GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: karlhenning on April 09, 2007, 07:13:49 AM

Title: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on April 09, 2007, 07:13:49 AM
Carrying on from here. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,702.0.html)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on April 09, 2007, 07:32:43 AM
Other threads in The Old Place:

Celebrating Shostakovich! (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,11091.0.html)

Shostakovich (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,5558.0.html)

Shostakovich, what about this set? (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,10920.0.html)

Shostakovich and Prokofiev (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,8261.0.html)

Anybody watched "Testimony"? (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,4430.0.html)

And, what the hey:

Boris Tishchenko!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,1482.0.html)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on April 09, 2007, 02:51:18 PM
I love the 5th with all my heart.  (Not as much as #10, mind you), but I just finished listening to it again, and I came to realize again that the last moments of the 1st movements are nearly the most spooky and frightening parts of the whole symphony.  And I also love the 3rd movement, but it's frightening in a different sense I think. 
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on April 10, 2007, 03:52:23 AM
Buona Mattina, Maestro Karl! Do you ever feel even in the least a bit gloomy, listening to such sometimes-infinitely-dark Shostakovich pieces?

Although, when I am in the mood for lighter-toned music, Shostakovich will not do . . . in general, I think of the difference, for example, between (say) Giotto and Rembrandt:

(http://condor.depaul.edu/~szurawsk/236renaissance/giotto.jpg)

(http://faculty.evansville.edu/rl29/art105/img/rembrandt_abraham.jpg)

The tone-scale of Rembrandt tends always to be darker than, well, a number of other artists/styles/epochs, but the message is still one of Light.

With Shostakovich, on the other hand, it would be much overstepping bounds to consider the ‘message’ of his music a matter of Light.  Still, in the quartets he was more at musical liberty than in the more public works (and I speak as one who loves the great majority of the symphonies, for instance);  these, at least, are fifteen pieces in which the composer is thinking pretty much only of his Muse, and the four players.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on April 10, 2007, 04:26:51 AM
I love the 5th with all my heart.  (Not as much as #10, mind you)

This is one reason (of many) that I admire Shostakovich so much. The casual reaction to a composer after Beethoven who has written 15 symphonies is, perhaps, to suppose that the writing of a symphony becomes somehow 'mechanical'.  But Shostakovich (notwithstanding the 'family resemblance' of materials which sometimes connects different pieces — such as "Macpherson Before His Execution" from the Six Romances on Verses of English Poets, Opus 62 and "Humour" from the Thirteenth Symphony 'Babi Yar') never wrote the same piece twice, and the difference in profile between even consecutive symphonies (the Fourth and Fifth being, understandably, perhaps the most dramatic examples) is striking, and telling.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on April 11, 2007, 09:18:24 AM
I know this must come as a terrible shock to a lot of people (cough), but I really like the light touch of Ancerl in this symphony. Plus it comes with an unconventional--but IMO very effective--interpretation of the 5th symphony.

How unconventional, Edward?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: edward on April 11, 2007, 09:40:33 AM
How unconventional, Edward?
Well, I find that Ancerl's reading makes no attempt to foreground the drama in the work. (Very different from, say, a Kondrashin or Mravinsky.)

To me it works extremely well throughout...just letting the music speak for itself, but I've spoken to and read quite a few people who absolutely hated the recording for the selfsame reason that I like it so much.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on April 11, 2007, 09:48:27 AM
Well, I find that Ancerl's reading makes no attempt to foreground the drama in the work. (Very different from, say, a Kondrashin or Mravinsky.)

To me it works extremely well throughout...just letting the music speak for itself, but I've spoken to and read quite a few people who absolutely hated the recording for the selfsame reason that I like it so much.

Very interesting, thanks.

In a similar vein, I have really enjoyed the Sergey Khachatryan recording of the Violin Concertos.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on April 14, 2007, 12:06:38 PM
Listening to the 10th, 5th, and 8th today,  (With the 10th's Moderato beginning), Shostakovich wrote brilliant slow movements, such as the largo in the 5th, and 8th, the 2 adagios in the 13th, and the adagio in the 11th and 7th.  his quicker movements are great to, but the slower one's are especially beautiful
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Don Giovanni on April 14, 2007, 01:10:44 PM
I love Shotakovich's String Quartets. My favourites are: 8, 10, 14, 15. The 15th is unbearably yet hauntingly beautiful - I love it.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: quintett op.57 on April 14, 2007, 06:17:46 PM
I don't know which one I prefer, but the CD I'm listening now (8,7,3) is perfect
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on April 15, 2007, 05:43:45 PM
I wish the 2nd violin concerto got more coverage.  I mean, I love the first one, but the 2nd one is often overlooked, and it's one of his best pieces, I think. 

And I think I also prefer the 2nd concerto to the first.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: S709 on April 15, 2007, 05:50:07 PM
Yes indeed, the 2nd VC is a great work, and its conclusion is one of the most violent/powerful/'modernist' things in DSCH.

But then again in this piece there is no really emotional sweeping lyricism like in the Passacaglia of the 1st VC. But perhaps it's just more subtle. I can't at the moment recall much of the slow movement of VC2...

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on April 15, 2007, 05:57:06 PM
Yes indeed, the 2nd VC is a great work, and its conclusion is one of the most violent/powerful/'modernist' things in DSCH.

But then again in this piece there is no really emotional sweeping lyricism like in the Passacaglia of the 1st VC. But perhaps it's just more subtle. I can't at the moment recall much of the slow movement of VC2...


The Passacaglia in the First concerto is perhaps my favorite movement of his entire output (Competing with the first movement of the 10th symphony), but as a whole I enjoy the 2nd concerto more.

*please note:  I have the right to change my mind at any time*
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on April 15, 2007, 06:52:06 PM
I'll join in the chorus of wondering why the Second Violin Concerto gets so little love (without turning our musical backs upon the First).
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Danny on April 15, 2007, 06:54:34 PM
For me, Shosty was the more accessible of the two (ie, between him and Prokofiev).  Mitya's music had a depth, warmth, and charm that I didn't find, at first, in Sergei.  Hearing Prokofiev, in my experience, was like first listening to Bach, Debussy and Schoenberg:  it took many attempts, the right work and environment to see the genius.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on April 15, 2007, 06:56:06 PM
Very interesting, Danny!  I haven't thought about this in a while, but I agree that in general there is something a little more 'classicist' in Prokofiev's work, in general.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Danny on April 15, 2007, 07:00:27 PM
Very interesting, Danny!  I haven't thought about this in a while, but I agree that in general there is something a little more 'classicist' in Prokofiev's work, in general.

Thank you, Dr. Karl. :D

Loved your Giotto/Rembrandt analogy, btw.  :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on April 15, 2007, 07:06:18 PM
I'll join in the chorus of wondering why the Second Violin Concerto gets so little love (without turning our musical backs upon the First).
Could it be that it's so much darker then the first, like the 2nd Cello concerto is darker than the first? 

Then again, is C# minor an easy key for the violin?  That also could be why.  I don't know, I'm not a violinist.  I just know it's an often too neglected work, that should really be equal of the first.  They are both wonderful works.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Maciek on April 16, 2007, 10:29:06 AM
The Passacaglia in the First concerto is perhaps my favorite movement of his entire output

Same feelings here. I can hardly think of another piece of music that would stir my feelings to such an extent. And every single time too!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brewski on April 16, 2007, 10:39:21 AM
Same feelings here. I can hardly think of another piece of music that would stir my feelings to such an extent. And every single time too!

Agreed.  That "Passacaglia" is one of the highlights of the First, which is my favorite violin concerto (by a slight margin, of many).  I just heard it again last Saturday night by Lisa Batiashvili (with Oramo and the NY Phil), who played it with steely assurance.  Her performance was distinguished by her ability to project: every single note was audible in the orchestral mix.  Sometimes you can see performers executing the furious runs in the "Scherzo" or the final "Burlesca" but you can't really hear what they're playing.  That wasn't a problem here. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on April 16, 2007, 12:35:02 PM
Agreed.  That "Passacaglia" is one of the highlights of the First, which is my favorite violin concerto (by a slight margin, of many).  I just heard it again last Saturday night by Lisa Batiashvili (with Oramo and the NY Phil), who played it with steely assurance.  Her performance was distinguished by her ability to project: every single note was audible in the orchestral mix.  Sometimes you can see performers executing the furious runs in the "Scherzo" or the final "Burlesca" but you can't really hear what they're playing.  That wasn't a problem here. 

--Bruce
Sounds like a good concert :)

I still remember the trip I took last year to see the NYPO play that (and Shosty 10) with Venegrov and Rostropovich conducting
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brewski on April 16, 2007, 12:39:37 PM
Sounds like a good concert :)

I still remember the trip I took last year to see the NYPO play that (and Shosty 10) with Venegrov and Rostropovich conducting

That Vengerov performance was amazing.  He found a little bit more depth in the piece (and it was interesting to see his interpretation grow even more since his 1995 recording), but Batiashvili was excellent in her own way.  Her accuracy was formidable, helped by Oramo's more moderate speeds, allowing her to register every single note.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on April 19, 2007, 08:21:25 AM
Don, have you heard Olli Mustonen's series interleaving JS Bach and the Shostakovich Opus 87?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Don on April 19, 2007, 08:35:48 AM
Don, have you heard Olli Mustonen's series interleaving JS Bach and the Shostakovich Opus 87?

Yes, and I don't think very well of the interpretations.  They are highly self-indugent, particularly in the Bach where he butchers the music.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: vandermolen on April 20, 2007, 10:44:59 PM
I'm tempted to buy the Kondrashin box set of symphonies although it is not cheap. Does anyone have them? I'd be interested to hear views. I have separate Melodiya discs of Symphony 4 (magnificent) and nos 9 and 15 (I'm surprised that Maxim Shostakovich's premiere recording has never made it to CD).
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 21, 2007, 01:19:42 AM
Agreed.  That "Passacaglia" is one of the highlights of the First, which is my favorite violin concerto (by a slight margin, of many).  I just heard it again last Saturday night by Lisa Batiashvili (with Oramo and the NY Phil), who played it with steely assurance.  Her performance was distinguished by her ability to project: every single note was audible in the orchestral mix.  Sometimes you can see performers executing the furious runs in the "Scherzo" or the final "Burlesca" but you can't really hear what they're playing.  That wasn't a problem here. 
--Bruce

I'll be hearing her myself next week: she's playing the Sibelius Monday and Tuesday in Ludwigshafen and the Prokofiev Second in Mainz Friday evening. Based on your review, it appears I have something to look forward to.

Sarge
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on April 24, 2007, 05:21:04 AM
Part of my Explorations in Listening this long weekend past, was (believe it or not) the Song of the Forests, Opus 81.  And it is good!  Imagine my surprise when my friend played this for me, and I realized that there was no reason to despise the piece . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on April 26, 2007, 11:28:06 AM
Love the Opus 46 Pushkin settings.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on May 17, 2007, 04:34:14 AM
Yesterday, I spent perhaps forty minutes leafing through David Hurwitz's Shostakovich Symphonies and Concertos - An Owner's Manual at the School Street Borders.  As the spirit of the title promises (and, to be sure, as one expects from Hurwitz), this is a book oriented not to experienced musicians, but to the amateur trying to make sense of It All.  It really isn't bad, all in all;  though there is the odd attitude, and the occasional trotting out of an idée reçue which prompts one, not to want to strangle Hurwitz (which would be distastefully extreme), but to leisurely bung some rotten fruit at him.  Against that, he's made some earnest attempt at illustrating the form and musical content of many of the works, which is a matter entirely different to the shallow rantage customary in many of his recordings reviews.  In some respects, really an interesting read, though from this senator's standpoint, a book I might browse at the bookstore, but not one I need on the shelf at home.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: BachQ on May 17, 2007, 04:37:59 AM
Yesterday, I spent perhaps forty minutes leafing through David Hurwitz's Shostakovich Symphonies and Concertos - An Owner's Manual at the School Street Borders.  As the spirit of the title promises (and, to be sure, as one expects from Hurwitz), this is a book oriented not to experienced musicians, but to the amateur trying to make sense of It All.  It really isn't bad, all in all;  though there is the odd attitude, and the occasional trotting out of an idée reçue which prompts one, not to want to strangle Hurwitz (which would be distastefully extreme), but to leisurely bung some rotten fruit at him.  Against that, he's made some earnest attempt at illustrating the form and musical content of many of the works, which is a matter entirely different to the shallow rantage customary in many of his recordings reviews.  In some respects, really an interesting read, though from this senator's standpoint, a book I might browse at the bookstore, but not one I need on the shelf at home.

Karl, I think it's high time that you write a book on Shosty's symphony cycle.  I'll volunteer as a contributing author for sym's 5 and 12 . . . . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on May 22, 2007, 09:49:07 AM
Jansons take on the 14th symphony is really good I think.  Which kinda came to light after a 2nd or 3rd time listening to it. When I first listened to it, it came off to me as decent, not great, but not bad.  The main problem was the percussion at times was too soft, but that's not a big problem any for me.  And as I keep listening to it, I find I like it more and more.  I like how he handles the last movement. 

and the 14th, although it was hard for me to get into, is such a great piece :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on May 22, 2007, 10:10:08 AM
Maksim Dmitriyevich's is an outstanding account of the Fourteenth!

I haven't listened yet to the Jansons, though I hope to do so this week.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: tjguitar on May 22, 2007, 12:38:38 PM
I only have the 3 film CDs on Chandos.  I think it's some of his best work.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: edward on May 22, 2007, 01:34:57 PM
It occurs to me that at present I lack the piano concertos. While they're certainly not as ambitious a work as many of DSCH's, they're definitely works I should have.

Recommendations, please?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: AnthonyAthletic on May 22, 2007, 01:38:49 PM
EMI: Alexeev/Maksymiuk for 1 & 2 and the Assault on Beautifuly Gorky  :D Outstanding.

Now can somebody confirm what I suspect that these two issues are the same but £80 price difference?  ;D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Drasko on May 22, 2007, 03:04:54 PM
Now can somebody confirm what I suspect that these two issues are the same but £80 price difference?  ;D

http://www.melody.su/eng/work/catalog/classic/529 (http://www.melody.su/eng/work/catalog/classic/529)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Choo Choo on May 22, 2007, 04:02:21 PM
I don't know about £80, but I paid about £50 for the set on the left and consider it one of the best purchases I ever made.  This is a "burning building" set - as in, if you wake in the middle of the night and find the building is on fire, which half-dozen sets of recordings do you try and rescue before the flames consume you.

I followed the link in Milos's post, and checked the dates & details against the booklets in my set, and they match identically.  12 quid?  Push the button?  You'd have to be insane not to.

But I'm sure you already did - hours ago, in fact.  ;D

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 22, 2007, 04:49:40 PM
Now can somebody confirm what I suspect that these two issues are the same but £80 price difference?  ;D

They are indeed the same, AA.

Identical in every way.

Initially this Borodin set appeared on EMI as a joint Melodiya/EMI product. Later Melodiya got sole possession of the tapes and reissued the set on their own - pictured on the left.

The EMI edition (on single discs) can still be found floating about the used CD market. It's scarce but offers a nice price break.

 
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: AnthonyAthletic on May 22, 2007, 07:46:16 PM
Thanks Guys for your confirmation, the set duly snapped up for £13 delivered.

Happy to see the UK supplier still had 5 copies left.

ukdirectoffers part of UK Amazon  ;D

Cheers
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: vandermolen on May 22, 2007, 10:11:46 PM
Have just heard Mravinsky's 1938 premiere recording of Symphony 5 which is absolutely marvellous, very slow and linking the work much closer to the sound world of Symphony 4 (which I had always thought a far superior work). I strongly recommend this recording if you can find it although, of course, you have to make allowances for the sound quality.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on May 23, 2007, 02:43:33 AM
Thanks Guys for your confirmation, the set duly snapped up for £13 delivered.

Happy to see the UK supplier still had 5 copies left.

ukdirectoffers part of UK Amazon  ;D

Cheers

Excellent, Tony! Good on you, mate!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Drasko on May 23, 2007, 04:38:15 AM
Thanks Guys for your confirmation, the set duly snapped up for £13 delivered.

Happy to see the UK supplier still had 5 copies left.

ukdirectoffers part of UK Amazon  ;D

Cheers

Can you post a link to that. Only found this:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shostakovich-Complete-Quartets-Borodin-Qt/dp/B000HXE5BK (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shostakovich-Complete-Quartets-Borodin-Qt/dp/B000HXE5BK)

so either there is a multiple listing or you bought all six copies  :o
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: AnthonyAthletic on May 23, 2007, 01:25:38 PM
Can you post a link to that. Only found this:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shostakovich-Complete-Quartets-Borodin-Qt/dp/B000HXE5BK (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shostakovich-Complete-Quartets-Borodin-Qt/dp/B000HXE5BK)

so either there is a multiple listing or you bought all six copies  :o

All snapped up by the looks of it, there were 5 copies complete left when I placed my order (which will be with me tomorrow).  Maybe some members of the Forum jumped in on the action.   ;)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on May 24, 2007, 02:55:21 AM
When Tony speaks, the markets move!  :D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Drasko on May 24, 2007, 06:31:30 AM
Ha, the offer is back (they probably just temporarily withdrew it for some reason yesterday).

And I could venture a guess that it is now down to four copies  ;)

Tony, thanks for the heads up.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Maciek on May 24, 2007, 12:30:47 PM
I don't see it (anymore?) but for what it's worth the set costs 720 rubles on the Melodya site (http://shop.melody.su/item.php?id=287) and according to Google:
Quote from: Google
720 Russian rubles = 14.0572641 British pounds

Maciek
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: uffeviking on May 25, 2007, 07:50:51 AM
I saw this at amazon, but never heard of the conductor Bobritskaia. It sells at $120.00 new and for $36.00 used. No information on the orchestra! It's on the Russian Label.The list of works on this disc is impressive, but before I spend 36 bucks I would like to know more about it. I have the Chailly recording of Jazz Suite No. 1.
           
http://www.amazon.com/Shostakovich-Suite-Jazz-Orchestra-No/dp/B00000JQGL/ref=sr_1_7/102-2657591-8498530?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1180110827&sr=1-7

   



 
 
 

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on May 29, 2007, 03:16:17 AM
Don't cry, Greg! (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,1117.msg27557.html#msg27557)  8)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Steve on May 29, 2007, 06:04:30 PM
I saw this at amazon, but never heard of the conductor Bobritskaia. It sells at $120.00 new and for $36.00 used. No information on the orchestra! It's on the Russian Label.The list of works on this disc is impressive, but before I spend 36 bucks I would like to know more about it. I have the Chailly recording of Jazz Suite No. 1.
           
http://www.amazon.com/Shostakovich-Suite-Jazz-Orchestra-No/dp/B00000JQGL/ref=sr_1_7/102-2657591-8498530?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1180110827&sr=1-7


I remember coming across this some time ago, and generally found it agreeable. At 36 dollars, you certainly won't be dissapointed.
  



 
 
 

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: uffeviking on May 29, 2007, 06:59:58 PM
Intensive research showed me that Bobritskaia is a pianist! No conductor is every mentioned. Could this mean he plays the entire selection on the piano, a piano version of each piece? Very puzzling indeed, but thanks for your input!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Drasko on May 29, 2007, 07:34:46 PM
Intensive research showed me that Bobritskaia is a pianist! No conductor is every mentioned. Could this mean he plays the entire selection on the piano, a piano version of each piece? Very puzzling indeed, but thanks for your input!

It looks exactly the same as this one:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004YU97  (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00004YU97)

and here is the review:

http://www.dschjournal.com/reviews/rvs12op69.htm (http://www.dschjournal.com/reviews/rvs12op69.htm)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: uffeviking on May 29, 2007, 07:52:45 PM
Thanks so much, Drasko! You cleared up the confusion because I thought those are two different editions, one with the tennis player the other with the piglets! The one with the pigs I found listed for the 120 bucks new and 36 for used. $9.28 certainly is more affordable! I lost the site where they make Bobritskai a pianist!

