Author Topic: Doubting Shostakovich  (Read 18754 times)

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Haffner

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Re: Doubting Shostakovich
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2007, 11:09:18 AM »
if you do try one symphony, also consider the 10th which is IMO another definite spike or high point in the cycle...i like the karajan recording on DG, but there are several fine versions available...





Great recording, James, that reccomendation is seconded.

Offline Israfel the Black

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Re: Doubting Shostakovich
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2007, 11:11:50 AM »
Not to mention his wonderful Piano Concerto No. 1 - some truly consonant stuff there from the old angst driven composer.

mahlertitan

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Re: Doubting Shostakovich
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2007, 11:13:41 AM »
for beginners, symphonies 1,4,5,7 are good starting points.

Steve

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Re: Doubting Shostakovich
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2007, 11:42:58 AM »
if you do try one symphony, also consider the 10th which is IMO another definite spike or high point in the cycle...i like the karajan recording on DG, but there are several fine versions available...

Karajan's 10th, is indeed a first-rate performance. I'm at our Univesrity Library listening to a fine LP of  Bernstein's recording of the 5th. Incredible!  :)

Bonehelm

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Re: Doubting Shostakovich
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2007, 02:16:29 PM »
Shostakovich may speak to you more through his Second Piano Concerto (the central movement is among the most beautifully moving pieces of music ever written), and his tremendous Eleventh Symphony - make sure you get the LSO Live Rostropovich recording, and play it loud. It's an absolute belter! You might also like both of his Jazz Suites for something a bit lighter ... and hell, why not give his music for the film 'The Gadfly' a go? There's some terrific music to be heard there. :)

I concur.

Offline orbital

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Re: Doubting Shostakovich
« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2007, 02:24:45 PM »
Thus far my only experience with Shostakovich has been through his string quartets, and I wasn't really impressed. Should I bother with his other music (symphonies, etc.), or should I just give up on him? If I should continue with him, what pieces should one start with?

Anyone else feel the same way?
No, I mean yes, but no.
I love the SQ's. Despite all the recommendations for his symphonies here, and the fact that he was a great symphonist, altough I like them, I could never love them [so far] like I do the SQ's. But which genre is a better representative of his musical language is hard to say. I can't, somehow, imagine someone not liking SQ's but loving his symphonies. Of course, there are probably a lot of people thinking the other way around.

Mark

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Re: Doubting Shostakovich
« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2007, 03:10:31 PM »
FWIW, I have the SQs on Brilliant with the Rubio Quartet and I love the whole lot. :)

George

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Re: Doubting Shostakovich
« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2007, 03:24:37 PM »
Thus far my only experience with Shostakovich has been through his string quartets, and I wasn't really impressed. Should I bother with his other music (symphonies, etc.), or should I just give up on him? If I should continue with him, what pieces should one start with?

Anyone else feel the same way?

Let's try this another way...can you name a bunch of composers that you are impressed with?

Kullervo

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Re: Doubting Shostakovich
« Reply #28 on: June 07, 2007, 07:49:51 PM »

Kullervo

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Re: Doubting Shostakovich
« Reply #29 on: June 07, 2007, 07:57:35 PM »
Let's try this another way...can you name a bunch of composers that you are impressed with?

Sibelius, Beethoven, Berg, Lutoslawski, Nørgård, Brahms... I could go on.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Doubting Shostakovich
« Reply #30 on: June 08, 2007, 01:15:02 AM »
if you do try one symphony, also consider the 10th which is IMO another definite spike or high point in the cycle...i like the karajan recording on DG, but there are several fine versions available...

Which Karajan performance do you prefer?  There are two on DGG.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Guido

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Re: Doubting Shostakovich
« Reply #31 on: June 08, 2007, 01:32:37 AM »
The later one is the one that is usually recommended, but I love the agression of the first version - the second movement is positively elemental. I know the question wasn't directed at me... ;D
Geologist.

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George

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Re: Doubting Shostakovich
« Reply #32 on: June 08, 2007, 02:01:59 AM »
Sibelius, Beethoven, Berg, Lutoslawski, Nørgård, Brahms... I could go on.

OK.

I'd say put Shostakovich down for awhile and then revisit in a different genre using recommended performances.  :)

Offline Grazioso

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Re: Doubting Shostakovich
« Reply #33 on: June 08, 2007, 02:42:00 AM »
An uneven composer who's not quite as "major" as some would have you believe (Boulez's comment has some truth), but definitely worth exploring further. Try the 5th or 10th symphonies, the concerti, and the 24 preludes and fugues.

Also, check out the interesting audio lectures/performances here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/discoveringmusic/audioarchive.shtml

And if you want something somewhat similar yet unique (and darker), try Pettersson.
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. --Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

karlhenning

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Re: Doubting Shostakovich
« Reply #34 on: June 08, 2007, 03:15:59 AM »
(Boulez's comment has some truth)

I'll say that such truth as is contained in Boulez's statement, simply refers to the fact that Mahler was one of the composers admired by Shostakovich.

Apart from that, it's just snide.  And possibly envious:  whatever his external circumstances, Shostakovich had an iron discipline which enabled him to do creative work constantly, and in disregard for the unpleasantness (to say the least) around him.

In comparison, compositionally, Boulez has trouble getting started.

And trouble knowing when to finish.

And in the interim, calling everything a work-in-progress.

Offline not edward

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Re: Doubting Shostakovich
« Reply #35 on: June 08, 2007, 03:31:41 AM »
Sibelius, Beethoven, Berg, Lutoslawski, Nørgård, Brahms... I could go on.
If you like Berg and Lutoslawski, give the 14th symphony a try. It has something of the anguish of Wozzeck (a lifelong influence on Shostakovich) and the fluid floating-between-tonal-and-atonal string textures of Lutoslawski. I'm not really a big Shostakovich lover but the works of the last decade (plus the 4th symphony) will always have a high ranking on my shelves.
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music

karlhenning

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Re: Doubting Shostakovich
« Reply #36 on: June 08, 2007, 03:40:45 AM »
Sibelius, Beethoven, Berg, Lutoslawski, Nørgård, Brahms... I could go on.

Apart from Edward's excellent suggestion, I'd say the Second Piano Trio, the Piano Quintet, the Blok Songs, the music for Kozintsev's  Hamlet.

Mark G. Simon

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Re: Doubting Shostakovich
« Reply #37 on: June 08, 2007, 04:19:58 AM »
I'd say the Shostakovich string quartets take a few more listenings to get than the symphonies. They're a bit subtler, and maybe even deeper.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2007, 06:06:19 AM by Mark G. Simon »

Mark

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Re: Doubting Shostakovich
« Reply #38 on: June 08, 2007, 04:26:19 AM »
I connected with his SQs straightaway. They're like symphonies with fewer instruments. ;D

Kullervo

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Re: Doubting Shostakovich
« Reply #39 on: June 08, 2007, 05:10:24 AM »
If you like Berg and Lutoslawski, give the 14th symphony a try. It has something of the anguish of Wozzeck (a lifelong influence on Shostakovich) and the fluid floating-between-tonal-and-atonal string textures of Lutoslawski. I'm not really a big Shostakovich lover but the works of the last decade (plus the 4th symphony) will always have a high ranking on my shelves.

Nice recommendation, thanks.