Author Topic: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise  (Read 191798 times)

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Offline André

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #1500 on: March 09, 2018, 02:50:16 PM »
Kondrashin's coupling of No 9 and The Execution of Stepan Razin is probably my favourite Shostakovich album. I first heard it over 40 years ago but couldn't afford to buy it at the time and it has slipped on and off my radar for years. I finally bought a near mint LP online a couple of years ago at a very reasonable price. I also bought the Melodiya/Gozman recording of No 14 from the same source - fine performance but also complete with texts. One drawback with the Barshai cycle is the complete absence of texts.

+ 1 . One of the very best single issues of Shostakovich ever issued (had it on lp, now have it in the cd box set). Among ‘orphan releases’ I also treasure Boult’s LPO 6th (Everest) and Ormandy’s 15th (RCA).

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #1501 on: March 09, 2018, 04:41:37 PM »
Among ‘orphan releases’ I also treasure Boult’s LPO 6th (Everest) and Ormandy’s 15th (RCA).

Yeah, those are both great. I've got the Boult coupled with another fine "orphan," Malcolm Sargent's 9th.
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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #1502 on: March 09, 2018, 05:16:42 PM »
Nothing beats this!



or



Offline André

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #1503 on: March 09, 2018, 05:29:40 PM »
I have Mrawinsky’s 15th and it’s indeed excellent. But it must yield pride of place to Ormandy  0:)

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #1504 on: March 10, 2018, 01:48:27 AM »
I've seen the Leningrad PO in action, with Rozhdestvensky waving the stick.  'Well-drilled' would be apt, but an understatement. 

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #1505 on: March 10, 2018, 02:31:29 AM »
Ageist!  8)

Well - Petrenko was born after DSCH died and would have been about 15 at the time of the dissolution of the USSR.  I question whether he can really have stored up enough angst and bile  :D 

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Since you suggest that you will only consider a Russian conductor, I'll go ahead and mention one of my favorite cycles:  Maksim Shostakovich.

Well the question was about cycles, and really it's more that I'm not a cycles person - there are at least 5, probably 7, DSCH symphonies that don't interest me at all.  (And I would say similar of almost any composer.)  So the recordings I know are all as a result of le cherry-picking (a word that appears to have newly entered the French vocabulary  ;)).  I do rather like Caetani - he does at least have a direct connection back to Mravinsky, is my excuse for that.  But I also like (in contrast) Wigglesworth, and I guess he is about as westernised as you can get - and maybe the best-recorded that I've heard.  But neither of those is bargain price.

Confession time, the truth is, surveying my collection of the 8 symphonies I do like, and my favoured versions of them, only one Soviet-era conductor figures - Svetlanov (10th).  Sanderling (15th) and De Priest (11th) come close, I suppose.  Ormandy (1st) of course did collaborate with the composer.  I still favour Previn for the 5th!  ???   And yes, Kondrashin for that 9th/Stepan Razin issue, outstanding.

Offline Madiel

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #1506 on: March 10, 2018, 03:01:46 AM »
If one requires that kind of cultural connection in order to perform music, one is going to be in serious trouble finding a Beethoven recording that meets such criteria.
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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #1507 on: March 10, 2018, 03:08:26 AM »
+ 1 . One of the very best single issues of Shostakovich ever issued (had it on lp, now have it in the cd box set). Among ‘orphan releases’ I also treasure Boult’s LPO 6th (Everest) and Ormandy’s 15th (RCA).

The Kondrashin version of "Stenka Razin" has never been bettered I think.  An important work too but one that rather lives in the shadow of Babi Yar.  Odd that it has not had more/better recordings.  The recent Paavo Jarvi is the best I've heard of the newer/digital recordings

but I rather like the old Phillips East German performance too


Offline Madiel

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #1508 on: March 10, 2018, 03:22:03 AM »
The recent Paavo Jarvi is the best I've heard of the newer/digital recordings


Isn't this the one where they didn't include the texts because of issues with people being upset?
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Offline Draško

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #1509 on: March 10, 2018, 03:32:51 AM »
I do rather like Caetani - he does at least have a direct connection back to Mravinsky, is my excuse for that.

What connection?

Offline relm1

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #1510 on: July 27, 2018, 03:40:54 PM »
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/shostakovich-symphony-no-5/1377649478

This is a very beautiful performance of Shostakovich No. 5.  But for me, I prefer intensity over beauty for this work.  For example, the bass trombone is very muted in the first movement which should really be forceful.  This certainly isn't a bad performance, just slightly tame for a war symphony.  Much more intensity would serve this interpretation well. The final movement is very good but I found the first movement less intense, the scherzo was lethargic, the largo was too quick and lacking intensity.  The finale was good and precise.

Online Daverz

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #1511 on: July 28, 2018, 03:30:50 AM »
What connection?

Oleg Caetani is the son of Igor Markevitch.  Who was also a Russian conductor with a name starts with an M?

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #1512 on: July 28, 2018, 12:44:40 PM »
Hah!  My bad  :-[

Offline Frustrated

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #1513 on: December 05, 2019, 07:21:59 AM »
RIP Mariss Jansons.

