the direction I went at first myself. I really wanted the complete Rozhdesvensky cycle, but only got about half. The rest are Mravinsky, Bernstein, Ormandy and Rostropovich (LSO.)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: SimonGodders on June 15, 2007, 12:52:22 PM
That's the direction I went at first myself. I really wanted the complete Rozhdesvensky cycle, but only got about half. The rest are Mravinsky, Bernstein, Ormandy and Rostropovich (LSO.)

The Rozh' discs seem quite hard to get hold of and also seem expensive when you find them, are they good? Decent sound?

I've got some Mravinsky and Bernstein, I thought you had the Kondrashin cycle? I've started downloading that from Operashare  ;)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on June 15, 2007, 06:41:17 PM
The Rozh' discs seem quite hard to get hold of and also seem expensive when you find them, are they good? Decent sound?

I've got some Mravinsky and Bernstein, I thought you had the Kondrashin cycle? I've started downloading that from Operashare  ;)

The first time I built a cycle of singles. I got Rozh's 1,2,3,4,7,8,12. Then I got Rostropovich's (and Hatink's) 5, Mravinsky's (and Bernstein's) 6, Haitink and Bernstein's 9, Karajan's 10, Mravinsky's 11, the Naxos version (Slovak) of 13 and 14 and Ormandy's 15.

THEN I got Kondrashin's cycle.  8)

Yes, the Rozh discs are outstanding. The sound is a bit strident, but otherwise clear and in your face. My favorite conductor for DSCH. :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: SimonGodders on June 15, 2007, 07:25:59 PM

Yes, the Rozh discs are outstanding. The sound is a bit strident, but otherwise clear and in your face. My favorite conductor for DSCH. :)


Shall keep an eye out for them in that case...
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: SimonGodders on June 15, 2007, 08:33:17 PM
Yes, the Rozh discs are outstanding. The sound is a bit strident, but otherwise clear and in your face. My favorite conductor for DSCH. :)

Just ordered Rozh doing the fourth, so will be interested to hear.
 :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: sidoze on June 16, 2007, 01:09:18 AM
Just ordered Rozh doing the fourth, so will be interested to hear.
 :)

I like that most of his cycle. BMG or Olympia, Simon?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: rubio on June 16, 2007, 01:33:17 AM
The first time I built a cycle of singles. I got Rozh's 1,2,3,4,7,8,12. Then I got Rostropovich's (and Hatink's) 5, Mravinsky's (and Bernstein's) 6, Haitink and Bernstein's 9, Karajan's 10, Mravinsky's 11, the Naxos version (Slovak) of 13 and 14 and Ormandy's 15.

THEN I got Kondrashin's cycle.  8)

Yes, the Rozh discs are outstanding. The sound is a bit strident, but otherwise clear and in your face. My favorite conductor for DSCH. :)


Which symphonies of the Rozh cycle would you consider favourite performances of the given symphony? I have already ordered the Praga 4th which I have heard many positive things about. Any other performances on this level (or close)?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on June 16, 2007, 04:05:55 AM
Which symphonies of the Rozh cycle would you consider favourite performances of the given symphony? I have already ordered the Praga 4th which I have heard many positive things about. Any other performances on this level (or close)?

Of the ones that I have heard, I believe that they are all on the same level. The disc with 1 and 3 is easy to find and mid-priced.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on June 16, 2007, 04:07:02 AM
Just ordered Rozh doing the fourth, so will be interested to hear.
 :)

Let me know!  :)

The Mravinsky 11 on Chant du Monde is incredible as well!  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: rubio on June 16, 2007, 08:32:14 AM
Let me know!  :)

The Mravinsky 11 on Chant du Monde is incredible as well!  :)

I have the Mravinsky 11th on Melodiya in the below box set (haven't listened to it yet). It is from 02.02.1959. Is it the same performance as the Praga?

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/48/71/1dae225b9da032cbec5e0110._AA240_.L.jpg)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 16, 2007, 10:10:22 AM
Which symphonies of the Rozh cycle would you consider favourite performances of the given symphony?

I agree with everything George has said. Rozh is one of my favorite Shostakovich conductors too. I own 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, and 12 in Melodiya editions manufactured in Germany. I wish I owned 5 and 9 too. The recordings are bright, with occasional glare and harshness in tuttis. There's instrumental spotlighting but at least that lets you hear details well. As I wrote earlier, these aren't pretty recordings but they aren't what I would call bad either. (I have read that the First actually is bad. I don't know. Maybe George would add a further comment.)

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend any of the ones I own, but my two favorites are these:

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/new/ShoRoz4.jpg)

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/new/Schos10R.jpg)

They are both great performances, among the best. The Fourth is especially interesting because the last movement is marked Allegretto instead of Allegro and Rozh is slower than other performances. There is a rumour that he had access to a definitive score.

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on June 16, 2007, 03:24:40 PM
I have the Mravinsky 11th on Melodiya in the below box set (haven't listened to it yet). It is from 02.02.1959. Is it the same performance as the Praga?

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/48/71/1dae225b9da032cbec5e0110._AA240_.L.jpg)

Nope. Mine is from 1967 with the Leningrad PO.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Drasko on June 16, 2007, 03:39:11 PM
Nope. Mine is from 1967 with the Leningrad PO.

Yep, one and the same - 1967 live Prague = 1959 studio with added audience noise.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on June 16, 2007, 03:43:58 PM
Yep, one and the same - 1967 live Prague = 1959 studio with added audience noise.

Right, my bad.

Boy, beauty and brains....
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Drasko on June 16, 2007, 03:54:29 PM
<blush>
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on June 24, 2007, 11:43:38 AM
Just out of curiosity:  has anyone else (apart from Don, Bunny and yours truly) listened at all to the Maksim Dmitriyevich set?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: SimonGodders on June 24, 2007, 12:25:49 PM
I like that most of his cycle. BMG or Olympia, Simon?

Neither, Russian Disc:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000001LP4/104-5908801-4745533

 :-\
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: SimonGodders on June 24, 2007, 07:27:00 PM
I like that most of his cycle. BMG or Olympia, Simon?

They are the same performances though, aren't they? Sound-wise, is there much difference? I've just found somewhere I can get hold of the Olympia discs at a price.... >:D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on July 02, 2007, 09:33:45 AM
I envy you, Danny, as I'm still on the hunt for the perfect 10th.

What keeps the Jansons in Less Than Perfect mode by you, Steve, in the Tenth?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: M forever on July 02, 2007, 09:38:07 AM
Speaking of the tenth, I recently discovered there is a recording of that with the Cleveland Orchestra and Christoph von D. Does anyone have that?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on July 05, 2007, 04:45:16 AM
Speaking of the tenth, I recently discovered there is a recording of that with the Cleveland Orchestra and Christoph von D. Does anyone have that?

Well?

I do not, but the first time I heard the piece, it was played by the Clevelanders.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 05, 2007, 05:39:20 AM
Speaking of the tenth, I recently discovered there is a recording of that with the Cleveland Orchestra and Christoph von D. Does anyone have that?

I missed it. I can't recall ever seeing it in a shop in the 90s. Like many of Dohnányi's now OOP recordings with the Cleveland, sellers are asking ridiculous prices for this disc ($149 :o)

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on July 05, 2007, 05:41:38 AM
However good it might be, it would not be worth that, Sarge.

(Paging paulb, white courtesy telephone, please.)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 05, 2007, 05:44:42 AM
However good it might be, it would not be worth that, Sarge.

(Paging paulb, white courtesy telephone, please.)

You're right. Stilll, it's my hometown band and I'd like to hear it. Even more interesting is the filler (Lutoslawski Funeral music) because I've never heard that.

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: edward on July 05, 2007, 08:57:26 AM
You're right. Stilll, it's my hometown band and I'd like to hear it. Even more interesting is the filler (Lutoslawski Funeral music) because I've never heard that.

Sarge
The filler's now on a Double Decca (with more Lutoslawski and a disc of Szymanowski). Dohnanyi's Funeral music isn't very good, though, IMO.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on July 05, 2007, 09:00:52 AM
The filler's now on a Double Decca (with more Lutoslawski and a disc of Szymanowski). Dohnanyi's Funeral music isn't very good, though, IMO.

At the risk of veering wildly off topic . . . whom do you prefer in the Musique funèbre, Edward?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: edward on July 05, 2007, 09:01:59 AM
At the risk of veering wildly off topic . . . whom do you prefer in the Musique funèbre, Edward?
Without getting them all down and comparing them, the one I've tended to return to is Rowicki on the 2CD Philips set (Rowicki's also my favourite in the Concerto for Orchestra).
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 05, 2007, 10:00:52 AM
The filler's now on a Double Decca (with more Lutoslawski and a disc of Szymanowski). Dohnanyi's Funeral music isn't very good, though, IMO.

That one's OOP too...and expensive. I'm not having much luck today  :D

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on July 05, 2007, 11:03:04 AM

 Just acquired the Barshai set today.

Thank you to "you know who you are!"  :)

So I should soon return to my Kondrashin set so that I can move on to the Barshai.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: M forever on July 06, 2007, 01:05:35 AM
Stand by. I may have found a source for the Dohnányi 10th. It may take a few days though. Best if you try not to piss me off in the meantime, if you want to hear it  ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 06, 2007, 06:47:52 AM
Stand by. I may have found a source for the Dohnányi 10th. It may take a few days though. Best if you try not to piss me off in the meantime, if you want to hear it  ;D

Damn...and I was just about to enter the fray at the Beethoven HIP thread too.

I'll just have to bite my tongue and wait a bit then...until you deliver the goods. After that I can safely piss you off.

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on July 13, 2007, 03:32:35 AM
They are both great performances, among the best. The Fourth is especially interesting because the last movement is marked Allegretto instead of Allegro and Rozh is slower than other performances. There is a rumour that he had access to a definitive score.

Well, that's curious.  FWIW . . . .

According to Kondrashin, the score to the Fourth was lost during the war. Shostakovich's friend Atovmyan found the surviving orchestral parts in Leningrad, and from them drew up a two-piano version (truly, a friend's part, and a labor of love).

Quote from: Kondrashin
I went to see Shostakovich. He said, 'Here on the piano is the version of the score that you have seen. As the full score was lost I've forgotten much of it. I need to look at it again to see whether the Symphony is worth performing, and whether it requires any changes.'

The next day he rang me. 'Kirill Petrovich, I'd be very happy for you to perform the Symphony. No changes need to be made. The piece is very dear to me as it is.'
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on July 13, 2007, 03:35:18 AM
My wife really digs the Leningrad. But she says the Roz. recordings on Russian Revelations sucks sound-wise.

Whom does your esteemed wife prefer in the 'Leningrad', PW?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on July 13, 2007, 03:40:51 AM
Stand by. I may have found a source for the Dohnányi 10th. It may take a few days though.

Nu?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on July 13, 2007, 03:44:57 AM
They don't have the prettiest sound: they are very upfront and in your face; climactic moments can be glaring and harsh. But you get used to it.

I don't know, Sarge;  there is at least some music, in each of the 15 symphonies, which demands and deserves pretty sound.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on July 13, 2007, 08:18:28 AM
Just acquired the Barshai set today.

Thank you to "you know who you are!"  :)

So I should soon return to my Kondrashin set so that I can move on to the Barshai.  :)

Nu?

 :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: M forever on July 13, 2007, 08:38:26 AM
I just contacted my "source". He said he was working on it. I can't tell you more at this time. I could, but then I would have to kill you.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on July 13, 2007, 08:45:43 AM
Thanks for the update; your discretion, especially, is appreciated.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on July 13, 2007, 08:46:52 AM
The Jansons recording of the Fourth is excellent, another credit to the cycle.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: M forever on July 13, 2007, 08:52:23 AM
Oh yes, that's really great. :)

Thanks for the update; your discretion, especially, is appreciated.

I am just trying to protect you. 8)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on July 13, 2007, 04:41:53 PM
Nu?

 :)

 ???
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on July 14, 2007, 07:01:13 AM
My  nu as meant to convey, as concisely as possible, two friendly queries, George: a. Has your listening included your intended (re-)visits to the Barshai and Kondrashin sets; and b. what have you discovered?

Didn't mean to confuse you :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on July 14, 2007, 05:59:24 PM
My  nu as meant to convey, as concisely as possible, two friendly queries, George: a. Has your listening included your intended (re-)visits to the Barshai and Kondrashin sets; and b. what have you discovered?

Didn't mean to confuse you :)

I didn't think you meant to, but I didn't understand and the  ??? concisely communicated my confusion.  :)

Nu is what? (and?) In what language (Russian?)

No, I haven't returned to my listening because I haven't been emotionally ready for Kondrashin's 11.  :-\

I listened to Barshai's 1 and was dissapointed. Could have been the timing, so I will revisit and report back. 
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: M forever on July 16, 2007, 07:23:56 PM
So, are you still interested in hearing the extremely rare and very hard to find but as it turns out highly interesting DSCH10 with the Cleveland Orchestra and Christoph von D?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on July 28, 2007, 01:52:44 AM
(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2007/Jan07/Shostakovich_Kondrashin_MELCD1001065.gif)


Review of the above set from Music Web (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2007/Feb07/Shostakovich_Kondrashin_MELCD1010165.htm)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Greta on August 11, 2007, 05:17:58 AM
Jansons 5th with VPO, heard this on the radio:

Quote
(there's a really interesting gear change in the Finale that will either repulse you or excite you)

Do I give it away?  ;D I thought it was kind of gimmicky but fun. I assume you're talking about the opening, as he begins quite slow and then suddenly ratchets up to high speed. I also really like his stately speed of the middle! When the brass come in for the end, it makes that so dramatic, and shows off the WP brass at those speeds. In the ending, the endurance of the WP is really something.

I loved this performance. Concise, pulled-together interpretation, musically interesting, blazing playing which alone makes it attractive. I would have loved to have heard that one live for sure!  ;)


Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: M forever on August 11, 2007, 10:46:55 AM
I heard Jansons conduct the 5th in Berlin in the mid-late 80s (1886 or so?). That was actually his debut with the BP. The program included A Night on the Bare Mountain ("unfortunately" the Rimsky-Korsakov version), Dvořák's cello concerto with Antonio Meneses and DSCH5. I remember he wasn't that well known back then, although I had heard about (but not actually heard) his Tchaikovsky recordings in Oslo. It was a stunning debut. Jansons' conducting impressed audience and orchestra alike because of his high degree of control and elegant technique - he is one of the few conductors who actually *has* a developed conducting technique which allows him to show a lot of things in his beat, like Maazel. Anyway, it was a great concert and then he came back regularly. I also remember a concert with him a few years later with Fauré's P+M and Eine Alpensinfonie which was very, very good.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on August 11, 2007, 11:02:53 AM
I heard Jansons conduct the 5th in Berlin in the mid-late 80s (1886 or so?). That was actually his debut with the BP. The program included A Night on the Bare Mountain ("unfortunately" the Rimsky-Korsakov version), Dvořák's cello concerto with Antonio Meneses and DSCH5. *** Anyway, it was a great concert and then he came back regularly.

Great program!!  8) (notwithstanding the Rimskyization of Mussorgsky's Night on Bare Mountain  :'(  :'(  :'(  :'(  :'()
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Renfield on August 11, 2007, 11:55:12 PM
Great program!!  8) (notwithstanding the Rimskyization of Mussorgsky's Night on Bare Mountain  :'(  :'(  :'(  :'(  :'()

Yes, I never get why Rimsky-Korsakov's tampering with Night on Bare Mountain is as tolerated/liked, or even preferred to Mussorgsky's original piece as it seems to be. Setting aside the whole notion of performing pieces as the composer wrote them (see the whole debate about the various editions of the Bruckner symphonies, for instance), the original is better music!

Or at least to my ears, it is... If you smooth over everything that's ragged, in what way does what is left resemble the "horror" setting of the original Night on Bare Mountain!? That's like playing only the "happy" parts of Tchaikovsky's Pathetique, so as not to unsettle the audience. ::)

Edit: Wait, I just realised I'm off topic. Concerning Shostakovich symphony cycles, I have little to add to the discussion... I have the Haitink, which I find slightly over-refined but not all that bad, and the Kondrashin, which I consider no less than sublime. Though Mravinsky's 8th and Karajan's 10th are in a class of their own, as well. 8)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on August 24, 2007, 09:41:41 AM
Damn...and I was just about to enter the fray at the Beethoven HIP thread too.

I'll just have to bite my tongue and wait a bit then...until you deliver the goods. After that I can safely piss you off.

Well, Sarge?  ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on August 26, 2007, 04:37:04 AM
Well, Sarge?  ;D

I downloaded it shortly before I left for France and I still haven't listened to it. In fact, I haven't listened to much music at all for almost a month now--taking a sabbatical, resting my ears...and too, I've been incredibly busy this week preparing for the arrival of guests from the States. I'm not likely to get back into a regular routine (including participation here) until after they leave. I should listen to the Alpensinfonie though...we're going to Garmisch to ascend the Zugspitz.

As far as pissing off M...well, I've really been tempted a few times but he's been such a nice boy lately, so well-mannered and well-spoken, I'd hate to be the one to set him off  :D

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Bogey on August 26, 2007, 04:50:12 AM

As far as pissing off M...well, I've really been tempted a few times but he's been such a nice boy lately, so well-mannered and well-spoken, I'd hate to be the one to set him off  :D

Sarge

This is a great example why one must read all of Sarge's posts, even if the topic may not on the surface be of great interest to one.  One always finds hidden treasures within. LOL.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on August 26, 2007, 04:52:37 AM
This is a great example why one must read all of Sarge's posts, even if the topic may not on the surface be of great interest to one.  One always finds hidden treasures within. LOL.

 :D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: rw1883 on September 09, 2007, 08:01:37 AM
I bought this Kondrashin set through Ebay a few months back:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Shostakovich-Complete-Symphonies-Kondrashin-12CDs-BOX_W0QQitemZ260157192719QQihZ016QQcategoryZ307QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem (http://cgi.ebay.com/Shostakovich-Complete-Symphonies-Kondrashin-12CDs-BOX_W0QQitemZ260157192719QQihZ016QQcategoryZ307QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)

I've only gone through #8 really enjoying all the performances so far, but I find the sound to be really bright at times.  Does the Aulos or Melodiya set compare favorably transfer-wise? 
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: sound67 on September 09, 2007, 09:14:51 AM
Don't know about this release, but the latest Melodiya makeover is stubstantial improvement over the BMG version of the 1990s.

Thomas
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on September 09, 2007, 10:16:34 AM
Don't know about this release, but the latest Melodiya makeover is stubstantial improvement over the BMG version of the 1990s.

Thomas

Indeed it is.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on September 10, 2007, 10:33:27 AM
Sacrée vache, can you believe that russiandvd.com has the Barshai set for $85?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on September 10, 2007, 10:41:14 AM
Barshai set for $85?

Supply-demand ........
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on September 10, 2007, 10:46:33 AM
Do you suppose paulb is supplying russiandvd, mon vieux?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on September 10, 2007, 10:50:47 AM
I downloaded it shortly before I left for France and I still haven't listened to it.

Well, Sarge?  8)

(I, too, am at the "have downloaded, but have yet to listen" stage . . . .)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on September 10, 2007, 11:10:50 AM
Sacrée vache, can you believe that Amazon.com has the Maksim Dmitriyevich set for $112?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BachQ on September 10, 2007, 11:16:23 AM
Sacrée vache, can you believe that russiandvd.com has the Barshai set for $85?

Sacrée vache, can you believe that Amazon.com has the Maksim Dmitriyevich set for $112?

Yippee ........ Karl has found a new activity ........
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on September 10, 2007, 02:20:24 PM
Yippee ........ Karl has found a new activity ........

Tireless searching, and clean living, mon vieux

Great signature, BTW!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Lady Chatterley on September 10, 2007, 02:28:35 PM
Tireless searching, and clean living, mon vieux

Great signature, BTW!

 Positively Mesmerizing!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on September 10, 2007, 02:29:04 PM
Hi, Muriel!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: rw1883 on September 12, 2007, 08:06:03 AM
I would like to get one more cycle to add to my collection (I have the Kondrashin, Barshai, & Rozhdestvensky).  I'm debating between the Jansons or M. Shostakovich (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/B000I8OIHK/sr=1-3/qid=1189616646/ref=dp_image_0/102-9817053-6018502?ie=UTF8&n=5174&s=music&qid=1189616646&sr=1-3 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/B000I8OIHK/sr=1-3/qid=1189616646/ref=dp_image_0/102-9817053-6018502?ie=UTF8&n=5174&s=music&qid=1189616646&sr=1-3))...if you had the choice, which one would you buy? 
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on September 12, 2007, 08:31:37 AM
In a sense, I have chosen: I've bought the Maksim Dmitriyevich set, and not the Jansons . . . although I have heard a number of fine symphonies from the Jansons set.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: sound67 on September 12, 2007, 10:42:13 PM
In a sense, I have chosen: I've bought the Maksim Dmitriyevich set, and not the Jansons . . . although I have heard a number of fine symphonies from the Jansons set.

Your choice was not wise. The Maxim cycle (the Prague Symphony one) is certainly not bad, but the orchestra is not quite first rate. The Bavarian Radio Symphony is, and the Jansons cycle is outstanding in those performances where they're playing.

Thomas
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: alkan on September 12, 2007, 11:25:58 PM
I would like to get one more cycle to add to my collection (I have the Kondrashin, Barshai, & Rozhdestvensky).  I'm debating between the Jansons or M. Shostakovich (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/B000I8OIHK/sr=1-3/qid=1189616646/ref=dp_image_0/102-9817053-6018502?ie=UTF8&n=5174&s=music&qid=1189616646&sr=1-3 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/B000I8OIHK/sr=1-3/qid=1189616646/ref=dp_image_0/102-9817053-6018502?ie=UTF8&n=5174&s=music&qid=1189616646&sr=1-3))...if you had the choice, which one would you buy? 

Since you already have three excellent cycles, I would go for something different.      My recommendation is the Sanderling set.     It is incomplete   (1, 5, 6, 8, 10, 15 only) but the performances are devastating and quite a shock after someone like Kondrashin.         Sanderling was living in Russia at the time that this music was being written, and was a friend of Shostakovich.     For me, the outstanding feature of his interpretations is the feeling that this is authentic ..... someone who has lived (and suffered) through this epoch.      Sanderling's ending of Symph no 5 comes as a real shock if you are used to a more "traditional" ending.       Symphony no 15 is simply spine-chilling.

This set (or individual discs) are still available for Amazon.     

By the way, do you have a preference or recommendation for the 3 sets that you already have ?? 

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on September 13, 2007, 07:34:58 AM
Your choice was not wise. The Maxim cycle (the Prague Symphony one) is certainly not bad, but the orchestra is not quite first rate.

So, where exactly in the cycle do you find this a problem, Thomas?

Offhand, I can think of only one place where the "not quite first rate" applies, and I don't find that it significantly damages the experience of the symphony.  Do you know where I mean?

Quote
The Bavarian Radio Symphony is, and the Jansons cycle is outstanding in those performances where they're playing.

That's an extraordinary statement, not so much for the content, as for the context, since you seem to compare this so highly favorably to the Prague Symphony set, Thomas!  And the timing is charming, since only yesterday I listened to the disc with the Prague Symphony and Chorus, and Marina Shaguch and Mikhail Ryssov, performing the Third and Fourteenth Symphonies.  These are, in fact, outstanding readings (and Ryssov sings the best "O Delvig" I have yet heard).

In comparison, yes, the Jansons/Bavarian Radio account of this pair of symphonies is generally very good, but no, I do not find the difference anything like you imply.

My ears are, in fact, content in the wisdom of my choice, thank you very much  0:)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on September 13, 2007, 07:37:42 AM
Sanderling was living in Russia at the time that this music was being written, and was a friend of Shostakovich.

Okay;  now why does this trump Maksim Dmitriyevich, who was living with the composer at the time this music was written, and is the son of Shostakovich?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on September 13, 2007, 07:45:33 AM
Well, I do think that I prefer Ryssov to Aleksashkin in the Fourteenth.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on September 13, 2007, 07:56:08 AM
Amazon third-party seller Caiman has the Jansons set for $38, which is a good price for such a good set.  The Jansons/Phila Tenth was for long my favorite account of that symphony, and I won't sniff at it now;  it's a shame that in boxing up the complete set, they dropped the companion performance of Robt Lloyd singing the Musorgsky  Songs & Dances of Death!  OTOH, that 'original' disc is now one of those available as ArkivCDs . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: rw1883 on September 13, 2007, 08:44:58 AM
Since you already have three excellent cycles, I would go for something different.      My recommendation is the Sanderling set.     It is incomplete   (1, 5, 6, 8, 10, 15 only) but the performances are devastating and quite a shock after someone like Kondrashin.         Sanderling was living in Russia at the time that this music was being written, and was a friend of Shostakovich.     For me, the outstanding feature of his interpretations is the feeling that this is authentic ..... someone who has lived (and suffered) through this epoch.      Sanderling's ending of Symph no 5 comes as a real shock if you are used to a more "traditional" ending.       Symphony no 15 is simply spine-chilling.

This set (or individual discs) are still available for Amazon.     

By the way, do you have a preference or recommendation for the 3 sets that you already have ?? 



It's funny you mentioned the Sanderling because I have it my cart at Amazon.  There have been quite a few members that have mentioned that set.  I'm going with your suggestion and will buy the Sanderling this week (of course I'll probably buy one of the Jansons/M. Shostakovich at some point later).

For the past couple of months I've been listening to all the Shostakovich symphonies I have in numerical order.  With the three sets, plus all the singles, it has taken me some time.  So far I like all three, but my favorite would have to be the Rozhdestvensky.  The Kondrashin I have is from a seller at Ebay.  The sound can be very bright and tinny at times so at some point I'll buy the Melodiya release.  All three sets definitely have their merits and drawbacks (what cycle doesn't?), but if I had money just to buy one it would be the Rozhdestvensky (if you could find it!).
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on September 13, 2007, 04:40:24 PM
So far I like all three, but my favorite would have to be the Rozhdestvensky. 

I absolutely agree. I don't have the whole set, but the 6 or 7 that I have are incredible.

Quote
The Kondrashin I have is from a seller at Ebay.  The sound can be very bright and tinny at times so at some point I'll buy the Melodiya release.

A wise move. I have it and though I haven't heard the earlier one, I have no problem at all with the sound.

Quote
All three sets definitely have their merits and drawbacks (what cycle doesn't?), but if I had money just to buy one it would be the Rozhdestvensky (if you could find it!).

Indeed, and if you do find it, let us know?  ???
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: alkan on September 13, 2007, 11:21:03 PM
Okay;  now why does this trump Maksim Dmitriyevich, who was living with the composer at the time this music was written, and is the son of Shostakovich?

Hi Karl,
Well it doesn't, but I didn't see it as a competition !      I have heard Maxim's recordings of 5 and 15, but a long time ago.     I remember them as being very good, especially 15  (which I think is a world premiere recording).      My personal preference remains with Sanderling (for now), but I don't think anyone will be disappointed by Shostakovich's son.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: alkan on September 13, 2007, 11:31:12 PM
It's funny you mentioned the Sanderling because I have it my cart at Amazon.  There have been quite a few members that have mentioned that set.  I'm going with your suggestion and will buy the Sanderling this week (of course I'll probably buy one of the Jansons/M. Shostakovich at some point later).

For the past couple of months I've been listening to all the Shostakovich symphonies I have in numerical order.  With the three sets, plus all the singles, it has taken me some time.  So far I like all three, but my favorite would have to be the Rozhdestvensky.  The Kondrashin I have is from a seller at Ebay.  The sound can be very bright and tinny at times so at some point I'll buy the Melodiya release.  All three sets definitely have their merits and drawbacks (what cycle doesn't?), but if I had money just to buy one it would be the Rozhdestvensky (if you could find it!).

I hope our tastes coincide and you enjoy the Sanderling versions.     It would be interesting to hear your feedback after a first hearing.      Small point, but the notes (written in the form of an interview with Sanderling) are very illuminating and a real bonus to this set.

With Kondrashin I have 2 outstanding favourites ..... 8 and 4.       I love the 2nd scherzo in the 8th, with its incredible drive and the pounding drums (like a monstrous machine running out of control) at the climax.       The 4th is great too, except for the sound which is pretty dry.    I have just bought the Simon Rattle version and it is amazingly good.      I have heard the Rozhdestvensky version of the 4th on the radio and I loved it ..... but I can't find it at a reasonable price.    But when I do I will get it.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: sound67 on September 13, 2007, 11:39:14 PM
So, where exactly in the cycle do you find this a problem, Thomas?

Offhand, I can think of only one place where the "not quite first rate" applies, and I don't find that it significantly damages the experience of the symphony.

IIRC you were the one who so vigorously criticzed Järvi's Glasgow recordings on the basis of the alleged inadequacy of the Royal Scottish National. Well, in comparison to the Prague Symphony, all braying brass and occasionally awkward strings (but with beautiful wind solos as compensation), the RSNO are a model of discipline and tonal security. Some have called the style that is evident in the Prague recordings as "authentic", with reference to the less-than-alluring sound of the Russian orchestras of yore.

