Author Topic: Dmitri's Dacha  (Read 553847 times)

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DavidW

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Re: Dmitri's Dacha
« Reply #2640 on: July 30, 2021, 06:36:32 AM »
I’m surprised he didn’t mentioned Kondrashin, Rozhdestvensky or Svetlanov who, IMHO, smoke all of Westerners in their performances.

This.

Offline André

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Re: Dmitri's Dacha
« Reply #2641 on: July 30, 2021, 07:47:56 AM »
I went to this concert with a friend who knew that Mariinsky + Rotterdam recording, and while it may be a matter of being in the space with the orchestra during a live performance, Bob said that the recording paled in comparison.

I have that Mariinsky-Rotterdam recording and enjoy it very much.  :-\

One of my friends said the most impressive concert he’s attended is the 7th with the BRSO under Jansons. Now, while my admiration for that orchestra knows no bounds, I am often disappointed by Janson’s conducting. So, as you say, being there and then is very much part and parcel of the experience.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Dmitri's Dacha
« Reply #2642 on: July 30, 2021, 08:40:10 AM »
I have that Mariinsky-Rotterdam recording and enjoy it very much.  :-\

Good to know!

Quote from: André
One of my friends said the most impressive concert he’s attended is the 7th with the BRSO under Jansons. Now, while my admiration for that orchestra knows no bounds, I am often disappointed by Janson’s conducting. So, as you say, being there and then is very much part and parcel of the experience.
Bien sûr  :)
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Dmitri's Dacha
« Reply #2643 on: July 30, 2021, 05:48:51 PM »
Long ago, I was jaded against the Leningrad. Then I went to Petersburg. I wrote concert "previews" for an English-language weekly, and as the Leningrad was on an upcoming program, it was only right that I write about it. To do so, of course I would have to listen to it in its entirety.  I went to the shop in the Grand Philharmonic Hall, and picked up a cassette of Temirkanov leading the St Petersburg Phil. At the time I still found the first movement a bit of a chore to listen to, but the middle movements got immediately right in amongst me. Nor do I suppose that I ever had any problem with the last movement. Rather later still, it was (somehow) the Ančerl recording which convinced me of the first movement. Now I do love the whole symphony unreservedly. Perhaps the key is both to disregard any 'program' in the first movement, and to take the musical process on its own terms and in its own time. And to follow the music which emerges after the last variation, and the subsequent retransition. The piece is really magnificently realized.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Dmitri's Dacha
« Reply #2644 on: July 30, 2021, 07:16:25 PM »
Long ago, I was jaded against the Leningrad. Then I went to Petersburg. I wrote concert "previews" for an English-language weekly, and as the Leningrad was on an upcoming program, it was only right that I write about it. To do so, of course I would have to listen to it in its entirety.  I went to the shop in the Grand Philharmonic Hall, and picked up a cassette of Temirkanov leading the St Petersburg Phil. At the time I still found the first movement a bit of a chore to listen to, but the middle movements got immediately right in amongst me. Nor do I suppose that I ever had any problem with the last movement. Rather later still, it was (somehow) the Ančerl recording which convinced me of the first movement. Now I do love the whole symphony unreservedly. Perhaps the key is both to disregard any 'program' in the first movement, and to take the musical process on its own terms and in its own time. And to follow the music which emerges after the last variation, and the subsequent retransition. The piece is really magnificently realized.

Interesting to read, Karl. I, too, didn’t take to the Leningrad all that much when I first heard it. In fact, it took me quite some time to appreciate, but, while I still find the first movement problematic in many respects, it is the Adagio that makes this symphony for me. This is a devastating movement full of despair, yearning, but it’s also by turns quite violent. The second and finale are also quite fine. The first performance of this symphony that hit me like a ton of bricks was the Rozhdestvensky. Despite its less than ideal sonics (I’m still crossing my fingers that Melodiya get around to remastering this set), it still packs an emotional punch, but more importantly, it affected me. It’s become one of my favorite symphonies and it’s always a wondrous thing when opinions can change on works that have had less of an impact on us early on.
"Works of art create rules; rules do not create works of art." - Claude Debussy