Offline relm1

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #1514 on: January 28, 2020, 05:17:39 PM »
What are your thoughts on the Gamblers?  I believe the Polish composer, Krzystof Meyer, composed original music in the style of Shostakovich for the final act.  How does this work?  Is it worth hearing?  For example, Puccini's Turandot is superb and among the greatest of his long list of great operas but the third act was unfinished at his death.  When Puccini died, the first two of the three acts were finished except for some orchestrations.  He left behind sketches on 23 pages for the end of Turandot. Some sketches were in the form of "piano-vocal" or "short score," including vocal lines with "two to four staves of accompaniment with occasional notes on orchestration.  These sketches supplied musical ideas for some, but not all, of the final portion of the libretto.  Riccardo Zandonai finished the opera based on Puccini's wishes and the result is very successful.  I believe Shostakovitch abandoned The Gamblers but Krzystof Meyer "created" a final act of the opera.  How does this work?

« Last Edit: January 28, 2020, 05:19:34 PM by relm1 »

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #1515 on: January 28, 2020, 06:04:09 PM »
I just got the Petrenko/RLPO cycle and have been slowly working through it. I really like it so far. I see there is some debate here about whether he has what it takes to pull it off. I suppose in time I will have to hear the older Soviet recordings. I have a few of them (Kondrashin and Mravinsky mostly) from a Bach Guild "Big Shostakovich Box" that I got on Amazon for $0.99. Terrible sound, though. I could never make it through any of them. The Beethoven Quartet recordings included, on the other hand, are very good.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #1516 on: January 28, 2020, 10:06:01 PM »
Oleg Caetani is the son of Igor Markevitch.  Who was also a Russian conductor with a name starts with an M?
I never knew that. Interesting.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #1517 on: January 28, 2020, 10:07:58 PM »
I just got the Petrenko/RLPO cycle and have been slowly working through it. I really like it so far. I see there is some debate here about whether he has what it takes to pull it off. I suppose in time I will have to hear the older Soviet recordings. I have a few of them (Kondrashin and Mravinsky mostly) from a Bach Guild "Big Shostakovich Box" that I got on Amazon for $0.99. Terrible sound, though. I could never make it through any of them. The Beethoven Quartet recordings included, on the other hand, are very good.
I recently bought the inexpensive Petrenko set and look forward to listening to it. My brother's brother-in-law lives in Liverpool and rates Petrenko very highly.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #1518 on: January 29, 2020, 12:29:48 AM »
What are your thoughts on the Gamblers?  I believe the Polish composer, Krzystof Meyer, composed original music in the style of Shostakovich for the final act.  How does this work?  Is it worth hearing?  For example, Puccini's Turandot is superb and among the greatest of his long list of great operas but the third act was unfinished at his death.  When Puccini died, the first two of the three acts were finished except for some orchestrations.  He left behind sketches on 23 pages for the end of Turandot. Some sketches were in the form of "piano-vocal" or "short score," including vocal lines with "two to four staves of accompaniment with occasional notes on orchestration.  These sketches supplied musical ideas for some, but not all, of the final portion of the libretto.  Riccardo Zandonai finished the opera based on Puccini's wishes and the result is very successful.  I believe Shostakovitch abandoned The Gamblers but Krzystof Meyer "created" a final act of the opera.  How does this work?



It was Franco Alfano who did the most famous (infamous?) completion of Turandot not Zandonai.  Others including Berio have provided alternative completions - perhaps Zandonai is one of those...?  But turning to the Gamblers - I think there is a key difference; Puccini desperately wanted to complete the work but for whatever reason simply could not.  DSCH laid Gamblers aside and moved onto other projects.  The music that does exist is interesting and worth hearing but the case is not so compelling for me to hear a completion.  Of course Gogol as a writer chimes with DSCH but in this opera his intent was to set every word of the play as an opera.  Interesting idea but of course profoundly unwieldy - no surprise that DSCH ditched the idea.  Of course part of the reason for abandoning the project was its darkly satirical and bitter style - not exactly in line with The Party in the early years of WWII.

I don't know the version/completion you have illustrated here - I have stuck with the ever-impressive Rohzdestvensky filler (only Act I as completed by DSCH) coupled with the wonderfully odd The Nose

[imghttps://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0001/014/MI0001014118.jpg?partner=allrovi.com[/img] 

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Shostakovich Symphonies, Cycles & Otherwise
« Reply #1519 on: January 29, 2020, 02:27:53 AM »
I have a few of them (Kondrashin and Mravinsky mostly) from a Bach Guild "Big Shostakovich Box" that I got on Amazon for $0.99. Terrible sound, though. I could never make it through any of them.

The latest Kondrashin transfers seem to have come up really well.  The ones I've heard so far anyway, via Spotify which has the 11-CD box:



Comparing Stepan Razin with my own needledrop (which is pretty damn good by the way) the sound from this box set is audibly and measurably improved - whilst still of course being 'of its time'.  I also listened to the Kondrashin Symphony 11 recently - that is a bit fierce-sounding but it suits the music and this rather hectic performance I suppose. At least you can hear all the music without forever fiddling with the volume control - which is a real problem in most modern recordings of this symphony - Petrenko being a typical example - the dynamic range is far too wide for comfortable home listening, a particular difficulty with this symphony since the first half-hour is almost unremitting pp.

I don't know which if any of the individual Kondrashin discs are the same transfer as that (too expensive) box set.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2020, 02:30:21 AM by aukhawk »