And all this confusion and search and effort by you, about music shunned by some as irrelevant but I see as an important aide to understanding Shostakovich.

Sincerely!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 29, 2007, 08:22:15 PM
And all this confusion and search and effort by you, about music shunned by some as irrelevant but I see as an important aide to understanding Shostakovich.


You won't catch me slighting this music, Lis! Even though I haven't heard any of it.

I'll be all ears when and if you comment on this disc!



Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on May 30, 2007, 03:05:58 AM
Now I'm worried.

The Twelfth Symphony is starting to sound good.

I blame Maksim Dmitriyevich and the Prague Symphony.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: DetUudslukkelige on June 25, 2007, 04:40:40 PM
For some reason, since I started collecting classical music, I have avoided Shostakovich as if he were the devil himself. For some reason, I just expected his music to be crap. I really don't know why, but I did. I think it may be because all the praise he received seemed to be celebrating things that I didn't particularly care about, and any criticism seemed to be about things that were truly important to me musically...

..Well, earlier today, I was on YouTube, and the thought struck me out of nowhere "Hey, maybe I should find a video of that Shostakovich guy everyone seems to like, see what all the fuss is about". So I did a search and clicked on Mravinsky conducting the finale of his fifth symphony. Well, if you didn't see where this story was going already, I've listened to just about every Shostakovich piece that has been posted on YouTube, and it still isn't enough. I'm already hooked, and I don't even own a single CD. Since I have no money to spend on music at present, and when I do I'll probably not be able to swing more than about sixty dollars, I think my next purchase may be the Jansons set of Shostakovich symphonies, since that's just in my price range, and I've heard good things about it around here.

There's certainly enough advice for a new Shostakovich fan around this forum, but if anyone wants to recommend a better way to spend that amount of money, don't hesitate to say so.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on June 25, 2007, 06:15:04 PM
There's certainly enough advice for a new Shostakovich fan around this forum, but if anyone wants to recommend a better way to spend that amount of money, don't hesitate to say so.

The symphonies are a great place to start, make no mistake. And Jansons is a top-notch Shostakovich interpreter. Should make a perfect Shostakovich 'starter kit'.

Later, as your money situation improves, you might look into some of the fabulous individual symphony recordings out there. But for now, no doubt, a single box is the most cost-effective way to go.

Further down the road you might look into investing in a cost-effective box set of the complete string quartets. For about the same $60.00 you can have all the quartets from groups like the Borodin SQ or the Danel SQ (my personal fave).

So, good luck!

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on July 11, 2007, 07:53:37 AM
D Minor! How goes the Quest?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on July 13, 2007, 02:14:40 PM
has anyone heard of the piece Cherry Town?  I saw a DVD of it at a local store, and I never heard of it before, has anyone seen the DVD, or hear the piece? 
http://www.amazon.com/Cherry-Town-Region-Shostakovich-Cheryomushki/dp/B000OQF37K/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2/002-1497723-4691234?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1184368277&sr=1-2
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: George on July 18, 2007, 05:30:49 AM
For some reason, since I started collecting classical music, I have avoided Shostakovich as if he were the devil himself. For some reason, I just expected his music to be crap. I really don't know why, but I did. I think it may be because all the praise he received seemed to be celebrating things that I didn't particularly care about, and any criticism seemed to be about things that were truly important to me musically...

..Well, earlier today, I was on YouTube, and the thought struck me out of nowhere "Hey, maybe I should find a video of that Shostakovich guy everyone seems to like, see what all the fuss is about". So I did a search and clicked on Mravinsky conducting the finale of his fifth symphony. Well, if you didn't see where this story was going already, I've listened to just about every Shostakovich piece that has been posted on YouTube, and it still isn't enough. I'm already hooked, and I don't even own a single CD. Since I have no money to spend on music at present, and when I do I'll probably not be able to swing more than about sixty dollars, I think my next purchase may be the Jansons set of Shostakovich symphonies, since that's just in my price range, and I've heard good things about it around here.

There's certainly enough advice for a new Shostakovich fan around this forum, but if anyone wants to recommend a better way to spend that amount of money, don't hesitate to say so.

You could spend much less on the Virgin budget two-fer of the Borodin playing a number of the quartets. I think the quartets is a great place to start for this composer.  :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on July 18, 2007, 05:32:32 AM
You could spend much less on the Virgin budget two-fer of the Borodin playing a number of the quartets.

Nos. 2, 3, 7, 8 & 12, I believe.

Quote
I think the quartets is a great place to start for this composer.  :)

George is right, you know  8)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: George on July 18, 2007, 05:34:23 AM
Nos. 2, 3, 7, 8 & 12, I believe.

George is right, you know  8)

Except in his grammar. I meant to say the quartets are a great place to start.  ::)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: BachQ on July 18, 2007, 06:23:47 AM
D Minor! How goes the Quest?


......... Refresh my recollection .......... What am I questing for again? ............
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on July 18, 2007, 06:46:59 AM

......... Refresh my recollection .......... What am I questing for again? ............

Shostakovich Symphony Cycles (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,576.0.html), naturally!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: BachQ on July 18, 2007, 07:00:58 AM
Shostakovich Symphony Cycles (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,576.0.html), naturally!

naturelement !

I have Jansons and Barshai complete sets (both of which are entirely satisfying) ........ but I haven't decided on my next set (if any) ........... I'm debating between Maxim Shostakovich's and Kiril Kondrashin's .........
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Boris_G on July 19, 2007, 09:09:41 AM
naturelement !

I have Jansons and Barshai complete sets (both of which are entirely satisfying) ........ but I haven't decided on my next set (if any) ........... I'm debating between Maxim Shostakovich's and Kiril Kondrashin's .........

No contest - Kondrashin's every time (though I believe Maxim occasionally hits the jackpot, from what I've heard from listeners I respect; I'll look up which symphonies if you're really interested, but I seem to remember it was one of the very late ones). What I've heard of Maxim's cycle - I remember No. 5 in particular - has been terribly uninspiring and drab; whereas Kondrashin makes the music dramatic and alive.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on July 19, 2007, 10:26:21 AM
What I've heard of Maxim's cycle - I remember No. 5 in particular - has been terribly uninspiring and drab

Oh, I don't think so at all, at all.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Boris_G on July 19, 2007, 10:56:22 AM
Oh, I don't think so at all, at all.

OK, let's hear your assessment of that recording. I can't offer detail myself because I haven't listened to it more than enough to convince me I could find more rewarding accounts elsewhere (back then, in the 1990s, it was Previn's Chicago SO which I enjoyed).l
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 19, 2007, 12:19:23 PM
naturelement !

I have Jansons and Barshai complete sets (both of which are entirely satisfying) ........ but I haven't decided on my next set (if any) ........... I'm debating between Maxim Shostakovich's and Kiril Kondrashin's .........

Add Rostropovich to the debate........

Hey! ..........'s are fun to make!

Sarge
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Valentino on July 19, 2007, 01:18:01 PM
The other day I heard on the radio Leif Ove Andsnes play a hilarious polka by our man, but what more I dont know. Enlighten me please.

(It's good to be back in the virtual world, btw. We had a thunderstorm zapping our DSL just befor we went on holiday, and the new stuff arrived today.)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on July 20, 2007, 01:43:19 PM
For Boris, wherever he may be . . . .

(back then, in the 1990s, it was Previn's Chicago SO which I enjoyed)

That's a very enjoyable one.  Listening to it now.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on August 15, 2007, 05:24:40 AM
TTT
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on August 21, 2007, 04:44:52 PM
i got yet another account of the 14th.  Rattle with the BPO with Karita Mattila as the Soprano and Thomas Quasthoff as the bass. 

they all do a pretty good, I thing. The sound is clear as well.  :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Valentino on August 23, 2007, 04:05:40 AM
The other day I heard on the radio Leif Ove Andsnes play a hilarious polka by our man, but what more I dont know.

Found out. It's a polka from the ballet “L’age d’or”. It's on his "Horizons" album, which in general is not my thing at all. Too much konfekt.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Cato on September 13, 2007, 05:40:42 PM
The Thirteenth Symphony "Babi Yar" by Shostakovich is what graced my stereo system last night.

I have not heard the entire work in years, and was struck by a few things.  Commentators back in the '70's remarked upon its Mahlerian aspects, e.g. the juxtaposition of the sacred and the profane.

What struck me last night was the work's great affinity with...Rachmaninov!      :o

The first, third, and fifth movements especially evoked the atmosphere of The Rach's choral symphony The Bells along with other works, like the 3 Russian Folksongs and the cantata Spring.  To be sure, you can also occasionally hear Prokofiev's ghost fiddling around now and then, e.g. in the second movement. 

The ideational parallels between the Poe/Balmont texts for The Bells and the Yevtushenko poems are not obvious at first perhaps, but the Shostakovich music helps to build a bridge between the two eras.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on September 14, 2007, 03:03:51 AM
Very interesting, Cato!

And that second movement, "Humor," is cousin to one of the Opus 62 Romances in verse by Burns, Raleigh & Shakespeare, originally composed in 1942 (hence, while Prokofiev yet abode).
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Cato on September 14, 2007, 05:01:25 AM
Very interesting, Cato!

And that second movement, "Humor," is cousin to one of the Opus 62 Romances in verse by Burns, Raleigh & Shakespeare, originally composed in 1942 (hence, while Prokofiev yet abode).

Aha!  That detail was not in the liner notes: the performance was by Maris Janssons and the Bavarian Radio Orchestra.  Very nicely done, I thought.

There was always a kind of anticipatory excitement back in the 50's, '60's, and '70's among classical music people, specifically because of Shostakovich and what he might bring forth in the next year.  This work particularly created many "great expectations" about the future and what Shostakovich might bring us.

Interesting that Stravinsky (as I recall at least) was not generating the same kind of excitement, probably because of the dodecaphonic nature of the later works: I recall critics fussing especially about The Flood as unnecessarily complex.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on September 14, 2007, 05:22:51 AM
The Flood was a curious innovation ('an opera for TV' sort of angle) and I had an idea that much of the problem, for instance, was the station-breaks :-)

But maybe some find it too complex . . . after a couple of Carter or Wuorinen listening jags, though, I find it hard to lose patience with late Stravinsky on the basis of complexity  ;)
Title: The 16th Quartet!!
Post by: Varg on September 18, 2007, 12:52:12 PM
I saw this on youtube. It's amazing; sounds like the soundtrack of a madman's mind, absolutely grim.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=iAKLKokYDso

The sound is weak. Listen with headphones.
Title: Re: The 16th Quartet!!
Post by: The Emperor on September 18, 2007, 06:25:53 PM
I saw this on youtube. It's amazing; sounds like the soundtrack of a madman's mind, absolutely grim.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=iAKLKokYDso

The sound is weak. Listen with headphones.


Haven't heard this before, it's so Shosty, love it, so dark, loveeeee it!
Title: Re: The 16th Quartet!!
Post by: Varg on September 18, 2007, 11:22:02 PM
Haven't heard this before, it's so Shosty, love it, so dark, loveeeee it!

Yeah!

I should've said, for those who doesn't know, that the 15th is his last complete Quartet score. The 16th score was incomplete (Schnittke "completed" it!!), so it's not entirely Shostakovich. But, as you said, it's still very Shosty!

Here (from the youtube link):

"This quartet is a new discovery by the Bordars quartet. Sadly, the manuscript was destroyed at the Zhislin studios shortly after the premiere. (Well, just a copy actually - see below for details).

*Due to numerous questions about this quartet that we have received since the upload, here is a quick blurb.
(I have talked to Irina Antonovna (Sh) and she elaborated on some of the details.)

This quartet is, of course, not "the last piece" Shostakovich wrote. (And it is not "completely" by Shostakovich). Actually, Shostakovich wrote about "a half" of what you hear here in the early 60s (around the time of 7th and 8th quartet composition). The manuscript sketch of this movement was in pencil and the pages were filed in a type of folder Sh. usually used for his official documents.
Shortly after this sketch was written, Shostakovich was actually supposed to meet with Schnittke (read Ivashkin, for details on that meeting). However, that day Schnittke was detained by militia (soviet police) and was late for the meeting. Sh. was angry (because he valued his time greatly) and did not spend much time with Sch. on that visit (the two never met again). He simply handed over the official papers (I forgot which, and why Sch needed them) over to Schnittke and excused himself.
This is where it gets interesting. When Schnittke came home he found that in that folder below the papers was a sketch for the quartet.
The exact details of what happened after are not known, but according to Irina Schnittke, her husband once showed her his "movement" for string quartet "to the memory of D.Shostakovich" in the early 90s. Then, in late 2002, when Irina Schnittke was going through the composer's archive in Hamburg, she suddenly happened upon the sketch (still in the official folder) from Shostakovich. She then examined the "movement" that Alfred showed her and found striking similarity. In fact, the sketch was incomplete, but had the basic "shostakovich" narrative laid out (with a lot of motivic development as heard in this performance - consider for instance the climax around 1:50). Schnittke must have filled it in with his own material and put it aside after this completion. (This movement was never listed among Schnittke's official works). Irina Schnittke, who by that time became very well acquainted with the viola player from Bordars, decided to have this movement be given an "unofficial" premiere in London. Of course, the problem is that due to this "problem of authorship", Irina Shostakovich and Irina Schnittke are currently in dispute over who the original manuscript belongs should belong to. I'll update once I know more about this matter from private sources.

Therefore, to answer one question, I don't believe we will be hearing a "no.17" at any point :)"
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Varg on September 19, 2007, 12:54:36 AM
I've listened to this close to a hundred times since i discovered it tree days ago. This is mind-blowing, a masterpiece from introduction to closing; each single part of that short monster is ridiculously good, and so well played! A work of genius in my book.

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: The Emperor on September 19, 2007, 08:50:31 AM
Is there any cd with a recording of this movement?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Varg on September 19, 2007, 12:40:31 PM
Is there any cd with a recording of this movement?

Im affraid we'll have to wait a bit before it happens.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: BachQ on September 24, 2007, 11:48:45 AM
From one Dmitri to another, please let me wish you happy birthday!

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4b/Dmitri1.jpg/393px-Dmitri1.jpg)

Dmitri Shostakovich (born Sept. 25, 1906).
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on September 24, 2007, 11:50:22 AM
Oh, tomorrow will have to be an all-Mitya-all-the-time listening queue!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: BachQ on September 24, 2007, 11:51:59 AM
Oh, tomorrow will have to be an all-Mitya-all-the-time listening queue!

Actually, in Moscow, it became tomorrow 51 minutes ago .......
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on September 24, 2007, 01:30:15 PM
да
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: The Emperor on September 24, 2007, 01:40:51 PM
The string quartets are already in the playlist 8)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on September 24, 2007, 01:48:46 PM
Очень хорошо!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: The Emperor on September 27, 2007, 06:28:06 AM
Check out this cool cover of Shosty's 10th symphony second movement.
I always said Shostakovich is METAL! ahah

http://www.mediafire.com/?13nsm2j4nlp

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on November 30, 2007, 06:34:06 AM
TTT
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on February 17, 2008, 05:53:06 AM
The BSO played the Fourth last night, only the second time ever that they have played the piece.  Very fine performance.

More Later.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Guido on February 17, 2008, 06:11:14 AM
Fantastic piece this new string quartet... They say that the manuscript was destroyed but presumably they can still publish as they have the separate parts. Exciting stuff.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on February 18, 2008, 07:30:25 AM
New string quartet, Guido?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: greg on February 18, 2008, 07:49:52 AM
Fantastic piece this new string quartet... They say that the manuscript was destroyed but presumably they can still publish as they have the separate parts. Exciting stuff.
yeah, what are you talking about?

it's not April Fool's day yet, btw....
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Sef on February 19, 2008, 11:23:02 AM
The BSO played the Fourth last night, only the second time ever that they have played the piece.  Very fine performance.

The Fourth is absolutely my favourite. I saw it a couple of years ago with Mark Elder conducting the CSO together with Elgar's Cello Concerto (which was why I was attending in the first place). I think I can safely say that it was one of the most enjoyable concerts I have ever attended. I shall be going again in May to see Haitink conduct the same piece! I have the ticket magnetized to my fridge to remind myself every time I get peckish.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Drasko on March 15, 2008, 10:08:36 AM
Does anyone around here have Rozhdestvensky's recording of Babi Yar?
I'm looking for certain bit of info about it.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: rubio on March 15, 2008, 12:20:49 PM
Does anyone around here have Rozhdestvensky's recording of Babi Yar?
I'm looking for certain bit of info about it.

Yep, I have this cycle. What info do you want?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: greg on March 16, 2008, 05:20:13 AM
Does anyone around here have Rozhdestvensky's recording of Babi Yar?
I'm looking for certain bit of info about it.
me too....... but what would you like to know?  ???
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Drasko on March 16, 2008, 09:40:22 AM
What I wanted to know is which version of text for the title poem Rozhdestvensky used. The story goes like this, I believe. Right after the premiere in 1962 large party fuss started and Yevtushenko was pressured to alter some of the lyrics into something more soviet friendly. He did so and this revised version was recorded by Kondrashin few days later. Revised version was also used in Kondrashin's studio recording five years later in 1967. Rozhdestvensky's recording is, I think, the only other made during soviet period and I'm curious whether he also had to use the revised version or some twenty years later (when exactly was his recording made, 80s?) nobody give a damn anymore and he could return to the original text.

Don't know if liner notes for Rozhdestvensky's recording mention any of this, or have texts, so here I've attached word file with English text and Russian transliteration of the original version. I've bolded the two verses that got altered afterwards (the first and the penultimate verse for the soloist in the first, title poem) so it shouldn't be too difficult to figure out if Rozhdestvensky's soloist is singing this or something else.

I have no text or translation of the revised version and my Russian is too rusty to attempt accurate translation myself, but I've made clips of those two verses from Gromadsky/Kondrashin recording, so if anyone whose Russian is better than mine wants to try here it is:

first verse:
http://www.mediafire.com/?mnzdojvydbr
penultimate verse: 
http://www.mediafire.com/?mkwm4nzjib1
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: rubio on March 26, 2008, 08:03:55 AM
I've bolded the two verses that got altered afterwards (the first and the penultimate verse for the soloist in the first, title poem) so it shouldn't be too difficult to figure out if Rozhdestvensky's soloist is singing this or something else.

I'm sorry I have not responded earlier, but I have neither had access to a stable internet connection nor the CD during my Easter vacation. I listen to the CD at the moment, and I can confirm that Rozhdestvensky uses the original version of the text. It was easy to hear, as they phrase the words clearly. Insresting story BTW!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: johnQpublic on March 26, 2008, 08:49:37 AM
Check out this cool cover of Shosty's 10th symphony second movement.
I always said Shostakovich is METAL! ahah

http://www.mediafire.com/?13nsm2j4nlp



That was a fascinating listen. It took a lot of talent & technique to pull it off. Thanks for the link.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Drasko on March 26, 2008, 08:58:53 AM
I'm sorry I have not responded earlier, but I have neither had access to a stable internet connection nor the CD during my Easter vacation. I listen to the CD at the moment, and I can confirm that Rozhdestvensky uses the original version of the text. It was easy to hear, as they phrase the words clearly. Insresting story BTW!

