Author Topic: Shostakovich / Barshai recordings  (Read 969 times)

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Offline 5against4

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Shostakovich / Barshai recordings
« on: May 28, 2021, 05:10:35 AM »
Hi everyone. i'm currently working my way through the Brilliant Classics Shostakovich Symphonies box set with Barshai and the WDR Symphony Orchestra - this one:



and i'm wondering whether these were ever released individually? Usually these box sets compile a load of individual releases but i've only been able to find mentions of No. 4, Nos. 5 & 6 (released together), No. 7 and No. 13 - nothing about the any of the rest.

Does anyone know if these had an earlier life on other labels before being compiled by Brilliant Classics?

Incidentally, to anyone wondering about whether or not to take the plunge with this box set - go for it. i'm halfway through and several of the performances are easily among the best - if not the best - that i've heard.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Shostakovich / Barshai recordings
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2021, 05:18:17 AM »
This thread definitely needs to be moved to the ‘Great Recordings and Reviews’ section of the forum. To answer 5against4’s question, I do not believe these Shostakovich Barshai recordings were recorded previously for any other label, but were recorded/released under Brilliant Classics. They weren’t available individually until several years after the release of the Brilliant Classics set, which labels like Alto and Regis started making them available and even here not all of the symphonies were released. To be honest, I believe Barshai to be quite good, but he’s not a favorite of mine. My favorite cycles are Kondrashin, Haitink and Rozhdestvensky, but there are many individual performances out there that fabulous.
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Offline 5against4

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Re: Shostakovich / Barshai recordings
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2021, 05:22:46 AM »
This thread definitely needs to be moved to the ‘Great Recordings and Reviews’ section of the forum.

Apologies! i haven't posted here often, so i'm sorry if i went down the wrong avenue. i hope the mods will reposition this as appropriate!

I do not believe these Shostakovich Barshai recordings were recorded previously for any other label, but were recorded/released under Brilliant Classics. They weren’t available individually until several years after the release of the Brilliant Classics set, which labels like Alto and Regis started making them available and even here not all of the symphonies were released.

Ah, this is interesting, i hadn't thought of that. That being the case, i guess considering the relative cheapness of the box set, releasing them all individually after the box wouldn't make a great deal of financial sense, so it's curious that a few of them have actually been put out on their own.

Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Shostakovich / Barshai recordings
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2021, 05:26:31 AM »
Apologies! i haven't posted here often, so i'm sorry if i went down the wrong avenue. i hope the mods will reposition this as appropriate!

Ah, this is interesting, i hadn't thought of that. That being the case, i guess considering the relative cheapness of the box set, releasing them all individually after the box wouldn't make a great deal of financial sense, so it's curious that a few of them have actually been put out on their own.

I think the Barshai set is a fabulous one.  I'm very happy with mine.  :)

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Shostakovich / Barshai recordings
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2021, 05:29:42 AM »
Agree.

Unfortunately, the Barshai set of five Chamber Symphonies by Shosty etc., also on Brilliant, with a Milano orchestra, on 2CDs, is disappointing, IMO.

Sample it thoroughly before buying.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2021, 05:47:13 AM by MusicTurner »

Offline 5against4

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Re: Shostakovich / Barshai recordings
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2021, 05:35:02 AM »
I think the Barshai set is a fabulous one.  I'm very happy with mine.  :)

Me too - i'm especially happy as i picked it up, still sealed, from someone on eBay for a mere £9!  ;D

Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Shostakovich / Barshai recordings
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2021, 05:40:18 AM »
Me too - i'm especially happy as i picked it up, still sealed, from someone on eBay for a mere £9!  ;D

Well, that is indeed a win win on all counts!!  :)

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Shostakovich / Barshai recordings
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2021, 06:02:43 AM »
For what its worth - I think the Babi Yar in this set is one of the vey finest versions available.  I'd agree that the "companion" set of the Chamber Symphonies is a big disappointment.  On a slight tangent - my feelings for Barshai is always tainted by the story/allegation that in the original Borodin String Quartet he was the KGB informant!

Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Shostakovich / Barshai recordings
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2021, 06:20:12 AM »
For what its worth - I think the Babi Yar in this set is one of the vey finest versions available.

Oh yes, it is a great performance!  :)

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Shostakovich / Barshai recordings
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2021, 06:26:06 AM »
For what its worth - I think the Babi Yar in this set is one of the vey finest versions available.  I'd agree that the "companion" set of the Chamber Symphonies is a big disappointment.  On a slight tangent - my feelings for Barshai is always tainted by the story/allegation that in the original Borodin String Quartet he was the KGB informant!

 ??? Hadn't heard that one ???

 Of course, he did many recordings in the USSR LP days, including conducting a fine set of Mozart symphonies and an orchestral 'Kunst der Fuge', both very good.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2021, 06:29:33 AM by MusicTurner »

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Shostakovich / Barshai recordings
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2021, 06:32:50 AM »
??? Hadn't heard that one ???

 Of course, he did many recordings in the USSR LP days, including conducting a fine set of Mozart symphonies and an orchestral 'Kunst der Fuge', both very good.

The story is related in this book.....



which is a fascinating read.  Dubinsky of course was the original first violin in the Borodins and went on to lead the Borodin Piano Trio with his wife Luba Edlina on piano

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Shostakovich / Barshai recordings
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2021, 06:35:57 AM »
Ok, thank you. I thought Barshai was on good terms with Shosty and Lokshin, but maybe they were mainly professional relations then.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2021, 06:46:07 AM by MusicTurner »

Offline 5against4

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Re: Shostakovich / Barshai recordings
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2021, 06:44:49 AM »
My favorite cycles are Kondrashin, Haitink and Rozhdestvensky, but there are many individual performances out there that fabulous.

i meant to say, thanks for flagging up these cycles. i've had all the Haitink recordings for many years, and love them to bits, but i haven't checked out Kondrashin or Rozhdestvensky. i'll add them to the list for future investigation…

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Shostakovich / Barshai recordings
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2021, 07:20:25 AM »
i meant to say, thanks for flagging up these cycles. i've had all the Haitink recordings for many years, and love them to bits, but i haven't checked out Kondrashin or Rozhdestvensky. i'll add them to the list for future investigation…

The Kondrashin cycle is a must - blistering performances in typical soviet-style sound (orchestrally and in terms of the actual recording).  For me the musical glories of the Rozhdestvensky ctylce are compromised by awful spotlit recordings - but I've still got them all and love them!  The recent Sladkovsky is a good "old-soviet-style" approach but in good sound.....

Offline 5against4

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Re: Shostakovich / Barshai recordings
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2021, 07:37:21 AM »
The Kondrashin cycle is a must - blistering performances in typical soviet-style sound (orchestrally and in terms of the actual recording).

Hmm, looks like getting hold of a physical copy of the Kondrashin cycle might be difficult! Will have to start trawling around…!

Offline MusicTurner

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Re: Shostakovich / Barshai recordings
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2021, 07:48:57 AM »
Indeed, Kondrashin's is in urgent need of a budget release ...

Online vandermolen

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Re: Shostakovich / Barshai recordings
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2021, 09:07:17 PM »
Hi everyone. i'm currently working my way through the Brilliant Classics Shostakovich Symphonies box set with Barshai and the WDR Symphony Orchestra - this one:



and i'm wondering whether these were ever released individually? Usually these box sets compile a load of individual releases but i've only been able to find mentions of No. 4, Nos. 5 & 6 (released together), No. 7 and No. 13 - nothing about the any of the rest.

Does anyone know if these had an earlier life on other labels before being compiled by Brilliant Classics?

Incidentally, to anyone wondering about whether or not to take the plunge with this box set - go for it. i'm halfway through and several of the performances are easily among the best - if not the best - that i've heard.
No.4 certainly was (on Regis and Alto):
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