The Sanderling recordings are indeed very good. I wish he had recorded the complete cycle of 15.

Thomas
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on September 14, 2007, 04:35:41 AM
Well it doesn't, but I didn't see it as a competition!

Very good.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on September 14, 2007, 04:37:09 AM
IIRC you were the one who so vigorously criticized Järvi's Glasgow recordings on the basis of the alleged inadequacy of the Royal Scottish National.

You don't, not correctly.  Any criticism I have had of Järvi's recordings had to do with questions of Järvi's preparation/direction. The Royal Scottish National is an excellent orchestra.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on September 14, 2007, 04:43:25 AM
Well, in comparison to the Prague Symphony, all braying brass and occasionally awkward strings (but with beautiful wind solos as compensation), the RSNO are a model of discipline and tonal security. Some have called the style that is evident in the Prague recordings as "authentic", with reference to the less-than-alluring sound of the Russian orchestras of yore.

Quite apart from your mistaken recollection at the outset, Thomas, I am disappointed that you did not address this question, which I thought phrased clearly:

Quote from: karlhenning
So, where exactly in the cycle do you find this a problem, Thomas?

Sure, I'll generally agree that the RSNO (heaven knows how you thought I had talked them down) is a finer outfit than the Prague Symphony. Where specifically, in Maksim Dmitriyevich's cycle, do you find this an issue?  Apart from one instance to which I alluded (which I do not find seriously "damaging"), I hear the orchestra playing the music capably, and not capably merely.

It isn't Carter, for mercy's sake, Thomas.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on September 14, 2007, 05:25:50 AM
Well, in comparison to the Prague Symphony, all braying brass and occasionally awkward strings (but with beautiful wind solos as compensation)

No, no, the Prague Symphony brass do not "bray," not a whit;  so you must be thinking of some other recordings.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on September 14, 2007, 06:07:26 AM
On the "braying" front . . . Thomas, I have just revisited the Prague Symphony in some of the movements which, one would think, would tax the brass most:  the third movement of the Fourth, and the third and fourth movements of the Seventh.  If the brass are going to "bray," those are the points in the cycle where one would expect that.  If the question is, do the brass, at full throttle, have all the 'coasting' solidity of the CSO in their legendary recordings, with Previn and Bernstein? The answer must be a frank not quite.  But I didn't hear any incontinence sinking to the description of "braying."

So, where exactly do they bray?  We all could use a laugh as well as the next guy, so point me where I should be listening . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: sound67 on September 14, 2007, 07:09:11 AM
Karl, I very distinctly remember you saying that the RSNO weren't together in many places in their Prokofiev recordings under Järvi.

As for any particulars on the Maxim cycle, I'll have to address that after the weekend since the box is in my other flat. You were right, I didn't grasp the meaning of your question (where the Prague Symphony not being absolutely world class is actually posing a problem) at first .

Thomas
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on September 14, 2007, 09:13:13 AM
Karl, I very distinctly remember you saying that the RSNO weren't together in many places in their Prokofiev recordings under Järvi.

I distinctly said that there is, in particular, a place in the first movement of the Prokofiev Seventh when the violas and the rest of the orchestra are not together.

Thomas, somehow you are taking this fact (not an allegation, it's there in the document) as "alleged inadequacy of the Royal Scottish National."  I don't know how you get from point A to point B.  They are a fine orchestra;  I am apt to lay this instance of non-ensemble at the conductor's feet.  I'm sure they could have played it well, with the right conductor  8)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on September 14, 2007, 09:19:04 AM
BTW, I have with great pleasure revisited the Fourth and Fifteenth in the Jansons cycle; excellent.

I still won't hear of the Maksim Dmitriyevich cycle being "unwisdom," Thos :-)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on September 27, 2007, 09:46:39 AM
It's funny you mentioned the Sanderling because I have it my cart at Amazon.  There have been quite a few members that have mentioned that set.  I'm going with your suggestion and will buy the Sanderling this week (of course I'll probably buy one of the Jansons/M. Shostakovich at some point later).

For the past couple of months I've been listening to all the Shostakovich symphonies I have in numerical order.  With the three sets, plus all the singles, it has taken me some time.  So far I like all three, but my favorite would have to be the Rozhdestvensky.  The Kondrashin I have is from a seller at Ebay.  The sound can be very bright and tinny at times so at some point I'll buy the Melodiya release.  All three sets definitely have their merits and drawbacks (what cycle doesn't?), but if I had money just to buy one it would be the Rozhdestvensky (if you could find it!).

Well, what news?  8)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: rw1883 on September 27, 2007, 02:45:21 PM
Well, what news?  8)


The set hasn't arrived, but it should be here today or tomorrow.  Sometimes Caiman (Amazon) can be slow, but usually the price is right.  I'll give you an update sometime next week...

Paul
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on October 02, 2007, 07:02:09 AM
Caiman has always delivered promptly when I've ordered from them (as an amazon.com third-party seller).

This season, we'll be hearing the BSO in the Fourth and Fifth Symphonies;  they played the Eighth so brilliantly, that I am really looking forward to both of these concerts, in particular!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Guido on October 10, 2007, 09:21:29 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shostakovich#Orthodoxy_and_revisionism

This article seems bizarre to me - treating the idea that Shostakovich didn't really believe in regime and hated Stalin etc. as a controversial theory... Surely even before Testament people realised that he was not a 'state composer'. Also the fact that literally everyone he had contact with agrees with the 'revisionist' view (what view is being revised, and who held the view, and at what time). How could anyone listen to the music and think that he was a happy communist? And the final comment that overpoliticising the music detracts from it is also plainly ridiculous - part of the reason that it is such poignant and affecting music is precisely because of its message. It seems ridiculous to even type this.

Also I found this article by Robin Holloway to be very surprising reading. I was sure that most people get over the 'I hate such and such a famous composer' phase by about the age of 18.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3724/is_200008/ai_n8906382


Also this comment:

Quote
One prominent criticism of Shostakovich has been that his symphonic work in particular is, as Shostakovich scholar Gerard McBurney summarizes, "derivative … trashy, empty and second-hand

Why would you be a scholar of something that you think is worthless. Is this guy indeed a scholar in Shostakovich, or is he just another person with a lot of opinions?

I know Shostakovich isn't for everyone, but I haven't seen these views presented so harshly before. Does anyone here agree?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on October 10, 2007, 09:26:09 AM
Yikes, Guido! McBurney needs to find some other line of work  8)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Bonehelm on October 10, 2007, 02:45:14 PM
Anybody have thoughts on Haitink/LPO 5th and 9th? I'm demonoiding it if it's anything better than "good". I really want to get to know Shosty.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BorisG on October 10, 2007, 03:08:28 PM
Anybody have thoughts on Haitink/LPO 5th and 9th? I'm demonoiding it if it's anything better than "good". I really want to get to know Shosty.

Nothing to be afraid of. That recording is far better than good.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Bonehelm on October 10, 2007, 03:20:38 PM
Nothing to be afraid of. That recording is far better than good.
Thanks, BorisG. Any reason in particular as to why it's great?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Renfield on October 10, 2007, 03:24:28 PM
Thanks, BorisG. Any reason in particular as to why it's great?

It's one of the best in Haitink's D. Shoch. cycle! And I'd avise you just make the dare and listen to it yourself. ;)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: BorisG on October 10, 2007, 04:19:43 PM
Thanks, BorisG. Any reason in particular as to why it's great?

Did I say great? ;) You can make that decision, if you buy and listen.

5 is not overdone, as it is with many. 9 would seemingly be perfect for Haitink, and it is. Enjoy, enjoy.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: The new erato on October 10, 2007, 09:29:18 PM
The one recording from Haitinks cycle I tend to play repeatedly in no 15. Don't know if that makes it a great record, but stil.... VG sound.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Maciek on October 18, 2007, 01:07:37 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shostakovich#Orthodoxy_and_revisionism

This article seems bizarre to me - treating the idea that Shostakovich didn't really believe in regime and hated Stalin etc. as a controversial theory... Surely even before Testament people realised that he was not a 'state composer'. Also the fact that literally everyone he had contact with agrees with the 'revisionist' view (what view is being revised, and who held the view, and at what time). How could anyone listen to the music and think that he was a happy communist?

Hi Guido. I don't have time to peruse the article right now, just wanted to say there's nothing irrational in thinking Shostakovich was a communist. For anyone to have the sort of career he had in Soviet Russia at that time it would have been necessary to at least silently accept the regime, though I think that wouldn't really have been enough. Perhaps enough to stay alive but not to have a career of any sort. This has nothing to do with the quality of the music. He may have been the greatest symphonist of the 20th century but really, he was no martyr. Osip Mandelshtam was a martyr of sorts - and the very lenient sentence he got at first was to be exiled to Ural! And it is said Stalin actually liked the guy!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: ragman1970 on October 30, 2007, 07:49:51 AM
How interesting!

Speaking of Bychkov, apparently he's embarking on a complete cycle for Avie. Can't confirm that but the signs seem to point to it. Should be interesting.

I've picked up the 7th from this Avie set but haven't ventured further since two of the other recordings - the 8th and 11th - are duplicated on his earlier Berlin Philharmonic releases...and I already have those.

In fact, these Berlin recordings (5, 8, 11) have always held a place in my heart and it saddened me he never went further. I credit my fondness for the 11th to Bychkov's very fine Berlin reading. I wonder how the recent Avie compares...

Anyway, as soon as this cycle(?) moves into territory not duplicated by Bychkov/Berlin I'll likely begin following it very closely. His new 4th is perched right atop my want list...






However, from my point of view Bychkow with the WDR SO will produce at the end a fine set we should not ignore!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on October 30, 2007, 08:15:23 AM
This article seems bizarre to me - treating the idea that Shostakovich didn't really believe in regime and hated Stalin etc. as a controversial theory... Surely even before Testament people realised that he was not a 'state composer'.

Well, that was pretty much the image of Shostakovich exported by Moscow, and here in the States, anyway, few were inclined to question that image before Testimony.

Maciek is right, to be sure, that much of Shostakovich's circumstances appear sufficiently like cooperation, and it is hardly irrational to take the view of Shostakovich as a Communist (even Shostakovich's friends were puzzled, at the least, by his taking official membership in the Party in 1960).  Maciek is right, too, to observe that, much though we might pity the torment he endured, Shostakovich was at least lucky in this, that he survived through it all, where so many cultural figures perished.  (Even Akhmatova, who also hung on by a thread, found it impossible to write any poetry for long years, so at least Shostakovich was able consistently to apply himself to his creative work.)  So to apply the label "martyr" to Shostakovich is overstatement, and dishonors many who did in fact perish.  The case is strong that Shostakovich was not (for most of his career) a "genuine Communist," but instead did what he needed to do to survive (and, to his credit, he did more than merely survive, but also at times used his position to try to help other artists);  but it is a nuanced argument, and travels only with difficulty outside of Russia.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: edward on October 30, 2007, 09:18:04 AM
Yikes, Guido! McBurney needs to find some other line of work  8)
I'm pretty sure McBurney was summarizing the straw-man argument against Shostakovich; he certainly has great admiration for Shostakovich's work, though I believe he prefers the quartets and song cycles to the symphonies.

I don't think anyone could have studied with Schnittke in the early '80s and have totally rejected Shostakovich's work. ;)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on October 30, 2007, 10:19:36 AM
Thanks for the clarification, Edward!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Varg on January 22, 2008, 09:31:25 PM
Haitink is my very foundation when it comes to Shostakovich symphonies. I only need a few extra recordings to be fully satisfied with my Shosty; the 5th and 8th by Rostropovich (LSO), even if Haitink is magical with both of them, and the 10th by Karajan, which stands in it's own league. Heaven! 0:)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on May 27, 2008, 08:13:08 AM
Does anyone know what's up with russianDVD.com?  I put the Kondrashin box into my cart, and then I get a message that it's out of stock.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: M forever on May 27, 2008, 01:05:52 PM
I only see the Aulos set on russiandvd, and you don't want that anyway.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Bunny on May 27, 2008, 01:37:15 PM
Does anyone know what's up with russianDVD.com?  I put the Kondrashin box into my cart, and then I get a message that it's out of stock.

They are really nice at Russian Dvd, but it's a brickstore with a lot of street business and they are always understaffed.  The online listings always need updating.  Give them a call and see if they can still get the item.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: ezodisy on May 28, 2008, 12:32:13 AM
I only see the Aulos set on russiandvd, and you don't want that anyway.

are you able to confirm that the new Melodiya set, like the Aulos set, uses the stereo recording of the 4th symphony (BMG used the mono)?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Maciek on November 24, 2008, 01:01:18 PM
I don't know how I managed to miss the fact that this thread has moved along a bit since last October... :o ::)

Well, that was pretty much the image of Shostakovich exported by Moscow, and here in the States, anyway, few were inclined to question that image before Testimony.

Maciek is right, to be sure, that much of Shostakovich's circumstances appear sufficiently like cooperation, and it is hardly irrational to take the view of Shostakovich as a Communist (even Shostakovich's friends were puzzled, at the least, by his taking official membership in the Party in 1960).  Maciek is right, too, to observe that, much though we might pity the torment he endured, Shostakovich was at least lucky in this, that he survived through it all, where so many cultural figures perished.  (Even Akhmatova, who also hung on by a thread, found it impossible to write any poetry for long years, so at least Shostakovich was able consistently to apply himself to his creative work.)  So to apply the label "martyr" to Shostakovich is overstatement, and dishonors many who did in fact perish.  The case is strong that Shostakovich was not (for most of his career) a "genuine Communist," but instead did what he needed to do to survive (and, to his credit, he did more than merely survive, but also at times used his position to try to help other artists);  but it is a nuanced argument, and travels only with difficulty outside of Russia.

Karl, thanks for a very reasonable reply. I didn't (AFAICR ;D) want my post to sound too dogmatic. As far nuancing goes, you fared much better. ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: drogulus on November 24, 2008, 02:10:30 PM


     I'm DL'ing the entire Haitink cycle from Amazon for $11.98. How bad can they be? (they're 256 kbps, more than good enough given what I'm paying)
     
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Maciek on November 24, 2008, 04:45:33 PM
It was my first cycle and I think it's excellent. In some respects (no. 8 comes to mind straight away) it seems (to me) prefect.

(not that I've heard loads upon loads of versions of Shostakovich's symphonies though 0:))
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 07, 2009, 10:38:26 AM
Karl, thanks for a very reasonable reply. I didn't (AFAICR ;D) want my post to sound too dogmatic. As far nuancing goes, you fared much better. ;D

At your service, друг мой!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 07, 2009, 10:40:36 AM

Quote from: Ernie
I'm DL'ing the entire Haitink cycle from Amazon for $11.98. How bad can they be? (they're 256 kbps, more than good enough given what I'm paying)

It was my first cycle and I think it's excellent. In some respects (no. 8 comes to mind straight away) it seems (to me) prefect.

Nos. 13 and 14 (apart from Fischer-Dieskau's dodgy Russian pronunciation) are excellent, too, and nos. 6 & 7 are very, very good.  (I haven't heard the entire cycle).
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 07, 2009, 10:46:02 AM
They are really nice at Russian Dvd, but it's a brickstore with a lot of street business and they are always understaffed.  The online listings always need updating.  Give them a call and see if they can still get the item.

I bided my time, and decided that I would just try afresh to order when ready.  Went very smoothly this time;  I placed the order on Saturday evening, reckoning (of course) on their not actually seeing it until Monday morning (and the website says that orders are normally sent in 1-2 business days);  an e-mail message came late yesterday afternoon advising that the order had shipped;  I tracked the package on ups.com this morning, and found that it was already out for delivery here in Boston . . . and poof!  the box was here before lunchtime.

Just starting to go through it.  I expect I'll listen to all the symphonies first, and then go back for the "fillers."

Edit :: typo
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 07, 2009, 10:49:37 AM
are you able to confirm that the new Melodiya set, like the Aulos set, uses the stereo recording of the 4th symphony (BMG used the mono)?

Sleeve says stereo (recorded in 1966).
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Herman on January 07, 2009, 10:55:31 AM
I only see the Aulos set on russiandvd, and you don't want that anyway.

I'm aware mr M forever can't elucidate this himself, but anyone here who can explain what the problem would be with Aulos?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 08, 2009, 12:13:45 PM
I'm aware mr M forever can't elucidate this himself, but anyone here who can explain what the problem would be with Aulos?

I cannot speak to't . . . a reviewer at amazon.com has few words on that (http://www.amazon.com/review/product/B000P733I4/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?%5Fencoding=UTF8&showViewpoints=1).
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 08, 2009, 12:21:14 PM
Quote
A Note from John Shand

I bought the 2006 Melodiya Kondrashin set. And now I’ve just come from comparing the opening of the 4th and 10th symphonies with their counterparts in the 1994 BMG-Melodiya set, and there’s a definite improvement! The level is higher, the sound clear - the 1994 set sounds muffled in comparison - and the sound has far more weight and depth. In case I thought I was imagining it, I got my wife to listen, who hasn’t followed any of this, and played her the disks blind - I have a very understanding wife! - and she agreed without a qualm that the sound on the 2006 set was noticeably better.

I've just played the opening of the 8th. That's much improved too in the Melodiya 2006 set over the BMG-Melodiya 1994 set. Where as before it was clear but painful, the sound now has more depth and body and isn't so unbearably shrill, without losing any of the excitement.

He whole improvement is really quite thrilling. The set has come up sounding fresh.

And, by the way, the first note on the double basses at the opening of the 10th is restored, which on the BMG-Melodiya set was chopped off, or at least started half way through - although no-one seems to have to commented on this before.

I found a page on Amazon where someone had compared the 2006 Melodiya set with the 1999 Aulos one, and he thought the 2006 Melodiya set a definite improvement over that too.

All one has to do is get used to the quaint packaging of the 2006 set. But there’s no question about the improvement in sound. I wonder what they did? Whatever they did the Russians have come up trumps!

John Shand

That the 2006 set of the Shostakovich symphonies is remastered is discreetly documented on the back of each of the cardboard sleeves for the disks. (All except Symphony no.7 oddly enough - although it’s clear it too has been remastered judging by the sound compared to the 1994 issue.) Who we have to thank is one of two Russian recording engineers in each case, either M.Pilpov or V. Obodzinskaya, who shared the job. They deserve a medal.

I should mention that there is no mention of Russian sound engineers M.Pilpov or V. Obodzinskaya, or indeed any other sound engineers, including the original ones (also listed on the 2006 set), on the 1994 set.

John Shand

[ Source (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2007/Feb07/Shostakovich_Kondrashin_MELCD1010165.htm) ]
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: ezodisy on January 08, 2009, 12:33:02 PM
I'm aware mr M forever can't elucidate this himself, but anyone here who can explain what the problem would be with Aulos?

nothing at all, transfers sound excellent, you just don't get the Razin piece in the set. I don't think the Aulos set is from 1999. It came out around the time Molman was on this board, 2003 or 2004 I think.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Herman on January 08, 2009, 01:25:36 PM
Quote
And, by the way, the first note on the double basses at the opening of the 10th is restored, which on the BMG-Melodiya set was chopped off, or at least started half way through - although no-one seems to have to commented on this before.

yeah, that was 2003 or 2004 (when GMG was just a tad more lively than now).

I thought I'd check the opening of the tenth, and AFAICT the Aulos is complete.

I've had a couple of Aulos discs that I thought were perhaps intended for Eastern ears, a little shrill in the trebles. I do not hear this on the DSCH discs (which, admittedly, I do not listen to all the time). Perhaps this was one of M's problems?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Drasko on January 08, 2009, 02:40:37 PM
I'm sure you can ask him over at rmcr, to my best recollection he was objecting to amount of noise reduction applied, finding it too aggressive.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 08, 2009, 06:54:51 PM
Alright, I've just finished the Kondrashin 1st. While the sound is less than spectacular, certainly a great deal more  impatient and energetic than either the Jansons or the Barshai. Perhaps, a little frantic for my taste at times . . . .

Agreed.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: vandermolen on January 10, 2009, 02:14:40 PM
Any views on Maxim Shostakovich's Supraphon cycle?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 10, 2009, 02:20:09 PM
I like it a great deal, Jeffrey, and find it overall an excellent set.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: vandermolen on January 10, 2009, 02:27:59 PM
I like it a great deal, Jeffrey, and find it overall an excellent set.

Thank you Karl. I like his recording of Symphony No 4 very much and his LP of No 15 (EMI/Melodiya) was/is my favourite version - never released on CD as far as I know. I would like the Kondrashin box but the Supraphon was much cheaper, so I have settled with that.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 10, 2009, 02:28:34 PM
I like it a great deal, Jeffrey, and find it overall an excellent set.

Karl - yes, a timely post!  :D  Just finished my first complete set of Shosty Symphonies, i.e. the Barshai recordings released by Brilliant, which I felt is just a superb offering - but now, I'd like another for comparison - from your OP opening this thread, the complete sets seemed to be about the same; so, would be interested in 'updated' comments from all on these previously discussed sets, and on any 'newer' offerings (not sure if any others have appeared in the interim) - thanks -  Dave  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 10, 2009, 04:02:31 PM
I've been doing a parallel survey-listen of the two boxes, Maksim Dmitriyevich (second run-through, as I had picked this one up some time ago) and Kirill Petrovich this week . . . still at it, so I am yet preparing comments.  At this point I have listened to the First through Tenth, and I think it fair to offer the 'preview' remark that, while I certainly enjoy and think very well of the Kondrashin set, I prefer the Shostakovich fils box.

— similarly, Jeffrey, the first symphony I had heard (a couple of years before Supraphon reissued as a box set) was the Fourth, which immediately became my best-regarded recording of that wonderful symphony.

(Dave, I haven't heard the entire Barshai set . . . I think I've heard the First through Sixth, and Thirteenth . . . maybe another or two.  Some aspects of the recording tech is better with Barshai than Kondrashin, but in general I found Kondrashin and his band musically preferable.)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: ezodisy on January 10, 2009, 04:07:39 PM
Maksim Dmitriyevich Kirill Petrovich

you might as well write in cyrillic if you're going to speak formally

Quote
while I certainly enjoy and think very well of the Kondrashin set, I prefer the Shostakovich fils box.

get outta town. How is this possible?

I haven't heard the, um, Maks(?)im Dmitriyevich set, but it doesn't have many if any fans over at rmcr, hence the question. Sanderling certainly has some fans over there though
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 10, 2009, 04:17:09 PM
you might as well write in cyrillic if you're going to speak formally

The Roman letters are more generally legible in this forum.

Quote from: sidoze
get outta town. How is this possible?

The music-making and the sound, chiefly.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: ezodisy on January 10, 2009, 04:19:07 PM
The Roman letters are more generally legible in this forum.

yes but we shall not engage in half-measures, shall we?

Quote
The music-making and the sound, chiefly.

well the sound bit is a little unfair as they seem to have been recordered at different times and in different circumstances. The music-making is something else. I suppose the younger Shostakovich brings out all the horror and pain and humour of these symphonies quite well then?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 10, 2009, 04:26:50 PM
well the sound bit is a little unfair as they seem to have been recordered at different times and in different circumstances.

I don't see where "unfair" enters into it.  You asked how it is possible to prefer one to the other;  this is as objective a measure as one could wish for in such a comparison.  It is one element, but it is an entirely legitimate one.

Quote from: sidoze
The music-making is something else. I suppose the younger Shostakovich brings out all the horror and pain and humour of these symphonies quite well then?

Not merely quite well, but very well, indeed. Is there some reason he should not?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: ezodisy on January 10, 2009, 04:32:42 PM
I don't see where "unfair" enters into it.  You asked how it is possible to prefer one to the other;  this is as objective a measure as one could wish for in such a comparison.  It is one element, but it is an entirely legitimate one.

yes you do have a point. Though if you're going to use sound as part of a preference it might be better not to listen to any historical recordings, of course, otherwise you'll be for ever disappointed. Or at least nothing by early Melodiya. But that is your choice, naturally.

Quote
Not merely quite well, but very well, indeed. Is there some reason he should not?

no, no particular reason. But when you observe discussions on RMCR for years and years, you would expect to see his name mentioned a little more often, as it hardly was at all. After all he was the son of the composer, not exactly someone obscure.

Drasko did you ever hear the Maxim recording?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: vandermolen on January 10, 2009, 05:04:31 PM
I've been doing a parallel survey-listen of the two boxes, Maksim Dmitriyevich (second run-through, as I had picked this one up some time ago) and Kirill Petrovich this week . . . still at it, so I am yet preparing comments.  At this point I have listened to the First through Tenth, and I think it fair to offer the 'preview' remark that, while I certainly enjoy and think very well of the Kondrashin set, I prefer the Shostakovich fils box.

— similarly, Jeffrey, the first symphony I had heard (a couple of years before Supraphon reissued as a box set) was the Fourth, which immediately became my best-regarded recording of that wonderful symphony.

(Dave, I haven't heard the entire Barshai set . . . I think I've heard the First through Sixth, and Thirteenth . . . maybe another or two.  Some aspects of the recording tech is better with Barshai than Kondrashin, but in general I found Kondrashin and his band musically preferable.)

Thanks Karl - that's very helpful and reassuring. I'll post my views when I've heard more of the Supraphon box.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 10, 2009, 05:52:20 PM
Glad to be of some service, Jeffrey.

The Eleventh is a wonderful heart-in-throat slowburn in the Supraphon set.  So much of the first movement is glacially still & hushed (this stuff gives me chills), I fear there must be some noise in the Melodiya (really a drag on the Largo from the Fifth, for instance) . . . but soft!  Mayhap the document will surprise on the upside  8)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Herman on January 10, 2009, 07:01:54 PM
I haven't listened to DSCH symphonies in a long time, but my memories of Mzim Shostokocich' recordings are not too good. Not very driven, not very musical either. Slow. I'm sure Maxim knows his father's music better than anyone, but I didn't get the feeling he can make an orchestra do whatever he wants. The funny thing is I'm reminded of Robert Craft's Stravinsky, another non-conductor (IMO) whom Karl admires while I don't.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on January 10, 2009, 07:22:05 PM
I haven't listened to DSCH symphonies in a long time, but my memories of Mzim Shostokocich' recordings are not too good. Not very driven, not very musical either. Slow. I'm sure Maxim knows his father's music better than anyone, but I didn't get the feeling he can make an orchestra do whatever he wants.

That's not very illuminating considering the memories you're drawing on are from "a long time" ago.

Quote
The funny thing is I'm reminded of Robert Craft's Stravinsky, another non-conductor (IMO) whom Karl admires while I don't.

This one-liner serves what purpose?


Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on January 10, 2009, 07:40:36 PM
no, no particular reason. But when you observe discussions on RMCR for years and years, you would expect to see his name mentioned a little more often, as it hardly was at all.

When did RMCR become the barometer for all things great?

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Herman on January 10, 2009, 07:40:50 PM
That's not very illuminating considering the memories you're drawing on are from "a long time" ago.

This one-liner serves what purpose?

Thanks for your comments. Do you do this a lot?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on January 10, 2009, 07:42:05 PM
Thanks for your comments. Do you do this a lot?

Do what?


Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on January 10, 2009, 07:48:18 PM
I've been contributing to this subject since at least one or two boards ago. This thread included.

As to right now, my queries to you are straight-up.

I question the reliability of criticism that isn't grounded in something more tangible than "old memories".

And the Craft one-liner needs clarification. How does THIS add to the Maxim Shostakovich discussion?

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on January 10, 2009, 09:49:56 PM
I've been doing a parallel survey-listen of the two boxes, Maksim Dmitriyevich (second run-through, as I had picked this one up some time ago) and Kirill Petrovich this week . . . still at it, so I am yet preparing comments.  At this point I have listened to the First through Tenth, and I think it fair to offer the 'preview' remark that, while I certainly enjoy and think very well of the Kondrashin set, I prefer the Shostakovich fils box.

I hope to soon get back to finishing my Kondrashin box for the first time. I doubt I will keep up with your pace, but it would be nice to compare notes along the way.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Herman on January 11, 2009, 01:55:37 AM
I've been contributing to this subject since at least one or two boards ago. This thread included.

As to right now, my queries to you are straight-up.

I question the reliability of criticism that isn't grounded in something more tangible than "old memories".

And the Craft one-liner needs clarification. How does THIS add to the Maxim Shostakovich discussion?

I wouldn't be surprised if many comments and opinions on these boards are based on listening we did a couple years ago. If ever single opinion was based on last-minute in-depth listening noone would be able to post and hold a job at the same time. Actually I think some of this "I just heard this and it's fantastic" stuff is not very valuable either.

Apart from that I would 'question the reliability' of any kind of criticism anyway. People have different ears and expectations. There have only been a few times I purchased a record after reading a rave here and not wondering what the fuss was all about. However, as much as I question other posters' enthusiasms I happen to think it doesn't work very well to challenge people the way you do. I don't think that's the idea of GMG. The idea would probably be: "Maxim didn't do it for you? Too bad. To me he's fine, and I'll tell you why."

Re: Craft. I'm not entirely sure how Karl listens to these symphonies. Perhaps perusing the scores meanwhile? Obviously I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that. it's just that I have a feeling listening to these IMO less than visionary conductors with the score in hand offers a kind of satsfacttion not available to listeners without a score. However this is just speculation.