Offline foxandpeng

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Re: Dmitri's Dacha
« Reply #2645 on: July 31, 2021, 01:49:48 AM »
Long ago, I was jaded against the Leningrad. Then I went to Petersburg. I wrote concert "previews" for an English-language weekly, and as the Leningrad was on an upcoming program, it was only right that I write about it. To do so, of course I would have to listen to it in its entirety.  I went to the shop in the Grand Philharmonic Hall, and picked up a cassette of Temirkanov leading the St Petersburg Phil. At the time I still found the first movement a bit of a chore to listen to, but the middle movements got immediately right in amongst me. Nor do I suppose that I ever had any problem with the last movement. Rather later still, it was (somehow) the Ančerl recording which convinced me of the first movement. Now I do love the whole symphony unreservedly. Perhaps the key is both to disregard any 'program' in the first movement, and to take the musical process on its own terms and in its own time. And to follow the music which emerges after the last variation, and the subsequent retransition. The piece is really magnificently realized.

Until recently, symphonies 7, 5 and 10 have been the only DSCH symphonies with which I can claim to have any real familiarity, and probably not to any level of depth - hence the Shostakovichathon on which I've now embarked. Unlike yourself and MI, the #7 opening movement is the one I found easiest and most enjoyable, possibly because of the repetitive martial theme and accessibility of that section. I hope to dig into the emotion of the adagio mentioned by MI over the next few days.

Reading about the harrowing conditions of the Leningrad siege, the dire circumstances of intense cold, queues for soup made from book binding glue, and DSCH composing by candlelight before the symphony performance by weakened musicians, has been deeply affecting. I'm staying with Petrenko and Sanderling (which I am enjoying, despite his lack of cheerleaders) for now, until the works become familiar enough to shift horses.

Weekday SQs in the background at a couple each day to embed them with Mandelring continues really profitably.
“A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people ... then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbour — such is my idea of happiness"

Tolstoy

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Dmitri's Dacha
« Reply #2646 on: July 31, 2021, 05:51:16 AM »
Until recently, symphonies 7, 5 and 10 have been the only DSCH symphonies with which I can claim to have any real familiarity, and probably not to any level of depth - hence the Shostakovichathon on which I've now embarked. Unlike yourself and MI, the #7 opening movement is the one I found easiest and most enjoyable, possibly because of the repetitive martial theme and accessibility of that section. I hope to dig into the emotion of the adagio mentioned by MI over the next few days.

Yes, that's the flip side of the coin: Shostakovich wrote this movement while working to save the city he loved from the barbarian assault, and wrote it for his fellow Петербуржцы (Petersburgers) The straightforwadness of that section is the point, not a flaw.

Quote from: foxandpeng
Reading about the harrowing conditions of the Leningrad siege, the dire circumstances of intense cold, queues for soup made from book binding glue, and DSCH composing by candlelight before the symphony performance by weakened musicians, has been deeply affecting. I'm staying with Petrenko and Sanderling (which I am enjoying, despite his lack of cheerleaders) for now, until the works become familiar enough to shift horses.

Weekday SQs in the background at a couple each day to embed them with Mandelring continues really profitably.


Nice, I don't think I know Sanderling's Leningrad.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Dmitri's Dacha
« Reply #2647 on: August 01, 2021, 12:30:13 AM »
My introduction to Shostakovich's 'Leningrad Symphony' was Ancerl's LP (below). I've always liked the work very much:
"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 Roasted Swan

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Re: Dmitri's Dacha
« Reply #2648 on: August 01, 2021, 12:35:18 AM »
Until recently, symphonies 7, 5 and 10 have been the only DSCH symphonies with which I can claim to have any real familiarity, and probably not to any level of depth - hence the Shostakovichathon on which I've now embarked. Unlike yourself and MI, the #7 opening movement is the one I found easiest and most enjoyable, possibly because of the repetitive martial theme and accessibility of that section. I hope to dig into the emotion of the adagio mentioned by MI over the next few days.