Many thanks!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: vandermolen on March 30, 2008, 01:50:13 PM
Terrific new CD of Symphony 4: Staatskapelle Dresden, Kondrashin, German Premiere 1963 (midprice Profil label). This in my favourite Shostakovich symphony and I must have heard nearly all available CDs. This one is my favourite now. It is the most manically intense of the lot (even better I think than Konrashin's wonderful melodiya recording).  Furthermore, the booket is crammed full of fascinating photos of Shostakovich: A great release.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: O Delvig on April 02, 2008, 02:28:05 PM
Terrific new CD of Symphony 4: Staatskapelle Dresden, Kondrashin, German Premiere 1963 (midprice Profil label). This in my favourite Shostakovich symphony and I must have heard nearly all available CDs. This one is my favourite now. It is the most manically intense of the lot (even better I think than Konrashin's wonderful melodiya recording).  Furthermore, the booket is crammed full of fascinating photos of Shostakovich: A great release.

Out of curiousity, have you heard Rozhdestvensky? I've heard interesting things about his Shostakovich, but his cycle seems to be out of print. I have a recording of the first Cello Concerto he did with Rostropovich and it's fantastic.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: vandermolen on April 05, 2008, 09:37:03 AM
Out of curiousity, have you heard Rozhdestvensky? I've heard interesting things about his Shostakovich, but his cycle seems to be out of print. I have a recording of the first Cello Concerto he did with Rostropovich and it's fantastic.

Sorry for delay in replying.  Yes, I have Rozhdestvensky on an old Olympia CD in Symphony 4. It is very good but I prefer the Dresden Kondrashin, which is more appropiately manic and hard-driven, ending in the deepest gloom.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Catison on April 05, 2008, 09:56:25 AM
I just went for a very long run (it is finally 60 degrees in Wisconsin!!) and listened to the 4th Symphony.  Oh wow.  That is all I can say.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Varg on April 05, 2008, 02:57:24 PM
Something weird happened today.

I decided to play a Shostakovich symphony. It pissed me off so much that i'm still angry. It was the first time that i reacted this way to music.

I dont know how is that, or, rather, how to explain it (i use to like this music). I felt it was (the music) exagerated and unconvincing, like a clown who's doing all he can to be funny in vain, except here we're talking about a man who tries to convince a feeling of tragedy.

Words fail me. All i can say is that i'll never listen to Shostakovich again; i am that much disgusted.




Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: George on April 05, 2008, 03:17:13 PM
Out of curiousity, have you heard Rozhdestvensky? I've heard interesting things about his Shostakovich, but his cycle seems to be out of print. I have a recording of the first Cello Concerto he did with Rostropovich and it's fantastic.

Yeah, his DSCH is definitely worth seeking out.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: O Delvig on April 05, 2008, 06:57:59 PM
Something weird happened today.

I decided to play a Shostakovich symphony. It pissed me off so much that i'm still angry. It was the first time that i reacted this way to music.

I dont know how is that, or, rather, how to explain it (i use to like this music). I felt it was (the music) exagerated and unconvincing, like a clown who's doing all he can to be funny in vain, except here we're talking about a man who tries to convince a feeling of tragedy.

Words fail me. All i can say is that i'll never listen to Shostakovich again; i am that much disgusted.


Judging by your avatar, I'd assume you like Pettersson? But not Shostakovich?  ??? ???

Maybe try the string quartets, if you like that genre. Either way, it's good that you at least had a strong reaction to his music. It took me a long time to appreciate his symphonies, and I'm just getting into them now. Some I find a little too programmatic, but perhaps I'll learn to enjoy them. Right now my favorites are 4,8,13 and 14 (Kondrashin set).

BTW, which symphony did you listen to?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: DavidW on April 05, 2008, 07:02:26 PM
Did Paulb change his name to Varg? ???
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Varg on April 05, 2008, 08:13:49 PM
Judging by your avatar, I'd assume you like Pettersson? But not Shostakovich?  ??? ???

Maybe try the string quartets, if you like that genre. Either way, it's good that you at least had a strong reaction to his music. It took me a long time to appreciate his symphonies, and I'm just getting into them now. Some I find a little too programmatic, but perhaps I'll learn to enjoy them. Right now my favorites are 4,8,13 and 14 (Kondrashin set).

BTW, which symphony did you listen to?

It was the 8th.

No, i'm really done with Shostakovich.

I know his SQs, trios and sonatas pretty well, but... i dont know, i guess his sound world doesn't speak to me at all anymore.

Yes, Pettersson is my favorite composer. They are very different from each other, if we put aside the fact that they both have a dark feel (even if Shostakovich's music sounds like a fairytale compare to Pettersson's!  0:)

 
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Varg on April 05, 2008, 08:14:58 PM
Did Paulb change his name to Varg? ???

No, i just happen to be another Pettersson junkie.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: vandermolen on April 05, 2008, 11:52:20 PM
Something weird happened today.

I decided to play a Shostakovich symphony. It pissed me off so much that i'm still angry. It was the first time that i reacted this way to music.

I dont know how is that, or, rather, how to explain it (i use to like this music). I felt it was (the music) exagerated and unconvincing, like a clown who's doing all he can to be funny in vain, except here we're talking about a man who tries to convince a feeling of tragedy.

Words fail me. All i can say is that i'll never listen to Shostakovich again; i am that much disgusted.


I can understand this in regard to Symphony 8. Personally I like this symphony but the three big climaxes in the last movement always sounded rather forced. However, I feel that symphonies 4,10 and 15 are absolutely authentic in their feeling. I love the music of Pettersson too (especially Violin Concerto No 2..one of the greatest works ever and symphonies 6-8).
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Grazioso on April 06, 2008, 02:30:33 AM
Something weird happened today.

I decided to play a Shostakovich symphony. It pissed me off so much that i'm still angry. It was the first time that i reacted this way to music.

I dont know how is that, or, rather, how to explain it (i use to like this music). I felt it was (the music) exagerated and unconvincing, like a clown who's doing all he can to be funny in vain, except here we're talking about a man who tries to convince a feeling of tragedy.

Words fail me. All i can say is that i'll never listen to Shostakovich again; i am that much disgusted.



I can sort of understand this reaction. I never quite know whether to love DSCH or to be exasperated by him. All of his "angry circus music," as I call his supposedly "ironic" or satirical bits, can grate when you just want an honest, straightforward expression of emotion--which he's fully capable of. It's like someone cracking a joke right after they say something personally revealing or emotionally direct in order to cover it up. (In this regard, I so far find Pettersson superior: he sounds utterly open, direct, honest, and intense.)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Pierre on April 06, 2008, 02:42:24 AM
I can sort of understand this reaction. I never quite know whether to love DSCH or to be exasperated by him. All of his "angry circus music," as I call his supposedly "ironic" or satirical bits, can grate when you just want an honest, straightforward expression of emotion--which he's fully capable of. It's like someone cracking a joke right after they say something personally revealing or emotionally direct in order to cover it up. (In this regard, I so far find Pettersson superior: he sounds utterly open, direct, honest, and intense.)

To that extent, perhaps Shostakovich is a fair reflection of what passed for intelligent expression in Stalinist Russia (which largely formed him, for better or worse); it was usually dangerous to say anything unambiguous in a world where one party line was quickly replaced by another year after year, sometimes in a matter of months. In a world where official 'truth' was as sturdy as a sandcastle, one could only signal ones true feelings while at the same time wearing a mask of some kind. Shostakovich often parroted current official slogans in his letters to close friends as if to signal, at the very least, 'that's the way we're supposed to behave', so underlining its falsity. I think in the same way Shostakovich had to assume certain grimaces - of triumph, 'optimism', what have you - because it was expected of him. To have expressed unambiguous emotion - except in the brief window provided by the German invasion of Russia - could be in effect signing your own death certificate. To expect him to express himself as freely as the Swedish Pettersson is plainly absurd.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: DavidW on April 06, 2008, 04:40:28 AM
I can sort of understand this reaction. I never quite know whether to love DSCH or to be exasperated by him. All of his "angry circus music," as I call his supposedly "ironic" or satirical bits, can grate when you just want an honest, straightforward expression of emotion--which he's fully capable of. It's like someone cracking a joke right after they say something personally revealing or emotionally direct in order to cover it up. (In this regard, I so far find Pettersson superior: he sounds utterly open, direct, honest, and intense.)

What a load of crap!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: The new erato on April 06, 2008, 04:49:39 AM
I love some of Pettersons symphonies, but what relief if he occasionally found room for a little irony after he openly, directly and honestly have been puching home the same point over and over and over again for 50 minutes................
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on April 06, 2008, 05:15:35 AM
Anyone is entitled not to like the piece for whatever reason or bouquet of reasons, of course.

But I like the Eighth Symphony a great deal.  Especially the evolving instrumentation of the motto theme in the first movement;  both the scherzi (and I love how he puts the trombones through their paces with those rapid arpeggios);  the exquisitely colored passacaglia;  and just plain everything about the last movement . . . the insouciant bassoon solo which exposes the first theme;  the retransition to a blistering restatement of the motto theme from the first movement;  the 'ghostly' quiet of the coda (which is a wonderful 'inversion' of the close of the Fourth Symphony.

Varg, it is a pity you that decided to couch your inability to like the Eighth in terms of the supposed superiority of Pettersson, whose work I do not find at all either as characterful, or as consistently well made as Shostakovich's.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: O Delvig on April 06, 2008, 05:31:47 AM
If you're looking for straightforward emotional expression, it's understandable that Pettersson would appeal more. There's little chance of misinterpreting a Pettersson symphony. I find Shostakovich much more ambiguous and challenging, with plenty of room in his works for humor, wit, and (God Forbid!) lightheartedness, alongside all the gloom and intensity.

I love Pettersson too, but sometimes I just want to yell, "For God sakes man, life isn't that bad! You didn't even live under Stalin!"
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: The new erato on April 06, 2008, 05:53:16 AM
If you're looking for straightforward emotional expression, it's understandable that Pettersson would appeal more. There's little chance of misinterpreting a Pettersson symphony. I find Shostakovich much more ambiguous and challenging, with plenty of room in his works for humor, wit, and (God Forbid!) lightheartedness, alongside all the gloom and intensity.

I love Pettersson too, but sometimes I just want to yell, "For God sakes man, life isn't that bad! You didn't even live under Stalin!"

Extremely well put.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Bonehelm on April 06, 2008, 07:25:10 AM
If you're looking for straightforward emotional expression, it's understandable that Pettersson would appeal more. There's little chance of misinterpreting a Pettersson symphony. I find Shostakovich much more ambiguous and challenging, with plenty of room in his works for humor, wit, and (God Forbid!) lightheartedness, alongside all the gloom and intensity.

I love Pettersson too, but sometimes I just want to yell, "For God sakes man, life isn't that bad! You didn't even live under Stalin!"


And where would Mahler fit into those two composers?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: O Delvig on April 06, 2008, 08:28:59 AM
And where would Mahler fit into those two composers?

Well, he clearly had influence on both of them. I can't comment much on Mahler because I don't listen to his music very often, since it's really not my cup of tea. For me, what his music lacks is any sense of inevitability. His works are just too broad! But that's another discussion, and this is a Shostakovich thread.

It's worth mentioning that of the three, only Shostakovich made any significant contribution to non-orchestral music.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Varg on April 06, 2008, 10:59:47 AM
Anyone is entitled not to like the piece for whatever reason or bouquet of reasons, of course.

But I like the Eighth Symphony a great deal.  Especially the evolving instrumentation of the motto theme in the first movement;  both the scherzi (and I love how he puts the trombones through their paces with those rapid arpeggios);  the exquisitely colored passacaglia;  and just plain everything about the last movement . . . the insouciant bassoon solo which exposes the first theme;  the retransition to a blistering restatement of the motto theme from the first movement;  the 'ghostly' quiet of the coda (which is a wonderful 'inversion' of the close of the Fourth Symphony.

Varg, it is a pity you that decided to couch your inability to like the Eighth in terms of the supposed superiority of Pettersson, whose work I do not find at all either as characterful, or as consistently well made as Shostakovich's.

I agree Karl; there are great, great moments in Shostakovich. The problem is that they are only moments. I need music that flows perfectly, even if it's just one movement of a symphony, and i cant find this in Shostakovich, contrary to my favorite composers; with the likes of Brahms, Bruckner, Chopin, Shumann, Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Pettersson, Wagner and Williams, just to name a few, what do i care for this! He just cant take me away. And i dont mean he's a bad composer at all, i only mean that he's not my cup of tea, and i'm glad i realised it.

By the way, i already got rid of most of my Shostakovich recordings. His 5th, 8th, 11th (Rostropovich/LSO) and 10th (Karajan) still needs a new home. The first who shows interest will have them freely (postage will be too costly if i send them seperately).
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on April 06, 2008, 02:26:31 PM
I agree Karl; there are great, great moments in Shostakovich. The problem is that they are only moments.

You are mistaken if you think we are in agreement here, Varg.  Although I immediately thought of "moments" (since there was little point in writing a 2,000-word post which specifies what I admire in each and every measure), Shostakovich's Eighth works in toto.  I am sorry you don't get the piece, and I am puzzled that you prefer Pettersson;  but please, don't try to 'convince' me that Shostakovich is only a composer of "moments."  That is a question of your attention/perception, and not any question of "flaws" in the Shostakovich Opus 65.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Danny on April 06, 2008, 03:03:08 PM
I love just about all the symphonies--even the Second, Third and Twelfth (the finale is a special favorite).  For some reason the Fourtheenth eludes me, and for right now that's fine with me.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Varg on April 06, 2008, 03:12:37 PM
You are mistaken if you think we are in agreement here, Varg.  Although I immediately thought of "moments" (since there was little point in writing a 2,000-word post which specifies what I admire in each and every measure), Shostakovich's Eighth works in toto.  I am sorry you don't get the piece, and I am puzzled that you prefer Pettersson;  but please, don't try to 'convince' me that Shostakovich is only a composer of "moments."  That is a question of your attention/perception, and not any question of "flaws" in the Shostakovich Opus 65.

No, that's a question of taste. It only has great moments, to me. I'm not trying to convince you of anything.

I never talked about flaws; it has nothing to do with him, it's all about me.

And the fact that i dont like a composer doesn't mean it's because i dont get it.

It is not not a technical issue i have with Shostakovich, it is an emotional one. For instance, he would get really close of giving me great pleasure, but then he would screw it up buy throwing in there something that is totally unecessary or by "going elsewhere". He really is a teaser; he promess me great things, and then he takes them away from me. His music just goes against my nature, i guess; my whole being protest against it, and my mind is far from being my biggest/only "judgement factor".

Well, there's not much to say, really; i dont get your love for Shostakovich and you dont get my love for Pettersson, and i wont blame you for that, or tell you, in a condescending tone, that i'm sorry you dont get it. To each his own.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: O Delvig on April 06, 2008, 05:24:51 PM
I love just about all the symphonies--even the Second, Third and Twelfth (the finale is a special favorite).  For some reason the Fourtheenth eludes me, and for right now that's fine with me.

The fourteenth is worth pursuing. In fact, I just changed my name in honor of it!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Grazioso on April 06, 2008, 05:58:58 PM
To that extent, perhaps Shostakovich is a fair reflection of what passed for intelligent expression in Stalinist Russia (which largely formed him, for better or worse); it was usually dangerous to say anything unambiguous in a world where one party line was quickly replaced by another year after year, sometimes in a matter of months. In a world where official 'truth' was as sturdy as a sandcastle, one could only signal ones true feelings while at the same time wearing a mask of some kind. Shostakovich often parroted current official slogans in his letters to close friends as if to signal, at the very least, 'that's the way we're supposed to behave', so underlining its falsity. I think in the same way Shostakovich had to assume certain grimaces - of triumph, 'optimism', what have you - because it was expected of him. To have expressed unambiguous emotion - except in the brief window provided by the German invasion of Russia - could be in effect signing your own death certificate. To expect him to express himself as freely as the Swedish Pettersson is plainly absurd.

I wonder how his "comrade composers" compare in that regard. I've just started exploring Miaskovsky, and the few works I've heard so far seem rather unambiguous (in the positive sense) in their emotional content/appeal.

If you're looking for straightforward emotional expression, it's understandable that Pettersson would appeal more. There's little chance of misinterpreting a Pettersson symphony. I find Shostakovich much more ambiguous and challenging, with plenty of room in his works for humor, wit, and (God Forbid!) lightheartedness, alongside all the gloom and intensity.

I love Pettersson too, but sometimes I just want to yell, "For God sakes man, life isn't that bad! You didn't even live under Stalin!"


Until you've walked in another man's shoes... But regardless of that, I actually have found Pettersson more challenging, based on the five symphonies I've heard so far, in terms of either engaging fully with such emotionally exhausting works or following the densely intertwined musical strands in some of them. (DSCH's symphonic textures can seem relatively Spartan, which I actually find an interesting and welcome contrast to more than a few 20th-century symphonies!)

As for humor and wit and high spirits, I there turn to composers like Haydn or Mozart, but any humor and lightheartedness I hear in Shostakovich can come across not necessarily as forced--to go back to Varg's earlier post--but as an ugly sort of humor or levity designed to mask, mock, or subvert.



Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on April 06, 2008, 06:01:15 PM
The fourteenth is worth pursuing. In fact, I just changed my name in honor of it!

I had the same thought. I mean, about the symphony, that is!

Congrats on your new name! ;D



Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on April 07, 2008, 02:33:57 AM
(DSCH's symphonic textures can seem relatively Spartan, which I actually find an interesting and welcome contrast to more than a few 20th-century symphonies!)

Yes, I really like the range of textures, from busy kitchen-sink-ness, to just two instruments with no place to hide.

Which I find one thing (of a number of things) to relish in the symphonies, which cannot possibly be a part of the quartets.

Quote
As for humor and wit and high spirits, I there turn to composers like Haydn or Mozart, but any humor and lightheartedness I hear in Shostakovich can come across not necessarily as forced--to go back to Varg's earlier post--but as an ugly sort of humor or levity designed to mask, mock, or subvert.

From an early age, a penchant for the 'grotesque', indeed.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: greg on April 08, 2008, 02:47:40 PM
It is not not a technical issue i have with Shostakovich, it is an emotional one. For instance, he would get really close of giving me great pleasure, but then he would screw it up buy throwing in there something that is totally unecessary or by "going elsewhere". He really is a teaser; he promess me great things, and then he takes them away from me. His music just goes against my nature, i guess; my whole being protest against it, and my mind is far from being my biggest/only "judgement factor".
This is something that I've actually noticed a bit, too.... it feels like he's about to going into something very deep and profound and then he just changes direction completely, which maybe some chromatic woodwinds or something.

But...... I wanted to add here, lately I've been listening to the 4th and 5th symphonies. The 5th once, and I'm starting to like it. Doesn't have the best ideas, but the form is nice and he develops stuff nicely- it's just well written. The 4th is the opposite (listened to it two days in a row)- it instead has the most amazing ideas, but the form is just all over the place, almost as much as, say, Schnittke's 1st (though not quite that far). Even though it's all over the place, and there's moments where i want to hear him write something "deeper" but he's goes somewhere else, it doesn't really ruin my enjoyment.

My favorite part of the symphony I've been playing back for a few days now and whenever I think about it, it actually makes me smile (and I rarely smile, or at least that's about what everyone says).
The music doesn't remind me of anything particularly or bring images straight to mind like some of my other favorite music, but it's definitely worthy of relating some type of concept to it. I'll try to post it in a minute.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: greg on April 08, 2008, 03:08:38 PM
Isn't this clip just freaking awesome?!

[mp3=200,20,0,center]http://www.fileden.com/files/2007/8/14/1346899/sym4%20clip.mp3[/mp3]

This is Rozhdestvensky's recording, I love how the string have some kind of echo, makes it sound even bigger. Then the strings eventually play his signature gallop, while the brass comes in, and it ends up in, i guess explosions!

This is truly falling in love for me..... 0:)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Bonehelm on April 08, 2008, 05:57:10 PM
Isn't this clip just freaking awesome?!

[mp3=200,20,0,center]http://www.fileden.com/files/2007/8/14/1346899/sym4%20clip.mp3[/mp3]

This is Rozhdestvensky's recording, I love how the string have some kind of echo, makes it sound even bigger. Then the strings eventually play his signature gallop, while the brass comes in, and it ends up in, i guess explosions!