This is all useless talk, though: if Karl likes Maxim S better than Kondrashin, I'm happy for him.

And if you find my contributions unilluminating, or not as illuminating as your own, just skip 'em. There's probably something in the GMG guidelines to that effect.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: The new erato on January 11, 2009, 02:45:16 AM

I haven't heard the, um, Maks(?)im Dmitriyevich set, but it doesn't have many if any fans over at rmcr, hence the question. Sanderling certainly has some fans over there though
According to a recent Gramophone survey; Maxim's 15th is the best there is.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: ezodisy on January 11, 2009, 02:59:34 AM
When did RMCR become the barometer for all things great?



I may have overstressed it, true, it's just that they have far more experience than we do, so much it sometimes borders on the ridiculous (some of those guys have so many LPs in their houses that they can't even get out the door). Don't intend to mention it again however, once is enough.

According to a recent Gramophone survey; Maxim's 15th is the best there is.

well I don't mean to say that just because the whole set is rarely mentioned it must be a dud. Was just surprised by the comment. Like Herman I haven't listened to Shostakovich in ages (aside from the 4th and 15th it's been several years). Not on the horizon again either, so I'm outta here and will stfu now. Erato do you have Gramophone's recommendations for the 4th and 8th? Cheers. But of course there's no such thing as "the best" and for the sake of the survival of their magazine they should never use that word. Just another reason why forums are so much more enjoyable than professional magazines
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on January 11, 2009, 03:52:47 AM
According to a recent Gramophone survey; Maxim's 15th is the best there is.

Are you sure they are not referring the the (slightly mythical) Melodiya recording - and not the Supraphon one?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on January 11, 2009, 04:26:39 AM
How interesting!

Speaking of Bychkov, apparently he's embarking on a complete cycle for Avie. Can't confirm that but the signs seem to point to it. Should be interesting.

I have yet to sample his fourth on disc -- but in concert (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2008/01/when-heldenleben-orchestra-stops-at.html) it was little short of awesome. The DSCH recordings I have of him (although not yet sampled in depth) are well above average. More bombastic than Barshai's cutting, chilling (not to be mistaken for the Haitink-clean-yet-sumptuous way) recordings.

So much choice, these days, when you also consider Kitajenko... (and almost not to mention Caetani and the MDG cycle from Bonn - both of which have gotten rather mixed reviews.)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: The new erato on January 11, 2009, 04:27:42 AM
Are you sure they are not referring the the (slightly mythical) Melodiya recording - and not the Supraphon one?
Yes. But I don't have time to retrieve the magazine (need to walk the dog), it's in a comparative review done sometime during 2008.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 11, 2009, 06:16:04 AM
So much choice, these days, when you also consider Kitajenko...

I keep eyeing that box at JPC...only €29 for 12 SACDs! Reviews have been mixed. ClassicsToday praised it for the beauty of the lyrical episodes while damning it for playing down the barbaric and sarcastic elements. Your thoughts, Jens? (I couldn't find a review at IONARTS, just this mention of it while you were discussing Prokofiev cycles: "Kitajenko has put down a new cycle (Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne, Phoenix Edition) which, if it is as good as his Shostakovich cycle (Capriccio), will be a hot item.")

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on January 11, 2009, 06:26:38 AM
I keep eyeing that box at JPC...only €29 for 12 SACDs! Reviews have been mixed. ClassicsToday praised it for the beauty of the lyrical episodes while damning it for playing down the barbaric and sarcastic elements. Your thoughts, Jens? (I couldn't find a review at IONARTS, just this mention of it while you were discussing Prokofiev cycles: "Kitajenko has put down a new cycle (Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne, Phoenix Edition) which, if it is as good as his Shostakovich cycle (Capriccio), will be a hot item.")
Sarge

Problem is that I don't have it at hand and have never done comparative listening. I remember the 5th being a total dud (who cares - we have loads of 5th on our shelves, no?) and the others to be uniformly excellent. I don't remember biting sarcasm, so ClassicsToday may be right on that, but obviously do remember being very happy with what I had. A flowing 8th that didn't drag, very musical 7th (more "Neuschnee" than "Schneematsch", though, if you know what I mean), for example. Would I recommend it? Absolutely. Can I speak to it with sufficient authority at this point? Not quite.
  (http://lh6.google.de/flussziege/R1VpOiDmVGI/AAAAAAAAFH0/HHB4yjw5ku8/s400/4705_Neuschnee_041207.JPG)
  (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3148/3063459599_f60c7d6c19.jpg?v=0)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 11, 2009, 06:57:39 AM
Would I recommend it? Absolutely. Can I speak to it with sufficient authority at this point? Not quite.

Thank you. I will buy it even though I don't really need another Shostakovich box right now. I already own Jansons, Barshai and Rostropovich plus most of Rozhdestvensky and Haitink's cycles (the CDs purchased individually during the 90s). But that price is too good to pass up. I know if I wait, it will disappear. And besides, CD purchasing is never about need; it's about want  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on January 11, 2009, 07:18:57 AM
And besides, CD purchasing is never about need; it's about want  ;D

Sarge

You ain't kiddin'  :)

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on January 11, 2009, 09:51:34 AM
However, as much as I question other posters' enthusiasms I happen to think it doesn't work very well to challenge people the way you do. I don't think that's the idea of GMG.

It really all depends on the intent - or force - of the original message. When someone comes on so strong - as you did with your Maxim comments - it's perfectly natural to expect equally strong rebuttal. I certainly don't enjoy this. But it most definitely IS part of GMG.

Quote
And if you find my contributions unilluminating, or not as illuminating as your own, just skip 'em. There's probably something in the GMG guidelines to that effect.

I trust you'll remember this the next time a GMG "Listening Group" thread fires up. ;) 0:)


Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on January 11, 2009, 10:17:25 AM
I have yet to sample his fourth on disc -- but in concert (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2008/01/when-heldenleben-orchestra-stops-at.html) it was little short of awesome. The DSCH recordings I have of him (although not yet sampled in depth) are well above average. More bombastic than Barshai's cutting, chilling (not to be mistaken for the Haitink-clean-yet-sumptuous way) recordings.

So much choice, these days, when you also consider Kitajenko... (and almost not to mention Caetani and the MDG cycle from Bonn - both of which have gotten rather mixed reviews.)

Yes, some of Bychkov's old BPO Shostakovich (on Philips) is worthwhile, too. Not often we get the chance (on disc) to hear this orchestra in Shsotakovich.


Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 11, 2009, 11:49:42 AM
Re: Craft. I'm not entirely sure how Karl listens to these symphonies. Perhaps perusing the scores meanwhile?

Not never, but hardly ever.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 11, 2009, 11:51:16 AM
I hope to soon get back to finishing my Kondrashin box for the first time. I doubt I will keep up with your pace, but it would be nice to compare notes along the way.

For me, as well, George.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 11, 2009, 11:53:41 AM
Quote from: karlhenning
Not never, but hardly ever.

To clarify:  Most of my score-reading is not while listening;  most of my listening is attentive not divided by following the score in real time.

I do find it a valuable exercise to follow a score while listening to a piece, but this is quite a small fraction of either activity.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Herman on January 11, 2009, 12:46:55 PM
So we just happen to like different types of conductors sometimes.

My guess is the conductors union is very happy with this.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 11, 2009, 01:02:12 PM
So we just happen to like different types of conductors sometimes.

Which is normal; we ain't sheep but individuals. If Karl is the lone evangelist for Maxim, I might be Rostropovich's John the Baptist (no one else on this forum admits to owning his Shostakovich cycle anyway). The forum needs folks like Karl and me...way too many Kondrashinites around here  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on January 11, 2009, 01:11:38 PM
Which is normal; we ain't sheep but individuals. If Karl is the lone evangelist for Maxim, I might be Rostropovich's John the Baptist (no one else on this forum admits to owning his Shostakovich cycle anyway).
I, for one, wouldn't be caught dead with it, in the darkest of nights.   ;D

(I do have his Violin Concertos [with Vengerov], though, which I consider must-have material.)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 11, 2009, 01:14:35 PM
I, for one, wouldn't be caught dead with it, in the darkest of nights.   ;D

Exaclty what I said..all by my lonesome in the wilderness, crying the gospel of Rostropovich   ;)

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Renfield on January 11, 2009, 01:15:23 PM
Which is normal; we ain't sheep but individuals. If Karl is the lone evangelist for Maxim, I might be Rostropovich's John the Baptist (no one else on this forum admits to owning his Shostakovich cycle anyway). The forum needs folks like Karl and me...way too many Kondrashinites around here  ;D

Sarge

What does that make me!? I admire Shostakovich Jr's cycle and own the Rostropovitch. :o

Although truth be told, I've never listened to it - this due to it having been behind in Crete after I bought it while I was in the process of moving to Athens, ca. 2006. And the Kondrashin, Jansons, Shostakovich Jr., Haitink, and also-barely-listened-to Barshai have meant my hands were full enough for me to live without it. Should I pursue its recovery and dispatch to Scotland?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 11, 2009, 01:16:36 PM
(I do have his Violin Concertos, though, which I consider must-have material.)

With Vengerov? Yes, great performances.

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Christo on January 11, 2009, 01:22:04 PM
And besides, CD purchasing is never about need; it's about want  ;D

That's a real eye-opener to most of us here!  8)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 11, 2009, 01:46:53 PM
What does that make me!? I admire Shostakovich Jr's cycle and own the Rostropovitch. :o

I have no idea!!!  :o :o :o  You are an unusual dude  ;)  I want Junior's box too (not only because of Karl's advocacy but because the reviews, even the negative reviews, make it sound intriguing). But the price has been a barrier.

Quote
Should I pursue its recovery and dispatch to Scotland?

I hate making recommendations because my taste in music is rather odd (as I've discovered in these forums). I love 1, 2 and 3 (he almost convinces me the Third is actually good music rather than the trash it really is...that's a remarkable achievement!). His Fourth isn't among my absolute favorites but definitely scores with me. His Fifth (along with Bernstein live in Tokyo) is my favorite Fifth. The Sixth is a major disappointment; his Seventh failed to convince (but then no one's Seventh has convinced me that this is anything more than wartime propoganda schlock. Bernstein/Chicago awaits in the wings, ready to prove me wrong). His Eighth is solid and moving. I can't recall the Ninth but the Tenth disappointed. His 11th, 12th and 14th are stunning. His 15th a dud. Sanderling/Cleveland's 15th sweeps all before it; no one else is in the running...not in my Shosty race anyway  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 11, 2009, 01:47:56 PM
That's a real eye-opener to most of us here!  8)

I have a genius for stating the obvious  :D

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Renfield on January 11, 2009, 03:30:27 PM
I have no idea!!!  :o :o :o  You are an unusual dude  ;)  I want Junior's box too (not only because of Karl's advocacy but because the reviews, even the negative reviews, make it sound intriguing). But the price has been a barrier.

Really? I remember picking it up ridiculously cheaply in Athens, a couple of years ago - in the region of €20! And intriguing is certainly a word for it.


I hate making recommendations because my taste in music is rather odd (as I've discovered in these forums). I love 1, 2 and 3 (he almost convinces me the Third is actually good music rather than the trash it really is...that's a remarkable achievement!). His Fourth isn't among my absolute favorites but definitely scores with me. His Fifth (along with Bernstein live in Tokyo) is my favorite Fifth. The Sixth is a major disappointment; his Seventh failed to convince (but then no one's Seventh has convinced me that this is anything more than wartime propoganda schlock. Bernstein/Chicago awaits in the wings, ready to prove me wrong). His Eighth is solid and moving. I can't recall the Ninth but the Tenth disappointed. His 11th, 12th and 14th are stunning. His 15th a dud. Sanderling/Cleveland's 15th sweeps all before it; no one else is in the running...not in my Shosty race anyway  ;D

So we have a very good 5th, a good 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 8th, 11th, 12th, 14th, a bad 6th, 7th, 10th, 15th, and the 9th and 13th are AWOL.


I do have Rostropovitch's later 11th, which I quite like. Maybe I should contact the parent unit and request dispatch...

(In fact, I had forgotten about that set, or I might have asked them to send it over earlier. It's almost strange I'd left it behind, to begin with.)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 11, 2009, 03:31:45 PM
Thank you. I will buy it even though I don't really need another Shostakovich box right now. I already own Jansons, Barshai and Rostropovich plus most of Rozhdestvensky and Haitink's cycles (the CDs purchased individually during the 90s). But that price is too good to pass up. I know if I wait, it will disappear. And besides, CD purchasing is never about need; it's about want  ;D

Sarge - will be lookin' forward to your comments on the set contemplated - just have Barshai as a complete set so far (plus a bunch of other players in many other performances) - would like a second comparison 'complete' set - thanks for any input provided in the future!  Dave  :D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Renfield on January 11, 2009, 03:35:20 PM
Sarge - will be lookin' forward to your comments on the set contemplated - just have Barshai as a complete set so far (plus a bunch of other players in many other performances) - would like a second comparison 'complete' set - thanks for any input provided in the future!  Dave  :D

Dave, suffice to say you can confidently purchase any one among Kondrashin's, Shostakovich Jr's or Jansons' cycles with the weight of the recommendations of at least a group of GMG posters (likely different for each). ;)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 11, 2009, 03:45:06 PM
Really? I remember picking it up ridiculously cheaply in Athens, a couple of years ago - in the region of €20! And intriguing is certainly a word for it.

Alas, I've never visited Greece (I rarely travel south, preferring more northerly climes). It remains expensive elsewhere...well, not really expensive but double or triple the price of Barshai or Kitajenko. Expensive enough to make me hesitate anyway.


Quote
So we have a very good 5th, a good 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 8th, 11th, 12th, 14th, a bad 6th, 7th, 10th, 15th, and the 9th and 13th are AWOL.

If you are to believe me...which I urge you not to do  ;)

His 13th I love but I see it has mixed reviews. The 9th, yes, is AWOL (thank you for the military metaphor  8) )  I should listen to that tomorrow.


Quote
I do have Rostropovitch's later 11th, which I quite like.

Yes, a smashing (literally) recording. I should compare it to the earlier.

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 11, 2009, 03:53:20 PM
Dave, suffice to say you can confidently purchase any one among Kondrashin's, Shostakovich Jr's or Jansons' cycles with the weight of the recommendations of at least a group of GMG posters (likely different for each). ;)

Yep, LOL!  ;D  Took me probably a year on this thread to pick up the Barshai, and the other three mentioned above have been 'pounding' in my mind as an additional option, then the Kitajenko performances on Capriccio suddenly appeared in the 'mix' - guess I can wait a little longer?  ;)  :)  Dave
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 11, 2009, 04:07:50 PM
Yep, LOL!  ;D  Took me probably a year on this thread to pick up the Barshai, and the other three mentioned above have been 'pounding' in my mind as an additional option, then the Kitajenko performances on Capriccio suddenly appeared in the 'mix' - guess I can wait a little longer?  ;)  :)  Dave

Let me add Rozhdestvensky to the mix (just to make your life more complicated  ;D )  If there were a box set available, he would be my first choice (despite the less than ideal sonics). So my advice is: wait for it  ;)

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: vandermolen on January 11, 2009, 04:25:17 PM
Thanks guys for the views on Maxim Shostakovich's Supraphon box. I think that I opened up Pandora's box when I asked the question  ;D

I have the box but have only heard No 4, which I though excellent. The old EMI/Melodiya No 15 was better than any I have heard since (especially the troubled/touching ending). I don't think that there is a mythology about this performance - it is simply a great one and cries out for a CD release.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 11, 2009, 04:37:34 PM

Dave, suffice to say you can confidently purchase any one among Kondrashin's, Shostakovich Jr's or Jansons' cycles with the weight of the recommendations of at least a group of GMG posters (likely different for each). ;)

Yep, LOL!  ;D  Took me probably a year on this thread to pick up the Barshai, and the other three mentioned above have been 'pounding' in my mind as an additional option, then the Kitajenko performances on Capriccio suddenly appeared in the 'mix' - guess I can wait a little longer?  ;)  :)  Dave

I haven't quite heard all of the Jansons set, but everything I have heard is very good (in particular the Tenth, Fifteenth & Eighth . . . in fact, his is about my favorite Tenth, but then, of course, I am eccentric in not thinking all that highly of the HvK . . . .)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on January 11, 2009, 04:43:51 PM
Let me add Rozhdestvensky to the mix (just to make your life more complicated  ;D )  If there were a box set available, he would be my first choice (despite the less than ideal sonics). So my advice is: wait for it  ;)

Sarge

Better hope they have two copies, Dave, cause I'm gettin' the first one!!  $:)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on January 11, 2009, 04:45:30 PM
Thanks guys for the views on Maxim Shostakovich's Supraphon box. I think that I opened up Pandora's box when I asked the question  ;D

No worries, this is GMG, where pandora's box lies around every corner.  ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 11, 2009, 04:46:10 PM
Sarge & Renfield, I am waxing curious about the Slava set.  The only one I've heard (and maybe this isn't even a part of the set under advisement) was the Fourth, decades ago, and . . . I only remember incomprehension, frankly.  So I owe him a fresh listen.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 11, 2009, 04:46:44 PM
No worries, this is GMG, where pandora's box lies around every corner.  ;D

If you never open a Pandora's box here, Jack, you dead!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Renfield on January 11, 2009, 04:53:15 PM
Sarge & Renfield, I am waxing curious about the Slava set.  The only one I've heard (and maybe this isn't even a part of the set under advisement) was the Fourth, decades ago, and . . . I only remember incomprehension, frankly.  So I owe him a fresh listen.

The LSO Live 11th I've heard is certainly excellent.

I wouldn't rank it higher than the crystal-clear Bychkov, or Mravinsky - also Kondrashin, maybe - but it's an individual, atmospheric, emotive, genuinely heartfelt performance backed by wonderful orchestral playing. "Big-band Shostakovich", if you will.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 11, 2009, 04:57:28 PM
Better hope they have two copies, Dave, cause I'm gettin' the first one!!  $:)

George - LOL yet again!  ;D  I can 'hold off' a while, after just digesting my first listening of the Barshai box set - superb!  I'll await some more comments on the Kitajenko performances on Capriccio, then will see what prices are offered!  (hey, didn't you & I go through this conundrum w/ the Beethoven-Annie Fischer recordings -  ;)) - have a great evening, buddy - Dave  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on January 11, 2009, 05:15:15 PM
George - LOL yet again!  ;D  I can 'hold off' a while, after just digesting my first listening of the Barshai box set - superb!  I'll await some more comments on the Kitajenko performances on Capriccio, then will see what prices are offered!  (hey, didn't you & I go through this conundrum w/ the Beethoven-Annie Fischer recordings -  ;)) - have a great evening, buddy - Dave  :)

Yes, we did. One day you will all find out that I am secretly the assistant VP of promotion over at Hungaroton. :D

You have a great night too!  :)

This is way more fun than the Golden Globes!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 11, 2009, 05:25:35 PM
The LSO Live 11th I've heard is certainly excellent.

I wouldn't rank it higher than the crystal-clear Bychkov, or Mravinsky - also Kondrashin, maybe - but it's an individual, atmospheric, emotive, genuinely heartfelt performance backed by wonderful orchestral playing. "Big-band Shostakovich", if you will.


Agree...and I will compare it to the performance in the box (with the National SO) tomorrow (oh, my...it is tomorrow already in my neck of the woods  ;D )

Rostropovich's Fifth is a great performance too but it is overtly political. Karl, if you think music can't be political...well, just listen to those closing pages! We know that Shostakovich composed the Fifth in responce to politically motivated criticism (the Fourth disappeared for many years as a result). The finale is, on the surface, one of unalloyed Soviet triumph. But some think Shostakovich deliberately wrote a subversive subtext into the score for those with the ears to hear. Rostropovich makes it obvious: the closing pages are not triumphant but hectoring, and damning. It's the polar opposite interpretation of, for example, Bernstein's (whose performance Shostakovich praised). Take your pick between the two interpretive extremes: come away smiling, or intensely disturbed.

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on January 11, 2009, 05:27:37 PM
Which Rostropovich 5 are you referring to, Sarge? The live one or the studio one from the set?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 11, 2009, 05:30:16 PM
Which Rostropovich 5 are you referring to, Sarge? The live one or the studio one from the set?

Studio, with the National SO. I haven't heard the live one.

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on January 11, 2009, 05:32:18 PM
When you get a chance, can you post the timings, Sarge?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 11, 2009, 06:20:51 PM
When you get a chance, can you post the timings, Sarge?

Sure, George. Shostakovich 5, Rostropovich conducting the National Symphony Orchestra:

I    14:54
II   5:27
III  12:49
IV   12:04


Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on January 11, 2009, 06:58:32 PM
Sure, George. Shostakovich 5, Rostropovich conducting the National Symphony Orchestra:

     Studio  Live LSO 2004
I    14:54    15:39
II     5:27     5:47
III  12:49   12:39
IV   12:04  12:52


Sarge

I added the live ones next to yours. Very similar. Thanks!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on January 12, 2009, 03:50:18 AM
Let me add Rozhdestvensky to the mix (just to make your life more complicated  ;D )  If there were a box set available, he would be my first choice (despite the less than ideal sonics). So my advice is: wait for it  ;)

Seeing that Melodiya is back in business, I am certainly hoping for a re-issue on that front! Would be most exciting, if nothing else.


Rostropovich's Fifth is a great performance too but it is overtly political. Karl, if you think music can't be political...well, just listen to those closing pages! We know that Shostakovich composed the Fifth in responce to politically motivated criticism (the Fourth disappeared for many years as a result). The finale is, on the surface, one of unalloyed Soviet triumph. But some think Shostakovich deliberately wrote a subversive subtext into the score for those with the ears to hear. Rostropovich makes it obvious: the closing pages are not triumphant but hectoring, and damning. It's the polar opposite interpretation of, for example, Bernstein's (whose performance Shostakovich praised). Take your pick between the two interpretive extremes: come away smiling, or intensely disturbed.

To simplify: Slava was a hack who pretended to be best buddies with DSCH and milked the Volkov-interpretation because it made him money and gave him fame. The Saintification of DSCH by profiteers like Rostropovich really gets my goad. I don't understand it when someone like Ashkenazy does it, but him I am willing to believe and listen to and respect immensely, even if I'm not sure whether to take his opinion over others, that are at least equally, probably more, informed... because Ashkenazy never did any posturing as a DSCH-apostle and never tried to ride the DSCH-the-anti-communist-hero-money-train. He simply feels strongly about the issue, having experienced the regime first hand. But then listen to Jansons talk about DSCH, and your ears will fall off. Or talk to any Russian willing to give you the honest perception of DSCH from the 70s 'til the fall of the SU. Just on account of his actions, stripped of the myth of a secret resistance fighter hiding in every slow movement, he makes Richard Strauss (re: collaboration with totalitarianism) look like a saint. Sure, Strauss only had to endure 12 years of it, DSCH almost his entire life. But still.

I'm not saying that DSCH was the opposite of what his apologists claim he was. In fact, I think his music (the finale of the 4th and 15th Symphony, most of the string quartets) occasionally speaks a language that's hard to interpret other than critical of the SU & Stalin. But I do wish to caution against the likes of Volkov and Slava (and Maxim, although he holds back considerably, these days) and an all-too-simplistic idea of whenever DSCH composed the most propagandistic works, that he was really only being ironic and all clever about it.

Well... those are my two intemperate two cents.  >:D

The LSO Live 11th I've heard is certainly excellent.

My problem with the recording (and it may well just be that particular recording -- the hybrid-SACD version) is that I don't hear it. It's recorded at such a low level, I literally don't hear anything unless I crank it up some 400% (!!!) higher than I have to with any other discs. If I were to keep it at that level, the climaxes would be too loud...  but not by much. Which speaks to the recording's wide dynamic range (laudable in principle), but moreso to a freakishly low level. Hard to believe as it may be, it must/may be a flaw only with that particular disc... since I've not heard anyone else complain about something that should be very obvious.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: ezodisy on January 12, 2009, 04:10:48 AM
My problem with the recording (and it may well just be that particular recording -- the hybrid-SACD version) is that I don't hear it. It's recorded at such a low level, I literally don't hear anything unless I crank it up some 400% (!!!) higher than I have to with any other discs. If I were to keep it at that level, the climaxes would be too loud...  but not by much. Which speaks to the recording's wide dynamic range (laudable in principle), but moreso to a freakishly low level. Hard to believe as it may be, it must/may be a flaw only with that particular disc... since I've not heard anyone else complain about something that should be very obvious.

I think it's an LSO thing because I had it with the Davis Berlioz Damnation of Faust recording, very low levels which made listening a right nuisance.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 12, 2009, 04:56:00 AM
. . . In fact, I think his music (the finale of the 4th and 15th Symphony, most of the string quartets) occasionally speaks a language that's hard to interpret other than critical of the SU & Stalin.

When you get specific like this, I think you get out of your text to some degree, Jens.  The chill at the end of the Fourth, after the over-effulgent brass, certainly it's a response to the Terror.  But "critical of the SU & Stalin" is imagining that the music has an explicative capacity which it don't.  Leave the music be itself;  it's time we stopped having people treat it as a Rorschach carrying their own wilful meanings.

As itself, the music is marvelous.  I know, I know:  for many people that is somehow not enough.

PS./ I'm sure you were deliberately exaggerative of Slava, but a chap like you running down an actual artist who, critiques of his conducting aside, is the individual largely responsible for such gems in the literature as the Cello Concerti Opp. 107 & 126, and the Blok romances for soprano & piano trio Opus 127, is a little unseemly.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on January 12, 2009, 05:09:03 AM
When you get specific like this, I think you get out of your text to some degree, Jens.  The chill at the end of the Fourth, after the over-effulgent brass, certainly it's a response to the Terror.  But "critical of the SU & Stalin" is imagining that the music has an explicative capacity which it don't. 

d'accord! would criticize the statement myself, had it not been me to make it.  ;)

PS./ I'm sure you were deliberately exaggerative of Slava,

Correct.

Quote from: karlhenning
but a chap like you running down an actual artist who, critiques of his conducting aside, is the individual largely responsible for such gems in the literature as the Cello Concerti Opp. 107 & 126, and the Blok romances for soprano & piano trio Opus 127, is a little unseemly.

Ah, the old trap of who has a "right" to criticize. Good thing we don't live in a world where only "actual artists" have a right to run their mouth about other "actual artists" -- and only "actual doctors" have the right criticize other "actual doctors" -- and only "actual politicians" have the right to criticize other "actual politicians". No, actual doctors are better off removing tumors, politicians are better off  f-ing up the economic sphere with hyperactive interventionism, and artists are better off practicing, instead. For the critiques, there's a specialized sub-cast -- the carrion ants of the arts- (or political) world: Critics. By which I include everyone, not just professionals. And surely the level of compositions dedicated to Rostropovich does not immunize him to criticism of character (or anything else), does it?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 12, 2009, 06:10:29 AM
Rostropovich's Fifth is a great performance too but it is overtly political. Karl, if you think music can't be political...well, just listen to those closing pages! We know that Shostakovich composed the Fifth in responce to politically motivated criticism (the Fourth disappeared for many years as a result). The finale is, on the surface, one of unalloyed Soviet triumph. But some think Shostakovich deliberately wrote a subversive subtext into the score for those with the ears to hear. Rostropovich makes it obvious: the closing pages are not triumphant but hectoring, and damning. It's the polar opposite interpretation of, for example, Bernstein's (whose performance Shostakovich praised). Take your pick between the two interpretive extremes: come away smiling, or intensely disturbed.

Sarge, we probably share a high estimation of Slava as an artist, although even in my limited experience, I’ve found him mixed as a conductor (though, as mentioned, I’d be curious to revisit a certain recording of the Opus 43).  Mixed or not, on Billy Wilder’s principle of You’re as good as the best thing you’ve done, perhaps the only recording I have which is conducted by Slava is the landmark Ledi Makbet;  and that performance is not the work of any “hack.”

Much of the great music in the world sustains a range of interpretation, and though the composer certainly created the score, I don’t know if it is quite right to take it as meaning that everything within that range was the composer’s specific intent – and I think we can fall into error if we focus on one corner of that range as necessarily his intent.

I wasn’t there in 1937, so there are lots of questions unanswered for me, and I have no great problem with the fact that not all my questions will be answered.  Slava may believe that the finale of the Opus 47 is a political statement; it is certainly possible to conduct it in such a way.  And such a performance (as within the range of plausible interpretation) can be convincing, and there can be accompanying text to explicate the theory of the finale as a political statement.  But for myself, I stop shy of endorsing all that as “meaning” that that “must have been” Shostakovich’s intent.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Herman on January 12, 2009, 06:25:45 AM
To simplify: Slava was a hack who pretended to be best buddies with DSCH and milked the Volkov-interpretation because it made him money and gave him fame. The Saintification of DSCH by profiteers like Rostropovich really gets my goad.

Personally I don't really need all the political baggage some people are dumping on DSCH's music. That being said your simplification is reprehensible.

Why don't you just say I disagree with R.?