Reading about the harrowing conditions of the Leningrad siege, the dire circumstances of intense cold, queues for soup made from book binding glue, and DSCH composing by candlelight before the symphony performance by weakened musicians, has been deeply affecting. I'm staying with Petrenko and Sanderling (which I am enjoying, despite his lack of cheerleaders) for now, until the works become familiar enough to shift horses.

Weekday SQs in the background at a couple each day to embed them with Mandelring continues really profitably.

I want to hear the Sanderling cycle (son Thomas I assume - not the few symphonies recorded by by father Kurt).  My sense was they had been well-received - I can't justify another set!

Offline André

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Re: Dmitri's Dacha
« Reply #2649 on: August 01, 2021, 07:12:28 AM »
My introduction to Shostakovich's 'Leningrad Symphony' was Ancerl's LP (below). I've always liked the work very much:


Mine was through Svetlanov, on LP. It’s now part of the Scribendum Svetlanov box. It still floored me when I heard the cd a couple of months ago and is still my benchmark. I also love the Rozhdestvensky and Gergiev versions. Temirkanov is also quite good, but smoother. Berglund is fine too.

Offline foxandpeng

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Re: Dmitri's Dacha
« Reply #2650 on: August 01, 2021, 11:46:17 AM »
I watched the recent Hurwitz Youtube video yesterday partially analysing Symphony #7 and partially recommending the best Leningrad recording, and I actually really quite enjoyed it.

His structural analysis made positive viewing, but I wasn't wholly persuaded as to his view of the composer's purpose. I'm about to read Volkov and Fay, but I suspect certainty is an impossible illusion.

Thomas Sanderling isn't one of his recs, but I really like the cycle. I'm told you can't have too many, RS 🙂 (even though I'm happy with the two I'm hearing for now)
« Last Edit: August 01, 2021, 11:48:29 AM by foxandpeng »
“A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people ... then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbour — such is my idea of happiness"

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Dmitri's Dacha
« Reply #2651 on: August 01, 2021, 12:10:36 PM »
I watched the recent Hurwitz Youtube video yesterday partially analysing Symphony #7 and partially recommending the best Leningrad recording, and I actually really quite enjoyed it.

His structural analysis made positive viewing, but I wasn't wholly persuaded as to his view of the composer's purpose. I'm about to read Volkov and Fay, but I suspect certainty is an impossible illusion.

Thomas Sanderling isn't one of his recs, but I really like the cycle. I'm told you can't have too many, RS 🙂 (even though I'm happy with the two I'm hearing for now)

The Fay is an excellent book and well worth the read, but she doesn't analyze any of the music, as such. The Volkov is a good read, but needs to be taken with several grains of salt. One phrase from the Volkov about the Leningrad, which one might wish to be authentic (so to say) is to the effect that the first movement is about "the city which Stalin destroyed and which Hitler merely finished off." My (purely personal and obviously non-authoritative) take is to consider that not authentic Shostakovich--it was his sacrificial labor of love to work as a fireman to save Leningrad from destruction, and I don't see such a man cavalierly dismissing the city as "finished off."
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http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

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Re: Dmitri's Dacha
« Reply #2652 on: August 01, 2021, 05:42:00 PM »
All of this talk in the Leningrad, it reminds that I haven’t finished this book:

"Works of art create rules; rules do not create works of art." - Claude Debussy

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Dmitri's Dacha
« Reply #2653 on: August 01, 2021, 11:46:50 PM »
I watched the recent Hurwitz Youtube video yesterday partially analysing Symphony #7 and partially recommending the best Leningrad recording, and I actually really quite enjoyed it.

His structural analysis made positive viewing, but I wasn't wholly persuaded as to his view of the composer's purpose. I'm about to read Volkov and Fay, but I suspect certainty is an impossible illusion.