This is truly falling in love for me..... 0:)
Greg which symphony is that? This is what I"m talking about...Shosty is so chaotic to me I don't get his style of expression. Mahler on the other hand seems controlled and logical, even when it is full-blown by a 150 piece orchestra with a 80-stop organ blasting triple fortissimo over it.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: vandermolen on April 08, 2008, 11:42:52 PM
I wonder how his "comrade composers" compare in that regard. I've just started exploring Miaskovsky, and the few works I've heard so far seem rather unambiguous (in the positive sense) in their emotional content/appeal.

I think that there is ambiguity in Miaskovsky's music. I have been listening to Symphony 17 recently, written in 1937 during the Stalinist purges. In this, and other works, I think that Miaskovsky tries to conform to the demands of Socialist Realism (as was expected of creative artists) whilst remaining true to himself. Miaskovsky was apparently a shy and introspective man who had witnessed the murder of his father (a General in the Tsar's army) during the revolutionary period. I very much doubt that he was an enthusiastic supporter of the regime and this paradox does, I feel, come out in some of his music, which gives it an added poignancy (symphonies 6 and 27 also come to mind in this respect).
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on April 09, 2008, 02:44:19 AM
Greg which symphony is that? This is what I'm talking about...Shosty is so chaotic to me I don't get his style of expression.

To keep myself solely to your initial question:  this is the string fugato in the middle of the first movement of the Fourth Symphony.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: greg on April 09, 2008, 05:59:12 AM
Shosty is so chaotic to me I don't get his style of expression.
Well, at least for me, it developed a lot just by listening again and again. Certain things become familiar and when you hear them again, it just becomes more and more likeable..... such as the galloping rhythms, the DSCH (D Eb C B) motive, etc. Then again, you just might not have the capacity to enjoy heavily dissonant music, or haven't developed the taste yet.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on April 09, 2008, 07:43:42 AM
And to be sure, Greg, the entire Fourth Symphony is (probably a reasonably apt use of this much-abused adjective) awesome.  I could not vouch for its freaking, at all.

Perfect FIFTH, I will say that the first couple of times I listened to the Fourth Symphony, I didn't "get" it.  After a long interval, I went back to it, and now about half the time it is my favorite Shostakovich symphony, and well up in my Top Ten Symphonies of All Time.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: springrite on April 09, 2008, 07:49:00 AM
This thread has reminded me to listen to Shostakovich again, and I have not listened to a single note from him since 2002. Lots of CDs, but for some reason I have been listening to others.

First up, symphony #14.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: greg on April 09, 2008, 07:54:37 AM
This thread has reminded me to listen to Shostakovich again, and I have not listened to a single note from him since 2002. Lots of CDs, but for some reason I have been listening to others.

First up, symphony #14.
2002?  :o
That's way too long, man!
You picked a good one to start again with  8)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Bonehelm on April 09, 2008, 09:47:45 AM
And to be sure, Greg, the entire Fourth Symphony is (probably a reasonably apt use of this much-abused adjective) awesome.  I could not vouch for its freaking, at all.

Perfect FIFTH, I will say that the first couple of times I listened to the Fourth Symphony, I didn't "get" it.  After a long interval, I went back to it, and now about half the time it is my favorite Shostakovich symphony, and well up in my Top Ten Symphonies of All Time.

Sounds great, I'll give him a try, since I have the Haitink cycle and have never really did much in-depth listening. :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on April 09, 2008, 10:00:27 AM
First up, symphony #14.

That's plunging right in, Paul!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: edward on April 09, 2008, 10:31:52 AM
When I take my DSCH symphonic plunges, it almost always ends up involving #4, #14 and #15.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on September 25, 2008, 03:48:09 AM
Quote from: Yakov Milkis, violinist with the Leningrad Philharmonic
I do remember . . . we were rehearsing the Eighth Symphony for a forthcoming performance in the concert season.  Dmitri Dmitriyevich had come up to Leningrad as usual for the rehearsal.  In the break Mravinsky turned round to us and said, ‘Do you know, I have this impression that here in this place Dmitri Dmitriyevich has omitted something;  there’s a discrepancy between the harmonies of these chords as they appear here and where they occur elsewhere.  I’ve always wanted to ask Dmitri Dmitriyevich about this point, but somehow I have never got round to it.’

Just at this moment, Dmitri Dmitriyevich himself came up to Mravinsky, who put the question to him without further ado.  Dmitri Dmitriyevich glanced at the score: ‘Oh dear, what a terrible omission, what an error I have committed.  But you know what, let’s leave it as it is, just let things stay as they are.’  We then understood that this ‘error’ was deliberate.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Guido on September 25, 2008, 04:52:46 AM
New string quartet, Guido?

Sorry - taken a while to respond... Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAKLKokYDso

The piece (SQ no.16) is mentioned just a few posts above your post. It's a fantastic piece.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on September 25, 2008, 04:54:54 AM
When I take my DSCH symphonic plunges, it almost always ends up involving #4, #14 and #15.

And quite right!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Guido on October 17, 2008, 04:42:10 PM
Quote
I want listeners to reflect upon my new symphony ... to realise that they must lead pure and fruitful lives for the glory of their Motherland, their people and the most progressive ideas motivating our socialist society. That is what I was thinking about as I wrote my new work. I want my listeners, as they leave the hall after hearing my symphony, to think that life is truly beautiful

What do people make of this passage that Shostakovich wrote in the Preface to the Fourteenth Symphony. Is the whole thing an example of his dark humour and irony, or is some of it genuinely meant?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on October 17, 2008, 04:48:43 PM
". . . for the glory of [...] the most progressive ideas motivating our socialist society" is certainly tongue-in-cheek.

I don't remember any such Preface to the score I have of the Fourteenth . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Guido on October 17, 2008, 04:54:00 PM
From the Wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._14_(Shostakovich)#cite_note-6
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Guido on October 17, 2008, 04:58:30 PM
". . . for the glory of [...] the most progressive ideas motivating our socialist society" is certainly tongue-in-cheek.


Well obviously, but does that render the rest of that sentence also a mockery, in which case what are we to make of the 'life is truly beautiful'. Is that really what he is trying to say in this work?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on October 17, 2008, 05:22:45 PM
Well obviously, but does that render the rest of that sentence also a mockery, in which case what are we to make of the 'life is truly beautiful'. Is that really what he is trying to say in this work?

I can't find my copy of Fay at the moment.  There's a quote from Shostakovich in there which seems to me to have the ring of truth.  I'll have to paraphrase.  He was great friends with Britten;  and Shostakovich greatly admired the War Requiem, only as an atheist, Shostakovich felt that Britten went too far in offering after-death solace to the listener.  So the Fourteenth (dedicate to Britten) was assembled in the spirit of "death is it, it's final."  (Though we observe the note of artistic 'immortality' yearned for in what I consider the emotional core of the piece, "Delvig! Oh, Delvig!")

Beyond the quote which I cannot at the moment turn up . . . the insistence upon optimism, the upbeat tenets of "Socialist Realism," in even the post-Stalin USSR would have made such a piece impossible to publish.  So perhaps Shostakovich had to compose such an apparently duplicitous preface, because it had to be done.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: greg on October 17, 2008, 06:52:21 PM
What do people make of this passage that Shostakovich wrote in the Preface to the Fourteenth Symphony. Is the whole thing an example of his dark humour and irony, or is some of it genuinely meant?
Wow.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Ugh! on October 17, 2008, 10:05:39 PM
IMO there is hardly any work by Dmitri that is more fascinating than the 8th SQ. Having been diagnosed with a serious infliction and being forced to join the Communist Party, Shostakovich was apparently planning a suicide, intending the 8th SQ as an epitaph, dedicating it to himself (DSCH  ::)) and victims of totalitarianism. "While I was composing it I shed the same amount of tears as I would have to pee after half-a-dozen beers". There is some genuine frustration and anger surfacing in the second movement (Allegro Molto), which has always been among my favorite violent erruptions in classical music, bordering on trash metal  >:D.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on December 11, 2008, 12:33:33 AM
Concerto day yesterday. "Neue Philharmonie Westfalen" (Cond. Amos Talmon - He has Bernsteinian expressive qualities) with Borodin, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich. Borodin: The obvious (Polovetsian Dances), a Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto op.35 and Shostakovich Symphony No. 1.
I don't like any Violin concertos yet. I didn't find the violin soloists parts to be part of the music. Too extroverted, too artificially exaggerated. It's disturbing the flow of the music rather than supporting it. People seem to like it. Don't know exactly why. Maybe the wish of everybody, to become the center of the world just for one day.

Now the Shostakovich 1. I have only loosely listened to the symphony twice. I must say I was really impressed yesterday. It's very modern, creative and working well. An exciting and tense piece of music. No weak spots for me in the Symphony. I loved the lento, it is of a disturbing beauty. It has some kind abyss shining through. MORE MORE MORE! :) The Piano was hardly audible in the ending of the symphony.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on December 11, 2008, 07:52:15 AM
Concerto day yesterday. "Neue Philharmonie Westfalen" (Cond. Amos Talmon - He has Bernsteinian expressive qualities) with Borodin, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich. Borodin: The obvious (Polovetsian Dances), a Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto op.35 and Shostakovich Symphony No. 1.
I don't like any Violin concertos yet. I didn't find the violin soloists parts to be part of the music. Too extroverted, too artificially exaggerated. It's disturbing the flow of the music rather than supporting it. People seem to like it. Don't know exactly why. Maybe the wish of everybody, to become the center of the world just for one day.

I like concerti, including violin concerti.  I have no desire to be the center of the world, ever.

Quote from: Wurst
Now the Shostakovich 1. I have only loosely listened to the symphony twice. I must say I was really impressed yesterday. It's very modern, creative and working well. An exciting and tense piece of music. No weak spots for me in the Symphony. I loved the lento, it is of a disturbing beauty. It has some kind abyss shining through. MORE MORE MORE! :) The Piano was hardly audible in the ending of the symphony.

Aye, it's a very fine first symphony, and a worthy addition to the repertory.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: drogulus on December 11, 2008, 01:25:37 PM

     I've been listening to the 1st quite a bit lately (Stokowski and the Haitink from my recent acquisition of the cycle). I really ought to get started with the 4th now, shouldn't I?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jowcol on December 11, 2008, 05:45:40 PM
It's interesting a lot of you like the Fourth.  I have a very special relationship with it.

For what it's worth, I like DSCH, but I haven't found the need to dig too deep in the Catalog. I like the 10th the most, (particularly the long first movement), the 5th of course, and, call me shallow, but I also like the "Bolero" part of the 7th, although it strikes me that the last couple movements stretched themselves thin.  But still, I have a weird relationship with the 4th some of you might understand, particularly the last 7 minutes or so of the final movement.

As it turned out, back in the 80s, I had bought the 4th on vinyl, and it never really clicked with me, and I put it away after a couple listens.  Two years later, juggling night classes at college and a job, I have to drive home late at night having been up for about 40 hours.  I only had a radio, but found something on the classical station that was listenable.  (Yes, it was the last movement of the 4th, but I didn't recognize it.)

Anyway, I'm enjoying the music well enough, and am driving home on an empty parkway at 60 mph, with tall, concrete sound barriers on either side when the tympani kicked in, and suddenly the dramatic last few minutes had started.  I let my imagination run free-- it sounding like some ultimate conflict between good and evil, the forces of good struggling against some sort of inhuman juggernaut.

I was seconds away from anus-clenching terror.

I became aware something large over my left shoulder.  An 18 wheeler tractor trailer had decided he wanted my lane with me in it.  I hit the brakes at 60 mph and started swerving, first towards the concrete sound barrier, and then the truck, burning rubber and sometimes going on two wheels.  The wild thing about was that it seemed perfectly in synch with the music, sort of like a Fantasia getting wayyyy too personal.  Still skidding, I saw a large concrete column in front of me that was supporting an underpass.  There was no way out.  I bent down, held the steering wheel as tight as I could, kept my foot on the break and closed my eyes.

As the tires stopped squealing, and I heard the truck thunder off into the distance, the loud crescendo had ending, and the theme I had associated with forces of good had morphed into a funereal dirge.  Still shaking, I looked up and saw that I had come to a stop about 6 inches from the  pillar.  The funereal dirge hit home-- that could have been me.

As Phillip K. Dick had put it, "It is a terrifying experience indeed to have been bushwhacked by the Living God." That was just how I felt. 

As you now, the last couple minute have this long sustained, erie pedal happening, which seemed to embody for me the all-too-thin line between life and death.  Of course, I had to wait for the announcer to tell me what I was listening too-- me and this piece I was listening to  were now inseperable, and yes, it was the 4th.

The next day, I decided I needed some Shostakovitch, so I went through my LPs, and there was the fourth.  I listened to it end to end, and I still couldn't wrap my head around it.  But, the hair stood up on the back of my neck during the last 7 minutes, and just to top it off.  Strangely enough, right at the point where the funereal dirge started, they did a test of the local air raid sirens.  (Gotta love the Reagan years)  They did it once a month, and I got lucky.

When I made the move to CDs, I bought the 4th first.  Not that it was my favorite, not that I still haven't really grasped the whole thing, but there is a lifetime in those last seven minutes..

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: greg on December 12, 2008, 02:23:55 PM
Makes me never want to listen to music while driving.....
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on December 15, 2008, 06:30:01 AM
It's interesting a lot of you like the Fourth.  I have a very special relationship with it.
Bad experience, good music. Haven't listened a lot yet to #4, but I remember it was soo interesting. The whole music, also last movement somewhat reminded me of Mahler, e.g. the "Tamboursg'sell" (translated as 'little drummer boy') would go well with the last mvmt.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on December 15, 2008, 05:00:39 PM
Haven't listened a lot yet to #4, but I remember it was soo interesting. The whole music, also last movement somewhat reminded me of Mahler, e.g. the "Tamboursg'sell" (translated as 'little drummer boy') would go well with the last mvmt.
In another thread, we identified several Mahler quotes (from the symphonies) in that third movement, so you may be right as well.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on December 15, 2008, 05:16:48 PM
In another thread, we identified several Mahler quotes (from the symphonies) in that third movement, so you may be right as well.

Could you recap those for us here?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on December 18, 2008, 07:50:53 AM
Dumbest thing I have yet seen said of the Leningrad Symphony:

Quote
Lacking the structural inevitability of Bruckner or the prolific invention of Mahler . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on December 18, 2008, 07:51:17 AM
Could you recap those for us here?

Second asking.  I am interested.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Two-Tone on December 18, 2008, 08:00:20 AM
Dumbest thing anyone has yet seen said of an informed comment of the Leningrad Symphony:

Dumbest thing I have yet seen said of the Leningrad Symphony:

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Kullervo on December 18, 2008, 08:07:36 AM
the structural inevitability of Bruckner


The only inevitability in Bruckner is that he will inevitably put me to sleep.  8)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on December 18, 2008, 08:08:22 AM
The only inevitability in Bruckner is that he will inevitably put me to sleep.  8)

We can turn this into a positive  8)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on December 18, 2008, 08:33:23 AM
Best insight I have read today of the Leningrad Symphony:

Quote
In the strange page scored for harp, bass clarinet, alto flute and two ordinary flutes, the balance of sonorities and easy tightness of execution was the kind of work that defines a world-class orchestra.

Although . . . "strange page"?  I find it magical.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: greg on December 18, 2008, 01:06:28 PM
We can turn this into a positive  8)
I have myself recently (after starting out with the same feelings). All it took for me was time and repeated listenings and now he's my favorite composer to listen to while in class.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Bulldog on December 18, 2008, 01:08:54 PM
I have myself recently (after starting out with the same feelings). All it took for me was time and repeated listenings and now he's my favorite composer to listen to while in class.

Sounds like you're making the most of your educational experience. ;D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on December 18, 2008, 06:57:41 PM
Could you recap those for us here?
Weren't you in that thread  (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,7682.40.html) at that time?

Quote from: G$
What I didn't catch about this symphony until recently were the quotations from one of the main motives of Mahler's 4th. Pretty easy to miss, very subtle and most likely he did have it in mind although it could also have been just pure chance, being only a few notes (unless someone can prove this wrong).
Quote from: eyeresist
I didn't notice references to Mahler's 4th, but I did notice the trumpet motif from the first movt of the 7th (the "Star Trek" fanfare), plus the reoccurring chord modulating from major to minor, from the 6th.
Quote from: G$
Quote from: eyeresist
I didn't notice references to Mahler's 4th,
It's extremely easy to miss. It's just 4 notes plus two that are similar, a few minutes into the 3rd movement, and the flute plays this.......
Quote from: eyeresist
but I did notice the trumpet motif from the first movt of the 7th (the "Star Trek" fanfare), plus the reoccurring chord modulating from major to minor, from the 6th
Very interesting! This is what i like to hear in discussion about this symphony....... didn't even recognize this.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: greg on December 18, 2008, 07:36:46 PM
Sounds like you're making the most of your educational experience. ;D
That's the cool part about what I'm doing. During the weekdays, I have time for 3 CDs+ a day during class, so in the long run that equals a huge amount of music consumption. Just a couple days ago, I listened to Bruckner's 0-3rd symphonies all in one day, for the first time (and now I've officially heard them all, besides 00).

I also had been listening to the Shostakovich quartets enough to become very familiar with them, although I've taken a break since it'll be awhile until I can listen to another so it feels fresh again.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on December 19, 2008, 12:51:13 PM
BTW, someone mentioned "Star Trek". Symphony No. 5, first movement, second half, is very Star Wars like. And Symphony 1, movement 2, this must be where John Williams has the Darth Vader theme from. After a minute played by wind instruments, many repetitions.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: greg on December 19, 2008, 01:05:44 PM
I'm listening to this tomorrow:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41pjMUHs%2BmL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brewski on December 22, 2008, 09:24:33 AM
Anyone in the Boston area going to see Opera Boston's production of The Nose?  More info here (http://www.operaboston.org/operas_nose.php?MD=102&PID=6723&AID=VEN000123500).

--Bruce
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on January 06, 2009, 12:43:39 PM
Shosta's op.87 is patchy imo (doesn't matter who plays it) and it ain't JSB that's for sure.

A. It needn't be JSB; it's Shostakovich, and it's excellent.

B. Where are the 'patches', exactly? Take your time.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Israfel the Black on February 10, 2009, 08:10:41 PM
I am curious to know what the GMG's thoughts are on Shostakovich's early Piano Trio in A Minor, Op. 50. I find moments of bliss sandwiched between moments of dissonance. It is not considered by many to be a mature work, it seems; though I think it is among his best. Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on February 11, 2009, 06:42:48 AM
Anyone in the Boston area going to see Opera Boston's production of The Nose?  More info here (http://www.operaboston.org/operas_nose.php?MD=102&PID=6723&AID=VEN000123500).

Most tempting.

I am curious to know what the GMG's thoughts are on Shostakovich's early Piano Trio in A Minor, Op. 50. I find moments of bliss sandwiched between moments of dissonance. It is not considered by many to be a mature work, it seems; though I think it is among his best. Any thoughts?

I like it very well. Not sure about among his best, but it is fine indeed.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: ChamberNut on March 02, 2009, 10:49:37 AM
Any recommendations for great recordings of Shostakovich's Piano Quintet in G minor, op. 57

Normally, I don't like multiple composer discs, but I noticed at least a few pairings with Schnittke's Piano Quintet, which sound really tempting, as I found Schnittke's PQ to be extremely haunting!  0:)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Lethevich on March 02, 2009, 10:59:50 AM
Any recommendations for great recordings of Shostakovich's Piano Quintet in G minor, op. 57

Normally, I don't like multiple composer discs, but I noticed at least a few pairings with Schnittke's Piano Quintet, which sound really tempting, as I found Schnittke's PQ to be extremely haunting!  0:)

The Naxos coupling (http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Quintets/dp/B00006GO41/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1236020334&sr=8-1) of those two is a successful recording. The Shostakovich in particular is a fine performance in clear sound.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: ChamberNut on March 02, 2009, 11:02:27 AM
The Naxos coupling (http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Quintets/dp/B00006GO41/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1236020334&sr=8-1) of those two is a successful recording. The Shostakovich in particular is a fine performance in clear sound.