Who on earth are you to call Rostropovich a hack and a profiteer? Please get a little perspective. In comparison you're just a little ant on the internet. You should be grateful to R. for getting your goat; otherwise you would have to get mad at the gas prices or something.

Quote
Critics. By which I include everyone, not just professionals.

That's just emptying yet another word of its meaning. Everybody has an opinion, usually ill-informed. A critic is expected to be better informed, and have better sense than you just did. No big deal; I really don't see why everybody and his dog wants to call himself a critic. It's a mostly thankless job.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 12, 2009, 06:27:39 AM
Oh! And FWIW . . . the finale of the Fifth Symphony (just that one movement) is the first Shostakovich I ever heard, and in what many might find curious circumstances.

It was one of the big numbers (in transcription, necessarily) for our regional (or all-state, I forget just which at this point) symphonic band one year.  I didn't play it;  we were always divided into a 'best of' Wind Ensemble, and the larger Symphonic Band, and I was playing in the W.E. that time.  So the concert at which they played the program was the first I knew of it . . . I missed any background &c. which the Symph. Band conductor may have offered my fellow pupils in rehearsal.

So . . . I found it an exciting (and inspiring) piece of music, even without any background (real or imputed) to the piece.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on January 12, 2009, 07:08:05 AM
Why don't you just say I disagree with R.?
next time.

Who on earth are you to call Rostropovich a hack and a profiteer? Please get a little perspective. In comparison you're just a little ant on the internet.
Perspective and being an ant (or not a professional critic) has nothing to do with it. I didn't demand you take my opinion to heart or seriously, nor my simplifications as gospel. Similarly I don't expect you to ask of me that I don't have one or that I don't pronounce it. Certainly in a forum like this, even the least 'credible' opinion has its right to exist and need not wrestle for its justification.

Quote
Critics. By which I include everyone, not just professionals.
That's just emptying yet another word of its meaning. Everybody has an opinion, usually ill-informed. A critic is expected to be better informed, and have better sense than you just did. No big deal; I really don't see why everybody and his dog wants to call himself a critic. It's a mostly thankless job.

"Critic" served a definition of an action, not a class of professionals in this case, which is why I clarified. The act of criticizing (whether modestly or over the top) is not the prerogative of professional critics. (Being actually listened to, might be.) If it were, only Critics could criticize other critics, I suppose. Surely we wouldn't much like that?!


You should be grateful to R. for getting your goat;...

Goad (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/goad), not Goat (http://www.atelierkreativ.de/paintings/Ziege%2065x50.jpg). A difference I must insist upon.

otherwise you would have to get mad at the gas prices or something.

That's PRECISELY  (http://www.atlantic-community.org/index/Open_Think_Tank_Article/Biofuel_for_Thought)what  (http://www.forbes.com/opinions/2008/12/31/energy-carbon-climate-oped-cx_jfl_gap_1231laursonpieler.html)I (http://www.ia-forum.org/Content/ViewInternalDocument.cfm?ContentID=5421) do (http://www.ipi.org/ipi/IPIPressReleases.nsf/0/c65f4158b27ce40f8525714c004f8981?OpenDocument) when I'm not bitching about Slava.

My last word on Rostropovich (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=116) - warts & glory - for now.




Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: ezodisy on January 12, 2009, 08:31:58 AM
I (http://www.ia-forum.org/Content/ViewInternalDocument.cfm?ContentID=5421)

"Surely it's time to realize that 21st century foreign policy demands linkage between internal politics and external relations as never before."

I don't know about that. It sounds a little too close to more of the same policing/exporting-US-values that is already rather repugnant. But perhaps you didn't mean that. I remember someone here during the conflict with Georgia was going on and on about how Russia was trying to seize control of all the pipelines (well the person in question was only aware of 1 of them actually) and that was quite easily debunked, which of course isn't the same as saying that they wouldn't like to, just that they couldn't. Anyway I think "piracy" is a bit too much. They often have a point in what they're doing even if it's not apparent or particularly sensible. That article however doesn't have much of a point, other than just saying some rather negative things, unless I'm missing something in it.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on January 12, 2009, 09:06:08 AM
"Surely it's time to realize that 21st century foreign policy demands linkage between internal politics and external relations as never before."

I don't know about that. It sounds a little too close to more of the same policing/exporting-US-values that is already rather repugnant. But perhaps you didn't mean that. I remember someone here during the conflict with Georgia was going on and on about how Russia was trying to seize control of all the pipelines (well the person in question was only aware of 1 of them actually) and that was quite easily debunked, which of course isn't the same as saying that they wouldn't like to, just that they couldn't. Anyway I think "piracy" is a bit too much. They often have a point in what they're doing even if it's not apparent or particularly sensible. That article however doesn't have much of a point, other than just saying some rather negative things, unless I'm missing something in it.

 This is going to get very off-topic... if we were to continue this, we should probably have it moved to a separate thread. But very briefly: I don't find the values of freedom and democracy repugnant -- and those are the ones I mean. Of course the US is a highly flawed country, but there cannot be a moral equivalence between a country like the US and a country like Russia or Zimbabwe. It is, and in that sense I'll stick to the point I was trying to make, not only within the right but a duty of countries that enjoy freedom to point out where such freedoms are not granted.  Also: the article is from 2006, so the Georgia problem had not been on the horizon. I deal with that elsewhere (http://www.forbes.com/2008/08/25/russia-ossetia-gergiev-oped-cx_jfl_gap_0826georgiaart.html).

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 12, 2009, 09:34:14 AM
Well... those are my two intemperate two cents.  >:D

More than two cents, I'd figure  ;D  I didn't live in Soviet Union, I never met any of these folks. Any comment I could make on their motives and motivation would be pure conjecture. My point was, though, that the Fifth can be interpreted and performed as a subversive political statement, and that's what Rostropovich did (at a time, 1983, when it was still relevant). Whether Shostakovich meant it to be subversive, I (we) have no way of knowing for sure. Doesn't really matter now though. They're all dead (Slava, Dmitri, Uncle Joe...and the Soviet empire).

My problem with the recording....It's recorded at such a low level, I literally don't hear anything unless I crank it up some 400% (!!!) higher than I have to with any other discs. If I were to keep it at that level, the climaxes would be too loud...

Hence my earlier comment:

Yes, a smashing (literally) recording.

I have the CD (not the SACD) and yes, the recording has a huge dynamic range which just verges on the point of being too wide. I live in my own house with neighbors at a considerable distance, so this isn't a problem...although my ears occasionally complain.

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: ezodisy on January 12, 2009, 09:37:04 AM
okay I won't drag it out, especially not now the word 'moral' has come up, which must be the most appalling and manipulated word in the English (or American) language. I like the values of freedom and democracy too, which is why I stay in Europe, sort of  8)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on January 12, 2009, 10:32:32 AM
PS./ I'm sure you were deliberately exaggerative of Slava, but a chap like you running down an actual artist who, critiques of his conducting aside, is the individual largely responsible for such gems in the literature as the Cello Concerti Opp. 107 & 126, and the Blok romances for soprano & piano trio Opus 127, is a little unseemly.

I dislike the running-down of Slava in the mentioned post not so much because he was responsible for gems in the literature, as because it misreads him in a moral sense. Slava was an immensely privileged guy who was willing to take on the authorities, and in the course of that, lose all the privileges he had acquired in the USSR. How many of us would be able to do such a thing?

"Surely it's time to realize that 21st century foreign policy demands linkage between internal politics and external relations as never before."

I don't know about that. It sounds a little too close to more of the same policing/exporting-US-values that is already rather repugnant.

Agreed. I like how that noted foreign policy expert Ezra Pound expressed it:  "The principle of good is enunciated by Confucius; it consists in establishing order within oneself. This order or harmony spreads by a sort of contagion without specific effort. The principle of evil consists in messing into other peoples’ affairs."
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 12, 2009, 10:34:42 AM
I dislike the running-down of Slava in the mentioned post not so much because he was responsible for gems in the literature, as because it misreads him in a moral sense. Slava was an immensely privileged guy who was willing to take on the authorities, and in the course of that, lose all the privileges he had acquired in the USSR. How many of us would be able to do such a thing?

An excellent point, too.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on January 12, 2009, 11:10:43 AM
Agreed. I like how that noted foreign policy expert Ezra Pound expressed it:  "The principle of good is enunciated by Confucius; it consists in establishing order within oneself. This order or harmony spreads by a sort of contagion without specific effort. The principle of evil consists in messing into other peoples’ affairs."
That's easy to say, until you are faced with -- extreme 1940's example alarm -- the Holocaust happening in some other country, i.e. Germany.. Or, less extreme, take South Africa / Zimbabwe. Ezra Pound won't be appreciated by the many suffering or even dying Zimbabweans who continue to languish because SA closes its eyes before the oppression in its neighbor country. Surely SA hasn't got its own act together in many ways, but are you saying that one moral principle -- that of "not messing in other people's affairs" overrides the principle of involvement to prevent evil? Does it mean that it is the moral option to close one's eye's before abuses abroad, only because we are flawed ourselves? Surely Germany (or whatever other country you live in) has problems of its own... but just as surely it has an obligation to speak up about abuses as it sees them. Everything else would be cowardice or extreme relativism... possibly both. I'm all for "leading by example"... for "convincing, not coercing". But that's not to excuse neutrality in times of crisis. (Dante reminds us that there's a special place in Hell reserved for those...)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on January 12, 2009, 11:32:37 AM
are you saying that one moral principle -- that of "not messing in other people's affairs" overrides the principle of involvement to prevent evil? Does it mean that it is the moral option to close one's eye's before abuses abroad, only because we are flawed ourselves?

No, I mean it is unrealistic, dangerous, and frequently unprincipled to believe we can interfere in the affairs of other countries and set things right there. (Sure worked out great for us in Iraq, eh?)

Anyway, where American foreign policy is concerned, I agree with John Quincy Adams' prophetic statement of 1821: "Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will [America's] heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own... She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force...."

Words for US policy-makers to live by!  0:)

Quote
Surely Germany (or whatever other country you live in) has problems of its own...

Sure it does - I'm an American, but I live in Russia, a country which you earlier placed on the same level as Zimbabwe (thanks for a good laugh). From my perspective, I can inform that the moral lecturing and hectoring that Anglo-Euro-American elites like to direct at the rest of the world does not go down well, being seen as a form of hypocrisy, and is thus counterproductive.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on January 12, 2009, 12:38:32 PM
No, I mean it is unrealistic, dangerous, and frequently unprincipled to believe we can interfere in the affairs of other countries and set things right there. (Sure worked out great for us in Iraq, eh?)

Anyway, where American foreign policy is concerned, I agree with John Quincy Adams' statement of 1821...

Every moral principle can be abused {example Iraq}. But that doesn't make it invalid. Just like the moral principle of non-involvement could be abused. Moderation, I suppose, is key. In any case, speaking out (or placing sanctions on a country [although I think sanctions, as we conventionally understand them, are useless at best, and counterproductive more likely]) isn't the same as marching troops some other nation's capital.  0:)

JQA is genius and should be recited trice before every US foreign policy adventure. But that, too, doesn't mean that one should not speak out etc.etc.

Quote
but I live in Russia, a country which you earlier placed on the same level as Zimbabwe (thanks for a good laugh). From my perspective, I can inform that the moral lecturing and hectoring that Anglo-Euro-American elites like to direct at the rest of the world does not go down well, being seen as a form of hypocrisy, and is thus counterproductive.

Russia should be held to higher standards than an outright dictatorship like Zimbabwe. Indeed, higher standards than a post-fascistic country China. (I mean "fascistic" in the political definition, not the usual "You're a Nazi" kind-of use. Fascism is basically an government that combines an absolute state with a directed "free" market.) That Western posturing doesn't bring the "Oh my God, we've been wrong all along" effect in Russia, well... that's expected.

Does this sound better? I hope so.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Herman on January 12, 2009, 12:47:17 PM
there cannot be a moral equivalence between a country like the US and a country like Russia or Zimbabwe.

Howlers like these are so relevant to DSCH.

Why not relegate these this kind of talkradio bluster to the diner (or even beter to the privacy of your own thoughts)?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Bu on January 12, 2009, 01:23:38 PM
My problem with the recording (and it may well just be that particular recording -- the hybrid-SACD version) is that I don't hear it. It's recorded at such a low level, I literally don't hear anything unless I crank it up some 400% (!!!) higher than I have to with any other discs. If I were to keep it at that level, the climaxes would be too loud...  but not by much. Which speaks to the recording's wide dynamic range (laudable in principle), but moreso to a freakishly low level. Hard to believe as it may be, it must/may be a flaw only with that particular disc... since I've not heard anyone else complain about something that should be very obvious.

When I first bought that disc my first thought was that it was defective or something. But then the orchestra kicked in later and I realized Slava intended it to start that way.  By that point I had turned up the sound (was wearing a walkman) and was given quite a jolt.   ::)

I should add that I have his Eighth also with the LSO and its always been a favorite of mine, with the second & third movements particular standouts.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Renfield on January 12, 2009, 02:51:45 PM
I believe Shostakovich's sense of humour would have been appeased many times over, by the above digression and its contents.

And for what it's worth, using ad hominem arguments to support aesthetic claims is, to my sensibilities, a faux pas.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: The new erato on January 12, 2009, 03:10:47 PM

And for what it's worth, using ad hominem arguments to support aesthetic claims is, to my sensibilities, a faux pas.
Holy c..p, three languages in one sentence! Is this some kind of board record?  ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Renfield on January 12, 2009, 03:34:39 PM
Holy c..p, three languages in one sentence! Is this some kind of board record?  ;D

I actually made note of that that when I pressed "Post", wondering if it wasn't a bit excessive. :P
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 12, 2009, 04:53:05 PM
You have the Threadmaster's thumb's-up  8)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: The new erato on January 12, 2009, 11:38:10 PM
I actually made note of that that when I pressed "Post", wondering if it wasn't a bit excessive. :P
Pas de tout!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: vandermolen on January 14, 2009, 03:48:52 AM
My favourite versions of Shostakovich symphs. (Not 'the greatest' - but my favourites!)

No 1 Ormandy (Sony)

No 2/3?

No 4 Kondrashin (Melodiya) Maxim (Supraphon)

No 5 Mravinsky (1937 - terrific!)

No 6 Stokowski (RCA)

No 7 Rozhdestvensky

No 8 Slatkin (RCA St Louis SO)

NO 9 Boult (Everest)

No 10 Previn (EMI)

No 11 Kondrashin (Melodiya)/ Lazarev Royal Scottish NO (Linn)

No 12 No special favourite yet

No 13 Previn (EMI)

No 14 Barshai (EMI/Melodiya)

No 15 Maxim S (ASD LP)

I'm sure you'll all agree hahaha  ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on January 14, 2009, 04:15:43 AM
No 5 Mravinsky (1937 - terrific!)

Hey there. Are you telling us that the premiere performance of the symphony is available on a recording?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on January 14, 2009, 04:35:35 AM

picking that up, leaving out those where I can't really make up my mind, have no strong opinion, don't care, or haven't heard enough, seriously...

No 1 Ancerl, maybe? (Supraphon) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00079RNLI/nectarandambr-20)
 
No 2 Jansons, if anyone can salvage that (EMI) (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/04/jansons-latest-in-shostakovich.html)

No 4 Jansons (EMI) (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/04/mariss-jansonss-dsch-4.html)

No 5 Previn (RCA) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000DBDN0/nectarandambr-20)

No 6 Skrowaczewski (Halle) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001IRFVP8/nectarandambr-20)... but I don't feel strongly about the work...

No 7 Bernstein (DG) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0013816GU/nectarandambr-20) (I know... sue me.)

No 8 Barshai (Brilliant) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000067F6C/nectarandambr-20) or maybe Gergiev (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/01/shostakovichs-eighth-symphony.html)? or Jansons (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/07/shostakovich-8th-with-rostropovich-on.html)? Maybe I just don't like this symphony as much, either. :-)

No 9 Kosler (Chant du Monde) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004YL72/nectarandambr-20)

No 10 Karajan (DG II) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000001GKB/nectarandambr-20)

No 11 Bychkov II (Avie) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0009VAEGK/nectarandambr-20), alt. Pletnev (Pentatone) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000E0VO4C/nectarandambr-20)

No 12 Jansons (EMI) (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/04/jansons-latest-in-shostakovich.html)

No 13 Masur (Teldec) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000000SJ6/nectarandambr-20)

No 15 Kondrashin Dresden (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2008/01/dip-your-ears-no-88.html) (Haenssler PROFIL)


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51KN6F4A1TL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61D51W5JPML._SL160_AA115_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/6132V6V1NCL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61E797MAVNL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51St-o8MPsL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41PMTSR849L._SL160_AA115_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Hhh9kXayL._SL160_AA115_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41AYKQ4GA2L._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/410W5RVNWJL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41R3N77Z3XL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61D51W5JPML._SL160_AA115_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21Q27Q4997L._SL500_AA130_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5105NvRkw-L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: vandermolen on January 14, 2009, 05:22:52 AM
Hey there. Are you telling us that the premiere performance of the symphony is available on a recording?

It's the premiere recording and is difficult to find. Here it is but at a ridiculous price. I also have it on a set of Mravisky recordings in a series of either 4 or 6 CDs (I'm at work not home) in a long shaped folder; part of a set of issues featuring different conductors.

I had become rather bored through over-familiarity with this symphony - but this recording, old as it is, was a revelation and oddly links Symphony No 5 to the sound world of Symphony No 4.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Yevgeni-Mravinsky-Vol-2/dp/B00006YXAA/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1231939076&sr=1-15
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: edward on January 14, 2009, 01:17:57 PM
No 9 Kosler (Chant du Monde) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004YL72/nectarandambr-20)
Good to see some love for this recording. It's the one I learnt the work from and has always remained my favourite... it digs deeper below the surface than any other I've heard.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 14, 2009, 01:20:07 PM
Good to see some love for this recording. It's the one I learnt the work from and has always remained my favourite... it digs deeper below the surface than any other I've heard.

Hear, hear.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Tyson on January 14, 2009, 07:14:55 PM
I've got the Haitink, the Kondrashin, the Rozhdevensky, Kitajenko, Barshai, and Jansons cycles (complete or mostly complete).  Each has it's own character, but I find that I return to the Kondrashin (on Aulos) most frequently as my favorite "Fun House and Razor Blades" interpretation.  Of the rest, Barshai has grown in stature over time and really become my "European style" reference set.  Great sound and solid interpretations.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: ezodisy on January 15, 2009, 12:21:45 AM
No 4 Kondrashin (Melodiya) Maxim (Supraphon)

No 4 Jansons (EMI) (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/04/mariss-jansonss-dsch-4.html)

have you chaps heard Rozhdestvensky's 4th (studio, haven't heard the live ones)? It's a cracker, one to partner Kondrashin though quite different
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: vandermolen on January 15, 2009, 12:31:40 AM
have you chaps heard Rozhdestvensky's 4th (studio, haven't heard the live ones)? It's a cracker, one to partner Kondrashin though quite different

Do you mean the one on Olympia with the Jazz Suite? If so I have it and it is really good. I will listen to it again.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: ezodisy on January 15, 2009, 12:57:27 AM
I think it must be the same one as the one I had on Melodiya/BMG because AFAIK he made only 1 studio recording of it, some time in the '80s I think. IMO it's a great recording, I recall it was Molman's overall favourite.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on January 15, 2009, 08:50:29 AM
have you chaps heard Rozhdestvensky's 4th (studio, haven't heard the live ones)? It's a cracker, one to partner Kondrashin though quite different

I have a live Rozhdestvensky 4th with the Bolshoi (1981) on Russian Disc. It's actually much more driven (a la Kondrashin) than his studio efforts. But overall I still prefer either Barshai or Jansons in the 4th.

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on January 16, 2009, 12:38:48 PM
A couple of days ago I revisited the Previn/CSO recording of the Fourth.  This is great music, even when not 'pushed';  and the band sound great.  It's a recording which sounds no whit less 'powerful' to me than others;  and at less frantic speed, it has terrific 'weight'.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: vandermolen on January 20, 2009, 04:47:31 AM
A couple of days ago I revisited the Previn/CSO recording of the Fourth.  This is great music, even when not 'pushed';  and the band sound great.  It's a recording which sounds no whit less 'powerful' to me than others;  and at less frantic speed, it has terrific 'weight'.

This is one of my favourites too Karl for the same reasons. I also like Previn's EMI version of Symphony No 10, with the slower than usual second movement.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Renfield on March 13, 2009, 06:29:12 PM
So I've found myself wondering, now that JPC has an offer on it, whether Kitajenko's (Capriccio) cycle should be on my shelf for comparison with Kondrashin, Jansons, Shostakovich (Jr), Barshai, Haitink and the incomplete Mravinsky.

Note "comparison" - I'm not looking for a "new favourite cycle"! Just an informative, consistent and high-standard supplement that is not simply "what I've heard, only less special". Is that the case with Kitajenko? Opinions? :)


(As an example of what I mean, you might remember - or just scroll up to - my opinions on Rostropovich, in whose cycle I am still interested.)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on March 13, 2009, 11:05:56 PM
So I've found myself wondering, now that JPC has an offer on it, whether Kitajenko's (Capriccio) cycle should be on my shelf for comparison with Kondrashin, Jansons, Shostakovich (Jr), Barshai, Haitink and the incomplete Mravinsky.

I suspect the price is not much higher than it used to be? Then definitely, even though you are already very nicely set with DSCH cycles and another one would--strictly speaking--be unnecessary. (Not that's ever kept me, you, or most forum-members from acquiring a CD.) I think we are keeping the world economy alive, just on account of our continued classical music spending.  ;D

Quote
(As an example of what I mean, you might remember - or just scroll up to - my opinions on Rostropovich, in whose cycle I am still interested.)

Incorrigible, you.   ;)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Renfield on March 13, 2009, 11:37:14 PM
I suspect the price is not much higher than it used to be?

It goes for ca. 30 Euro on JPC, at the moment. And I'm between getting that and a few other things, or getting the Haydn Brilliant box, right now, going for ca. 80 Euro, from the same source. Hence my quandary. What's Kitajenko's interpretative selling-point?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: vandermolen on March 15, 2009, 02:59:08 AM
Looks like an interesting new release:

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on March 15, 2009, 03:30:04 AM
Holy c..p, three languages in one sentence! Is this some kind of board record?  ;D

Oh contraire, my friend--it simply follows, mas o menos, the current Zeitgeist. Vero?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on March 15, 2009, 04:42:31 AM
Holy c..p, three languages in one sentence! Is this some kind of board record?  ;D

If it is, I bet our Karl held the prior one.  ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on March 15, 2009, 04:53:58 AM
Mayhap, mayhap.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: The new erato on March 15, 2009, 05:20:56 AM
Oh contraire, my friend--it simply follows, mas o menos, the current Zeitgeist. Vero?
C'est vrai.  Capische.  Versteht's.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: vandermolen on March 23, 2009, 04:43:11 AM
I have been enjoying the new Naxos Liverpool version of Shostakovich's 11th Symphony (mentioned above), conducted by Vasily Petrenko - a terrific recording and excellent performance - unlike any other in some ways, it has great Mussorgsky like depth and power and the quieter sections are very effective. It comes with a cardboard sleeve featuring a photo of the (rather smug looking) young conductor, but once you remove this the CD itself features a fine photo of Shostakovich in his Moscow flat (appartment to you Americans  ;D) in 1957.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Renfield on March 23, 2009, 04:51:01 AM
I have that too, Jeffrey. But the first time I gave it a go, I got distracted by something; maybe I'll actually spin it later today. :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: vandermolen on March 23, 2009, 05:01:23 AM
I have that too, Jeffrey. But the first time I gave it a go, I got distracted by something; maybe I'll actually spin it later today. :)

I just listened to it again. The last few minutes from the mournful cor anglais melody to the cataclysmic ending really are quite something in this recording - had me on the edge of my seat. Will be interested to hear what you make of it.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on June 27, 2009, 12:34:33 PM
Can we talk for a bit about Mravinsky's many recordings of the 5th symphony? I am in the market for one, maybe two.

I understand that there are something like 8 recordings of this work
by the conductor. I am only aware of seven:

1. Doremi - 1937
2. Melodiya - studio recording 1954
3. Russian Disc - live  Nov. 1965
4. Russian Disc - live 1966
5. Praga or Chant du Mode - labeled incorrectly as 1967 (http://www.dschjournal.com/reviews/misattrib.htm#note1) - is actually the same performance as #6 below:
6. EMI - recorded live in Vienna with the Leningrad June 12, 1978
7. Erato - with Leningrad 1984

I haven't heard any of them and would love to hear form those who have.  :)

Also, which one is in the recent Brilliant Classics box?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on June 27, 2009, 05:19:12 PM

4. Russian Disc - live 1966
5. Praga or Chant du Mode - labeled incorrectly as 1967 (http://www.dschjournal.com/reviews/misattrib.htm#note1) - is actually the same performance as #6 below:
7. Erato - with Leningrad 1984

I haven't heard any of them and would love to hear form those who have.  :)

I've got those three.
#4 I just don't remember much about, apparently never established an opinion about it... and it's not around to do that now.
#5 I can't tell you if the 'original' offers better --or just as bad-- sound quality, but I quite like the rabid performance to which the significant distortion and extraneous noise quite fits. Well, in my book, it does. In any case, the Chant du Monde disc should be picked up in any case, simply because the 9th with Kosler on it is so exceptional.
#7 Is a nicely driven interpretation... but I'll have to give it another spin (maybe in the next few days) to really say something about it that could be helpful to you.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on June 27, 2009, 05:30:05 PM
I've got those three.
#4 I just don't remember much about, apparently never established an opinion about it... and it's not around to do that now.
#5 I can't tell you if the 'original' offers better --or just as bad-- sound quality, but I quite like the rabid performance to which the significant distortion and extraneous noise quite fits. Well, in my book, it does. In any case, the Chant du Monde disc should be picked up in any case, simply because the 9th with Kosler on it is so exceptional.
#6 Is a nicely driven recording... but I'll have to give it another spin (maybe in the next few days) to really say something about it that could be helpful to you.

Thanks Jens! Did you mean #6 or #7?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on October 11, 2009, 10:20:36 PM
Can somebody please opine on these Skrowaczewski performances of DSCH 5 & 10? Random googling uncovers positive reviews, but on the other hand the MusicWeb guy was very lukewarm:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/419UrbvdrBL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Brian on October 12, 2009, 06:37:08 AM
Contents Under Pressure, I very much enjoy the Skrowaczewski 10th, which I picked up in a previous issue on Carlton Classics (I think) - very "concert hall" acoustic, and great playing all-around. Even if I prefer Karajan and Barshai in the finale, the opening clarinet solo is beautiful, the first movement is very well handled, and the second is a real rip-roaring performance, at about 4:10. I only paid $3 for it, but I would gladly have paid more.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Brian on October 12, 2009, 06:42:31 AM
New release:

(http://www.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/8.572167.jpg)

Listening notes copied from the listening thread:

The Fifth is really interesting (in a very good way). The first movement is very slow - 18 minutes - and in a way it really works, especially from about minute 5 to the end of the big climax, although the final coda was not as magical as I usually feel like it is: an uneasy moment of repose, looking back on the carnage of the movement so far and wondering how worried to be. The second movement was a little too fast for my taste - very Russian but not very sarcastic.

On the other hand, the symphony's "second half" was just fantastic - the finale is totally devastating, with an almost unbelievable climax and some fantastically emphatic percussion playing, and the rush of strings at the climax of the slow movement, just before the xylophone's entrance, was AMAZING. Fantastic playing from Liverpool. Vasily Petrenko is going to be a star, and it's fantastic that, with artists like this, Naxos can do more than just add music to its catalog - it can offer bold new artistic statements too.