Thomas Sanderling isn't one of his recs, but I really like the cycle. I'm told you can't have too many, RS 🙂 (even though I'm happy with the two I'm hearing for now)
I'd recommend the Elizabeth Wilson book as the best one I know about Shostakovich (there is a newer edition than the one featured below). I saw her deliver a lecture about him (she was one of his students I think) in Cambridge some years ago:
« Last Edit: August 01, 2021, 11:50:03 PM by vandermolen »
"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 foxandpeng

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Re: Dmitri's Dacha
« Reply #2654 on: August 02, 2021, 12:31:34 AM »
The Fay is an excellent book and well worth the read, but she doesn't analyze any of the music, as such. The Volkov is a good read, but needs to be taken with several grains of salt. One phrase from the Volkov about the Leningrad, which one might wish to be authentic (so to say) is to the effect that the first movement is about "the city which Stalin destroyed and which Hitler merely finished off." My (purely personal and obviously non-authoritative) take is to consider that not authentic Shostakovich--it was his sacrificial labor of love to work as a fireman to save Leningrad from destruction, and I don't see such a man cavalierly dismissing the city as "finished off."

Ah, thank you. I'm starting with the Volkov as I have it on the shelf, whereas the Fay is still in Jeff B's enormous warehouse. A bit like your helpful quote there, I was helped by Stephen Johnson's reminiscence of his interpreter Misha while researching his DSCH BBC documentary:

'When two men are beating you up, you're maybe not too bothered about which one is hurting you most. You just want it to stop.'

I'd recommend the Elizabeth Wilson book as the best one I know about Shostakovich (there is a newer edition than the one featured below). I saw her deliver a lecture about him (she was one of his students I think) in Cambridge some years ago:


Thanks, Jeffrey! Definitely added to the list 😁
“A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people ... then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbour — such is my idea of happiness"

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Offline amw

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Re: Dmitri's Dacha
« Reply #2655 on: August 02, 2021, 02:01:14 AM »
This debate has been had before, but in short, Volkov attributed a large number of quotes to Shostakovich when there is in fact no proof Shostakovich ever said those things, and did so largely in service of a particular interpretation of the music. This makes him about as reliable as e.g. Schindler with Beethoven or Alma Mahler with Gustav. If the book had been published as "Shostakovich as remembered by Solomon Volkov" or some similar, more anecdotal, presentation, there would be no academic debate about the book, but it also likely would never have sold so many copies. It is still useful as considered in the context of Shostakovich's reception by history.

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Re: Dmitri's Dacha
« Reply #2656 on: August 02, 2021, 04:20:11 AM »
All of this talk in the Leningrad, it reminds that I haven’t finished this book:


Image /unavailable ... Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad Paperback – Illustrated, February 7, 2017
by M.T. Anderson  (Author)

Some time ago I started (and I should get back to ....)
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

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Re: Dmitri's Dacha
« Reply #2657 on: August 02, 2021, 04:20:37 AM »
I'd recommend the Elizabeth Wilson book as the best one I know about Shostakovich (there is a newer edition than the one featured below). I saw her deliver a lecture about him (she was one of his students I think) in Cambridge some years ago:


Excellent book, too!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
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http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

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Re: Dmitri's Dacha
« Reply #2658 on: August 02, 2021, 04:22:28 AM »
This debate has been had before, but in short, Volkov attributed a large number of quotes to Shostakovich when there is in fact no proof Shostakovich ever said those things, and did so largely in service of a particular interpretation of the music. This makes him about as reliable as e.g. Schindler with Beethoven or Alma Mahler with Gustav. If the book had been published as "Shostakovich as remembered by Solomon Volkov" or some similar, more anecdotal, presentation, there would be no academic debate about the book, but it also likely would never have sold so many copies. It is still useful as considered in the context of Shostakovich's reception by history.

Indeed.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

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Re: Dmitri's Dacha
« Reply #2659 on: August 06, 2021, 11:37:16 PM »
I'd recommend the Elizabeth Wilson book as the best one I know about Shostakovich (there is a newer edition than the one featured below). I saw her deliver a lecture about him (she was one of his students I think) in Cambridge some years ago:


Wilson lived in the USSR for a period. She was a pupil for cello, along with Jacqueline du Prè, under Rostropovich. A brilliant writer, as well as Shostakovich, she wrote books on both Rostropovich and Du Prè. 
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.