Dog thanks cat for recommendation!  :D ;)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on March 02, 2009, 04:50:13 PM
Anyone in the Boston area going to see Opera Boston's production of The Nose? . . .

Happily, Bruce, it turns out that I shall, tomorrow.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: ChamberNut on March 05, 2009, 05:39:03 PM
Just checked this DVD out from the library (even though I may not have time to watch it in the next few days):

Shostakovich - Sonata for Viola

A film by Semyon Aranovich and Alexander Sokurov

Has anyone seen this?  :)

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on March 10, 2009, 03:47:39 PM
[ cross-post ]

Behold The Nose, itself (http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/2009/03/when-you-put-on-nose-it-gr.html)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: vandermolen on May 29, 2009, 08:25:17 AM
A friend recommended a new Naxos release of 'The Girlfriends' (film score) etc by Shostakovich, which I listened to today.  I strongly recommend it - it is a most quirky but engaging score alternating between string quartet, orchestra, chorus and featuring a mad theremin passage (like something out of the score for the film Ed Wood). It is like nothing else I have heard by Shostakovich but it works and the sad end is moving - if you like Shostakovich and fancy something a bit different you should enjoy this CD. It also features an equally strange theatre score for 'Rule, Britannia!' (never published as the play's author was executed in the purges). However, of enormous interest is the original opening seven minutes of Shostakovich's 9th Symphony, which is nothing like the actual 9th Symphony and more in keeping with the spirit of the Leningrad Symphony and Symphony No 8 - it has a great sense of urgency and I immediately wanted to hear it again (it is called 'Symphonic Movement' - 1945 unfinished).  Part of me wishes that Shostakovich had continued with this work:

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on May 29, 2009, 08:28:58 AM
Hmm . . . most interesting, Jeffrey!  The bits of (for instance) Moskva-Cheryomushki which are an extra on a DVD are charming, interesting, though I don't think I need it in the home library.  I do really like the Odna score for what it is.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: vandermolen on May 29, 2009, 08:31:37 AM
Hmm . . . most interesting, Jeffrey!  The bits of (for instance) Moskva-Cheryomushki which are an extra on a DVD are charming, interesting, though I don't think I need it in the home library.  I do really like the Odna score for what it is.

Hi Karl, I must look out for 'Odna' score although I have the Hamlet Naxos CD. I did enjoy this one (picture now above).
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on May 29, 2009, 08:33:43 AM
Oh, that's a Naxos disc I should snaffle.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brewski on May 29, 2009, 08:45:54 AM
A friend recommended a new Naxos release of 'The Girlfriends' (film score) etc by Shostakovich, which I listened to today.  I strongly recommend it - it is a most quirky but engaging score alternating between string quartet, orchestra, chorus and featuring a mad theremin passage (like something out of the score for the film Ed Wood). It is like nothing else I have heard by Shostakovich but it works and the sad end is moving - if you like Shostakovich and fancy something a bit different you should enjoy this CD. It also features an equally strange theatre score for 'Rule, Britannia!' (never published as the play's author was executed in the purges). However, of enormous interest is the original opening seven minutes of Shostakovich's 9th Symphony, which is nothing like the actual 9th Symphony and more in keeping with the spirit of the Leningrad Symphony and Symphony No 8 - it has a great sense of urgency and I immediately wanted to hear it again (it is called 'Symphonic Movement' - 1945 unfinished).  Part of me wishes that Shostakovich had continued with this work:

What an intriguing recording!  Thanks so much for the comments and I will probably see if I can find it over the weekend. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: snyprrr on May 29, 2009, 11:12:54 PM
Shostakovich is the Led Zeppelin of classical music.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: vandermolen on May 30, 2009, 12:55:50 AM
What an intriguing recording!  Thanks so much for the comments and I will probably see if I can find it over the weekend. 

--Bruce

Bruce,

I'll be curious to know what you make of it! (and Karl too if you 'snaffle' a copy  ;))

Jefffrey
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Herman on May 30, 2009, 02:14:29 AM
Shostakovich is the Led Zeppelin of classical music.

meaning?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 30, 2009, 03:32:06 AM
Shostakovich is the Led Zeppelin of classical music.

It's the other way around. Shostakovich came first. So Led Zepplin is the Shostakovich of pop music. 8)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on May 30, 2009, 03:33:23 AM
I can't quit Mitya, babe . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on May 30, 2009, 03:59:53 AM
Quote from: eyeresist
but I did notice the trumpet motif from the first movt of the 7th (the "Star Trek" fanfare), plus the reoccurring chord modulating from major to minor, from the 6th

Well, you remind me that I need yet to listen to the Mahler Seventh (and it was commended to me by a friend, now passed away, rest his soul, who admired both composers).
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on May 31, 2009, 01:41:56 PM
I have a co-worker who loves music, generally likes classical music, but somehow, he thinks he hates Shostakovich.

Of course, that may simply be The Case.  But if you had to select one piece to wean him away from distaste for Shostakovich: Which would it be?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: edward on May 31, 2009, 01:44:33 PM
I have a co-worker who loves music, generally likes classical music, but somehow, he thinks he hates Shostakovich.

Of course, that may simply be The Case.  But if you had to select one piece to wean him away from distaste for Shostakovich: Which would it be?
Either the first violin concerto or the second piano concerto, depending on his taste in music, I think.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: ChamberNut on May 31, 2009, 04:53:19 PM
I have a co-worker who loves music, generally likes classical music, but somehow, he thinks he hates Shostakovich.

Of course, that may simply be The Case.  But if you had to select one piece to wean him away from distaste for Shostakovich: Which would it be?

Jazz Suite No. 2  or the Piano Quintet
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on May 31, 2009, 05:09:00 PM
I have a co-worker who loves music, generally likes classical music, but somehow, he thinks he hates Shostakovich.

Of course, that may simply be The Case.  But if you had to select one piece to wean him away from distaste for Shostakovich: Which would it be?

The fifth symphony and the eighth string quartet seem to be among Shostakovich's more popular pieces, although I can see just about anybody being engaged by the more obscure Op.67 piano trio, especially with that haunting opening (which, btw, my wife - no classical connoisseur - just loves).
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Herman on June 01, 2009, 02:18:59 AM
The best way to awaken someone to DSCH is take him or her to a concert. There's always some sort of drama in DSCH's music, which isn't helped by thecomforts of a cd-player &c.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on June 01, 2009, 02:25:36 AM
The best way to awaken someone to DSCH is take him or her to a concert.

That's certainly true.  Still, I am appreciating the recommended pieces . . . my view is clouded by too-encompassing enjoyment of the catalogue . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on June 01, 2009, 02:49:05 AM
Quote
Violin Concerto № 1
Piano Concerto № 2
Jazz Suite № 2
Piano Quintet
Symphony № 5
String Quartet № 8

Well, we have the two-disc set of five quartets at the shop, so I'll guess that the Opus 110 has already been tried, and (for the moment) found wanting.

This is a good crop of suggestions, thanks!  I must have a word with Epi, and we'll take it from there . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on June 01, 2009, 08:20:06 AM
First of June, folks: Dacha season is officially open.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: snyprrr on June 01, 2009, 08:46:42 AM
Karl, just play your friend the SLOW mvmts., you know, the really beautiful ones (Piano Qnt., Trio No.2, cello sonata...pick a passacaglia). You shouldn't have played him Op.110...try the slow mvmt. of SQ No.6 for that. I know how easy it is to get the wrong impression of Shosty. Sometimes you just have to trick people (Sun Tzu). I don't think this guy can handel a whole 4-5 mvmt. piece yet.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Guido on June 01, 2009, 12:11:27 PM
Can we list Shostakovich's Passacaglias here? The most obvious one is the one from the first violin concerto - maybe the most beautiful thing that Shostakovich ever wrote. Which other ones are there?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on June 01, 2009, 02:35:41 PM
Can we list Shostakovich's Passacaglias here? The most obvious one is the one from the first violin concerto - maybe the most beautiful thing that Shostakovich ever wrote. Which other ones are there?

Is that the most obvious one?  ;)  I thought that designation would be the Intermezzo from Ledi Makbet . . .

Fourth movement of the Eighth Symphony . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on June 01, 2009, 09:08:07 PM
Karl, I think you should play your friend the Cello Concerto No. 1. It's the best thing by Shosty I've ever heard.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on June 04, 2009, 08:31:25 PM
New recording due out June 9th:

Gergiev/Mariinsky in The Nose.

Judging by Gergiev's past successes in opera this ought to be a recording to get. While the work itself of course is fully worthy of anyone's attention. 


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41W5z6LJetL._SS400_.jpg)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: George on June 05, 2009, 01:58:59 AM
I have a co-worker who loves music, generally likes classical music, but somehow, he thinks he hates Shostakovich.

More for us!  8)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: ChamberNut on June 05, 2009, 02:48:05 AM
New recording due out June 9th:

Gergiev/Mariinsky in The Nose.

Judging by Gergiev's past successes in opera this ought to be a recording to get. While the work itself of course is fully worthy of anyone's attention. 


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41W5z6LJetL._SS400_.jpg)

Well, after seeing Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, I'd be interested in seeing this one!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: The new erato on June 05, 2009, 02:53:58 AM
Well, after seeing Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, I'd be interested in seeing this one!
To get your nose in you mean? Don't expect anything similar.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on June 05, 2009, 03:57:03 AM
To get your nose in you mean? Don't expect anything similar.

No, but it is still a fine aroma.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mozart on June 05, 2009, 08:24:59 PM
I dove into the deep end of the pool today and heard the 8th string quartet...it's not jolly stuff is it? I was kind of surprised in a way how nothing was hidden, from the first hearing I heard everything clear and the 2nd and 3rd hearings added nothing new. It has to be the most depressing thing I've ever heard though...
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: The new erato on June 05, 2009, 10:51:26 PM
It has to be the most depressing thing I've ever heard though...
Never heard Pettersson?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mozart on June 06, 2009, 12:58:50 PM
Never heard Pettersson?

Nope first time I passed Brahms!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: greg on June 06, 2009, 06:45:19 PM
I suppose boredom can lead to adventurism, eh?

A clip from Pettersson's 7th:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeuYzeqktAY

very much straightforward minor key with isolated dissonances, quite like the DSCH SQ 8.
This is the only thing I can get from youtube, since they took down that full recording of the 7th. Also, the 8th is worth listening to- even more tragic and hypnotic- really takes you down the depths of the subconscious like nothing else does.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: snyprrr on June 07, 2009, 08:27:19 PM
"Mozart" would like Shosty's SQ No.6. Next to No.1, it's the most standard thing in DSCH, no? At least the most Haydnesque.

I think a lot of us are so Shosty-crazy (including myself) that we forget that not everyone likes the depressing stuff. And not everyone likes "sarcasm" in their music. Sym No.5 seems like something the Great Unwashed could enjoy... a "standard' sounding sym: tragic/heroic in the Brahmsian mold.

SQ No.8 Op.110 is definitely my least fav Shosty bar none. I think it's a shame that this is the piece many newbies hear first (Kronos?). I think it can turn off a lot of potential listeners to Shosty. I know it wouldn't have worked on me.

SQ No.7, however, is quite quirky and spunky, with some "whistle appeal."

Note how "Mozart" came to Shosty from Brahms. The Piano Qnt. would be perfect.

All I'm saying is, I've seen how easy it is to turn someone off of DSCH, but once I figured out the secret, I got everyone thinking Shosty was a tuneful Romantic. Then, once they're hooked...aha!... then you reel them in.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: snyprrr on June 07, 2009, 08:38:33 PM
Can anyone wax poetic over any really really special recordings of SQ No.15?

I'm listening to Fitzwilliam now, and I'm not really taken: sounds kind of unsure (which is understandable). I've had "most" of the SQ sets out there (of the old guard), but I sold the Emerson last year (the last to go) to start fresh. So now I have zero Shosty SQs, and I really just want the most monumental No.15 I can find (I hope it's not the Emerson, otherwise I probably should have kept it!: they WERE pretty good, actually).

I remember the Brodsky disc, "End Games", with DSCH 15 and LvB 16, an interesting concept, but I don't remember the performance. One that I haven't heard is the Sony disc with Yo-Yo Ma (w/ Gubaidulina "Rejoice"). Perhaps that's a good one? Are there any other "mix" cds with only No.15?

I also seem to recall enjoying the Shostakovich Qrt./Olympia in the late SQs.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on June 07, 2009, 10:44:53 PM

SQ No.8 Op.110 is definitely my least fav Shosty bar none.

Why? What turns you off about it?

Can anyone wax poetic over any really really special recordings of SQ No.15?.....I really just want the most monumental No.15 I can find

"Monumental" in what way? I've heard several recordings of it (Fitzwilliam, Emerson, Shosty, coupla others) and liked all of them. My intro to the piece though was a recording by the Taneyev Quartet, an LP that I think has never appeared on CD. I recall it being "special," but maybe that's just because it was the first time I heard the 4tet and it was the music itself that struck me as special...
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: snyprrr on June 08, 2009, 09:33:49 AM
Why? What turns you off about it?

The melodic curve. Maybe it's "too" perfect. It reminds me of a lost Bartok SQ. I mean, these aren't....

I suppose, when taken by itself and out of context, it's a perfect example of the "death of classical music," I mean, as the obvious tombstone that it is supposed to be.

It's not so much "me" being turned off as newbies who might get the wrong impression of DSCH. There are not really "obviously" beautiful melodic curves to this piece.

I garauntee that if I played it for my dear old mum she would get "that" look on her face, but if I played the slow mvmt. from No.6 she would surely say, "That's lovely, dear. (now go find a job!)"
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: snyprrr on June 08, 2009, 09:39:00 AM
"Monumental" in what way? I've heard several recordings of it (Fitzwilliam, Emerson, Shosty, coupla others) and liked all of them. My intro to the piece though was a recording by the Taneyev Quartet, an LP that I think has never appeared on CD. I recall it being "special," but maybe that's just because it was the first time I heard the 4tet and it was the music itself that struck me as special...

I believe the Taneyev WAS on that one Russian off shoot cd label (garish, Pollack style color wooshes on the cover?)? Monumental???...Iyedunno!!! It's the only SQ I really want right now, but the only options are Brodsky and Sony/Ma.

Unless I can find an issue with 7, 11, & 15.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Herman on June 08, 2009, 11:29:27 AM
Can anyone wax poetic over any really really special recordings of SQ No.15?

To me that's a no-brainer: the Borodin Quartet on Melodyia / EMI, sometime around 1980.

There's another Borodin SQ recording of nr 15 on Teldec, a later one.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on June 09, 2009, 07:02:19 AM
[Pettersson]
This is the only thing I can get from youtube, since they took down that full recording of the 7th. Also, the 8th is worth listening to- even more tragic and hypnotic- really takes you down the depths of the subconscious like nothing else does.
Don't forget No. 6. Highlights: Sheer sad beauty after the 35 min. mark (CPO release) and a very sad and tragic ending. The ending of #7 is remarkable, but I think the ones of #6 and also 9 even more (9 has a loooong -5 minutes- string lamento in the end - also an almost persistent note which we know of Shosty 4/15 ending).
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Drasko on June 11, 2009, 03:04:35 AM
Probably, the metronome marking that Shostakovich inked for the second movement is impossibly fast for any orchestras.
What would be the movement timing if Shostakovich metronome markings would be observed?
Mitropoulos drove NewYork Philharmonic through utterly breakneck speed to about three and a half minutes iirc.
Not sure (that's a relatively simple math problem I can do later when I fetch the score from upstairs).  Maksim Dmitiyevich's Allegro runs 4:18, Kondrashin's, 4:09.  Ančerl's runs a mighty brisk 3:51, and that is likely the fastest I've ever heard an orchestra manage it.

Mighty long them stairs, eh?   :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on June 11, 2009, 03:05:55 AM
Never did get up 'em, last night. Sorry!  Will try to remember when home this evening.

It'll be late . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on June 11, 2009, 03:06:53 AM
Thanks for the reminder that I should go listen to the youtube clip that Brian furnished of that Allegro . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Drasko on June 11, 2009, 03:07:12 AM
At your leisure, I'm just plain curious.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: DFO on June 11, 2009, 05:57:06 AM
Shosta and friends...
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on June 12, 2009, 04:05:50 AM
The second movement, Allegro, of the Symphony № 10 in E Minor, Opus 93, bears a tempo marking of half = 176.

The movement consists of 356 measures total, predominantly in 2/4:

2/4 measures: 349
3/4 measures: 7

I'm going to skip that finer math which would yield a precise* "theoretical timing", and cut to the generalizing chase with the observation that, at a tempo of a half-note = 176, there are 176 measures of 2/4 to the minute, and two minutes of play would thus rip through 352 measures. "By the metronome," then, the piece supposedly runs scarcely more than two minutes.  So my rough recollectio/estimation is vindicated:

Probably, the metronome marking that Shostakovich inked for the second movement is impossibly fast for any orchestra.  But Ančerl and the Czech Phil make an exhilirating attempt at it!

However . . . what if the half-note in the metronome marking is a misprint for quarter-note = 176?  At 176 quarter-notes to the minute, a quarter-note = .341 seconds, and the ratio yield:

349 mm. of 2/4 = 238 seconds = 3'58
7 mm. of 3/4 = 7 seconds

Total 'theoretical' duration = 4:05

. . . Maksim Dmitriyevich's Allegro runs 4:18, Kondrashin's, 4:09.  Ančerl's runs a mighty brisk 3:51, and that is likely the fastest I've ever heard an orchestra manage it.

My score is a Kalmus printing of an older edition of the score, and in fact, I do not find any copyright information in the score;  so I wonder if the newer definitive Shostakovich edition amends the metronome marking at all? (Time for another visit to the NEC library.)

 * Normally, I should say "precise (barring the necessary and inevitable musical 'relaxations' in phrasing)", only this movement seems to me an obvious case of no such relaxation of any of the phrases;  it just plows on inexorably until the final bar.
Title: Honorable Mention
Post by: karlhenning on June 12, 2009, 07:15:27 AM
Quote from: Greg
yeah, let's all go back to the Dmitri Dacha

so i'm locking this thread

bye Greg's Shosty thread.....


i won't miss you.........


 :'(


i said i wuzn't gunna cwy......



 >:D

Here (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,1117.msg27557.html#msg27557)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Drasko on June 12, 2009, 07:34:28 AM
The second movement, Allegro, of the Symphony № 10 in E Minor, Opus 93, bears a tempo marking.....

Thanks! Scarcely more than two minutes to me looks completely impossible, it has to be mistake. While 4:05 seems perfectly logical. Evgeny Aleksandrovich, whose overall pacing of the symphony is very much to my liking (first movement at around 22:20) takes it at 4:00-4:07 and it sounds pretty convincing. That being said the Ancerl is still big favorite (inspite being trifle quick).

For the fun of it here is Mitropoulos, whipping NewYorkers into frenzy, live october 1955 in Athens. Clocking at hard to believe 3:25
[mp3=200,20,0,left]http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/7/24/2018019/dsch10mitrnypathens55.mp3[/mp3] 
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on June 12, 2009, 07:55:33 AM
Glad to be of service! And thanks for that Mitropoulos clip; I'll give that a listen tomorrow-ish.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on June 12, 2009, 08:03:14 AM
Thanks! Scarcely more than two minutes to me looks completely impossible, it has to be mistake. While 4:05 seems perfectly logical. Evgeny Aleksandrovich, whose overall pacing of the symphony is very much to my liking (first movement at around 22:20) takes it at 4:00-4:07 and it sounds pretty convincing. That being said the Ancerl is still big favorite (inspite being trifle quick).