As for the Ninth, it's a terrific performance with the best finale I've ever heard. Love the violin solo in the first movement recap - and, although the slow movement is so slow it really starts to wear me out on its way to the 9 (!) minute mark, the payoff is worth it when the chipper little dance begins afterwards. As for the finale: That is by far THE coolest performance of the end of Shostakovich No. 9 that I've ever heard! Granted, I've only heard a few (Bernstein, Barshai, Fricsay, Kreizberg), but the way that Petrenko plays with the tempo - the way the brass belt out the silly main theme with ever-increasing silliness - the way the whole orchestra sounds like kids stealing candy from a candy shop - holy Toledo!!

~~~~~~~

In sum, buy this for the experience.  8)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 12, 2009, 07:26:30 AM
New release:
(http://www.naxosmusiclibrary.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/8.572167.jpg)
Listening notes copied from the listening thread:

You sold me. I just ordered it.

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Coopmv on October 12, 2009, 07:29:15 AM
I need to get more of Shosty's works, which currently number not much more than a half-dozen recordings.  A composer who had the courage to stand up to Uncle Joe has won tremendous respect from me ...
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on October 12, 2009, 07:52:06 AM
You sold me. I just ordered it.

Sarge

I bet you only needed to read this far:

The Fifth is really interesting (in a very good way). The first movement is very slow....

 ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Brian on October 12, 2009, 07:54:14 AM
Hope you like it as much as I did, Sarge! I'll put it on again this afternoon to make sure.  8)

I need to get more of Shosty's works, which currently number not much more than a half-dozen recordings.  A composer who had the courage to stand up to Uncle Joe has won tremendous respect from me ...

Hmmm - where to start? I'd advise you to pick up the two piano concertos, a box set of the string quartets (the Borodins' 6 CDs can be had for $30 in the US), and the Symphonies 5-10. MDT currently has two complete symphony sets under $40 (Barshai $38, Jansons $32), so you have no excuse!  :D  I haven't heard the 24 Preludes and Fugues, but word on the street is they are just plain fantastic. You might need Karajan's Shosty 10 if you don't have it already.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Brian on October 12, 2009, 07:56:01 AM
I bet you only needed to read this far:

 ;D


 ;D ;D
If that's the case, Sarge will love it. Petrenko definitely likes juxtaposing really fast material with really slow material; thus 5.i, parts of 5.iii, the second half of 5.iv, and especially 9.ii are really slow, while the other parts of 5.iii, the first half of 5.iv, 5.ii and 9.iii are really fast. Contrast, contrast, contrast!  :D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on October 12, 2009, 07:56:19 AM
Contents Under Pressure, I very much enjoy the Skrowaczewski 10th,

Thanks for the feedback, I just remembered that I heard this one years ago on the radio and was impressed by it. Skrow is a prince among underrated conductors  0:)

A composer who had the courage to stand up to Uncle Joe has won tremendous respect from me ...

I fear opening this can of worms, but it's open to debate whether (or to what extent) he actually "stood up to Uncle Joe." A better reason to listen to the music is because it's good.  :)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Brian on October 12, 2009, 09:34:58 AM
Somebody alert Karl...

(Petrenko and the RLPO have also recorded Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances, Isle of the Dead, Paganini Rhapsody and Rachmaninov Third Concerto, though he won't say who the pianist was...)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on October 12, 2009, 09:40:42 AM
Thanks for the alert, Brian!

Program last night was:

Stravinsky, Scherzo fantastique, Opus 3
Rakhmaninov, Isle of the Dead, Opus 29
Shostakovich, Symphony № 10 in E minor, Opus 93


Terrific! More anon . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Brewski on October 12, 2009, 10:02:47 AM
Thanks for the alert, Brian!

Program last night was:

Stravinsky, Scherzo fantastique, Opus 3
Rakhmaninov, Isle of the Dead, Opus 29
Shostakovich, Symphony № 10 in E minor, Opus 93


Terrific! More anon . . . .

Great program!

--Bruce
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Holden on November 04, 2010, 12:35:16 AM
I've been thinking about a DSCH cycle for a while now. Is this the one to get or are there other options?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on November 04, 2010, 04:43:08 AM
I've been thinking about a DSCH cycle for a while now. Is this the one to get or are there other options?

It's certainly one of them, certainly one of the top choices... all around satisfying. recommended.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: George on November 04, 2010, 04:47:29 AM
I've been thinking about a DSCH cycle for a while now. Is this the one to get or are there other options?

I like the Kondrashin on Melodiya, the one with the eyeglasses on the cover.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on November 16, 2010, 08:49:28 AM
I'm still waiting for the Petrenko/Liverpool recording of the Tenth!  But meanwhile I have been listening to their account of the Fifth, Eighth & Ninth.

I find them all good — very good, even — quite sufficient to justify enthusiasm for the cycle-in-progress at Naxos.  I haven't taken any of them as so outstanding as to displace current favorites — but that were hardly necessary in order to share fully in the enthusiasm for the project.  Nor in order to envy the audiences in Liverpool!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Brian on November 16, 2010, 08:58:13 AM
I'm going to see Petrenko conduct the Eleventh live next week with the London Philharmonic.  8) If it's anything like his CD Eleventh, it will be a hair-raising experience!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Luke on November 17, 2010, 08:46:28 AM
I like the Kondrashin on Melodiya, the one with the eyeglasses on the cover.

Thanks - that reminded me I wanted a copy, so I nipped to Amazon where it was £57... or £1.24 'new and used'  :o  :o  :o I'll let you guess what I did.....
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: karlhenning on November 17, 2010, 08:48:25 AM
Thanks - that reminded me I wanted a copy, so I nipped to Amazon where it was £57... or £1.24 'new and used'  :o  :o  :o I'll let you guess what I did.....

Really? £1.24? Sweet!

Separately . . . YHM (I tried PM but yer box is full)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Mirror Image on December 11, 2010, 08:16:01 PM
I'm going to see Petrenko conduct the Eleventh live next week with the London Philharmonic.  8) If it's anything like his CD Eleventh, it will be a hair-raising experience!


I'm so jealous. How was the concert, Brian?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Mirror Image on December 23, 2010, 10:56:39 AM
I do enjoy Haitink and Jansons as well, but my Jansons has a defective disc (the one with Leningrad), which I found out later most, if not, all of the sets that were issued have this problem. Barshai is really good and Ashkenazy has some great moments in his cycle. I have not heard Kondrashin's set (don't own it --- too expensive), Kitajenko's, Maxim Shostakovich's. I like Rostropovich's cycle on Warner Classics (originally on Telarc). There are many great single recordings of the symphonies as well, which I won't launch into. Sanderling's partial cycle is outstanding.


There's definitely many great recordings of Shostakovich's music available. I just bought the Pentatone series with the Russian National Orchestra with various conductors. I look forward to hearing these.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Mirror Image on March 02, 2012, 10:00:20 AM
I do enjoy Haitink and Jansons as well, but my Jansons has a defective disc (the one with Leningrad), which I found out later most, if not, all of the sets that were issued have this problem. Barshai is really good and Ashkenazy has some great moments in his cycle. I have not heard Kondrashin's set (don't own it --- too expensive), Kitajenko's, Maxim Shostakovich's. I like Rostropovich's cycle on Warner Classics (originally on Telarc). There are many great single recordings of the symphonies as well, which I won't launch into. Sanderling's partial cycle is outstanding.


There's definitely many great recordings of Shostakovich's music available. I just bought the Pentatone series with the Russian National Orchestra with various conductors. I look forward to hearing these.

My, oh my, how outdated this post is now! I have nine Shostakovich cycles now and many partial ones. I haven't heard the Kondrashin in full yet, but my goodness what smoking hot performances! As mentioned these are rawer performances, but I think they capture the Shostakovich spirit quite well. One of the disappointing performances of the Kondrashin set is the 5th. The Largo is taken WAY TOO FAST! All of the emotion is just sucked out of it when it's taken with this kind of tempi. I prefer some weight and heaviness in this movement which Bernstein 1979, M. Shostakovich, Skrowaczewski, and Caetani deliver in spades.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Scion7 on March 03, 2012, 01:11:13 AM
I have the 1st, 5th and 10th on vinyl, these on CD, and the rest as various downloads from eMusic, etc.:

(http://s8.postimage.org/j6pna787p/Shostakovich_Symphs_CD.jpg)

There aren't any weak Shostakovich symphonies, but some stand out to me - the 5th, the 7th, the 8th and the 10th - as the best. 
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: eyeresist on March 04, 2012, 05:36:54 PM
One of the disappointing performances of the Kondrashin set is the 5th. The Largo is taken WAY TOO FAST! All of the emotion is just sucked out of it when it's taken with this kind of tempi.

I agree that this performance is a bit of a let-down. Same with Mravinsky in his Venezia box. If you are now interested in Russian performances with bad sound :D let me recommend Svetlanov:

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Mirror Image on March 04, 2012, 06:55:03 PM
I agree that this performance is a bit of a let-down. Same with Mravinsky in his Venezia box. If you are now interested in Russian performances with bad sound :D let me recommend Svetlanov:



I already own, and heard, the Svetlanov. It's a pretty good performance but pales in comparison to Bernstein's 1979 performance with the NY Philharmonic. This is my new benchmark recording for the 5th.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Rhymenoceros on July 17, 2012, 08:40:51 PM
What are some of the top recordings of Shostakovich's 4th, 5th, 8th, 10th and 11th symphonies?  What do people think of the following:




Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on July 17, 2012, 08:44:24 PM
The best 11th was done by Rozhdestvensky.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: CaughtintheGaze on July 17, 2012, 08:48:06 PM
Here's a taste:
http://www.youtube.com/v/LVKBXD5TKlc
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: david johnson on July 17, 2012, 11:01:54 PM
4 - ormandy/philly
5 - mitropoulos/ny
7 - bernstein/cso
10 - that hvk listed is enjoyable for me
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 18, 2012, 01:49:54 AM

You've got a solid 8 there with Solti, a decent No. 5, and the best No. 10 available with Karajan. Im not very keen on Jarvi's cycle on Chandos, a lot of muscle with little heart. Bernstein has recorded two very good No. 5 with NYP, the only No. 4 I own is Rattle which I enjoy.

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 18, 2012, 03:28:05 AM
That Järvi account of the Fourth is one of those rarities, a genuine, flat-out poor recording of a Shostakovich symphony.  It was recorded in much too reverberant a space, and much of the symphony gets lost in the muffle.  Far better are Maksim Dmitriyevich and a plucky Prague Symphony, Rattle and the CBSO, Previn and the CSO (though not a perfect account), and the Haitink on the CSO's Resound series, to name four off the top of my head.
 
I'm a contrarian viz. the HvK account of the Tenth: half the musical world at least is agog over it, and I hear no such matter.  My chief table-pounder for the exquisite Op.93 is Jansons and the Phila Orchestra.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 18, 2012, 03:44:21 AM
That Järvi account of the Fourth is one of those rarities, a genuine, flat-out poor recording of a Shostakovich symphony.  It was recorded in much too reverberant a space, and much of the symphony gets lost in the muffle.  Far better are Maksim Dmitriyevich and a plucky Prague Symphony, Rattle and the CBSO, Previn and the CSO (though not a perfect account), and the Haitink on the CSO's Resound series, to name four off the top of my head.
 
I'm a contrarian viz. the HvK account of the Tenth: half the musical world at least is agog over it, and I hear no such matter.  My chief table-pounder for the exquisite Op.93 is Jansons and the Phila Orchestra.

I can't argue with the Jansons 10th, it's a good one. In fact, I am a fan of his cycle.

And Karl nailed it with the reverb on Jarvi's account, seems to be a consistent trend with much of Jarvi's Chandos recordings.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Beale on July 18, 2012, 04:25:15 AM
And Karl nailed it with the reverb on Jarvi's account, seems to be a consistent trend with much of Jarvi's Chandos recordings.

I have Jarvi's seventh and I don't recall any problems with reverb. The tempi is a little fast but he managed to record it on one disc, whereas Bernstein took two discs.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51F9EBQWERL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 18, 2012, 04:29:09 AM
I have Jarvi's seventh and I don't recall any problems with reverb. The tempi is a little fast but he managed to record it on one disc, whereas Bernstein took two discs.

Well, that was unusual (even unique) on Bernstein's part:  he took an atypically broad approach to the Leningrad with the CSO (and, to his credit, he makes it work).  As a rule, though, the Leningrad practically always fits on a single disc.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 18, 2012, 04:31:24 AM
The reverb, too, was a property of the space where they recorded the Fourth (a pity, for the SNO are a fine band). Perhaps Järvi did not record the entire cycle in the same venue. (Did he record all fifteen, come to think on it?)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 18, 2012, 04:36:24 AM
Another notably good Leningrad (and more "mainstream" in approach than Lenny/CSO) is Ančerl/Cz PhilHaitink's account of the Leningrad I like very well, too.  The first recording of the piece which 'sold' me on the piece, though, is Temirkanov/St Petersburg Phil.

The Ančerl recording of the Tenth is also well worth seeking out.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 18, 2012, 04:37:21 AM
Oh! Just noted that the discursion viz. the Leningrad is "off-topic," viz. the OP. Sorry!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 18, 2012, 04:40:34 AM
The reverb, too, was a property of the space where they recorded the Fourth (a pity, for the SNO are a fine band). Perhaps Järvi did not record the entire cycle in the same venue. (Did he record all fifteen, come to think on it?)

15 was with Gothenberg on DG.
And the reverb issue is I referred to wasn't only with his DSCH cycle, I havent heard them all, but with his Prokofiev and Strauss sets, I feel a lot gets lost in these performances. It still contains excellent playing, but doesn't feel as detailed.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: edward on July 18, 2012, 04:47:55 AM
Well, that was unusual (even unique) on Bernstein's part:  he took an atypically broad approach to the Leningrad with the CSO (and, to his credit, he makes it work).  As a rule, though, the Leningrad practically always fits on a single disc.
I think that the preferred venue for Jarvi's RSNO Shostakovich cycle was the Caird Hall in Dundee (the hall I grew up going to concerts in, as it happens). However, the 4th was recorded in the distinctly inferior acoustic space of Glasgow City Halls.

My own preference in 4ths (though I have not heard as many as I would like) would be Rozhdestvensky. However, it is--like Lenny's 7th--most definitely not a mainstream interpretation and I would not recommend it as an only recording. Other recordings I'd throw into the mix here would be Mravinsky and Haitink in the 8th and Ancerl in the 10th.

In some ways Haitink might count as my favourite DSCH conductor; he plays the works in a manner that's largely "straight" on the surface, yet his understanding and command of both the large-scale structure and of the short-term phrasing is remarkable and constantly insightful.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 18, 2012, 05:07:21 AM
What are some of the top recordings of Shostakovich's 4th, 5th, 8th, 10th and 11th symphonies?

The Fifth: Lenny conducting the NY Phil live in Tokyo. It's been my favorite Fifth for more than 20 years: both First (Moderato) and Largo movements broadly paced, very intense, coupled with a swift, un-ironic Finale that's pure triumph.



And I second Edward's Rozhdestvensky/USSR recommendation for the Fourth. May be hard to find, though, at a decent price.


Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Fafner on July 18, 2012, 05:20:30 AM
I'm a contrarian viz. the HvK account of the Tenth: half the musical world at least is agog over it, and I hear no such matter.  My chief table-pounder for the exquisite Op.93 is Jansons and the Phila Orchestra.

Apparently, on this matter, you part company with the composer as well.  According to Thomas Brandis, concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic,  "When we played Shostakovich's Tenth Symphony in Moscow it reduced the composer to tears. He told Karajan that he had never heard his music played with such insight in all his life."   ;D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 18, 2012, 05:29:58 AM
Apparently, on this matter, you part company with the composer as well.  According to Thomas Brandis, concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic,  "When we played Shostakovich's Tenth Symphony in Moscow it reduced the composer to tears. He told Karajan that he had never heard his music played with such insight in all his life."   ;D

Only apparently, as you are careful to say.  For (a) none of us has heard a recording of that Moscow performance, (b) it is not known how the composer might have reacted to the recording which we have available to us, and (c) the composer's gracious (and no doubt genuinely grateful) remarks are characteristic, but to take them as a kind of Gospel is (at the least) a disservice.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Brewski on July 18, 2012, 05:53:01 AM
Hello Rhymenoceros,

My choices echo many of those already mentioned.

For the 4th, I love Haitink's relatively recent recording with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The only others I recall are Haitink's earlier one with the LPO and Gergiev/Kirov - both are excellent, but the combination of the knockout playing of the CSO and Haitink's patience are hard to resist.

In the Fifth, there are many good choices, but I do like Bernstein/NYPO, available on an excellent DVD (with the Schumann 1st) called Bernstein in Japan.

That Solti Eighth is quite good; if you enjoy the conductor you'll probably like it. Haitink (again) is excellent; his recording with the Concertgebouw is terrific.

For No. 10, I also like von Karajan, but slightly prefer his older recording from 1967, only because the energy is so intense. His later one (cited above) is excellent and perhaps better played, but I just personally prefer the electricity of the earlier outing.

And for No. 11, Rostropovich did a very good job with the LSO (and I heard him in New York do it live), and a very fine one people sometimes overlook is with James De Preist and Helsinki - great sound on the latter, especially. But again, my favorite - actually one of my favorite recordings, period - is Haitink/Concertgebouw, with the orchestra's percussion section having a field day.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 18, 2012, 06:00:13 AM
Most interesting, Bruce . . . I am not sure that I have yet gotten around to auditioning the Haitink account of the Eleventh . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Fafner on July 18, 2012, 06:01:16 AM
Only apparently, as you are careful to say.  For (a) none of us has heard a recording of that Moscow performance, (b) it is not known how the composer might have reacted to the recording which we have available to us, and (c) the composer's gracious (and no doubt genuinely grateful) remarks are characteristic, but to take them as a kind of Gospel is (at the least) a disservice.

I don't take it as Gospel, but neither do I discount it.  In any case, the recording Karajan made of the 10th shortly afterwards is probably a better representation of the Moscow performance than the later digital recording.

(http://collectors-heaven.de/shop/images/product_images/info_images/2589a.jpg)

The director of your favorite, Mariss Jansons, was also in the audience that night, and described the performance as "unbelievable."  But, of course, Jansons was later to become Karajan's student.   :D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 18, 2012, 06:07:09 AM
I don't take it as Gospel, but neither do I discount it.  In any case, the recording Karajan made of the 10th shortly afterwards is probably a better representation of the Moscow performance than the later digital recording.

Well, if the horns actually sound fortissimo where they are marked fortissimo (which I am sure must have been the case in the hall during the performance) . . . yes, I can readily believe that this earlier recording is superior : )
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Brewski on July 18, 2012, 06:08:53 AM
Most interesting, Bruce . . . I am not sure that I have yet gotten around to auditioning the Haitink account of the Eleventh . . . .

Perhaps oddly, I like Haitink's sense of restraint here - as in his Shostakovich in general - and his tempi seem a bit slower than others. (You might think "the more intense and driven," the better.) He doesn't push the ensemble or underline the climaxes, which makes the result even more powerful.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 18, 2012, 06:11:36 AM
Perhaps oddly, I like Haitink's sense of restraint here - as in his Shostakovich in general . . . .

If that be odd, it is an oddity I pretty much share : )
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Fafner on July 18, 2012, 06:12:50 AM
Well, if the horns actually sound fortissimo where they are marked fortissimo (which I am sure must have been the case in the hall during the performance) . . . yes, I can readily believe that this earlier recording is superior : )

I'm a little confused.  In the digital recording I hear horns playing things I previously would not have believed physically possible.   How did you ascertain that they are not playing "fortissimo?"
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 18, 2012, 06:26:57 AM
I'm a little confused.  In the digital recording I hear horns playing things I previously would not have believed physically possible.   How did you ascertain that they are not playing "fortissimo?"

Chiefly by listening : )

The last time I heard that recording was in a friend’s living room where he played it on some of the best stereo equipment I have ever been near. It was a time not long after I had first made the acquaintance of the Jansons/Phila recording of the Tenth, and my friend had read my effusive praise . . . and since the HvK recording (yea, even the later recording) has always been the darling of the audio world, he proposed that we should listen to it.

There is an enormous climax in the middle of the first movement, a sustained tutti passage where there are a number of places where the horns are unison and fortissimo (I mean, so marked in the score).  In general, the brass are down in the mix of the HvK recording.  At one point, I put it to my friend: “The horns: is this fortissimo, would you say?”  He agreed . . . if that was fortissimo, then fortissimo itself is diminished to a puny thing . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: vandermolen on July 18, 2012, 06:39:00 AM
Jarvi is very good in No 4. Perhaps Kondrashin is my favourite in 4 and 11 'The Year 1905', but there are other fine versions too from Berglund etc and I really like Previn's recording of Nos 4 (EMI) and 8 (EMI or DGG). Slatkin's No 8 is a favourite and Mravinsky's 1937 recording of Symphony No 5 is in a class of its own - it sounds close in spirit to Symphony No 4. As for No 10 I agree about Ancerl. I just bought a fascinating version on ICA of Sveltlanov conducting Symphony 10 with the USSR SSO in London on 21st August 1968 - on the day that the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia. The Symphony starts against a background of angry shouted protests from the audience ('Go Home! etc') whilst others in the audience try to hush them up - extraordinary.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 18, 2012, 06:46:49 AM
The Chicago brass in that Previn recording of the Fourth are something else, Jeffrey.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Brewski on July 18, 2012, 06:47:28 AM
I just bought a fascinating version on ICA of Sveltlanov conducting Symphony 10 with the USSR SSO in London on 21st August 1968 - on the day that the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia. The Symphony starts against a background of angry shouted protests from the audience ('Go Home! etc') whilst others in the audience try to hush them up - extraordinary.

Now that sounds like a recording to have, for many reasons. Thanks for mentioning it!

--Bruce
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Fafner on July 18, 2012, 07:02:12 AM
Chiefly by listening : )

The last time I heard that recording was in a friend’s living room where he played it on some of the best stereo equipment I have ever been near. It was a time not long after I had first made the acquaintance of the Jansons/Phila recording of the Tenth, and my friend had read my effusive praise . . . and since the HvK recording (yea, even the later recording) has always been the darling of the audio world, he proposed that we should listen to it.

There is an enormous climax in the middle of the first movement, a sustained tutti passage where there are a number of places where the horns are unison and fortissimo (I mean, so marked in the score).  In general, the brass are down in the mix of the HvK recording.  At one point, I put it to my friend: “The horns: is this fortissimo, would you say?”  He agreed . . . if that was fortissimo, then fortissimo itself is diminished to a puny thing . . . .


I don't know if you've seen the film "Twelve Angry Men," but in that film a juror played by Henry Fonda notes that one witness to a murder claims to have glimpsed the crime through the last car of a passing elevated subway train, and another claims to have heard the defendant shout "I'm gonna kill ya," immediately followed by the sickening thud of the victim's body hitting the floor.  "How," Mr. Fonda's character asks, "could he have heard the defendant's threat if there was an elevated subway train roaring by just outside the windows?

So I put it to you, how could you have had this subtle conversation about whether a horn fortissimo was puny, if that "sustained tutti" was roaring away at concert volume from the best stereo system you have ever been near?  I put it to you that your memory is playing tricks with you, and the the recalled conversation took place while listening to a recording of a Poulenc flute sonata.   There's nothing more disappointing than a puny fortissimo in a Poulenc flute sonata.  ::)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: vandermolen on July 18, 2012, 08:30:44 AM
The Chicago brass in that Previn recording of the Fourth are something else, Jeffrey.

That's very true Karl

I think that both Previn (No 4) and Slatkin (No 8) are great conductors of Shostakovich. The end of No 4 (one of the greatest moments in all music IMHO) is especially compelling and deeply felt in Previn's recording and the pace feels just right.

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 18, 2012, 08:36:23 AM
That's very true Bruce

But . . . I'm Karl : )

(Mind you, I think the world of our Bruce.)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: vandermolen on July 18, 2012, 09:02:59 AM
But . . . I'm Karl : )

(Mind you, I think the world of our Bruce.)

Apologies Karl(for it is he  :D) I wanted to respond to you and Bruce and got rather confused  :-\

I've amended the original post now.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: vandermolen on July 18, 2012, 09:05:55 AM
Now that sounds like a recording to have, for many reasons. Thanks for mentioning it!

--Bruce

Here it is Bruce - an extraordinary performance (for both historical and musical reasons);

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 18, 2012, 09:10:45 AM
And thanks for the link, Jeffrey, that does look most interesting.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 18, 2012, 11:02:29 AM
I don't know if you've seen the film "Twelve Angry Men," but in that film a juror played by Henry Fonda notes that one witness to a murder claims to have glimpsed the crime through the last car of a passing elevated subway train, and another claims to have heard the defendant shout "I'm gonna kill ya," immediately followed by the sickening thud of the victim's body hitting the floor.  "How," Mr. Fonda's character asks, "could he have heard the defendant's threat if there was an elevated subway train roaring by just outside the windows?

So I put it to you, how could you have had this subtle conversation about whether a horn fortissimo was puny, if that "sustained tutti" was roaring away at concert volume from the best stereo system you have ever been near?  I put it to you that your memory is playing tricks with you, and the the recalled conversation took place while listening to a recording of a Poulenc flute sonata.   There's nothing more disappointing than a puny fortissimo in a Poulenc flute sonata.  ::)


Curses! Incarcerated again!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Fafner on July 18, 2012, 11:20:23 AM
Curses! Incarcerated again!

Just trying to establish reasonable doubt.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 18, 2012, 11:22:47 AM
No, there was no Poulenc that evening : )
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: eyeresist on July 18, 2012, 05:33:40 PM
I just bought a fascinating version on ICA of Sveltlanov conducting Symphony 10 with the USSR SSO in London on 21st August 1968 - on the day that the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia. The Symphony starts against a background of angry shouted protests from the audience ('Go Home! etc') whilst others in the audience try to hush them up - extraordinary.

I must have this one.

Symphony 4 - Rozhdestvensky, Barshai
Symphony 5 - Svetlanov
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 18, 2012, 05:40:38 PM
Does the heart good to see such favorable reviews of the Haitink set on Amazon.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Ataraxia on July 18, 2012, 05:44:44 PM
Does the heart good to see such favorable reviews of the Haitink set on Amazon.

That's the one I have.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 18, 2012, 05:57:37 PM
You have chosen well, O Dave!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: kishnevi on July 18, 2012, 06:09:06 PM
Just trying to establish reasonable doubt.

I've not heard the performance--but if the horns couldn't be distinguished in the middle of that sustained tutti, then I would infer they were not playing a very fortissimo fortissimo.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 19, 2012, 01:07:34 AM
Where they ought to sing out above all else for those moments.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: vandermolen on July 19, 2012, 01:40:46 AM
I must have this one.

Symphony 4 - Rozhdestvensky, Barshai
Symphony 5 - Svetlanov

You won't regret it! It is the most extaordinary experience listening to it - from the angry shouted protests at the start to the wild ovation at the end. All very moving in the circumstances. The Rimsky Korsakov fillers are very fine too.  By the way I don't agree with the review on Amazon.com and posted my own on Amazon UK - but you must make your own mind up and I'll be interested to hear what you think.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Evgeny-Svetlanov-State-Symphony-Orchestra/dp/B0059B0BZ4/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1342694735&sr=1-1
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: vandermolen on July 19, 2012, 01:56:57 AM
The Chicago brass in that Previn recording of the Fourth are something else, Jeffrey.

Karl

I also a great fan of Previn's recording of Symphony 10 (EMI). The second movement is controversially slow but it helps you to hear it in a different way - which I rather like.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 19, 2012, 03:16:34 AM
Interesting, too, Jeffrey!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Beale on July 19, 2012, 03:58:10 AM
Ok, a question about the fifth symphony to stay on topic.

Reading the Classicstoday.com reviews, it appears there are two ways for a conductor to approach the finale. Victor Carr Jr wrote this about Lorin Maazel and the Cleveland Orchestra: "Maazel’s finale builds to an excitingly affirmative conclusion–the kind prevalent before the revisionist “ironic” ending popularized by Rostropovich".

Now compare David Hurwitz on Yakov Kreizberg and Russian National Orchestra: "Kreizberg, like Sanderling, is absolutely convinced that the finale does not represent a “happy” ending."

So what do you prefer?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 19, 2012, 04:15:22 AM
I think that the musical question has been burdened with the politicization of The Shostakovich Wars.

On my own bottom line, there are two points:

1. In terms of the narrative of the composer's career:  Since the symphony was pointedly an olive branch for rehabilitation (survival, really) I do not see Shostakovich risking any appearance of thumbing his nose.

2. In purely musical terms:  I don't see the slower VS. faster tempo as simply mapping onto grief VS. joy.  Is the fast tempo of the Scherzo of the Tenth symphony an indication of happiness?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 19, 2012, 04:34:56 AM
Ok, a question about the fifth symphony to stay on topic.

Reading the Classicstoday.com reviews, it appears there are two ways for a conductor to approach the finale. Victor Carr Jr wrote this about Lorin Maazel and the Cleveland Orchestra: "Maazel’s finale builds to an excitingly affirmative conclusion–the kind prevalent before the revisionist “ironic” ending popularized by Rostropovich".

Now compare David Hurwitz on Yakov Kreizberg and Russian National Orchestra: "Kreizberg, like Sanderling, is absolutely convinced that the finale does not represent a “happy” ending."

So what do you prefer?

I prefer neither...or rather, I want it both ways. Which I turn to on any given day depends on my mood. As I've said elsewhere, my two favorite performances have finales that demonstrate those interpretative differences: Rostropovich/National makes the ending sound like repeated violent stabs to the heart while Bernstein/New York is unalloyed triumph.

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on July 19, 2012, 09:21:15 AM
An overlooked 4th from Rozhdestvensky is this fire-breathing account with the Bolshoi:


(http://www.russiandvd.com/store/assets/product_images/imgs/front/35740.jpg)


The sound is better than what I've heard from the more common USSR Ministry of Culture DSCH recordings.


Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Fafner on July 19, 2012, 09:29:45 AM
I prefer neither...or rather, I want it both ways. Which I turn to on any given day depends on my mood. As I've said elsewhere, my two favorite performances have finales that demonstrate those interpretative differences: Rostropovich/National makes the ending sound like repeated violent stabs to the heart while Bernstein/New York is unalloyed triumph.

I obviously don't get it.  I thought you are supposed to play it as though it is unalloyed triumph, but the over-the-top orchestration and off-kilter harmony plants the seed in your mind that something is being mocked.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on July 19, 2012, 09:46:03 AM
Another dark horse but really shouldn't be: Shostakovich was present at this recording (fine 1958 stereo sound):





Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Est.1965 on July 19, 2012, 10:10:42 AM
Jarvi and the SNO accounts of Shosty have not yet won acclaim here.   :'(
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on July 19, 2012, 11:02:22 AM
Almost forgot this near one-stop from Wigglesworth:





Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: vandermolen on July 19, 2012, 12:16:45 PM
Jarvi and the SNO accounts of Shosty have not yet won acclaim here.   :'(

I did give a thumbs up for his recording of Symphony 4.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: vandermolen on July 19, 2012, 12:18:22 PM
An overlooked 4th from Rozhdestvensky is this fire-breathing account with the Bolshoi:


(http://www.russiandvd.com/store/assets/product_images/imgs/front/35740.jpg)


The sound is better than what I've heard from the more common USSR Ministry of Culture DSCH recordings.

Looks like a very interesting CD. I have his recording on Olympia.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: vandermolen on July 19, 2012, 12:19:52 PM
Another dark horse but really shouldn't be: Shostakovich was present at this recording (fine 1958 stereo sound):





I have this CD and agree that it is an excellent performance deserving of greater attention.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on July 19, 2012, 01:02:24 PM
Looks like a very interesting CD. I have his recording on Olympia.

I forgot to mention it's live. It'd be interesting to compare the two.

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Octo_Russ on July 19, 2012, 03:04:05 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61r%2BXs-dkEL.jpg)


I have this recording of the Fifth, i've always been endeared to it, though i hear a number of people don't rate Bychkov, plus there's no coupling.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Est.1965 on July 19, 2012, 03:30:43 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61r%2BXs-dkEL.jpg)


I have this recording of the Fifth, i've always been endeared to it, though i hear a number of people don't rate Bychkov, plus there's no coupling.

What a shame.  I think Bychkov is one of few who bring the best out of the music before him.  Never heard his Shostakovich though.  Must trace that and have a listen.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Est.1965 on July 19, 2012, 03:36:43 PM
You won't regret it! It is the most extaordinary experience listening to it - from the angry shouted protests at the start to the wild ovation at the end. All very moving in the circumstances. The Rimsky Korsakov fillers are very fine too.  By the way I don't agree with the review on Amazon.com and posted my own on Amazon UK - but you must make your own mind up and I'll be interested to hear what you think.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Evgeny-Svetlanov-State-Symphony-Orchestra/dp/B0059B0BZ4/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1342694735&sr=1-1

I must get that.  That must be the same night as Rostropovich did Czech Dvoraks Cello Concerto to the same audience.  Brilliant.  It is my No1 on must get.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: eyeresist on July 19, 2012, 04:52:16 PM
I think that the musical question has been burdened with the politicization of The Shostakovich Wars.

On my own bottom line, there are two points:

1. In terms of the narrative of the composer's career:  Since the symphony was pointedly an olive branch for rehabilitation (survival, really) I do not see Shostakovich risking any appearance of thumbing his nose.

2. In purely musical terms:  I don't see the slower VS. faster tempo as simply mapping onto grief VS. joy.  Is the fast tempo of the Scherzo of the Tenth symphony an indication of happiness?

I agree with you here. I don't think the actual music points either way.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 20, 2012, 03:10:28 AM
The ambivalence is, I think, one of the indicators of the music's strength.  It works smokin' hot, and it works cool.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 20, 2012, 03:12:47 AM
Separately . . . here is what Hurwitz says of the Ančerl/Cz Phil recording of the Tenth:

Quote from: David Hurwitz
It's amusing to remember that for much of the 1960s, Deutsche Grammophon was a local German label, and every so often we see evidence of its roots. Nothing else accounts for the notes to this release, which spend nearly all of their time talking about Wolfgang Schneiderhan and the Berlin Philharmonic while hardly mentioning Karel Ancerl and completely neglecting the Czech Philharmonic (and for much of the '50s and '60s the Czech orchestra was better than Berlin). Indeed, good as the Schneiderhan/Ancerl Stravinsky concerto is (and it's very good indeed, particularly in the two inner movements that Stravinsky labeled Aria I and Aria II), the real draw is this best-ever performance of Shostakovich's Tenth Symphony.

Recorded in 1956, just a couple of years after its premiere, this reading by Ancerl and the Czech Philharmonic still blows away most of the competition, including Mravinsky and Leningrad. The first movement flows spontaneously and effortlessly forward, rising to a massive central climax. Ancerl's scherzo never has been bettered, either for its playing or in its demonic drive and uninhibited emotional intensity (Mitropoulos actually was a bit faster, but far less disciplined). The third movement, with its evocative horn calls, sees Ancerl emphasizing its cool, mechanical rhythms to unsettling effect, while the finale flies by on a surge of adrenaline, those amazing Czech winds well to the fore. I can't imagine another European orchestra at this time that technically could have offered anything close to this achievement.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Daverz on July 23, 2012, 09:43:38 AM
Quote
Quote from: Scots John on July 19, 2012, 05:36:43 PM (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic=20723.msg645179#msg645179)
I must get that.  That must be the same night as Rostropovich did Czech Dvoraks Cello Concerto to the same audience.  Brilliant.  It is my No1 on must get.


I transferred Svetlanov's Melodiya recording of the 10th from an Angel-Melodiya Lp:

http://www.mediafire.com/?czyapx45p8z23
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: aukhawk on October 28, 2012, 06:21:59 AM
What are some of the top recordings of Shostakovich's 4th, 5th, 8th, 10th and 11th symphonies?

Confining myself to these five, my choices:
5th  I really like Previn's original (RCA) version with the LSO, almost his first recording after crossing over from 'dinner jazz'.
8th  I like Previn/LSO (EMI) here too - but recently I've enjoyed Oleg Caetani - very pacey, a remarkably 'Russian' sound from an Italian orchestra!
10th  I go with Svetlanov/USSR SO - and for a modern recording I like Petrenko.
11th  I've got memories of Stokowski in this, or De Priest/Helsinki.
4th  I leave till last - I've got the Jarvi but really I'm still looking - I might give Wigglesworth a try.

I love Haitink in Mahler, but find him a bit too straight-laced (aka boring) in Shostakovich.  :(  The 15th is his best shot.
Petrenko's cycle is excellent performance-wise, but I find the recordings a bit problematic - just too good  :o too much dynamic range, I find myself riding the volume all the time.

OT - 1st Symphony - Ormandy, and Caetani (big contrast between these two!)
6th  Petrenko,  9th Kondrashin,  15th (my favourite) Sanderling.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 28, 2012, 06:44:09 AM
15th (my favourite) Sanderling.

Cleveland or Berlin?  ;)

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: pbarach on October 28, 2012, 06:49:22 AM
Haitink's 4th with Chicago is livelier than his earlier recording. Ormandy/Philly is also an excellent recording. I think Jarvi got poor sound--it gets very muddy and shrill in the louder portions.

For the 5th, I really like Rostropovich's first recording with the National Symphony (was on DGG). His LSO recording is less inspired and has miserable Barbican Hall sound.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: trung224 on October 28, 2012, 09:05:42 AM
Haitink's 4th with Chicago is livelier than his earlier recording. Ormandy/Philly is also an excellent recording. I think Jarvi got poor sound--it gets very muddy and shrill in the louder portions.

For the 5th, I really like Rostropovich's first recording with the National Symphony (was on DGG). His LSO recording is less inspired and has miserable Barbican Hall sound.
   I really like Rostropovich's first Shostakovich 5 too. But I really don't know why at this time, when beginning conducting, not communicate well with the musician (he don't know English well), National Symphony Orchestral is only second-rate orchestra, Rostropovich can deliver such great performance but his two remake (with LSO and National SYmphony on Teldec) is very boring, uninspired.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 28, 2012, 11:27:31 AM
An orchestra's being second rate doesn't mean they are absolutely incapable of the occasional great performance, mind you.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 14, 2013, 04:54:30 PM
My initial listen to a disc of the Caetani cycle did not really wow me.  But, curious now to hear what he made of the Op.43 . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: alkan on February 17, 2013, 08:15:04 AM
Much to my surprise, my pick for the best recording of Op 43 is Rattle and the CBSO.    Great performance by both conductor and orchestra, and a terrific sound.    The final coda is awesome  ...  cataclysmic, then really eerie ....      Only Kondrashin gets close, but the recorded sound is not the same standard.     
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on February 17, 2013, 08:37:31 AM
Much to my surprise, my pick for the best recording of Op 43 is Rattle and the CBSO.    Great performance by both conductor and orchestra, and a terrific sound.    The final coda is awesome  ...  cataclysmic, then really eerie ....      Only Kondrashin gets close, but the recorded sound is not the same standard.   

I second that. The creepy/ eerie/ apocalyptic character of the work comes out really well on this one.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 17, 2013, 10:04:10 AM
Very interesting, gents.  I just re-visited that one last night, and for my money . . . it's an impressive effort, great sound, fabulous execution on the part of the band, but . . . .

More than in any recording other than Gergiev's (which I should re-visit, as well) I find that a few of Sir Simon's tempo choices had me posing the rhetorical question, What was he thinking?  There was one of the earlyish bassoon solos which was so rubato-ish that I felt they were almost lost (I mean, they couldn't have been, that was what was meant, but that was the musical impression it left me with).  And there was an extended section of the third movement which was just too fast.  Again: obviously a tour-de-force in terms of both the ability and will of the conductor, and of the capacity of the orchesta; but I could not feel that it was musically motivated.  (Though, I am guessing, you may likely feel otherwise.)

 
Against such considerations, there are several positives for the performance/recording. But overall (of course, YMMV) there are half a dozen recordings of which I think rather better.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: alkan on February 18, 2013, 04:20:58 AM
Hi Karl,

And there was an extended section of the third movement which was just too fast.  Again: obviously a tour-de-force in terms of both the ability and will of the conductor, and of the capacity of the orchesta; but I could not feel that it was musically motivated.  (Though, I am guessing, you may likely feel otherwise.)

I am guessing that the extended section in the 3rd mvt that you are referring to is the one with two note descending (and sometimes ascending) motif that is repeated endlessly for bar after bar.   I always found that quite boring and I'm quite glad that Sir Simon skims through it (and actually generates a bit of excitement).   


I find that a few of Sir Simon's tempo choices had me posing the rhetorical question, What was he thinking?

I think that in this passage Sir Simon was thinking "what on earth was Shostakovich thinking here?"    :)

In general, given the loose and often grotesque nature of the work, I think a conductor has a lot of freedom to try to make sense of it in his own particular way.   

By the way, concerning extreme tempos, have you heard Kurt Sanderling's version of the 5th Symphony?   I was quite shocked at the incredible slowness of the final coda, but having read Sanderling's article (in the booklet) I find that it really works and is better than the usual "blaze of glory" endings from all other conductors.

Back to the 4th, I have to admit that I often dip into the final part of the finale ..... the apocalypse and the aftermath.    The adrenalin really starts to flow when the big drum starts up with a rhythm that always makes me think of a huge menacing bouncy ball heading straight at me.     And the dissonance screamed out by the trumpets is pure genius.   What a shock that generates on first hearing!   The phantasmorgoric ending always makes my spine tingle ... when the bass rhythm switches from 3 notes to 2, the lamenting strings, the bizzare woodwind colours, the distant and threatening drumroll .... it's incredible how much menace and power is conveyed by a simple, soft crescendo/diminuendo of the drum.       And I love Sir S's concentrated performance and the wonderful sound in this part .....

Karl, what performances are your favourites for the 4th ?

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 18, 2013, 07:40:59 AM
Hi Karl,

I am guessing that the extended section in the 3rd mvt that you are referring to is the one with two note descending (and sometimes ascending) motif that is repeated endlessly for bar after bar.

Good morning, and thanks for entertaining my dissent!. : ) In fact, I had to go back to the recording this morning . . . I've been on something of an Opus 43 orgy, and in the interval, I had listened to the Barshai, which I found rather rushed in other places.

I knew the spot you meant, right off, for I admit that — not the first time I heard the piece, but the first time I heard the piece and felt that I actually liked it, and pretty thoroughly liked it — that was the one section on which I had some doubts, though even at the time, I was sure that if I dug into its guts, it would relate to a number of themes running through the whole piece.

My complaint actually is not in that section, but both before — the very head of that grand section, starting right after the keening oboes (and clarinets) [p.144] and after — you know the bit you practically cannot miss when, after all the motoric hocket, the oboes (and clarinets, again) come in with the descending accented half-note - quarter-note | quarter-note motif, all the way through to the massive trombone unison which cuts through the full orchestral accents [p.169] and on, until the piccolo / bass clarinet musette.

The thing is (what I have just checked, inspired by your kind inquiry), Shostakovich marks that Allegro on p.144 as the dotted-half-note at 84 . . . and Sir Simon definitely pushes that into the 94-100 range.  Then, it becomes a discussion of whether the markedly faster tempo is within interpretive license.

And my back-of-the-envelope reaction was, that the paragraphs before and after the hocket suffered.


By the way, concerning extreme tempos, have you heard Kurt Sanderling's version of the 5th Symphony?   I was quite shocked at the incredible slowness of the final coda, but having read Sanderling's article (in the booklet) I find that it really works and is better than the usual "blaze of glory" endings from all other conductors.

Back to the 4th, I have to admit that I often dip into the final part of the finale ..... the apocalypse and the aftermath.    The adrenalin really starts to flow when the big drum starts up with a rhythm that always makes me think of a huge menacing bouncy ball heading straight at me.     And the dissonance screamed out by the trumpets is pure genius.   What a shock that generates on first hearing!   The phantasmorgoric ending always makes my spine tingle ... when the bass rhythm switches from 3 notes to 2, the lamenting strings, the bizzare woodwind colours, the distant and threatening drumroll .... it's incredible how much menace and power is conveyed by a simple, soft crescendo/diminuendo of the drum.       And I love Sir S's concentrated performance and the wonderful sound in this part .....

Karl, what performances are your favourites for the 4th ?

Ah, the finale of the Fifth! It's quite a challenge to make the "slow" take on the finale convincing . . . no, I've not heard the Sanderling.

Over at the WAYLTN thread, Ray (ChamberNut) asked the same
: )

Probably my favorite accounts of the Fourth are: Haitink / Chicago; Maksim Dmitriyevich / Prague; Rostropovich / National Symphony. I still have some sentimental fondness for the Previn / Chicago, because that was the recording which sold me on the piece.

I'm revisiting the Gergiev and Jansons to-day . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: alkan on February 18, 2013, 09:08:32 AM
Thanks for the detailed reply Karl.     It gives me a little-needed excuse to listen to the finale again, but with new ears after reading your insights.

Concerning the Sanderling 5th, it is only the final peroration that is slow, not the whole movement.   The effect is unsettling if you are expecting the usual triumphant, "long live Stalin and the communist party" type ending.   The effect is more like a kind of sullen "enforced enthusiasm", which is actually bordering on defiance.    I don't think that it could be played that way at its premiere (otherwise no more symphonies at all ....), but Sanderling maintains (based on conversations with Shostakovich in later life) that this is Shostakovich's real intention.

Sanderling had some interesting views.   He also said that the percussion at the end of the 15th symphony represents (I quote) "an intensive care ward in a hospital: the person is attached to various contraptions, and the dials and screens indicate that heartbeat and brain activity are gradually expiring, then comes a last convulsion and it's all over"     This transforms a rhythmic and snappy percussion ballet into something quite chilling ....

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 18, 2013, 10:53:04 AM
Thanks for the detailed reply Karl.     It gives me a little-needed excuse to listen to the finale again, but with new ears after reading your insights.

Concerning the Sanderling 5th, it is only the final peroration that is slow, not the whole movement [....]

I understood you, though perhaps my reply came out a bit ambiguous.

I wonder, now, if I have any recording of the Fifth with that markedly slow tempo from rehearsal mark 131. Just now searching via Google, very curiously, I found a link to a post of my own on perhaps 'The Old GMG':


Quote from: kh
The finale of the Fifth I have found a curious question.  Recalls the Bigendian/Smallendian debate in some ways :-)

And the drivers are so ephemeral.  There's the characteristically colorful story in Testimony (and how do we know that's actually Shostakovich talking?)  The typically unfathomable Shostakovich deadpan of the 'broken metronome' remark.  The postcard returned to Celibidache with the laconic "Da" (which, again, knowing both the state of operation of the Soviet postal system, and how some missives wound up on desks of the KGB and never actually reached recipients . . . I just cannot think it much of a document to go on).

Upon this insufficient foundation, in part, we have [ fast ending = triumph / slow ending = dissident sarcasm ] as something of a "line in the sand," in some quarters.

I don't have the firm answer, obviously.  But two of my asides are:

1.) Shostakovich was in probably the tightest of a number of tight spots he experienced throughout his career.  Too much depended on the piece making the right impression in the right quarters;  he was not in the position here, to take the musical risk of (say) the Ninth later on during the war.  So, I'm not sure this was the occasion for him to play such a daring card.  Obviously, I cannot say one way or the other, absolutely.

2.) I consider how broad the ending of the 'Leningrad'  Symphony is, and how unambiguously triumphant.  I don't think it at all a 'slam dunk' that breadth of tempo in the finale of the Fifth, maps onto scornful dissidence.

Well, I do have one: the Ben Zander / Boston Philharmonic which makes something of a didactic point of taking those six pages half as fast.  The result is not, I fear, a musical success in that recording — which is not any definitive ruling, of course.

Visiting three recordings in short order to-day, the Temirkanov / St Petersburg Philharmonic recording carries that passage more deliberately, though not absolutely at half-time, and it works very musically.

Hmm, Sanderling, eh? . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 19, 2013, 05:48:11 AM
Well, revisiting the Gergiev in the Fourth was a good exercise.  For the greater part of the first movement, he's quite musical.  There are just two places in the first movement where he either the moderately peculiar, or the inexplicable;  and I can only suppose that those bits jarred enough, that that pretty much gauged the recording for me.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 20, 2013, 08:12:28 AM
[ Cross-post ]

First listen to this recording:

Дмитри Дмитриевич [ Dmitri Dmitriyevich (Shostakovich) ]
Симфония № 4 c-moll, соч. 43 [ Symphony № 4 in c minor, Opus 43 ]
Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi
Oleg Caetani




The first Caetani disc I heard contained the Ninth and Tenth Symphonies; I was not crazy about it – all right, I’ll go ahead and say meh – although I might perhaps have listened a bit more generously, had I not heard more than one enthusiast praise the Caetani cycle unto the skies.  (I haven’t catalogued my quarrels with the Ninth or Tenth, but can attend to that task if there be interest.)  Still, because at least one fellow musician whose opinion I take seriously (even though our tastes do disagree at a few points) has spoken highly of the cycle overall . . . and because, possibly as a partial result of my new-found enthusiasm for Bruckner, I’ve lately experienced a resurgent fascination with the Op.43 . . . I was curious to try Caetani out here.

This performance is marvelously good, and entirely enjoyable.  Are there recordings of this complex symphony with which I have no quibble at all?  I think there may be, one or even two.  With the present recording, my quarrels are refreshingly few, and non-fatal. The string fugato in the first movement feels a bit cautiously under-tempo – but then, I respect that more than driving the tempo fast, and failing to hold the string choir together (I’m talking to you, Rudolf).  Overall, it is a splendidly musical performance, and sheer pleasure to listen to.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Octave on February 21, 2013, 04:01:07 AM
Basic helpless question re: a full-cycle recommendation; please ignore or respond by PM if it's too much of an intrusion on thread conversation. 

I've worked my way through most of this thread and spent quite a bit of time with sound samples, but for the moment I feel drawn to get one or two more ~full-cycle sets of the symphonies before beginning piecemeal collection in earnest.  I only own the Barshai/NDR (in its Brilliant Classics issue), and I listened to the Haitink box one time.  Both have been powerful, but all I'm really hearing so far is the Shostakovich, such as it is.  I don't know if I've seen a surfeit of discussion on the overall merits of various full cycles over the past ~few years, unless I've just missed such discussion again and again.   
Two that I know I want are the Kondrashin and the Rozhdestvensky, but for the moment neither these is especially affordable, particularly the Rozhd; I'm going to hedge my bets on reissues. 
Two others of which I keep hearing mixed reports are the Jansons and Maxim Shostakovich.  How any of these, or others, compare on the whole to two I've heard (Barshai/Haitink) would be of interest.
Of course, I'm not fixated at all on the cycles I've mentioned.

Again, please PM me if in fact this ground has been trawled too often before.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 21, 2013, 05:19:23 AM
Actually, I think that perfectly on point, and it is no intrusion in the least.

I also think it may be that you will get as many different answers, as neighbors who answer
: )

With both Jansons and Shostakovich fils, the profile of the recording is delightfully clear, the bands are well rehearsed . . . for me, there is nothing which gets in the way of any of the symphonies.

I've not heard all of the Jansons, but I find his recordings of the Eighth, Tenth, Thirteenth and Fifteenth excellent indeed (I need to revisit him in the Fourth, so I shall tentatively point out that others highly endorse that 'un, too); and in the others which I remember listening to (nos. 1-3), fully competitive
; )

Maksim Dmitriyevich's set is essentially my reference. The adjective authoritative tends to be applied to Kondrashin and Barshai, and of course it applies equally well to the son of the composer;  with Maksim Dmitriyevich, there is also a cool-headedness which I find a refreshing benefit.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on February 21, 2013, 05:26:14 AM
Basic helpless question re: a full-cycle recommendation; please ignore or respond by PM if it's too much of an intrusion on thread conversation. 

Two others of which I keep hearing mixed reports are the Jansons and Maxim Shostakovich.  How any of these, or others, compare on the whole to two I've heard (Barshai/Haitink) would be of interest.
Of course, I'm not fixated at all on the cycles I've mentioned.

Again, please PM me if in fact this ground has been trawled too often before.

The heights of Jansons' cycles include some of the finest DSCH recordings in modern sound... especially those with the BRSO, but also the Pittsburgh 8th, for example.

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/04/jansons-latest-in-shostakovich.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/04/jansons-latest-in-shostakovich.html)
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/04/mariss-jansonss-dsch-4.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/04/mariss-jansonss-dsch-4.html)
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/07/shostakovich-8th-with-rostropovich-on.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/07/shostakovich-8th-with-rostropovich-on.html)

That said, it's not the most even cycle... an Oslo Vienna 5th is rather so-so, ditto the LSO 15.

Maxim's "Czech" cycle never quite did it for me... the magic -- alleged or real -- of earlier recordings is something I'm missing... perhaps it's not even there. Karl rather likes that cycle, though, if I gathered correctly, and may be able to speak more to what he considers its particular strengths (or weaknesses).  [He seems to have done so, by the time I've gotten around to hit "Post"]

Kondrashin (Melodiya) is one elemental part of the DSCH puzzle. Also not the answer to all your questions, but a stupendous alternative to have.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Daverz on February 21, 2013, 07:20:09 AM


Maxim's "Czech" cycle never quite did it for me... the magic -- alleged or real -- of earlier recordings is something I'm missing... perhaps it's not even there.

Not sure what you mean by "earlier recordings".  Maxim's Soviet era recordings of 5 and 15 were somewhat famous.  I don't think the 15th ever made it to CD.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on February 21, 2013, 07:41:25 AM
Not sure what you mean by "earlier recordings".  Maxim's Soviet era recordings of 5 and 15 were somewhat famous.  I don't think the 15th ever made it to CD.

Precisely those. Whatever it was that I heard those recordings being described as (not that the 5th turned out to be all that, once I got my hands on it), was not what I hear in the cycle... which is, if anything, rather cool-eyed and level-headed, as Karl intimates.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Daverz on February 21, 2013, 07:48:55 AM
Precisely those. Whatever it was that I heard those recordings being described as (not that the 5th turned out to be all that, once I got my hands on it), was not what I hear in the cycle... which is, if anything, rather cool-eyed and level-headed, as Karl intimates.

I think Maxim's old 15 does hold up.  I remember my friends were unimpressed with the 5th (RCA-Melodiya).  I think the first movement was described as "soggy".
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: aukhawk on February 22, 2013, 08:05:52 AM
I've got that 15th on LP - perhaps I'll make an effort and rip it to FLAC, would be interesting to hear it again.  I always formed the impression that it was a bit 'immature' in the sense that the work was still very new when this recording was made, and it was a few years before some conductors (Sanderling springs to mind) really began to plumb the depths.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: vandermolen on February 22, 2013, 08:39:27 AM
Not sure what you mean by "earlier recordings".  Maxim's Soviet era recordings of 5 and 15 were somewhat famous.  I don't think the 15th ever made it to CD.

Maxim's No 15 is my favourite - especially for the pitter-patter ending. Outrageous that it never made it to CD.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: The new erato on February 22, 2013, 11:23:57 PM
Maxim's No 15 is my favourite - especially for the pitter-patter ending. Outrageous that it never made it to CD.
As opposed to the set on Supraphon?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: The new erato on February 24, 2013, 01:12:09 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-InK6gTGL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Anybody have any opinions on these?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Octave on February 24, 2013, 01:23:01 AM
I forgot to thank Jens and Karl for the cycles feedback; thanks, guys
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Daverz on February 24, 2013, 01:41:46 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-InK6gTGL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Anybody have any opinions on these?

We could probably come up with better performances for each recording (some of them by Sanderling!), but I think any Shostakovich fan will want this box.  Good sonics (as usual from this source) and good playing.

I have these in an cheap Edel box of Sanderling things (no notes at all).  I also had a couple of the original single issues, which came with excellent notes, so I should have kept them.  I don't know whether this box includes the notes.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: alkan on February 25, 2013, 02:26:24 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-InK6gTGL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Anybody have any opinions on these?