I wonder how fast Dmitri Dmitriyevich &al. take that Allegro in the archival two-piano recording (and what the overall timing is).  I should find it of interest, without necessarily taking it as definitive . . . Shostakovich was a nervous fellow (quite understandably), and I get an impression from sundry accounts that he tended to push tempi.  A lot of his music is long-breathed, and needs space;  but a man in his position dreads that an audience might find his music "boring" . . . .

In all events, I think all these recordings I've mentioned (Maksim Dmitriyevich, Kondrashin, Ančerl) are 'within a reasonable range of' the marking, and I truly like them all.  Agreed that the Ančerl has a special lustre.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Drasko on June 12, 2009, 09:14:44 AM
I wonder how fast Dmitri Dmitriyevich &al. take that Allegro in the archival two-piano recording (and what the overall timing is)....

21:03, 3:49 (3:41 actually), 12:01, 10:46

You might be able to stream the whole thing, try clicking on Прослушать
http://www.russiandvd.com/store/product.asp?sku=32070&genreid=
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on June 12, 2009, 10:01:07 AM
Thanks!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: greg on June 12, 2009, 02:22:08 PM
Thanks! Scarcely more than two minutes to me looks completely impossible, it has to be mistake. While 4:05 seems perfectly logical. Evgeny Aleksandrovich, whose overall pacing of the symphony is very much to my liking (first movement at around 22:20) takes it at 4:00-4:07 and it sounds pretty convincing. That being said the Ancerl is still big favorite (inspite being trifle quick).

For the fun of it here is Mitropoulos, whipping NewYorkers into frenzy, live october 1955 in Athens. Clocking at hard to believe 3:25
[mp3=200,20,0,left]http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/7/24/2018019/dsch10mitrnypathens55.mp3[/mp3] 
:D
Now that's crazy.....
sure it isn't sped up?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on June 13, 2009, 03:46:48 AM
And a footnote. (http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/2009/06/soft-echo-of-timing-issues.html)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on June 13, 2009, 05:01:55 AM
At the other end, Sanderling with his BSO takes 4:39. EDIT: It's 4:34 without silence. This is what I'm used to. The whole Symphony is 55:23. Sanderlidace?
(http://tbn1.google.com/images?q=tbn:edZNXww5fMNFcM:http://www.naxos.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/others/0090182BCb.gif)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on June 13, 2009, 02:07:52 PM
At the other end, Sanderling with his BSO takes 4:39. EDIT: It's 4:34 without silence. This is what I'm used to.

Pending actual audition, I am apt to consider that just plain too slow.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on June 14, 2009, 06:22:20 AM
Very excited about the "abandoned trunk of a Ninth" now out on Naxos.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on June 15, 2009, 06:04:37 AM
We talked abou timing. This is the final moment of Sym#15, IV. Adagio. The following differences are ridiculous. I feel Sanderling (19:41) is way too slow and Barshai (13:56)way too fast. I like slow version the Sanderling, still [Edit: And it has superb quality]. Also, the Timpani in the Barshai recording seems out of pitch.

Barshai (from the Brilliant edition - the ending fade is by me, sorry):
[mp3=200,20,0,left]http://www.fileden.com/files/2007/9/21/1446950/shosti_barshai_15.mp3[/mp3]
Sanderling/Berlin SO:
[mp3=200,20,0,left]http://www.fileden.com/files/2007/9/21/1446950/shosti_sanderling_15.mp3[/mp3]
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on June 15, 2009, 06:14:07 AM
We talked abou timing. This is the final moment of Sym#15, IV. Adagio. The following differences are ridiculous. I feel Sanderling (19:41) is way too slow and Barshai (13:56)way too fast. I like the Sanderling, still.

Kondrashin/Moscow Phil 15:12
Maksim Dmitriyevich/Prague Symphony 16:12
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on June 15, 2009, 02:31:25 PM
Mravinsky - 13.48 (discounting post-track silence)

Can anyone beat that?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on June 15, 2009, 10:33:06 PM
Mravinsky - 13.48 (discounting post-track silence)

Can anyone beat that?
Well, Barshai minus post-tack silence is at the same length.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on June 16, 2009, 01:22:50 AM
You're both including some after-echo time in the space, following the last chord?  8)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Catison on June 17, 2009, 03:19:33 AM
We talked abou timing. This is the final moment of Sym#15, IV. Adagio. The following differences are ridiculous. I feel Sanderling (19:41) is way too slow and Barshai (13:56)way too fast. I like slow version the Sanderling, still [Edit: And it has superb quality]. Also, the Timpani in the Barshai recording seems out of pitch.

Thanks for this.  But does this section have any relation to the tempo markings in the 4th symphony and 7th symphony, considering that is the allusion?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on June 17, 2009, 04:16:35 PM
You're both including some after-echo time in the space, following the last chord?  8)
No, the Venezia release of the Mravinsky has about 20 seconds of dead air after the audio track has ceased.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on June 21, 2009, 01:59:41 PM
Since the Gergiev recording of The Nose has been released, I've been considering buying that one, as I don't have a recording of that opera yet.

But what I want to know how it compares to the Rozhdestvensky version of the piece.  I think the Rozhdestvensky might be better, especially because it also comes with The Gamblers op. 63b  But I really don't know either, and I would love some opinions before I buy either version.  (They are roughly the same price on arkiv)

Thanks!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on June 21, 2009, 04:53:27 PM
Since the Gergiev recording of The Nose has been released, I've been considering buying that one, as I don't have a recording of that opera yet.

But what I want to know how it compares to the Rozhdestvensky version of the piece.  I think the Rozhdestvensky might be better, especially because it also comes with The Gamblers op. 63b  But I really don't know either, and I would love some opinions before I buy either version.  (They are roughly the same price on arkiv)

Thanks!

Well, personally I wouldn't be so quick to declare Rozhdestvensky's recording as "better" if I hadn't heard it. :) ;)

But I have - I've had it for quite a while now on LP. I also have the only other recording of The Nose to have ever been issued on recordings before the new Gergiev: Armin Jordan's on Cascavelle from Lausanne (in Russian). Alas, it's already OOP.

Personally my preference is by quite a margin in favor of the Jordan.

To me Rozhdestvensky's is heavy-ish, a bit sluggish, lacking in detail (despite the fine sound) and, well, extremely "Russian". Confused by this? Don't be. Because The Nose isn't much of a "Russian" work to begin with. It's perhaps the most "European" work of Shostakovich's I've ever heard. It's almost as if he's thrown his hat into the ring with all the other 'big dogs' from the Second Viennese school, like Berg, Webern, and such, and had a go at all manner of extreme experimentalism. The work is that zany in conception (musically).

This 'extremism' of course is why the work was so quick to be condemned by the Soviet commissars. "Formalist" they called it. A western trait. The Nose is perhaps the first link in a chain of works which eventually lead to Shostakovich's public trouncing.   

Sad.

Anyway, Jordan's is the type of performance that plays up all the extravagance in the work and presents it squarely as the experimental work it is.

Not that Rozhdestvensky is exactly bad, mind you, and I might come across as overly harsh above (it's really not a catastrophe), but it's just that in comparison with Jordan it really doesn't have the life and energy - the flair - the work clearly needs. At least to me.

Which leads me to the Gergiev recording. I haven't heard it yet but despite the seeming niggling here and there about Gergiev's merits as a conductor (nothing explicit, however, that I've ever read) he's mighty fine in the opera pit. And for the purposes of this post I'll just stick to the closest contemporary of Shostakovich who Gergiev has recorded operas of: Prokofiev. All four of the Gergiev-led Prokofiev operas I have (on Philips) show him to have a keen understanding of the dramatic and lyric potential of each respective work. He seems to be completely inside the music with every detail and phrase well thought-out, culminating in a type of 'stage presence' that literally resonates right into my little listening room. Dazzling!

So, with this in mind, my personal impressions are that the new Gergiev Nose should be a splendid affair. In every way I'm anticipating a performance perfectly in keeping with the spirit of the work: "western decadent" all the way. ;D

(Now, just when I'll get it I don't know. I already have two recordings of the work :-\ ).


BTW, here's a pic of Jordan's Nose (no pun intended):


(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/51yvkbRChKL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on June 21, 2009, 05:32:18 PM
Well, personally I wouldn't be so quick to declare Rozhdestvensky's recording as "better" if you haven't heard it. :) ;) :)

I have - I've had it for quite a while now on LP. I also have the only other recording of The Nose to have ever been issued on recordings before the new Gergiev: Armin Jordan's on Cascavelle from Lausanne (in Russian). Alas, it's already OOP.

Personally my preference is by quite a margin in favor of the Jordan.

To me Rozhdestvensky's is heavy-ish, a bit sluggish, lacking in detail (despite the fine sound) and, well, extremely "Russian". Confused by this? Don't be. Because The Nose isn't much of a "Russian" work to begin with. It's perhaps the most "European" work of Shostakovich's I've ever heard. It's almost as if he's throwing his hat into the ring with all the other Big Dogs from the Second Viennese school, like Berg, Webern, and such, and having a go at all manner extreme experimentalism. The work is that zany in conception (musically).

This 'extremism' of course is why the work was so quick to be condemned by the Soviet commissars. "Formalist" they called it. A western trait. The Nose is perhaps the first link in a chain of works which eventually lead to Shostakovich's public trouncing.   

Sad.

Anyway, Jordan's is the type of performance that plays up all the extravagance in the work and presents it squarely as the experimental work it is.

Not that Rozhdestvensky is exactly bad, mind you, and I might come across as overly harsh above (it's really not a catastrophe), but it's just that in comparison with Jordan it really doesn't have the life and energy - the flair - the work clearly needs. At least to me.

Which leads me to the Gergiev recording. I haven't heard it yet but despite the seeming niggling here and there about Gergiev's merits as a conductor (nothing explicit, however, that I've ever read) he's mighty fine in the opera pit. And for the purposes of this post I'll just stick to the closest contemporary of Shostakovich who Gergiev has recorded operas of: Prokofiev. All four of the Gergiev-led Prokofiev operas I have (on Philips) show him to have a keen understanding of the dramatic and lyric potential of each respective work. He seems to be completely inside the music with every detail and phrase well thought-out, culminating in a type of 'stage presence' that resonates right into my little listening room. Dazzling!

So, with this in mind, my personal impressions are that the new Gergiev Nose should be a splendid affair. In every way I'm anticipating a performance perfectly in keeping with the spirit of the work: "western decadent" all the way. ;D

(Just when I'll get it I don't know. I already have two recordings of the work :-\ ).
Well, I worded what I meant to say wrongly.  I meant that it would be a better deal for the money with the Gambler's op. 63b along with The Nose.  I didn't mean better musically or what not.

Thanks for the advice!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on June 21, 2009, 05:57:24 PM
Well, I worded what I meant to say wrongly.  I meant that it would be a better deal for the money with the Gambler's op. 63b along with The Nose.  I didn't mean better musically or what not.

Ah, gotcha. Sorry.

Quote
Thanks for the advice!

Whatever you choose let us know your impressions. There aren't a whole lot of folks who know this work.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on June 22, 2009, 04:41:58 PM
Whatever you choose let us know your impressions. There aren't a whole lot of folks who know this work.
I ended up ordering the Gergiev recording.  When I get a chance to listen to it, I will report my impressions.  I am looking forward to it :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on June 22, 2009, 06:13:28 PM
I ended up ordering the Gergiev recording.  When I get a chance to listen to it, I will report my impressions.  I am looking forward to it :)

Nice. :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on June 25, 2009, 03:41:52 PM
I got the CD of the Nose conducted by Gergiev today and I have listened to it.  I really liked Shostakovich's later Opera, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, so even though I wasn't expecting it to be anything like Lady Macbeth, I thought I would enjoy The Nose.  The Nose didn't disappoint me.  This is the only recording I have of the piece, as I've said before. 

To the CD, for the majority of the recording the balance between the orchestra and the singers were excellent, neither were too loud, or too soft, but at times I felt like the orchestra was overpowering the singers and could stand to be a little quieter, but this was not a huge problem for me, as I could still hear what they were saying, even if I couldn't understand them.  When I listen to the recording again, I will most likely listen while reading the libretto.  But the sound was clear and focused.  A really great start for the new label in recording quality, in my opinion.  I probably would have more specific things to say, or have more criticism or praise if I were a SRT major at my school, but I am not.  But I do think it was recorded extremely well.

Gergiev and the orchestra played extremely well.  I don't have the score, but everything seemed to me to fit perfectly in the style of the piece.  I really liked the interludes in the opera, especially with the percussion parts.

I hope when I have a chance to re-visit this in the future, it will make more of an impression on me, as I am sure I missed some stuff in the first listen, but I think it's an incredible piece of work and a great CD
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on June 25, 2009, 06:38:44 PM
It's quite a tour-de-force for Boy Dmitri!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Lethevich on July 01, 2009, 08:51:39 AM
Can anyone recommend a good collection of orchestral music that is not symphonies or concertos?

Any good disc or two packed to the brim with suites, overtures, odes, marches, variations, concert allegros/scherzos and whatnot will be of interest.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on July 01, 2009, 09:46:50 AM
Can anyone recommend a good collection of orchestral music that is not symphonies or concertos?

Any good disc or two packed to the brim with suites, overtures, odes, marches, variations, concert allegros/scherzos and whatnot will be of interest.

Well, the Naxos disc of the complete Hamlet score should commend itself to you, here.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Drasko on July 02, 2009, 09:34:45 AM
Can anyone recommend a good collection of orchestral music that is not symphonies or concertos?

Any good disc or two packed to the brim with suites, overtures, odes, marches, variations, concert allegros/scherzos and whatnot will be of interest.

Well, there was Rozhdestvensky conducted Melodiya/BMG two-fer which exactly fits your description. I heard it ages ago and seem to recall that performances vere good enough and recording quality variable - soviet style, but it's long oop, you might find it used.
http://www.amazon.com/Shostakovich-Orchestral-Works-Anatoli-Obraztsov/dp/B000023ZS9

Other than that your best option is, I think, Chailly's three discs for Decca ('Jazz', Film and Dance). Cheap copies shouldn't be difficult to find. But take this as an information only, as I've heard only one of these three - 'Jazz' one and it's really good (though includes piano concerto which doesn't really work as coupling).
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/314VMGAZYRL._SL500_SL130_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41T55TTTF3L._SL500_SL130_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31JB1Y4KJ6L._SL500_SL130_.jpg)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Lethevich on July 02, 2009, 10:19:34 AM
Damn, that Rozhdestvensky set looks perfect. Seems that its obscurity renders it not even piratable at this moment - I found only dead links. I'll bookmark the Amazon pages in the event of a sane price appearing in future! This one seems to have an interesting coupling of works:

(http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/1c/f7/bb0a92c008a08680d6257010.L._AA200_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/Shostakovich-Symphony-October-Festive-Overture/dp/B00000421D/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1246562041&sr=1-14)

Thanks for the Chailly tip! I didn't even know the recordings existed ::) They do seem perfect, now all he needs to do is record an overtures disc, and I'm a happy cat 0:)

Edit: Worst Grammar Ever.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on July 02, 2009, 10:47:34 AM
Can anyone recommend a good collection of orchestral music that is not symphonies or concertos?

Any good disc or two packed to the brim with suites, overtures, odes, marches, variations, concert allegros/scherzos and whatnot will be of interest.
Easy: Brilliant Classics has a 3 CD set of all the jazz suites, ballet suites, and a few other things besides.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on July 05, 2009, 07:02:47 PM
Finally, I like Dmitri's music much more than his movies.

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/75/Dmitrij_Dmitrijevič_Šostakovič_(Дми́трий_Дми́триевич_Шостако́вич).jpg/200px-Dmitrij_Dmitrijevič_Šostakovič_(Дми́трий_Дми́триевич_Шостако́вич).jpg)

(http://www.moviepilot.de/files/images/0100/4196/HarryPotter_article.jpg)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on July 05, 2009, 07:09:49 PM
Good call - they are wearing the same glasses!  :o
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: greg on July 05, 2009, 07:17:44 PM
That is so creepy. It's pretty much impossible to tell them apart. I wonder what the Harry Potter actor would look like when he's 40?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: DavidW on July 05, 2009, 07:24:33 PM
That is so creepy. It's pretty much impossible to tell them apart. I wonder what the Harry Potter actor would look like when he's 40?

By the time the final movie comes out you'll see. ;D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: greg on July 05, 2009, 07:27:25 PM
You know, what'd be great is if he started playing as Shostakovich in a biography...
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on July 06, 2009, 04:25:46 AM
Finally, I like Dmitri's music much more than his movies.

To disregard the visual pun  8)

. . . but you do like the Kozintsev films with Shostakovich soundtracks, yes?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on July 06, 2009, 05:22:24 AM
I wonder what the Harry Potter actor would look like when he's 40?

We only know about Harry Potter how he looks like when he's 68.

(http://www.fileden.com/files/2007/9/21/1446950/hp70.jpg)

. . . but you do like the Kozintsev films with Shostakovich soundtracks, yes?

Never heard of those. But Gadfly music is lovely.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on July 06, 2009, 05:58:44 AM
Never heard of those.

Watch them! Hamlet and King Lear. Essential viewing for Shostakovich enthusiasts.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: greg on July 06, 2009, 05:20:14 PM
We only know about Harry Potter how he looks like when he's 68.

(http://www.fileden.com/files/2007/9/21/1446950/hp70.jpg)

Never heard of those. But Gadfly music is lovely.
Nice. He looks like a zombie. Makes me wanna play Resident Evil, and throw incendiary grenades at crowds of those dumb zombies and then watch them catch on fire and die.  8)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on July 06, 2009, 07:47:19 PM
I recently got a 4-disc set of historic Russian recordings of Khachaturian's symphonies, etc. (http://www.hmv.co.jp/en/product/detail/2532805) (Venezia/Melodiya), my first discovery of this music. How is this relevant? Well, if you find yourself wishing there was somehow another Shosty symphony or cello concerto to listen to, you may well delight in Khach's 2nd symphony and his cello concerto, both of which are heavily influenced by Shostakovich, and both excellent works in their own right. The symphony's andante makes rather quirky use of the Dies Irae.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on July 07, 2009, 02:26:48 AM
While I do not foresee the Eleventh gaining on the racecourse (so to speak) against other symphonies as my favorites, I find myself increasingly appreciative of its virtues.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: ChamberNut on August 31, 2009, 10:54:09 AM
While I do not foresee the Eleventh gaining on the racecourse (so to speak) against other symphonies as my favorites, I find myself increasingly appreciative of its virtues.

I can see this becoming my favorite, as I'm listening to it now.  Someday.   8)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brewski on August 31, 2009, 10:56:20 AM
I can see this becoming my favorite, as I'm listening to it now.  Someday.   8)

It's definitely one of mine.  How is that recording you're listening to?  I'm not familiar with that conductor at all.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: ChamberNut on August 31, 2009, 11:02:48 AM
It's definitely one of mine.  How is that recording you're listening to?  I'm not familiar with that conductor at all.

--Bruce

Hard to compare, as I think I've only heard this symphony once before (Barshai/WDR).  Kirill Karabits is a young Ukrainian conductor (32 years old), now principal conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.  Part of the main article of the BBC "The Russians Are Coming", which talks about how so many Russian (or former Soviet nations) born conductors are now the principal conductors of several major British symphony orchestras.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: vandermolen on August 31, 2009, 11:42:36 AM
I am old enough to remember Shostakovich's death in 1975. At the time there were reports in some newspapers that he had been working on his 16th Symphony at the time of his death.  I have never heard any mention of it since.  Does anyone know if this is true?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on September 02, 2009, 01:44:36 AM
I am old enough to remember Shostakovich's death in 1975. At the time there were reports in some newspapers that he had been working on his 16th Symphony at the time of his death.  I have never heard any mention of it since.  Does anyone know if this is true?

I was 3 in 1975... Vandermolen, not much is known afaics. I've asked for the Symphony No. 16 at GMG here. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,12442.0.html)...

Hey. Is that Dmitri in the new Pixar movie "Up"? ;)

(http://larryfire.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/pixar_up.jpg)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: vandermolen on September 02, 2009, 04:52:06 AM
I was 3 in 1975... Vandermolen, not much is known afaics. I've asked for the Symphony No. 16 at GMG here. (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,12442.0.html)...

Hey. Is that Dmitri in the new Pixar movie "Up"? ;)

(http://larryfire.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/pixar_up.jpg)

Thank you! You were 3 in 1975 - I was 20. I am now so old that I had forgot that I had actually responded to your original thread  ::)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on September 17, 2009, 07:14:43 AM
Where have you and Bogey been living the past 15 years? In a bubble? You have never seen or heard of this recording?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41PMTSR849L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

If you buy one recording a decade I hope it is this one. The recording of the Leningrad not only is the greatest recording of this piece on record (and I have 10 plus versions of this work), it is one of the greatest recordings of anything by anyone.

Which ten?  :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: DavidW on September 17, 2009, 07:50:48 AM
See I would just call that recording (Bernstein/CSO #7) pretty good, instead of the best ever of anything.  Kondrashin's recording is much better performance-wise, and Barshai is just as good as the Bernstein.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on September 17, 2009, 07:54:54 AM
Similarly, Davey, I like it very well, but I don't know that I'd quite call it first in its class.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on September 17, 2009, 08:26:53 AM
Which ten?  :)
I have to check my shelf but some of them I can think of:

Lenny/NYPO
Barshai/WDR/Brilliant
M. Shostakovich/Prague SO/Supraphon
Kitayenko/WDR
Jansons/St. Petersburg PO/EMI
Temirkanov/St. Petersburg PO/RCA
Masur/NYPO/Teldec
Rozhdestvensky/Moscow RSO/Russian disc
Neumann/Czech PO/Supraphon
Ancerl/Czech PO/Supraphon

I counted 10 (11 if you add Lenny/CSO).

To me Lenny just plays the closing pages with those walls and walls of bras swells like nobody else.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on September 17, 2009, 08:34:36 AM
Which two do you like the least, and why?  And thank you for your answer and indulgence.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on September 17, 2009, 09:03:18 AM
Which two do you like the least, and why?  And thank you for your answer and indulgence.
The least? I can't really say, they are all good in their own ways. But the ones that didn't really interest me as much as the others are probably Jansons and Temirkanov, which even surprises me since they are both with the St. Petersburg/Leningrad PO. Maybe it's the expectations, I expected the LPO under Jansons and Temirkanov to sound like the LPO under Mravinsky, the same kind of frightening spectrum of sounds from the faintest ppp to the loudest fff and the same frenzy everytime there is a stringendo. Instead what I got from Jansons and Temirkanov is terrific playing, razor-sharp ensemble, but no real SOUL behind the music. If you like this approach you are better off with Barshai or Kitayenko, where the WDR play every bit as well as it's more famous Russian counterpart.

I also think the Masur is a terrific performance. THe raw, edgy sound of the NYPO fits this music perfectly, more so than the rather smooth and mellow sounding WDR. I am a bit undecided on the M. Shostakovich. The Prague players have a rather unique sound, a bit wobbly at times, that tend to be an acquired taste. Right now I am not in the taste for it.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on September 17, 2009, 09:10:43 AM
The least? I can't really say, they are all good in their own ways.

I'm good with that.  There probably are dud recordings out there, but I do genuinely enjoy all of the half-a-dozen (maybe) Leningrads I have got.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Herman on September 17, 2009, 09:14:27 AM


To me Lenny just plays the closing pages with those walls and walls of bras swells like nobody else.


I'm having problems picturing "walls of bras". Not sure whether that was DSCH's intention. Kinda like this?

(http://www.sarahlouisedesigns.co.uk/images/favours/mini_bras_large.jpg)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on September 17, 2009, 09:15:33 AM
Not enough swell, Herman.

(Had to; just had to, I tell ya.)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on September 17, 2009, 09:15:58 AM
I almost forget, there is one that I failed to mentioned that is a complete dud - Gergiev. This one is just a complete disaster from rather murky balance to no real concept of the work. It sounds like Solti conducting Wagner, sections of music just glossed over aiming for the few orchestral moments where you can just milk it.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on September 17, 2009, 09:17:00 AM
I'm having problems picturing "walls of bras". Not sure whether that was DSCH's intention. Kinda like this?

(http://www.sarahlouisedesigns.co.uk/images/favours/mini_bras_large.jpg)

Huh huh, I mean't brass. But I do like bras better, especially what is usually underneath them ;D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on September 17, 2009, 09:17:24 AM
I almost forget, there is one that I failed to mentioned that is a complete dud - Gergiev. This one is just a complete disaster from rather murky balance to no real concept of the work. It sounds like Solti conducting Wagner, sections of music just glossed over aiming for the few orchestral moments where you can just milk it.

Gosh, I've got that one, but I honestly don't recall listening to it . . . .

(The performance I heard him lead the Mariinka in, in Worcester's Mechanics Hall, was utterly magnificent, though.)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on September 17, 2009, 09:18:24 AM
Huh huh, I mean't brass. But I do like bras better, especially what is usually underneath them ;D

I did think Herman's jest bras-ingly funny/
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: ChamberNut on September 17, 2009, 09:20:52 AM
But I do like bras better, especially what is usually underneath them ;D

What he said.  ;D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tahar Mouslim on September 17, 2009, 10:00:54 AM
The least? I can't really say, they are all good in their own ways. But the ones that didn't really interest me as much as the others are probably Jansons and Temirkanov, which even surprises me since they are both with the St. Petersburg/Leningrad PO. Maybe it's the expectations, I expected the LPO under Jansons and Temirkanov to sound like the LPO under Mravinsky, the same kind of frightening spectrum of sounds from the faintest ppp to the loudest fff and the same frenzy everytime there is a stringendo. Instead what I got from Jansons and Temirkanov is terrific playing, razor-sharp ensemble, but no real SOUL behind the music. If you like this approach you are better off with Barshai or Kitayenko, where the WDR play every bit as well as it's more famous Russian counterpart.

I also think the Masur is a terrific performance. THe raw, edgy sound of the NYPO fits this music perfectly, more so than the rather smooth and mellow sounding WDR. I am a bit undecided on the M. Shostakovich. The Prague players have a rather unique sound, a bit wobbly at times, that tend to be an acquired taste. Right now I am not in the taste for it.

What I put in bold in your message is the reason why I'm surprised you did not make mention of that

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41UYTZEdK%2BL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

among your other 11 ones.

OK, I'm very biased as far as Mravinsky is concerned, but this is the most non complacent, implacable interpretation of this particular symphony on records that I know.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on September 17, 2009, 10:22:06 AM
I didn't mention that one because I don't have it.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: vandermolen on September 26, 2009, 12:08:29 AM
This is as good a performance of this symphony as I have heard (I have versions by Kondrashin, Haitink, Maxim S, Gergiev, Jarvi, Previn etcetcetc)  Magnificent performance from the Netherlands RSO and Mark Wigglesworth - terrific SACD recording.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: The new erato on September 26, 2009, 12:17:44 AM
What he said.  ;D
Nobody have done a bra's quintet then?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: offbeat on December 20, 2009, 09:59:19 AM
[img][http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/517RvRk7IeL._SL160_AA115_.jpg/img]


First time ive heard The Gadfly and is very surprising even pastoral in tone - im amazed that someone can write something like this as well as the deeply intense works such as the string quartets and works like the 8th and 10th symphonies - nevetheless very pleasant side to his composing  :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: offbeat on December 20, 2009, 10:48:58 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/517RvRk7IeL._SL160_AA115_.jpg)

Now playing DSCH Suite Five Days Five Nights which is quite different - recognize bits of his symphonies here no 6 and 11 i think as well as Beethovens Ode to Joy -Very interesting cd
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: George on December 20, 2009, 12:21:16 PM
What I put in bold in your message is the reason why I'm surprised you did not make mention of that

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41UYTZEdK%2BL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

among your other 11 ones.

OK, I'm very biased as far as Mravinsky is concerned, but this is the most non complacent, implacable interpretation of this particular symphony on records that I know.

Mravinsky's 11th with the LPO is tremendous! I haven't heard that 7, but I bet it's great!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on December 30, 2009, 12:51:35 PM
Listened to Wagner's Siegfried a bit and just realized, Dmitri quoted "Siegfrieds death" in the very beginning of Mvmt. 4/ Symphony No. 15. Didn't know that...
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on January 12, 2010, 05:53:05 PM

Landed today:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31UqRNI6A4L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4 [Includes DVD]
Haitink & the CSO
(http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001BBSE6Y/goodmusicguide-20)

This I have put off listening to for... well, ever since it came out. I don't know why... I liked all the other CSO Resound stuff. I didn't even know it contained a DVD. Watching it now. Finally.

I've actually been curious to hear this one for a long time (and would have popped it right in today, only I have been on such a Boulez - Webern tear . . . .)

I really liked (at first listen) the CSO account of the Opus 43 led by Previn;  and though this symphony is one of those from Haitink's London set to which I have not listened, I do like very well most of the ones I have heard.  So, the combination of orchestra and conductor has been appealing to me.

 
Too late today.  Will give 'er a spin tomorrow morning.
Title: "The Nose" at the Met
Post by: Brewski on March 12, 2010, 12:11:28 PM
Last night's production of The Nose was pretty amazing, and I still can't quite believe that Shostakovich was only 22 when he wrote it.  (The program observes that neither Mozart nor Rossini had completed operas of comparable stature at that age.)  The production is designed by South African artist William Kentridge, who uses a combination of live action and animation to extraordinary effect.  I don't think I've ever seen such complex animation used on a stage this large.  Many sequences are very funny, with the giant nose running all over the stage, across catwalks, etc.

Valery Gergiev conducted, magnificently, and Paulo Szot is the lead character who wakes up to find his nose missing.  Szot was excellent, making his Met debut after winning a Tony award for South Pacific.  The rest of the cast are all wonderful but too numerous too name; the opera has some 80 roles, sung by about 30 people--a huge cast.

But the real star is the score, which (at least on first hearing) uses a gigantic orchestra with Webern-like precision and lightness.  The percussion section has a field day, with lots of gongs, more uses of the ratchet than in any piece I've ever heard, and near the end, a plaintive passage for the flexatone (sounds sort of like a musical saw).   It is one of the most radical, experimental scores I've heard from this composer.  (I'll be getting the Gergiev/Mariinsky recording at some point, which came out last year and got great reviews.) 

The sold-out house (!) saved its biggest cheers for Kentridge, who came out at the very end.  Usually in a new production, the designers come out only during the opening night, but I hope they will have him come out for all the remaining performances.  He certainly deserves it.

The opera will be broadcast on the radio (and various Internet outlets) during the regular Met Saturday afternoon broadcast tomorrow, for anyone interested--although a pity that one can't experience Kentridge's amazing vision that way. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: "The Nose" at the Met
Post by: PaulR on March 15, 2010, 03:39:44 PM
Last night's production of The Nose was pretty amazing, and I still can't quite believe that Shostakovich was only 22 when he wrote it.  (The program observes that neither Mozart nor Rossini had completed operas of comparable stature at that age.)  The production is designed by South African artist William Kentridge, who uses a combination of live action and animation to extraordinary effect.  I don't think I've ever seen such complex animation used on a stage this large.  Many sequences are very funny, with the giant nose running all over the stage, across catwalks, etc.

Valery Gergiev conducted, magnificently, and Paulo Szot is the lead character who wakes up to find his nose missing.  Szot was excellent, making his Met debut after winning a Tony award for South Pacific.  The rest of the cast are all wonderful but too numerous too name; the opera has some 80 roles, sung by about 30 people--a huge cast.

But the real star is the score, which (at least on first hearing) uses a gigantic orchestra with Webern-like precision and lightness.  The percussion section has a field day, with lots of gongs, more uses of the ratchet than in any piece I've ever heard, and near the end, a plaintive passage for the flexatone (sounds sort of like a musical saw).   It is one of the most radical, experimental scores I've heard from this composer.  (I'll be getting the Gergiev/Mariinsky recording at some point, which came out last year and got great reviews.) 

The sold-out house (!) saved its biggest cheers for Kentridge, who came out at the very end.  Usually in a new production, the designers come out only during the opening night, but I hope they will have him come out for all the remaining performances.  He certainly deserves it.

The opera will be broadcast on the radio (and various Internet outlets) during the regular Met Saturday afternoon broadcast tomorrow, for anyone interested--although a pity that one can't experience Kentridge's amazing vision that way. 

--Bruce
yeah, the production was amazing.  I am glad I was able to fit the show into my schedule, even if it meant flying to NYC from Buffalo for just a total of 2 days there!  The set itself was really something.  I tried to explain it to people, but couldn't quite find the right words for it.  It was just a really fun score.

I really liked Szot.  Never heard of him before, but I thought he did a fantastic job.  What a way to debut at the Met!  But he was fantastic, but so was everyone else.  One of my favorite scenes was the ending declaration of the plot with the 3 people.  The whole production was well done.

I really hope this comes out on DVD someday.  I would definitely buy it, maybe even pre-order it!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on April 05, 2010, 04:58:47 AM

On boogers, Shostakovich, and dangerous first impressions: (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=1875)
http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=1875 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=1875)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Sergeant Rock on April 05, 2010, 06:01:12 AM
On boogers, Shostakovich, and dangerous first impressions: (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=1875)
http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=1875 (http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=1875)

Great review of the Mandelring recording, Jens...and appropriate this week since the Mandelbäume are in bloom in the Quartet's hometown (Neustadt) and surrounding area. I already have the Borodin, Fitzwilliam and Rubio but the Mandelring cycle is tempting.

Sarge
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: vandermolen on April 05, 2010, 10:55:44 AM
A plug here for the Leonard Slatkin performances here (on RCA). I find that I play his version of Symphony No 8 more than any other recording (I have quite a few) - it may not be as dramatic as Mravinsky etc but I think that it is beautifully played and the very moving end section is very affecting - I have also just found a second hand copy of Slatkin's St Louis version of Symphony No 4, which on initial listening seems to be just as good. Like Andre Previn I find that, these days, Slatkin is rather underrated (his Vaughan Williams cycle for example).
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: kishnevi on April 05, 2010, 07:07:54 PM
Regarding the Borodin Quartet, there is this Virgin double disc with five quartets on it.  What do you call a third of a cycle?
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31WF5WCRB6L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
 2, 3, 7, 8 and 12 are the quartets involved here.  These recordings were made in London in 1990, so they are independent of the full Borodin cycles. (One Amazon review mentions a somewhat different lineup from the one that recorded the full set.)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on April 05, 2010, 10:38:27 PM
Regarding the Borodin Quartet, there is this Virgin double disc with five quartets on it.  What do you call a third of a cycle?

Tricycle?

Don't actually like those late recordings all that much.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on April 21, 2010, 07:19:54 PM
(http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/t_200/berlinclassics0020642bc.jpg)
Renovated and repainted my living room yesterday. A good day, because currently I haven't got much time for lengthy music very often.... A lot of time for listening to the 8th Symphony properly. I listened to it twice. This time it really worked for me, especially the long first movement. Why did it work? It brought me to tears for a moment :) I was a bit disappointed by the final movement, but this is still a first impression.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Scarpia on May 11, 2010, 07:01:45 AM
Listened to the first two movements of Shostakovich's sole viola sonata. 

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41QG8MG8EVL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

The recording by Bashmet is apparently out of print.

A very interesting piece, Shostakovich's last complete work.  The first movement is sort of sparse and bleak, the second Shostakovich's trademark sarcasm.  I put off the third movement, which is apparently a 17 minute dirge that I was not ready to take.  Interesting use of the sonority of the viola throughout.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: The new erato on May 11, 2010, 02:06:19 PM
Listened to the first two movements of Shostakovich's sole viola sonata. 
The recording by Bashmet is apparently out of print.


It's on Regis:

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/RRC1128.jpg)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Scarpia on May 11, 2010, 02:19:04 PM
It's on Regis:

(http://www.mdt.co.uk/public/pictures/products/standard/RRC1128.jpg)

Not the same recording, and I have a general preference for non-Richter recordings.   There is another interesting recording where the violin and viola sonatas have been transformed in to concertos (effectively) by transcribing the piano part for orchestra.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Ie8Abe95L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Have not heard that one.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Scarpia on May 11, 2010, 03:03:01 PM
this ought to be good ... so .. what's your problem with Richter's musicianship?

Nothing in particular, the few recordings of his that I had didn't grab me.  Most recently I listened to his recordings of Schumann solo piano music, and it was too smooth.  The same music seemed more engaging when performed by Pollini.

Besides that, usually the Richter recordings are made at a concert at an Italian Railway station somewhere.

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on July 01, 2010, 07:41:50 PM
On Re-hearing the Tenth after 365 Days

I've just finished listening to Shostakovich's Tenth Symphony. The last time I heard it was on June 30, 2009, on my iPod, in the car on my family's return from a road trip out to Utah and the Grand Canyon. Location: somewhere on Interstate 10 in rural west Texas. Over the course of the road trip I had heard the Tenth twice (the other time was in Albuquerque), the Fifth several times in different performances, and Khachaturian's Cello Concerto on six (!) occasions. I was all Russianed out.

Then for a while I just didn't listen to the Tenth. It wasn't intentional; it just slipped the mind. I went to college in the fall and planned to give it a play to celebrate going back, but didn't have the time. Eventually I decided to save it for a special occasion. By December I decided to just wait until June 30 rolled around again. June 30 came. I listened to a CD for MusicWeb and went to bed early. Finally carved out an hour for the Tenth tonight, starring Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

I should note that my familiarity with the symphony is purely from listening; I have never seen a score.

Impressions

First of all, how'd I go this long without listening to one of my favorite pieces? I just wanted to curl up in every minute of it ... thought a few times that I could just as easily have listened to it every day for a year. (This is, of course, not actually true.) This felt like Hemingway on his first day back from a year of shaving. Or something.

The Tenth Symphony is the culmination of the "Russian Romantic" symphonic tradition; it is the apotheosis of same. Had Rachmaninov, Lyapunov, Glazunov and Bortkiewicz seen it to its grave? No, they'd merely set up this fearsome volley. This symphony is, like Tchaikovsky's Fifth or Rachmaninov's Second (much more like the latter), based entirely on a simple motif stated at the outset. The first movement is built entirely on that motif, and I was really impressed at how much of the first seven to eight minutes of the symphony Shostakovich was able to repeat at and after the climax. Except for the interjection of the flute tune at 6:00, which serves as a catalyst for the huge central upheaval and provides just a tiny bit of contrast, this movement is really just one huge arc repeated, the second statement different enough from the first to make the double-arc combine for one.

A joke I'd been repeating during my Year of No Tenth was, "There oughta be a law of orchestration stating that the piccolo is expressly prohibited unless you are Shostakovich." It grew out of my frustration at how lesser composers fail to understand how to use the instrument: an unnecessary piccolo line, only about four seconds long, tarnishes the otherwise glorious opening movement Atterberg's Eighth; Johann Strauss' piccolos drive me up the wall just as much as his gift for melodies makes me sigh with pleasure; the piccolo at the end of Dvorak's Second has a great musical idea but is just too lightweight to penetrate the texture.