I too have this set and I find it to be really excellent.     My highlights are nos 5, 10 and 15, but the others are also pretty good.    Excellent sound and the performances are very intense and concentrated.    The start of the 5th is really gripping .... quite fearsome and unsettling.   I've already posted earlier about Sanderling's interpretation of the ending of the work.    It makes a tremendous contrast to Kondrashin's version.    Following the earlier discussion with Karl, I think that both styles of interpretation (dissident sarcasm versus triumph) are valid.   It's incredible that such music can be played in such opposite ways and still remain coherent.

The set is actually a collection of individual CD's in ther own cases and with individual booklets.    The notes are excellent, consisting mainly of interviews with Sanderling, who was close to Shostakovich.

I cannot compare with many of the cycles by other conductors (except Kondrashin)   I just know that I am very happy with this set and I dip into it quite often.   
Title: Vandermolen Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: alkan on February 25, 2013, 02:36:22 AM
Maxim's No 15 is my favourite - especially for the pitter-patter ending. Outrageous that it never made it to CD.

Pitter-patter !     Well, actually I admit that I used to see it this way too until I read Sanderling's program notes for the 15th  (below an excerpt from an earlier post). 

Sanderling had some interesting views.   He also said that the percussion at the end of the 15th symphony represents (I quote) "an intensive care ward in a hospital: the person is attached to various contraptions, and the dials and screens indicate that heartbeat and brain activity are gradually expiring, then comes a last convulsion and it's all over"     This transforms a rhythmic and snappy percussion ballet into something quite chilling ....

Although I still enjoy the interplay of the percussion rhythms, I can't get Sanderling's disturbing image out of my head when listening ....

I too have Maxim's recording on LP .... a historical document and an excellent recording.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on February 25, 2013, 04:41:09 AM
Anybody have any opinions on [Sanderling's Shostakovich]?

Yes. Essential DSCH from someone who never made any loud-mouth proclamations about authenticity-by-contact but just delivered the deeds, instead. Central, in a supplemental way, to any good DSCH symphony collection.


(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000025R32.01.L.jpg)
  DSCH
Symphonies 1, 5, 6, 8, 10, 15
K.Sanderling / Berlin SO

Edel (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000025R32/goodmusicguide-20)
German link (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000025R32/goodmusicguide-21) - UK link (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000025R32/goodmusicguide-21)

You might feel compelled, afterwards, to seek out all the other Sanderling DSCH recordings, too... so be forewarned.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 25, 2013, 05:30:16 AM
Well, I have the warm feeling for having fetched that 'un in, and now need to see about listening : )
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Brian on February 25, 2013, 05:43:20 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-InK6gTGL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Anybody have any opinions on these?

It's in my top three Tenths, alongside V. Petrenko and Jansons.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Mirror Image on February 25, 2013, 07:57:36 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-InK6gTGL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Anybody have any opinions on these?

Excellent set overall. Sanderling's BSO 15th isn't as good as his Cleveland, but the other performances are all spot-on and incredibly intense. I do like this 8th and 10th a lot. The 5th is good, but nobody beats Bernstein's Live in Japan performance here. The 6th is handled well with a brooding opening movement and that only becomes more gripping as it progresses. The last movement (aka 'demonic circus music' as I like to call it) is great fun here. I really have enjoyed these performances, erato and I'm sure you will too.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: The new erato on February 25, 2013, 10:06:25 AM
Excellent set overall. Sanderling's BSO 15th isn't as good as his Cleveland, but the other performances are all spot-on and incredibly intense. I do like this 8th and 10th a lot. The 5th is good, but nobody beats Bernstein's Live in Japan performance here. The 6th is handled well with a brooding opening movement and that only becomes more gripping as it progresses. The last movement (aka 'demonic circus music' as I like to call it) is great fun here. I really have enjoyed these performances, erato and I'm sure you will too.
Thanks, John. They're moving upwards in my list(s).
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on March 01, 2013, 05:52:54 AM
The Sanderling Sixth is the first I've listened to in that set, very nice indeed.  In tone, reminds me of the Temirkanov/St Petersburg recording.

Anyone have an opinion about the Slatkin recording of the Eighth & Tenth?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: TheGSMoeller on March 01, 2013, 11:40:40 AM

Anyone have an opinion about the Slatkin recording of the Eighth & Tenth?[/font]

My favorite 8th, haven't heard 10th.

I like Slatkin, Haydn, Shostakovich, RVW, Orff, Elgar, Barber, Ives, etc... all solid performances from him. Orchestras just seem to play with extreme precision when under Slatkin, especially the St. Louis SO during his tenure with them.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on March 01, 2013, 12:21:03 PM
Orchestras just seem to play with extreme precision when under Slatkin, especially at least the St. Louis SO during his tenure with them.

Never mind the snarkification.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: ChamberNut on June 03, 2013, 09:03:38 AM
Has anyone heard the recently released Petrenko and RLPO's account of the 7th?

I've been listening to it the last couple of days.

Overall, I like it.

Particularly the final two movements.

I'm slightly disappointed by the 2nd movement.  I find it does not quite enough of a good pace to it.  Too slow for my tastes, I guess?  ;D





Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: kishnevi on June 03, 2013, 05:11:57 PM
Has anyone heard the recently released Petrenko and RLPO's account of the 7th?

I've been listening to it the last couple of days.

Overall, I like it.

Particularly the final two movements.

I'm slightly disappointed by the 2nd movement.  I find it does not quite enough of a good pace to it.  Too slow for my tastes, I guess?  ;D

I've given it one listen, when it arrived.  It seemed fine,  but made no real impression.  I remember the second movement seeming more softer edged and lyrical than I remember from other performances, so I'm guessing I liked the pacing better than you. Still, it didn't grab me as a must have recording.

On a related note, has anyone had a chance to hear the new recording of the 10th by Janssons and the Concertgebouw,  on their in house label (RCO Live)--or the concerts at which it was recorded, for that matter.
(Jens, I seem to remember a review or two of yours featuring Janssons on Ionarts--was this one of them?)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on June 03, 2013, 11:57:04 PM

On a related note, has anyone had a chance to hear the new recording of the 10th by Janssons and the Concertgebouw,  on their in house label (RCO Live)--or the concerts at which it was recorded, for that matter.
(Jens, I seem to remember a review or two of yours featuring Janssons on Ionarts--was this one of them?)

Nope... I wasn't at that concert. But I can tell you that from knowing what I do from and about the RCO-players and how they react to Jansons doing Shostakovich, I absolutely need to hear the recording!
Title: Re: Vandermolen Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Herman on June 05, 2013, 10:33:30 PM
Pitter-patter !     Well, actually I admit that I used to see it this way too until I read Sanderling's program notes for the 15th  (below an excerpt from an earlier post). 

Sanderling had some interesting views.   He also said that the percussion at the end of the 15th symphony represents (I quote) "an intensive care ward in a hospital: the person is attached to various contraptions, and the dials and screens indicate that heartbeat and brain activity are gradually expiring, then comes a last convulsion and it's all over"     This transforms a rhythmic and snappy percussion ballet into something quite chilling ....

Although I still enjoy the interplay of the percussion rhythms, I can't get Sanderling's disturbing image out of my head when listening ....

I too have Maxim's recording on LP .... a historical document and an excellent recording.

That's a way of listening to it. The way I interpret the pitter patter is that DSCH is letting go of sound structured into music. It's music returning t mere sound; the noise the universe makes. Etcetera
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: valtys on June 25, 2013, 11:16:12 AM
Has anyone compared the new Melodiya reissues of Kondrashin's cycle compared to the Aulos release?

I own several of the original Melodiya recordings, and jumped on the Aulos set when it came out several years back. I never thought I would be tempted to buy the same recordings a third time!

But these recordings truly are incredible. If the new set has much better sound, I may get it.

I also wonder what people think of Kitajenko's cycle? After having listened to most of it, I am of the opinion that this could be one of the best sets to own. The 4th, 8th, 11th, and 12th are some of my favorites on there. The sound quality is absolutely superb. I already like this more than Barshai's cycle, which I thought was excellent as well.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on June 25, 2013, 12:00:45 PM
Has anyone compared the new Melodiya reissues of Kondrashin's cycle compared to the Aulos release?

Without side-by-side, except in the 4th and 15th, I'd say that the Melodiya cycle is just a tad better... but not nearly as much as the Aulos was better than previously available copies. So no... I suppose I'd not think it expedient to triple-up.

Love Kitajenko... hate his Fifth. But 14 out of 15 ain't bad.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: valtys on June 25, 2013, 12:24:33 PM
Without side-by-side, except in the 4th and 15th, I'd say that the Melodiya cycle is just a tad better... but not nearly as much as the Aulos was better than previously available copies. So no... I suppose I'd not think it expedient to triple-up.

Love Kitajenko... hate his Fifth. But 14 out of 15 ain't bad.

Thanks for the response! Looks like the Aulos set will be good enough as a keeper in regards to Kondrashin.

I agree that the 5th may be the weakest in Kitajenko's set.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 25, 2013, 12:48:40 PM
14 out of 15 isn't bad. But the Fifth is a hell of a ball to drop $:)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on June 25, 2013, 01:27:03 PM
14 out of 15 isn't bad. But the Fifth is a hell of a ball to drop $:)

But it's also the least important in any set, because any DSCH-listener is bound to have several individual copies of their liking of that one, already.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles &amp; Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 25, 2013, 01:42:10 PM
That's fair.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Tyson on July 07, 2013, 02:10:34 PM
Kondrashin has been a favorite of mine for a very long time (have the Aulos set), but over time my appreciation for Haitink has grown quite a bit.  Enough that it's taken over the 2nd spot from Barshai, and it's making a charge for the top spot.  I've been finding the new Petrenko cycle overrated. 
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: relm1 on July 07, 2013, 11:53:59 PM
Kondrashin has been a favorite of mine for a very long time (have the Aulos set), but over time my appreciation for Haitink has grown quite a bit.  Enough that it's taken over the 2nd spot from Barshai, and it's making a charge for the top spot.  I've been finding the new Petrenko cycle overrated.

I think I agree with you that petrenko seems overrated but the critics are consistently praising it.  What do you think of mark wigglesworth's cycle on BIS?  It's a unique interpretation to be sure.  Excellent sonics (except the symphony no. 7 where the levels are just too low).  I don't see his name mentioned much when discussing cycles.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 10, 2013, 03:26:30 AM
A little to my surprise, I find that I only have the Fourth and the Thirteenth from the Barshai cycle.  At the current price-point, even though I have my reservations, I should fetch in the set.

Kondrashin has been a favorite of mine for a very long time (have the Aulos set), but over time my appreciation for Haitink has grown quite a bit.  Enough that it's taken over the 2nd spot from Barshai, and it's making a charge for the top spot.

Yes! Haitink is too seldom given the musical credit here (and in his Vaughan Williams cycle) which is his due.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 10, 2013, 03:31:15 AM
Petrenko . . . I've found all that I have heard good, sometimes very good indeed; and I feel that this is recommendation enough for the enterprise, certainly.  Perhaps there has been some inflated praise, though I understand a natural excitement during the progress of so strong an effort.  It isn't going to be fair to any present-day artist (and the practice of the art must continue, we don't want orchestral music to be entirely an archival affair) to demand that he match the very highest benchmark.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Jay F on July 10, 2013, 04:43:03 AM
I'm continuing to listen to my Barshai cycle. I'm just tickled that I happened upon Shostakovich this late in life. I thought I'd heard everything I'd ever want to listen to, but instead, I have a whole new, huge body of work to revel in.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 10, 2013, 04:44:57 AM
That's a wonderful feeling, and this isn't the last of it!
 
Which symphonies have you heard, now?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Jay F on July 10, 2013, 05:00:09 AM
That's a wonderful feeling, and this isn't the last of it!
 
Which symphonies have you heard, now?

Symphonies 3 through 9.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 10, 2013, 05:05:02 AM
Splendid, carry on!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Jay F on July 10, 2013, 05:06:10 AM
Splendid, carry on!

Just moved into ten. I'm listening on my computer, just playing it in order. I skipped 1 and 2, though.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 10, 2013, 05:08:22 AM
Half the time, the Tenth is my favorite Shostakovich symphony.

No pressure, though
  ;)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 10, 2013, 05:10:43 AM
For whatever reason you may have skipped the First . . . if you're game, I should suggest listening to the First just before the Fifteenth, they are luminously complementary.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Jay F on July 10, 2013, 05:20:07 AM
For whatever reason you may have skipped the First . . . if you're game, I should suggest listening to the First just before the Fifteenth, they are luminously complementary.

Okay. I'll do that. I skipped the first and second symphonies because some reviewer said they weren't that good. Probably someone writing in the Penguin Guide. I don't remember.

I'm now listening to the fourth movement of the tenth. I think this is going to be a favorite movement.

Thanks, Karl.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: North Star on July 10, 2013, 05:24:10 AM
Okay. I'll do that. I skipped the first and second symphonies because some reviewer said they weren't that good. Probably someone writing in the Penguin Guide. I don't remember.

I'm now listening to the fourth movement of the tenth. I think this is going to be a favorite movement.

Thanks, Karl.
I'd suggest skipping Penguin Guide instead. The Shostakovich symphonies are great, and Karl's suggestion is excellent; listen to nos. 11-14 next, then no. 1 & 15.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 10, 2013, 05:33:09 AM
Aye, if anything I do prefer the Second to the Third.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on July 10, 2013, 05:51:02 AM
I'd suggest skipping Penguin Guide instead. The Shostakovich symphonies are great, and Karl's suggestion is excellent; listen to nos. 11-14 next, then no. 1 & 15.

Then the 4th and 5th. Or maybe the 4th right away. It had a bad rap for many years, but it is not only one of his finest, it contains all the seeds of all that would become Shostakovich's music. And, for better or worse, it's the most obviously close DSCH ever got to his Symphony-hero Mahler.



assorted DSCH-links:


Mariss Jansons's DSCH-4 (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/04/mariss-jansonss-dsch-4.html)

Shostakovich, Symphony No.4, Gergiev & Barshai (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/01/shostakovich-symphony-no4-gergiev.html)

Gergiev's Munich Shostakovich - Symphonies 6 & 10 (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/05/gergievs-munich-shostakovich-symphonies.html)

Gergiev's Munich Shostakovich - Symphonies 7 & 9 (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/05/gergievs-munich-shostakovich-symphonies_11.html)

Gergiev's Munich Shostakovich - Symphonies 1 & 4 (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/11/gergievs-munich-shostakovich-symphonies.html)

Gergiev's Munich Shostakovich - Symphonies 11 & 15 (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/08/gergievs-munich-shostakovich-symphonies.html)

Ionarts-at-Large: The Admirable, Adorable Stanisław Skrowaczewski (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/05/ionarts-at-large-admirable-adorable.html)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Jay F on July 10, 2013, 05:58:15 AM
I'm now at the organ movement of the Eleventh. Sublime.

And now into the tense, military-movie-music-like second movement of the Eleventh. How exciting.

Thanks for the suggestions, all of you.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: North Star on July 10, 2013, 07:01:14 AM
Then the 4th and 5th. Or maybe the 4th right away. It had a bad rap for many years, but it is not only one of his finest, it contains all the seeds of all that would become Shostakovich's music. And, for better or worse, it's the most obviously close DSCH ever got to his Symphony-hero Mahler.

Yes! The 4th is one of the best of the whole cycle. Definitely listen to these two together, too.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Jay F on July 10, 2013, 07:30:07 AM
I created little playlists with DSCH 1 & 15 and DSCH 4 & 5.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 11, 2013, 05:49:14 AM
Jay, where are you in your cycle?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 11, 2013, 05:51:26 AM
Half the time, the Tenth is my favorite Shostakovich symphony.

Yes! The 4th is one of the best of the whole cycle. Definitely listen to these two together, too.

The other half, it's the Fourth. Though I freely confess, I do like them all, and mighty well.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Jay F on July 11, 2013, 07:56:49 AM
Jay, where are you in your cycle?

Hi, Karl - I stopped in the middle of No. 14. After listening to "Babi Yar," I just couldn't hear any more Russian singing. I got involved in the HD Tracks page, listening mainly to "better sounding" pop and rock clips (Grateful Dead, Linda Ronstadt, the Doors), and then listened to everything I have by R.E.M. on iTunes shuffle.

After I finished R.E.M., I listened to DSCH 1 and 15 in sequence, which is very pleasing. Thank you for the suggestion. Then I went to bed. I am going to listen to that playlist again, and the combined 4 & 5.

Today, my Webern box set arrived, and I'm listening to Disc 1. I'm on Schubert's "German Dances" now, and like it a lot. Does this mean I like Schubert or Webern? (I already know I like Schubert.)

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: North Star on July 11, 2013, 08:39:55 AM
Hi, Karl - I stopped in the middle of No. 14. After listening to "Babi Yar," I just couldn't hear any more Russian singing. I got involved in the HD Tracks page, listening mainly to "better sounding" pop and rock clips (Grateful Dead, Linda Ronstadt, the Doors), and then listened to everything I have by R.E.M. on iTunes shuffle.

After I finished R.E.M., I listened to DSCH 1 and 15 in sequence, which is very pleasing. Thank you for the suggestion. Then I went to bed. I am going to listen to that playlist again, and the combined 4 & 5.

Today, my Webern box set arrived, and I'm listening to Disc 1. I'm on Schubert's "German Dances" now, and like it a lot. Does this mean I like Schubert or Webern? (I already know I like Schubert.)
Taking a break between 13 & 14 is totally understandable. Maybe you ought to listen to one with no vocals between 13 & 14?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 11, 2013, 08:45:02 AM
Hi, Karl - I stopped in the middle of No. 14. After listening to "Babi Yar," I just couldn't hear any more Russian singing. I got involved in the HD Tracks page, listening mainly to "better sounding" pop and rock clips (Grateful Dead, Linda Ronstadt, the Doors), and then listened to everything I have by R.E.M. on iTunes shuffle.

After I finished R.E.M., I listened to DSCH 1 and 15 in sequence, which is very pleasing. Thank you for the suggestion. Then I went to bed. I am going to listen to that playlist again, and the combined 4 & 5.

Today, my Webern box set arrived, and I'm listening to Disc 1. I'm on Schubert's "German Dances" now, and like it a lot. Does this mean I like Schubert or Webern? (I already know I like Schubert.)

So far, that you like Schubert  :)
 
Webern's soundworld is very different (and likeable, IMO).
 
Understand completely about absorbing only so much Russian singing (as I understand Russian, I have a similar limitation with certain other languages). Then, too, the Fourteenth is a very different kettle of fish to the Thirteenth.
 
Have you gone back to check out the Second, yet?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Jay F on July 11, 2013, 08:48:55 AM
Taking a break between 13 & 14 is totally understandable. Maybe you ought to listen to one with no vocals between 13 & 14?

Good idea.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Jay F on July 11, 2013, 08:52:47 AM
Have you gone back to check out the Second, yet?

No, I haven't gotten to it yet. The Webern box set came this morning in the mail. I'm listening to its second disc now. I'm mad about my Austrians, maybe because my grandfather was from Austria (I never met him, though). I like Shostakovich equally, or more, however.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 11, 2013, 08:53:34 AM
Well, you've certainly plunged right in!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Jay F on July 11, 2013, 08:55:34 AM
Well, you've certainly plunged right in!

I'm so glad there is still this much music I'd not listened to before. I thought Mahler, Schubert, Beethoven, and Mozart were all I needed. Oh, and Bach, of course.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 11, 2013, 09:03:07 AM
I find that one's ears grow bigger over time, unless we lock up  $:)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 11, 2013, 04:32:55 AM
[ Cross-post ]
 
For me personally, the funniest item orbiting around this review (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,21529.msg749450.html#msg749450) is . . . When Peter Bloom and I were chatting after our King's Chapel recital, something Peter mentioned triggered an amusing Wooster memory.
 
For my very last jury at Wooster, there were only two jurors:  my clarinet instructor, and the flute instructor (an adjunct faculty member who came onto campus two days a week to give lessons).  I played something which not long before I had played (and played quite well) for my senior recital.  My clarinet instructor, Nancy, was entirely satisfied with my playing for the jury.  The other juror's comments on the sheet were brief, and went thus:  You played fast, you played slow. So what?
 
Happily, my own teacher was there to put this into context, so that my spirit was not shattered.  But, as I say, I felt I had played very well, and my instructor felt the same.
 
Now, I have not yet listened to the Petrenko account of the Op.43 . . . and probably, especially as a result of this meh review, I should wait until I can give the piece undivided attention, this Sunday or Monday.  But I can easily envision a case where the performance and recording are excellent, and Dan Morgan's 650-word review boils down to:  You played fast, you played slow. So what?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Brian on October 11, 2013, 04:52:04 AM
Now that I've given the review my undivided attention, I agree it's an example of how unhelpful reviews can be.

Helpful discussion:
- "the perky march rhythms lack menace and that the sudden car-crash of a climax at 7:04 passes for precious little"

Unhelpful bits:
- what does it mean to say that someone is playing music rhetorically?
- what does it mean to say that a performance of Shostakovich is raunchy?
- what are "spectral interventions"?
- "one feels both violated and liberated at the end" - are we comparing this symphony to rape?

I like that story, Karl. I might borrow "You played fast, you played slow, so what?" as a great metaphor for this kind of thing.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 11, 2013, 04:59:07 AM
Not sure I can help myself, and I may play the Petrenko today even though I am apt to be distracted . . . .
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Parsifal on October 11, 2013, 05:21:18 AM
Now that I've given the review my undivided attention, I agree it's an example of how unhelpful reviews can be.

Helpful discussion:
- "the perky march rhythms lack menace and that the sudden car-crash of a climax at 7:04 passes for precious little"

Unhelpful bits:
- what does it mean to say that someone is playing music rhetorically?
- what does it mean to say that a performance of Shostakovich is raunchy?
- what are "spectral interventions"?
- "one feels both violated and liberated at the end" - are we comparing this symphony to rape?

I like that story, Karl. I might borrow "You played fast, you played slow, so what?" as a great metaphor for this kind of thing.

Your supposedly unhelpful bits strike me as being as helpful as anything I've read in a review.  Violated and liberated does not necessarily mean rape.  I wish all of the reviews I've seen had this much information in them.  Of course, he is critical of your boy so you are going to say it is a bad review.

I reiterate, most valuable thing in the review is that Wigglesworth has a recording of the piece on BIS.  Already in my shopping cart.  Now I'm looking for the best price.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 11, 2013, 05:22:47 AM
Sorry, I see scads of opinion, but little information. The existence of a Wigglesworth recording, yes, that is information. Buried in there.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Parsifal on October 11, 2013, 05:31:49 AM
Sorry, I see scads of opinion, but little information. The existence of a Wigglesworth recording, yes, that is information. Buried in there.

Yes, there is a lot of disparaging language in that review.  What I get from that is he listened to Petrenko's other recordings and he thinks they stink.  But the phrases Brian singled out strike me as quite clear in their meaning.  I have no dog in this fight (I find myself with no curiosity whatsoever about Petrenko's Shostakovich recordings) but the review strikes me as typical, perhaps a bit better than average with regards to "information" conveyed.  But "above average classical recording review" is a very, very low standard, sort of like an above average story in the National Enquirer.

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 11, 2013, 05:40:28 AM
Right, I think we are all agreed: reviews whose informational content boils down to I don't like this one, listen, here are these others I like better; sorry I cannot be bothered to give you musical reasons why are the journalistic equivalent of fruitflies.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on October 11, 2013, 09:11:36 AM
Not sure I listened before to the Kondrashin/Dresden account of the Op.43 . . . anyone else feel that he rushes the second movement? (Moderato, con moto)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: amw on April 29, 2014, 02:34:36 AM
Ok, a question about the fifth symphony to stay on topic.

Reading the Classicstoday.com reviews, it appears there are two ways for a conductor to approach the finale. Victor Carr Jr wrote this about Lorin Maazel and the Cleveland Orchestra: "Maazel’s finale builds to an excitingly affirmative conclusion–the kind prevalent before the revisionist “ironic” ending popularized by Rostropovich".

Now compare David Hurwitz on Yakov Kreizberg and Russian National Orchestra: "Kreizberg, like Sanderling, is absolutely convinced that the finale does not represent a “happy” ending."

So what do you prefer?

Replying to a 2 year old post!

I found a couple of approaches I like—the really slow endings can have a sort of apocalyptic gravitas or a sort of parodic excess, depending on (oddly enough) how those repeated As in the violins are articulated. This is the Ashkenazy, Rostropovich, Sanderling kind of thing. They do tend to play the Allegro non troppo a bit faster, which makes it sort of exciting (esp Sanderling), whereas Ashkenazy errs more on the "apocalyptic" side of things.

On the other hand there is Wigglesworth who takes the last movement quite slowly (esp at first)—which actually is supported by Shostakovich's metronome marks, which are not that fast (starting at quarter = 88, I think... don't have a score to hand... accelerating to quarter = 120 as the main theme progresses, a bit further to something like quarter = 144 at one point, but then all the note values get halved so it's effectively even slower than the beginning...)—making it almost disappear in the middle. He maintains the slow tempo when the theme comes back and starts building up (I think this is counter to Mitya's metronome marks actually)... does the required allargando into the coda... then just goes back to the original tempo and plays the coda in strict metronomic time without even the slightest rit. at the end. The overall effect is quite mechanistic, somewhat reminiscent of the "invasion" theme in the 7th.

The only others I've heard are Stokowski and Bernstein which I didn't like as much. In general I find I don't care so much whether the coda is taken fast or slow, as whether the tempo is broadened for the last two bars or not (i.e. the timpani/bass drum solo). If it is, I seem to find the performance less satisfying.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 29, 2014, 02:59:27 AM
So long as it is done convincingly, I can take that coda either slow or fast.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on May 01, 2014, 08:44:17 AM
It's time to put together a list of complete DSCH Symphony cycles...

and any help and input to complete the list (not all at once; I've only jotted down the obvious ones so far... without dates and such) here would be much appreciated.

Shostakovich Cycles


R.Barshai / WDR SO
Brilliant

B.Haitink / RCO & LPO
(London Phil.  1-4, 7, 9, 10 and 15
Concertgebous 5,6,8 ,11-14)
Decca

M.Shostakovich / Prague SO

M.Rostropovich /

Y.Mravinsky / Leningrad PO
(incomplete)

K.Kondrashin / Moscow PO
Melodiya et al.

V.Petrenko / R.Liverpool PO

M.Jansons / Various
EMI
(BRSO, BPh, LPO, Oslo Phil, Pittsburgh SO,

M.Wigglesworth / Netherlands RPO, BBC NO Wales
BIS

V.Ashekenazy / Royal Phil., St.Petersburg PO, NHK SO
Decca

Various Conductors / RNO
Pentatone
(Vladimir Jurowski 1, 6 | P.Berglund 8 | M.Pletnev 11, 15 | Y.Kreizberg 5, 9... has that been all, to-date? 5 releases, 7 symphonies? Huh, seemed like there was more already)


V.Gergiev / Mariinsky O.
Mariinsky Live

D.Kitayenko / Gürzenich O.
Capriccio

DG Mixed Cycle
(Bernstein, Chung, Järvi, Karajan, Previn, Rostropovich)

L.Slovak / Yablonski
Czech RSO
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 01, 2014, 09:36:26 AM
M.Wigglesworth / Netherlands RPO
BIS

Actually there's a bit of a split with this cycle. Five of the symphonies (the first to be recorded, IIRC) were recorded with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. I have nos. 5, 6, & 10 with this orchestra and love them.


 
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: kishnevi on May 01, 2014, 08:33:02 PM
Has Gergiev actually recorded all the symphonies (including his earlier takes with Philips/Decca)?  I do not remember seeing 12 and 13 from him.

Haitink also divvied up his cycle between two orchestras.
London Phil.  1-4, 7, 9, 10 and 15
Concertgebous 5,6,8 ,11-14
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: aukhawk on May 02, 2014, 02:27:46 AM
Caetani

and there was the old Melodiya mixed cycle - Svetlanov, Rozhdestvensky‎, Kondrashin, plus the 15th under Maxim Shostakovich, I don't know if that's available as a cycle now
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: londonrich on May 02, 2014, 02:45:24 AM
There's also the Rozhdestvensky Melodiya cycle, which looks like it's OOP now
http://www.amazon.com/Shostakovich-Symphonies-Nos-1-15-Dmitry/dp/B00004TCPW

And, if you're including incompletes, the Sanderling's a good one:
http://www.amazon.com/Symphonies-10-15-D-Shostakovich/dp/B000025R32/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1399031186&sr=1-2&keywords=sanderling+shostakovich
Maybe too incomplete?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on May 02, 2014, 03:51:30 AM
There's also the Rozhdestvensky Melodiya cycle, which looks like it's OOP now
http://www.amazon.com/Shostakovich-Symphonies-Nos-1-15-Dmitry/dp/B00004TCPW

And, if you're including incompletes, the Sanderling's a good one:
http://www.amazon.com/Symphonies-10-15-D-Shostakovich/dp/B000025R32/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1399031186&sr=1-2&keywords=sanderling+shostakovich
Maybe too incomplete?

Caetani
and there was the old Melodiya mixed cycle - Svetlanov, Rozhdestvensky‎, Kondrashin, plus the 15th under Maxim Shostakovich, I don't know if that's available as a cycle now

Caetani, of course! I also overlooked Kofman and Inbal.

Never seen the mixed Melodiya cycle... interesting, especially with that semi mythic Maxim 15th.

And yes, Rozhdestvensky‎ was outside my perimeter, too... now that there's more action from Melodiya, re-issue-wise, we might hope to see that re-issued.

If I include the Pentatone, which is slimmer than I thought (but might well be continued), I would *have* to include Sanderling. Incomplete though it is, I think extremely highly of it... and since it's not like with Beethoven Sonata Cycles, where there are more than you could shake a stick at, it strikes me as prudent to make liberal exceptions.

It's time to put together a list of complete DSCH Symphony cycles...

and any help and input to complete the list (not all at once; I've only jotted down the obvious ones so far... without dates and such) here would be much appreciated.

Shostakovich Cycles

R.Barshai / WDR SO
Brilliant, 11 CDs

B.Haitink / RCO, LPO
Decca, 11 CDs   

M.Shostakovich / Prague SO
Supraphon 10 CDs

M.Rostropovich / NSO, LSO, Academic SO Moscow
Warner, 12 CDs

Y.Mravinsky / Leningrad PO
(incomplete)

K.Kondrashin / Moscow PO
Melodiya, 11 CDs , Aulos 10 CDs.

V.Petrenko / R.Liverpool PO

M.Jansons / Various
EMI - Warner
(BRSO, BPh, LPO, Oslo PO, Pittsburgh SO, WPh, Philadelphia, St.Peterburg PO.)

M.Wigglesworth / Netherlands RPO, BBS NO Wales
BIS

V.Ashekenazy / Royal Phil., St.Petersburg PO, NHK SO
Decca, 12 CDs

Various Conductors / Vladimir Jurowski 1, 6 | P.Berglund 8 | M.Pletnev 11, 15 | Y.Kreizberg 5, 9.
Pentatone, SACD

V.Gergiev / Mariinsky O.
Mariinsky Live

D.Kitayenko / Gürzenich O.
Capriccio, 12 SACDs

DG Mixed Cycle Collector’s Edition
(Bernstein, Chung, Järvi, Karajan, Previn, Rostropovich)

L.Slovak / Czech RSO
Naxos

O. Caetani /  Giuseppe Verdi SO Milan
Arts, 10 SACDs

R.Kofman / Beethoven Orchester Bonn
M|DG 11 SACDs

G.Rozhdestvensky / Leningrad PO, Moscow PO, USSR Ministry of Culture SO
Melodiya, 14 CDs

E.Inbal / WSO
Denon, 11 CDs

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise 4,13,14,15
Post by: snyprrr on May 26, 2014, 08:00:51 AM
Thread Virgin

I have come around to looking into (1)4,(13)14, and 15. Only those three (five). I know! :laugh: It's the Shosty Thread, after all!! ;) :P


So, I was doing some research. No.1? Karl? Anyone? Am I reeeally interested in this? I had Jarvi/Chandos at one time (with my fav 6), but,... is... No.1 swept away by

No.4

I had this with Jarvi/Chandos, but I wasn't ready for the music. I wanted more of the 5th- melodic blah blah. Now I just want a SuperSymphony- kitchen sink (also thinking of Schnittke 1)- and I HEEEAR that No.4 is the way to go. Looking, we find- surprisesurprise Chung!!(DG)- I mean, who wouldn't be forgiven for a double-take on that one? What say?

Then, Jansons seems to get all-around high marks, though sometimes people are fighting over him and Rattle (both EMI).

Some even liked Rostropovitch(Teldec). I WOULD need confirmation on this one, hrrr,hmm. ::) Surely the Teldec sound is a winner?

I can't remember if I saw a Salonen (DG?)... anyhow, apparently there's a gaggle of modern 4ths- though- some say Jarvi still reigns supreme...

WAIT! Is there a Slatkin?

And, wasn't there...


Nos.13-14

Anyone have that Virgin 14th?

I used to have Haitink in both, thought they were fine at the time (I think I still have 13 in a closet somewhere...)... 13 I'm clueless about... 14 I just want the BEST SINGING- none of the bass singers' samples have turned my bowels to water yet.

There's a 14 where the conductor directs to play with no vibrato? Still, the singing here- I want MORE!

I want to hear dirt and gravel married with perfection and easy for singer-haters to love.


15

This one's the one I'm really curious about. Again, had Haitink back in the day- fine as I recall- I want it all here. I hear Great things about Jansons here- though Sanderling/Berlin gets the EAPoe award with Sanderling/Erato not far behind. Then, some still prefer,... wait?... is Ormandy a 15 or a 4??

This Petrenko guy- wazzup? Some say he's got quite a way with certain pieces. But, I'm looking for that EMI, Virgin, Philips, (sometimes) Erato, Teldec sound- you know you know- and I just know that the Naxos sound, though fine, doesn't normally give that Thing- y'know?

I'm totally forgetting a lot of interesting one-offs I saw last night. I was really surprised at the state of the Shostakovitch Symphony Discography. Chung, especially, was a surprise, and Slatkin (though, I'd seen and dismissed a lot of these during my 'Dismiss DSCH' Phase).

So, can ya help a bruutha out with (1) 4 (13) 14 & 15?


Oh- forgot Jarvi (DG) has a 2CD 13-15. Expensive though...


Oh- and Jansons for 2 & 12?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: vandermolen on May 26, 2014, 08:36:34 AM
Previn is also vg in No. 4 (EMI) and 8 (EMI).
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: NJ Joe on May 26, 2014, 09:02:56 AM
I like Ormandy in both 1 and 15.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: snyprrr on May 26, 2014, 09:16:30 AM
Just read through WHOLE THREAD!! >:DNOT VERY HELPFUL!! >:D

1) Karl's been good

2) Sarge, you want Jarvi in the 6th. Just do it...

3) gaaah- so much blather

Not one mention of Ashkenazy No.5. No mention of this, that, or the other thing. COME ON guys!! It seems only Karl took his role seriously. Ugh, so much wanking going on in here you need a mop!! :P

Already my Post is buried. ugh :(
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: vandermolen on May 26, 2014, 10:08:07 AM
Just bought the Janson's box dirt cheap (£14) and will report back.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: snyprrr on May 26, 2014, 10:22:35 AM
Symphony No.13




Kondrashin MPO (various;1963?)"girl hiding face"cover?
Ormandy (-)
Muti (Memories;1970)





Rozhdesventsky (various;1985)'speaking'
                                                                                                                                                                                        Kamu (Chandos;1987)

                                                                                                   Previn (EMI-AAD;1980)
Haitink (Decca;1984)             

                                                                                                                                                                                     Rostropovitch (Teldec;1989)   
                                                                                                                                                                                   Masur (Teldec;1994) Lieferkus
                                                                                                                                                                                       Solti (Decca) Aleksashkin
Inbal (Denon)                                                                      M.Shostakovitch (Supraphon;1995)
                                                                                                                                                                                       Jarvi (DG;1996) Lieferkus
                                                                                                                                                                                       Polyansky (Chandos;1999)

                                                                                                                                                                                       Shallon (Koch;1994)               
                                                                                                 Slovak (Naxos;1994)
                                                                                              Sondeckis (SONY;1996)


Sinaisky (BBCProms-'live';2000) Lieferkus

Jansons (EMI;2006) Aleksashkin
Temirkanov (RCA;2007) Aleksashkin
Barshai (Brilliant;2008) Aleksashkin
Fedosseyev (Relief-'live';2006) Aleksashkin 'live'

                                                                                           Caetani (Arts;2007)SACD
                                                                                           Kofman (MDG;2005)SACD

                                                                                                                                                                               Schwarz (Avie;2003)
                                                                                              Wigglesworth (BIS;2006)
                                                                                                                                                                         Ashkenazy (Decca;2007)





Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise 4,13,14,15
Post by: snyprrr on May 26, 2014, 10:23:13 AM
Thread Virgin

I have come around to looking into (1)4,(13)14, and 15. Only those three (five). I know! :laugh: It's the Shosty Thread, after all!! ;) :P


So, I was doing some research. No.1? Karl? Anyone? Am I reeeally interested in this? I had Jarvi/Chandos at one time (with my fav 6), but,... is... No.1 swept away by

No.4

I had this with Jarvi/Chandos, but I wasn't ready for the music. I wanted more of the 5th- melodic blah blah. Now I just want a SuperSymphony- kitchen sink (also thinking of Schnittke 1)- and I HEEEAR that No.4 is the way to go. Looking, we find- surprisesurprise Chung!!(DG)- I mean, who wouldn't be forgiven for a double-take on that one? What say?

Then, Jansons seems to get all-around high marks, though sometimes people are fighting over him and Rattle (both EMI).

Some even liked Rostropovitch(Teldec). I WOULD need confirmation on this one, hrrr,hmm. ::) Surely the Teldec sound is a winner?

I can't remember if I saw a Salonen (DG?)... anyhow, apparently there's a gaggle of modern 4ths- though- some say Jarvi still reigns supreme...

WAIT! Is there a Slatkin?

And, wasn't there...


Nos.13-14

Anyone have that Virgin 14th?

I used to have Haitink in both, thought they were fine at the time (I think I still have 13 in a closet somewhere...)... 13 I'm clueless about... 14 I just want the BEST SINGING- none of the bass singers' samples have turned my bowels to water yet.

There's a 14 where the conductor directs to play with no vibrato? Still, the singing here- I want MORE!

I want to hear dirt and gravel married with perfection and easy for singer-haters to love.


15

This one's the one I'm really curious about. Again, had Haitink back in the day- fine as I recall- I want it all here. I hear Great things about Jansons here- though Sanderling/Berlin gets the EAPoe award with Sanderling/Erato not far behind. Then, some still prefer,... wait?... is Ormandy a 15 or a 4??

This Petrenko guy- wazzup? Some say he's got quite a way with certain pieces. But, I'm looking for that EMI, Virgin, Philips, (sometimes) Erato, Teldec sound- you know you know- and I just know that the Naxos sound, though fine, doesn't normally give that Thing- y'know?

I'm totally forgetting a lot of interesting one-offs I saw last night. I was really surprised at the state of the Shostakovitch Symphony Discography. Chung, especially, was a surprise, and Slatkin (though, I'd seen and dismissed a lot of these during my 'Dismiss DSCH' Phase).

So, can ya help a bruutha out with (1) 4 (13) 14 & 15?


Oh- forgot Jarvi (DG) has a 2CD 13-15. Expensive though...


Oh- and Jansons for 2 & 12?

tap tap tap
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise 4,13,14,15
Post by: ChamberNut on May 26, 2014, 10:46:42 AM
tap tap tap

For the 4th, I like Petrenko/Royal Liverpool an Ormandy/Philadephia.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 26, 2014, 11:00:54 AM
tap tap tap



4 - ROZHDESTVENSKY/USSR MofC SO

4 - RATTLE/CBSO

14 - ROSTROPOVICH/ACADEMIC SO MOSCOW with VISHNEVSKAYA/RESHETIN

14 - CURRENTZIS/MUSIC AETERNA with KORPACHEVA/MIGUNOV

15 -  KONDRASHIN/MOSCOW PHIL

15 - SANDERLING/CLEVELAND

15 - ROZHDESTVENSKY/USSR MofC SO

From the Gramophone's Shosty 15th death match (their four picks: Haitink, M.Shostakovich, Lopez-Cobos, Rozh):

THE RUSSIAN MASTER
USSR Ministry of Culture SO / Gennadi Rozhdestvensky Melodiya
This is the most satisfying and characterful of the first-generation Russian performances. A demented first movement and chilling second movement are the highlights of a thoughtful performance that's well aware of its own eccentricities.


And Karl might agree with this (he's the only one I know who owns Maxim's cycle):

THE FIRST CHOICE
Prague Symphony Orchestra / Maxim Shostakovich Supraphon
After 35 years of trying, Shostakovich Jr finally gets it spectacularly right. Cogent but not obvious tempi allow his father's material to speak eloquently, while Shostakovich coaxes a sensitive and charismatic response from the Prague SO.



Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 26, 2014, 11:21:25 AM
And Karl might agree with this (he's the only one I know who owns Maxim's cycle):

THE FIRST CHOICE
Prague Symphony Orchestra / Maxim Shostakovich Supraphon
After 35 years of trying, Shostakovich Jr finally gets it spectacularly right. Cogent but not obvious tempi allow his father's material to speak eloquently, while Shostakovich coaxes a sensitive and charismatic response from the Prague SO.



Sarge

Hm, the Fifteenth, right?  Pretty much agree, sure do like Maksim Dmitriyevich there.  The very best?  Maybe.  The Sanderling/Cleveland and López-Cobos/Cinci are excellent, too.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Mirror Image on May 26, 2014, 12:03:00 PM
Hm, the Fifteenth, right?  Pretty much agree, sure do like Maksim Dmitriyevich there.  The very best?  Maybe.  The Sanderling/Cleveland and López-Cobos/Cinci are excellent, too.

You should definitely check out Kondrashin/Dresden, Karl. This is one of the most blistering performances I've heard of the 15th.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: snyprrr on May 26, 2014, 03:35:59 PM


4 - ROZHDESTVENSKY/USSR MofC SO

4 - RATTLE/CBSO

14 - ROSTROPOVICH/ACADEMIC SO MOSCOW with VISHNEVSKAYA/RESHETIN

14 - CURRENTZIS/MUSIC AETERNA with KORPACHEVA/MIGUNOV

15 -  KONDRASHIN/MOSCOW PHIL

15 - SANDERLING/CLEVELAND

15 - ROZHDESTVENSKY/USSR MofC SO

From the Gramophone's Shosty 15th death match (their four picks: Haitink, M.Shostakovich, Lopez-Cobos, Rozh):

THE RUSSIAN MASTER
USSR Ministry of Culture SO / Gennadi Rozhdestvensky Melodiya
This is the most satisfying and characterful of the first-generation Russian performances. A demented first movement and chilling second movement are the highlights of a thoughtful performance that's well aware of its own eccentricities.


And Karl might agree with this (he's the only one I know who owns Maxim's cycle):

THE FIRST CHOICE
Prague Symphony Orchestra / Maxim Shostakovich Supraphon
After 35 years of trying, Shostakovich Jr finally gets it spectacularly right. Cogent but not obvious tempi allow his father's material to speak eloquently, while Shostakovich coaxes a sensitive and charismatic response from the Prague SO.



Sarge

hey thanks!

So, they like Rattle over Jansons in 4? Interesting

Sanderling/Cleveland seems to be the Grail

Am I really to trust those singers in 14? I get scurred easily here...


For the 4th, I like Petrenko/Royal Liverpool an Ormandy/Philadephia.

First vote for Petrenko 4th


Hm, the Fifteenth, right?  Pretty much agree, sure do like Maksim Dmitriyevich there.  The very best?  Maybe.  The Sanderling/Cleveland and López-Cobos/Cinci are excellent, too.

I'm getting ferverish. :PDoes my tongue look green to you?

I read the whole Thread today, and I've looked over the Discographies of 4,13,14,15 (1,9)- that I'm just overloaded with choices and confused. You mean MaXim/Supraphon when you say Maksim?- here we must speak the language of the CD cover/Amazon profile if we are to be clear- there's too many Maxkhims to keep them straight.

So,  I'm really wanting to hear about the ones no one's talking about. Chung, for instance... I'm like a junkie right now and I need some GOOD STUFF- what's that DSCH site where they review every disc quickly?

There are literally NO REVIEWS for a lot of these records- or really lame one-liners- -- we can all HEAR the MUSIC later- what we need NOW is deep comparative analysis!! I USED to be the kind of person who would take it upon myself to BuyItNow! all of these and do the work- I just caaan't :'(. But when I see one-off conductors record some odd/cool DSCH, I pee my pants. :-[ I neeeed to know, but can't count on it.

Why can't one of you catch this bug I've got and go out and Manchurian this one for me? :laugh:

I'll just be back later with timings for all issues involved- in a flow chart so we can all see plainly what the deal is. ::)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: snyprrr on May 26, 2014, 03:44:22 PM
It's time to put together a list of complete DSCH Symphony cycles...

and any help and input to complete the list (not all at once; I've only jotted down the obvious ones so far... without dates and such) here would be much appreciated.

Shostakovich Cycles


R.Barshai / WDR SO
Brilliant

B.Haitink / RCO & LPO
(London Phil.  1-4, 7, 9, 10 and 15
Concertgebous 5,6,8 ,11-14)
Decca

M.Shostakovich / Prague SO

M.Rostropovich /

Y.Mravinsky / Leningrad PO
(incomplete)

K.Kondrashin / Moscow PO
Melodiya et al.

V.Petrenko / R.Liverpool PO

M.Jansons / Various
EMI
(BRSO, BPh, LPO, Oslo Phil, Pittsburgh SO,

M.Wigglesworth / Netherlands RPO, BBC NO Wales
BIS

V.Ashekenazy / Royal Phil., St.Petersburg PO, NHK SO
Decca

Various Conductors / RNO
Pentatone
(Vladimir Jurowski 1, 6 | P.Berglund 8 | M.Pletnev 11, 15 | Y.Kreizberg 5, 9... has that been all, to-date? 5 releases, 7 symphonies? Huh, seemed like there was more already)


V.Gergiev / Mariinsky O.
Mariinsky Live

D.Kitayenko / Gürzenich O.
Capriccio

DG Mixed Cycle
(Bernstein, Chung, Järvi, Karajan, Previn, Rostropovich)

L.Slovak / Yablonski
Czech RSO

I'd love to hear your thoughts on 13 14 15 and maybe 4

I must say, after reading the Whole Thread, it doesn't seem like many GMGrs have very many oddball choices. Everyone has Barshai or Jansons... one of the oldies ,Rohdz-Mrav-Kondr... maybe a Naxos...

but, people seem content once their tastes have been slaked. Am I wrong? I'd looove to just splurge on 30 used CDs just to settle the dust in my attic- I mean,... am I having a relapse??? :o ??? :o

Have anything to say about Chung... or Salonen... or Slatkin... or any other oddball?
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Ken B on May 26, 2014, 04:30:41 PM
I'd love to hear your thoughts on 13 14 15 and maybe 4

I must say, after reading the Whole Thread, it doesn't seem like many GMGrs have very many oddball choices. Everyone has Barshai or Jansons... one of the oldies ,Rohdz-Mrav-Kondr... maybe a Naxos...

but, people seem content once their tastes have been slaked. Am I wrong? I'd looove to just splurge on 30 used CDs just to settle the dust in my attic- I mean,... am I having a relapse??? :o ??? :o

Have anything to say about Chung... or Salonen... or Slatkin... or any other oddball?

You should wander over to the Haydn symphony comparison thread ...
 >:D
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: snyprrr on May 26, 2014, 04:51:56 PM
Symphony No.13



Kondrashin MPO (various;1963?)
Ormandy (-)
Muti (Memories;1970)


Rozhdesventsky (various;1985)
Kamu (Chandos;1987)

Previn (EMI-AAD;1980)
Haitink (Decca;1984)

Rostropovitch (Teldec;1989)   
Masur (Teldec;1994)
Solti (Decca)
Inbal (Denon)                          M.Shostakovitch (Supraphon;1995)
Jarvi (DG;1996)
Polyansky (Chandos;1999)

Shallon (Koch;1994)                Slovak (Naxos;1994)
Sondeckis (SONY;1996)


Sinaisky (BBCProms-'live';2000)


Jansons (EMI;2006)
Kofman (MDG;2006)
Temirkanov (RCA;2007)

Barshai (Brilliant;2008)
Fedosseyev (Relief-'live';2006)
Caetani (Arts;2007)
Schwarz (Avie;2003)
Wigglesworth (BIS;2006)
Ashkenazy (Decca;2007)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: snyprrr on May 26, 2014, 05:37:23 PM
Symphony 14



Kondrashin
Ormandy
Barshai****
Britten (1973)
Rostropovitch (Melodiya/Teldec Box?;1973)
Bernstein (SONY;1976)***

Kegel (Weitblick)

Rozhdestvensky (Melodiya;1984)


Haitink (Decca)****
Inbal (Denon)**

Lazarev (Virgin;1991)
Turovsky (Chandos;1992)***
Jarvi (DG;1993)
Chung (Koch-Schwann;1994)

Liberman (Utrecht Conservatory;1994)
Slovak (Naxos;1994)
Hayrabedian (Opus111;1996)
Swensen (Ondine;1996)
Wigglesworth (BIS;2001)**
Kremer (ECM;2004/7)


Jansons (EMI;2006)***
Rattle (EMI-'live';2006)
Kofman (MDG;2008)
Caetani (Arts;2006)**
Ashkenazy (Decca;2007)

Barshai (Brilliant;200*)
Currentzis (Alpha;2010)*****
Petrenko (Naxos;2014)****
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: snyprrr on May 26, 2014, 06:08:26 PM
Symphony No.15



M.Shostakovitch
Mravinsky
Ormandy
Kondrashin (1974)

Rozhdestvensky (Melodiya;1983)
Haitink (Decca;1979)****

Jarvi (DG;1989)
Ashkenazy (Decca;1992)
M.Shostakovitch (Collins;1993)
Sanderling (Erato;1993)*****
Sanderling (Berlin;1995)*****
Rostropovitch (Teldec;1992)
Solti (Decca)
Dutoit (Decca)!
Jansons (EMI;1998)****

Slovak (Naxos;1994)
Polyansky (Chandos;1997)
Rostropovitch (Alliance'live'?;1998)         M.Shostakovitch (Supraphon;1995)*****
Fedosseyev (Canton;1997)
Barshai (Brilliant;1998)
Weigle (ArsMusici;1999)

Lopez-Cobos (Telarc;2001)****

Sanderling (Avex;2004)
Sinaisky (BBCLive;2006)
Jordania (Angelok;2005)

Caetani (Arts;2006)
Kofman (MDG;2008)
Pletnev (Pentatone;2009)
Gergiev (Mariinsky;2009)
Boryeko (Hanssler;2012)
Haitink (RCOLive;2012)
Petrenko (Naxos;2012)
Wigglesworth (BIS;2014)
Darlington (Acousense-'live'?;2012)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: jlaurson on May 27, 2014, 12:28:51 AM
I'd love to hear your thoughts on 13 14 15 and maybe 4


4: Jansons. http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/04/mariss-jansonss-dsch-4.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/04/mariss-jansonss-dsch-4.html)
Dark horse: Raiskin

13: Kurt Masur / New York (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000000SJ6/goodmusicguide-20)

15: Kondrashin / Dresden http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2008/01/dip-your-ears-no-88.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2008/01/dip-your-ears-no-88.html)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 27, 2014, 02:38:27 AM
hey thanks!

So, they like Rattle over Jansons in 4? Interesting

Sanderling/Cleveland seems to be the Grail

Am I really to trust those singers in 14? I get scurred easily here...

The list I posted included my personal choices for 4, 14 and 15, but yes, Gramophone picked Rattle along with Barshai, Rozhdestvensky and the first Kondrashin for the Fourth.

Sanderling/Cleveland the Grail? It is for me. In fact I bought a second copy just to have a backup. But there are other Fifthteens I like too: Kondrashin (the anti-Sanderling), Haitink, Rozhdestvensky. But realize Sanderling has detractors, too, those who dislike his slow tempos. He's six or seven minutes slower than Rozh, Kond/Moscow and Barshai in the final movement:


Sanderling/Cleveland                 8:43  16:20  5:07  20:21
Sanderling/Berlin                      8:29  15:21  5:06  19:41
Caetani/SinfMilano                    8:28  14:28  4:15  19:04 18:11
Jansons/LPO                            8:20  17:08  3:59  16:40
Barshai/WDR SO                      8:19  11:43  3:53  13:58
Rostropovich/LSO                    8:13  16:17  5:40  15:56
Haitink/Concertgebouw             8:05  16:25  4:12  16:57
Kitajenko/Gürzenich                 7:58  16:01  4:34  16:59
Rozhdestvensky/USSR MOC      7:46  16:23  4:33  14:20
Kondrashin/Moscow                  7:02  13:43  4:25  15:06
Kondrashin/Dresden                 7:00  13:56  4:20  17:10


There's no way I can know if the singers in the Rostropovich and Currentzis 14th will scare you away. Both basses sound fine to me. You can't get more authentic than Vishnevskaya but Korpacheva has the more pleasing voice, if smaller.


Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 27, 2014, 03:04:05 AM
4: Jansons. http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/04/mariss-jansonss-dsch-4.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/04/mariss-jansonss-dsch-4.html)
Dark horse: Raiskin

13: Kurt Masur / New York (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000000SJ6/goodmusicguide-20)

Both excellent.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: amw on May 27, 2014, 03:06:57 AM
Sanderling/Cleveland                 [...] 20:21
Listening to this out of curiosity. I like how the basses in the passacaglia theme are clearly audible. Hearing the symphony live with Alexander Lazarev & the NZSO a few days ago they were quite difficult to hear, which threw me off a little. ("Why are we just listening to some timpani and viola wobbles?")
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 27, 2014, 03:17:57 AM
I must say, after reading the Whole Thread, it doesn't seem like many GMGrs have very many oddball choices. Everyone has Barshai or Jansons... one of the oldies ,Rohdz-Mrav-Kondr...

There's a reason for that. A Shosty symphony collection must include at least one of the "Soviet" cycles (by Soviet I mean any conductor who was trained in Russia during the Cold War). So yes, most here have sprung for Kondrashin (if they have the means) or Barshai (the choice for those on a budget) or Jansons (the new kid on the block and a solid cycle, with superior sonics relative to Kond and Rozh). I have Barshai, Rozh, Jansons, Rostropovich, Kitajenko, Sanderling (his partial cycle) and parts of Caetani (son of Markevitch and student of Kondrashin). Kondrashin is the least appealing to me: too manic, in general, with the poorest sound, so I don't have his complete cycle..but I do like his Dresden 4 and Moscow 15. I have nothing of Maxim's Supraphon set but I keep dreaming about it.

I don't know why you are so fixated on the "oddball" choices before you've thoroughly explored the Soviets. I guess you're just being snyprrr  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 27, 2014, 03:21:19 AM
. . . I have nothing of Maxim's Supraphon set but I keep dreaming about it.

The day will come! 8)
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: londonrich on May 27, 2014, 03:24:36 AM
I like the Kitajenko 15th - although I may be in a minority of one for that, as I don't see it often touted. The Rozhdestvensky is very good too, although if we're talking about the 80s Melodiya cycle, the sound quality is somewhat eccentric. To my ears, it sounds like Melodiya put one microphone in the room next door, while a sound engineer ran around the orchestra with the other microphone, sticking it under the nose of any performer he thought was going to do something interesting.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 27, 2014, 03:25:08 AM
The day will come! 8)

There's a used set at Amazon DE with an asking price of €50...hmmmm....

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 27, 2014, 03:32:13 AM
I like the Kitajenko 15th - although I may be in a minority of one for that, as I don't see it often touted. The Rozhdestvensky is very good too, although if we're talking about the 80s Melodiya cycle, the sound quality is somewhat eccentric. To my ears, it sounds like Melodiya put one microphone in the room next door, while a sound engineer ran around the orchestra with the other microphone, sticking it under the nose of any performer he thought was going to do something interesting.

Kitajenko's cycle has superb sound. I put that on just to wallow in the sonic waves  8)  You're right about the bizzare sound his engineers gave Rozh but it's never gotten in the way of my appreciation for his interpertations.

Sarge 
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: Sergeant Rock on May 27, 2014, 04:54:25 AM
Have anything to say about Chung... or Salonen... or Slatkin... or any other oddball?

From the Gramophone's Fourth death match:

Myung-Whun Chung. His brisk opening allegro is hardly 'poco moderato', and balance often goes badly awry. Conversely, the third theme is too measured, momentum tailing off as the development approaches.The second movement is better integrated, but the pulse is too rapid for its harmonic astringency fully to register. The Finale builds to a powerful initial climax, but the divertissement has too little wit. The peroration is recklessly garbled, while the coda has little latent catastrophe. The sound is opulent, but the score's dynamic extremes are not held in sharp enough focus. Fans of the Phildelphia Orchestra should certainly opt for the more characterful Ormandy.


Leonard Slatkin launches the first movement with crisp precision. As with Previn, the voltage remains low, despite an agile dash to the development's apex. The reprise is limp to the point of torpor, with little ominous import, while the second movement is too casual for its anxiety to hit home. The finale opens in strangely songful intimacy and proceeds through an effortful allegro, then a divertissement which recalls the Warner Brothers' cartoon composer Carl Stalling. The peroration leaves a forceful impression that the phlegmatic close dissipates. The Saint Louis Symphony's attentive playing and the detailed if soft-focus sound fail to rescue Slatkin's interpretation.



I don't own those two so I can't confirm or deny that critic's opinion.

Sarge
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 27, 2014, 05:22:33 AM
So, I was doing some research. No.1? Karl? Anyone? Am I reeeally interested in this?

Well, it deserves its place in the rep (i.e., he wrote it when yet a student, but it is not a "student work").

The López-Cobos/Cinci disc may be the thing (or one thing);  very good accounts of both the Fifteenth and First.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 27, 2014, 05:28:01 AM
Previn is also vg in No. 4 (EMI) [...]

With the Chicago Symphony;  a wonderful listen, the band in great form;  a good go, though not in my first tier.

Another fine account is the Haitink/CSO recording on the orchestra's own Resound label. I have to give both Bennie the edge over Previn (the band, though, sand great in both);  and Bennie's CSO recording the edge over his Concertgebouworkest recording.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: snyprrr on May 27, 2014, 05:29:08 AM
From the Gramophone's Fourth death match:

Myung-Whun Chung. His brisk opening allegro is hardly 'poco moderato', and balance often goes badly awry. Conversely, the third theme is too measured, momentum tailing off as the development approaches.The second movement is better integrated, but the pulse is too rapid for its harmonic astringency fully to register. The Finale builds to a powerful initial climax, but the divertissement has too little wit. The peroration is recklessly garbled, while the coda has little latent catastrophe. The sound is opulent, but the score's dynamic extremes are not held in sharp enough focus. Fans of the Phildelphia Orchestra should certainly opt for the more characterful Ormandy.


Leonard Slatkin launches the first movement with crisp precision. As with Previn, the voltage remains low, despite an agile dash to the development's apex. The reprise is limp to the point of torpor, with little ominous import, while the second movement is too casual for its anxiety to hit home. The finale opens in strangely songful intimacy and proceeds through an effortful allegro, then a divertissement which recalls the Warner Brothers' cartoon composer Carl Stalling. The peroration leaves a forceful impression that the phlegmatic close dissipates. The Saint Louis Symphony's attentive playing and the detailed if soft-focus sound fail to rescue Slatkin's interpretation.



I don't own those two so I can't confirm or deny that critic's opinion.

Sarge

...the fluctuations of the permutations of astringency...


Yea! OK then!! haha :laugh:


After hours of sampling last night (14) I must say that the Currentzis was the absolute best all-around I heard. I liked Jansons bass, but, ack, that soprano- yukk. Many of the other singers just didn't have that ommph I needed. Petrenko's singers pleased me. Wigglesworth seemed receded. Rattle with Quasthof?

Whaddaya think of those Discographies I Posted? That's quite a wade-through.
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 27, 2014, 05:38:21 AM
After hours of sampling last night (14) I must say that the Currentzis was the absolute best all-around I heard.

I've heard that one warmly praised, and I must give it a go someday.

And My Man in Lisbon endorses the Petrenko . . . another one I must listen to!

This one is terrific:

Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: snyprrr on May 27, 2014, 05:51:38 AM

I don't know why you are so fixated on the "oddball" choices before you've thoroughly explored the Soviets. I guess you're just being snyprrr  ;D

Sarge

It's just that when I see issues by Polyansky, or Kamu, or Turovsky, etc.,... I ask, Why aren't these just as good, or not, as the others? Maybe they came out in the same month as a heavy hitter and weren't afforded any attention. What of Lazarev's 14th on Virgin? No word, no review... that's just the kind of thing that sets me a'hunting (which,- I just can't afford at the moment).

I just thought there would be someone more neurotic and anal than me about this- with the checkbook to back it up! :laugh: I just want to lay the DSCH Discography to rest- it's thorny and needs trimming!
Title: Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
Post by: snyprrr on May 27, 2014, 05:59:03 AM
I've heard that one warmly praised, and I must give it a go someday.

And My Man in Lisbon endorses the Petrenko . . . another one I must listen to!

This one is terrific:


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