There are, of course, good uses of the piccolo. The two-note part in the storm of Beethoven's Sixth. Schulhoff's Concertino. Dorman's Piccolo Concerto. And all the other examples I can think of, all of them, are in Shostakovich. The Fifth. The Ninth. Others I am forgetting at the moment. And then there's the end of the first movement here. I Googled "best piccolo solo" and all the results said, "Stars and Stripes Forever." Undoubtedly a contender. I GMG-searched for "best piccolo solo" and there weren't any results. Now the Tenth is the first. Except, of course, that it's a piccolo duo, isn't it? And it is so darn good!

I was surprised by the third movement. Basically, it has three themes, the opening string tune (which is exactly the same theme as that of the second movement, which is in turn just the opening motif of the first movement extended a bit - this is one of the most tightly argued symphonies since Beethoven's Fifth, despite its length), the DSCH theme, and that weird foreign horn call. What surprised me about this movement, coming back after a year, is that it basically just alternates between the three in whatever order it pleases, and there's basically nothing else to it. It just bounces from motif to motif the whole time and yet rather than sounding senseless or academic or hopelessly confused, it's remarkably cohesive. I was also surprised and impressed to hear the first minute of the symphony replayed almost verbatim and as originally orchestrated, providing the base line to stuff which is easier to notice. Wow!

In Rachmaninov's Symphony No 2, the finale is the first movement to feature a melody that's not based on stair-step ascending intervals: that huge sweeping romantic Hollywood tune that breaks the symphony's mold and carries it over the threshold to a happy ending. Shostakovich's Tenth pre-empts this somewhat by introducing DSCH and the horn call into the third movement - but DSCH is the real challenger to the symphony's motto, and of course it wins. He's dancing on Stalin's grave, isn't he? Emphasis on dancing; this might be the most conventional of the movements, even down to the Return of the Scary Opening Motif right before the final coda (think Tchaikovsky Four). But the Scary Opening Motif has already been defeated: it is in that melancholy, wistful sigh of the (muted?) violins which serves as centerpiece to the introduction's reprise. And then, having laid the opening motif to rest once and for all, DSCH gets up and dances on the grave.

Conclusion

I chose Karajan because the final bars on his recording sound rich and full and gloriously final; on Barshai, they seem to just taper up into the bright acoustic. The flip side of the coin is that Barshai's clarinet solo in mvt. I is much more darkly brooding. I've got Skrowaczewski, too, but don't remember it very well.

All in all, as glorious an experience as it ever was, and I'm glad this symphony is back in my listening. I would not hesitate to rank it one of the great symphonies of all time, alongside contenders like Beethoven 5 and Brahms 4. It is, to my mind, surely not just a great symphony by a Russian, but the great triumph of the fate-obsessed, heart-on-sleeve Russian symphonic tradition which began with Rubinstein and Balakirev, achieved concert-hall popularity with Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov, and reached its raison d'être in 1953, when a composer turned to this seemingly burnt-out form to create some of his most personal music - and some of his most explicitly Russian outrage against the climate in which he was trapped.

I don't particularly find it useful to see Shostakovich's symphonies as reactions to, or depictions of, or portraits of, Communism; when I first began to get "into" the Tenth, it was cool to imagine the scherzo as "Stalin himself," or the third movement as "Shostakovich versus the oppressors." Now that interpretation is not as interesting as it had been. The only serious interest it has for me is its implications for the argument that this was the inevitable product of a flexible and tortured artistic genius, and for the hope, maybe the delusion, that had Shostakovich been given free rein to write whatever he wanted wherever he wanted, such a masterwork as this would not have been lost.

(http://www.classicalmusicclubtoronto.org/shostakovich_1975_1.jpg)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Scarpia on July 01, 2010, 08:12:45 PM
Karajan recorded it twice, in the 60's and in the 80's.  Which one are you listening to?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 01, 2010, 08:12:55 PM
I seldom listen to Shostakovich. Not out of personal dislike or anything, because he composed some very good music, but I just don't find myself connecting to his music as much as I do other composers.


That said, I do enjoy Symphonies Nos. 4, 7, and 10 the most of his symphonies. I also really enjoyed "Violin Concerto No. 1" and "Piano Concerto No. 1."


Other than these works, I'm just not moved by his sound-world or what it is he's trying to convey in his music. Given his history, it's hard know how really felt, but I know this is just my own opinion and obviously doesn't reflect how other's feel about his music.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on July 01, 2010, 09:48:28 PM
I would not hesitate to rank it one of the great symphonies of all time, alongside contenders like Beethoven 5 and Brahms 4.

I agree.

Quote
I don't particularly find it useful to see Shostakovich's symphonies as reactions to, or depictions of, or portraits of, Communism; when I first began to get "into" the Tenth, it was cool to imagine the scherzo as "Stalin himself," or the third movement as "Shostakovich versus the oppressors." Now that interpretation is not as interesting as it had been.

I agree with this too. I would modify it by saying that of course DSCH's symphonies have something to do with the circumstances he found himself in, but their relation to those circumstances is not simple or straightforward. (Volkov and Ian MacDonald deserve a lot of the blame for this.) The 10th Symphony is great as a piece of music - whether Stalin is reflected in it, or not, has no bearing on this.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on July 02, 2010, 08:57:59 AM
Thanks for those comments, Velimir. We're in agreement. :)

Karajan recorded it twice, in the 60's and in the 80's.  Which one are you listening to?

The 1980s recording.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on July 05, 2010, 10:38:10 AM
Brian, your review makes me wish to listen to the tenth again. It's the Karajan Gold one, right? I just listened to #10 twice and I realized it's got potential for me; but still did not get into it. Oh and there's just so few time for music listening at the moment :(
As of now, I spent much more time on Symphony No. 15, 1 and 8 (all Sanderling/Berlin SO) - my favourite pieces of the composer, in exactly that order.

@Mirror Image: If you can't love #15, you're lost. OK I admit, this is maybe quite subjective ;) You need to love the darkness. And it must be the Sanderling/BSO. Sloooow.

EDIT: Oh, and I've never listened to Brahms #4!?! Well, I'm 39, so maybe there'll be some time left.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on July 28, 2010, 10:15:12 AM
TTT

EDIT: Oh, and I've never listened to Brahms #4!?! Well, I'm 39, so maybe there'll be some time left.

All right, your assignment: Listen to the Brahms Fourth before the end of August.

You can do it!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on September 13, 2010, 09:44:24 AM
My Shosta collection:

Haitink Complete Decca Symphonies
Karajan 10
Bernstein 5 and 9
Fitzwilliam SQs
I've got the Fugues but I can't remember who the heck it is.

A couple of incidental, but good, performances of the symphonies (Barshai)

I'm really off topic now, because I'm listening to Whitesnake's In the Heart of the City. Sorry!

Andy, have you listened to the Fourteenth Symphony in the Haitink set?

The passacaglia fourth movement of the Eighth Symphony?

Apart from wishing to draw your attention to these
: ) . . .

. . . may I suggest the Piano Quintet in g minor, Opus 57; Piano Trio № 2 in e minor, Opus 67; and the Blok Romances for soprano & piano trio, Opus 127.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: George on September 13, 2010, 09:49:29 AM
. . . may I suggest the Piano Quintet in g minor, Opus 57; Piano Trio № 2 in e minor, Opus 67...

And may I second these splendid recommendations?

Richter/Borodins for the first and Beaux Arts Trio for the second.  8)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: AndyD. on September 13, 2010, 10:05:31 AM
Okay, I'm being ganged up on  :).

I can replay, and listen attentively.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on September 13, 2010, 10:08:16 AM
Okay, I'm being ganged up on  :)

Nah, we're all mates!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Scarpia on September 13, 2010, 10:08:48 AM
A work by Shostakovich that has been haunting me is the viola sonata.   The first movement in particular has a reserved, dark melodic invention that I keep coming back to over and over again.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on September 13, 2010, 10:10:49 AM
A work by Shostakovich that has been haunting me is the viola sonata.   The first movement in particular has a reserved, dark melodic invention that I keep coming back to over and over again.

Now that I've finished writing my own (viola sonata), I am keen to revisit the Shostakovich Opus 147.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brahmsian on September 13, 2010, 11:41:36 AM
Okay, I'm being ganged up on  :).

I can replay, and listen attentively.

I strongly recommend anyone who enjoys Shostakovich's music but especially for those who maybe are not and are looking for a deeper understanding, to watch this DVD, called Sonata for Viola.  FYI, it really has nothing to do with his Viola Sonata.

(http://home.comcast.net/~flickhead/ShostakovichAA1.jpg)

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: AndyD. on September 13, 2010, 01:12:14 PM
Now that I've finished writing my own (viola sonata), I am keen to revisit the Shostakovich Opus 147.


I'm keen on your sonata, or would like to be!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on September 15, 2010, 09:34:00 AM
TTT

All right, your assignment: Listen to the Brahms Fourth before the end of August.

You can do it!
I didn't. Real life demanded my full attention. Brahms 4 is still on my schedule. Detention?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on September 15, 2010, 10:29:04 AM
No, revised due date.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Guido on September 15, 2010, 12:59:57 PM
Just listened to the viola sonata op.147 for the first time. How has this passed me by all these years? Absolutely magnificent. One constantly feels whilst listening for the first time that one is in the presence of a true masterpiece - the same feeling I got when listening to Sibelius 7, Bruckner 9 and Janacek's string quartets for the first time.

Is it his finest chamber work? Seems like it could be...

I must play it.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Scarpia on September 15, 2010, 01:06:14 PM
I must play it.

On your pre-CBS Stratocaster and Marshall stack, or will you use a viola?   8)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Guido on September 15, 2010, 01:08:50 PM
It will have to be on a cello I'm afraid... but I'll try and play it as much in the right register as possible, I promise.  :-*
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Scarpia on September 15, 2010, 01:15:16 PM
It will have to be on a cello I'm afraid... but I'll try and play it as much in the right register as possible, I promise.  :-*

AndyD will be disappointed.   :(
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Sergeant Rock on September 15, 2010, 01:18:03 PM
@Mirror Image: If you can't love #15, you're lost. OK I admit, this is maybe quite subjective ;) You need to love the darkness. And it must be the Sanderling/BSO. Sloooow.

I agree. Sanderling is unique in this symphony--insanely dark. But his Cleveland peformance is even better...and even slower!

Cleveland   8:48  16:19  5:11  20:23

Berlin SO    8:29  15:21  5:06  19:41

Sarge
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: AndyD. on September 16, 2010, 05:57:26 AM
AndyD will be disappointed.   :(


 ;D

No way! ROCK ON (http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i97/Apostate_2006/icon_super.gif)!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on September 17, 2010, 07:28:06 AM
I agree. Sanderling is unique in this symphony--insanely dark. But his Cleveland peformance is even better...and even slower!
Yes, in the Berlin recording the percussive ending is played much faster. I don't know the reason why - I always preferred the Berlin over Cleveland performance. Need to give it a try again. I maybe listened to Berlin 30 times and 3 times Cleveland. The quality of the Cleveland is better. Maybe the best #15 ever  8)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on November 16, 2010, 11:14:14 AM
From the first draft of my MusicWeb review of Vasily Petrenko's Tenth Symphony, this bit of perhaps entertaining prose:

Quote
One more note. Shostakovich is famous for his emotionally ambiguous endings, but this, in my opinion, is not one of them. The Tenth Symphony, written and premiered at last after the death of Stalin, is capped off by Shostakovich’s victory dance on the grave of his oppressor. In these final bars, in this performance, I can hear the composer shouting with a wild joy: You thought you had me caged up; you thought you could control what music I write; you thought you could intimidate a generation of creative minds by threatening them with labour and torture and death; but you thought wrong. The creative spirit always wins! The individual always wins! Art always wins!

The highest praise I can lavish upon this new Naxos release is that I hadn’t quite thought of the Tenth Symphony that way before. It was one of my favorite symphonies, but Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic still managed to find within it something entirely new. This symphony isn’t about Stalin. It isn’t about the totalitarian Soviet state. It’s about anybody who needs to be told, or who needs to be reassured: Art always wins.

Feedback is welcome. Am I making sense? Am I off-base?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on November 16, 2010, 11:50:34 AM
Well, I think you are right in that, its nervous start (and the occasional stern interpolation) notwithstanding, the last movement of the Tenth does close on an inarguably cheerful note.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Scarpia on November 16, 2010, 11:57:47 AM
Feedback is welcome. Am I making sense? Am I off-base?
End of the 10th, that's the part where the DSCH theme gets hammered out by the timpani while the rest of the orchestra makes an uproarious commotion.   You had to wait for the Petrenko recording to decide that passage is up-beat?  What have you been listening to, for god' sake.  Is there a Klemperer recording of Shostakovich 10 that I don't know about.   ;D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on November 16, 2010, 12:15:13 PM
End of the 10th, that's the part where the DSCH theme gets hammered out by the timpani while the rest of the orchestra makes an uproarious commotion.   You had to wait for the Petrenko recording to decide that passage is up-beat?  What have you been listening to, for god' sake.  Is there a Klemperer recording of Shostakovich 10 that I don't know about.   ;D
;D  ;D  ;D

and as to advice: tone it down just a notch. enthusiasm is nice, but we can see your tail wagging, through the lines.  ;)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on November 16, 2010, 12:34:04 PM
End of the 10th, that's the part where the DSCH theme gets hammered out by the timpani while the rest of the orchestra makes an uproarious commotion.   You had to wait for the Petrenko recording to decide that passage is up-beat?  What have you been listening to, for god' sake.  Is there a Klemperer recording of Shostakovich 10 that I don't know about.   ;D

Hah! If I give the impression that I never knew it was a happy ending before, I will indeed change it, because my reaction was definitely more subtle than that (one knows it's a happy ending from the first time one listens, unless one is Volkov perhaps...).

On the other hand, Jens, my tail is wagging. I wouldn't put it in those words, because I don't have any anatomical irregularities of that scope, but this does come at the end of a review the theme of which is essentially, "Why the heck did I love this CD so much?" Luckily I have a couple of answers that aren't wishy-washy purple prose. A couple. Sleep usually cures my most egregious flights of verbal fancy, so over my self-imposed week of editing time I'll be in a position to delete the stuff that's embarrassing and leave only that which I know I can defend. ;)

My most praise-y reviews take the longest to submit for that reason. I want to be sure that reasons for my enthusiasm, hard and fast and well-communicated reasons, are very plain to the reader. Thus my 2010 "CD of the year (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2010/Nov10/Gershwin_Grofe_HMU907492.htm)" pick received a wait of 4 months and a week between first listen and review submission, and my '09 CD of the year had to wait a few days shy of 5 months. Unfortunately, that review fell through the MusicWeb cracks; maybe they were intimidated by the admittedly excessive length.

EDIT: Completely reversed my response to jlaurson
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: edward on November 17, 2010, 06:37:06 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51GLdTscuVL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
This is probably one of the glaring holes in my CD collection. Yet it's a disc I don't see mentioned often--opinions on it?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on November 17, 2010, 06:48:02 AM
Well, the first vn cto is really the Opus 77, of course ; )
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Gurn Blanston on November 17, 2010, 08:39:38 AM
This is probably one of the glaring holes in my CD collection. Yet it's a disc I don't see mentioned often--opinions on it?

I have that disk and enjoy it both as a testament to the music and as an historical document. The playing is first rate, and the sense of occasion is there in both concerts. If it ain't a million dollars (in a manner of saying), then it's worth the investment.  :)

8)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on November 17, 2010, 08:42:31 AM
I have that disk and enjoy it both as a testament to the music and as an historical document. The playing is first rate, and the sense of occasion is there in both concerts. If it ain't a million dollars (in a manner of saying), then it's worth the investment.  :)

I am so pleased to have my expectations affirmed, Gurn.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: George on November 17, 2010, 03:10:46 PM
This is probably one of the glaring holes in my CD collection. Yet it's a disc I don't see mentioned often--opinions on it?

One of the crown jewels of my collection.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on November 18, 2010, 06:02:37 AM
I have that disk and enjoy it both as a testament to the music and as an historical document. The playing is first rate, and the sense of occasion is there in both concerts. If it ain't a million dollars (in a manner of saying), then it's worth the investment.  :)

8)

Incidentally, the very last piece in the 10-CD Kondrashin 'spectacles' box is the Vn Cto № 2, again played by the violinist for whom it was written: Oistrakh. Recorded in 1967.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on November 18, 2010, 06:52:51 AM
Incidentally, the very last piece in the 10-CD Kondrashin 'spectacles' box is the Vn Cto № 2, again played by the violinist for whom it was written: Oistrakh. Recorded in 1967.

Hey... say, do you know if this is in the Koran edition on aulos as well?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on November 18, 2010, 06:58:19 AM
Dunno.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Opus106 on November 18, 2010, 08:33:12 AM
Hey... say, do you know if this is in the Koran edition on aulos as well?

No, it doesn't. It's a 10-CD set... spectacles is 11. (BTW, Koran edition?)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on November 18, 2010, 08:41:11 AM
No, it doesn't. It's a 10-CD set... spectacles is 11. (BTW, Koran edition?)

Sorry. The Islamists got to me. I meant Korean, of course.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Scarpia on November 18, 2010, 12:07:59 PM
Been listening to Shostakovich's viola sonata again recently.  The first two movements are amazing.  The first expecially, has the most astonishing development of a few melodic cells, and such a sustained mood of bemused irony, a gem.  I've never been able to get through the third, final movement without my attention drifting off.   There's the paraphrase of the Moonlight sonata, and I find myself thinking about whether the car needs an oil change.   :(
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on November 19, 2010, 03:44:30 AM
No, it doesn't. It's a 10-CD set... spectacles is 11. (BTW, Koran edition?)
CD11 is South Koran then.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brewski on November 19, 2010, 11:11:28 AM
Just saw this fascinating bit of news from Musical America:

"Orango, a long lost opera by Shostakovich, is scheduled to have its world premiere, in concert, in December 2011 by Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The reconstructed prologue, about 40 minutes long, concerns a half-man, half-ape and is said to be “blisteringly satirical,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Peter Sellars will direct the work, which has been reconstructed and orchestrated from the composer’s piano sketches by British composer Gerard McBurney at the request of the Russian composer’s widow. The opera dates to 1932 and was written with librettists Alexei Tolstoy and Alexander Starchakov, apparently in the midst of the composer’s work on Lady MacBeth of the Mtsensk District."

--Bruce
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brahmsian on November 19, 2010, 03:00:34 PM
Just saw this fascinating bit of news from Musical America:

"Orango, a long lost opera by Shostakovich, is scheduled to have its world premiere, in concert, in December 2011 by Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The reconstructed prologue, about 40 minutes long, concerns a half-man, half-ape and is said to be “blisteringly satirical,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Peter Sellars will direct the work, which has been reconstructed and orchestrated from the composer’s piano sketches by British composer Gerard McBurney at the request of the Russian composer’s widow. The opera dates to 1932 and was written with librettists Alexei Tolstoy and Alexander Starchakov, apparently in the midst of the composer’s work on Lady MacBeth of the Mtsensk District."

--Bruce

Very interesting, thanks for letting us know Bruce!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha: SQ 15
Post by: snyprrr on November 19, 2010, 03:48:20 PM
Can anyone wax poetic over any really really special recordings of SQ No.15?

I'm listening to Fitzwilliam now, and I'm not really taken: sounds kind of unsure (which is understandable). I've had "most" of the SQ sets out there (of the old guard), but I sold the Emerson last year (the last to go) to start fresh. So now I have zero Shosty SQs, and I really just want the most monumental No.15 I can find (I hope it's not the Emerson, otherwise I probably should have kept it!: they WERE pretty good, actually).

I remember the Brodsky disc, "End Games", with DSCH 15 and LvB 16, an interesting concept, but I don't remember the performance. One that I haven't heard is the Sony disc with Yo-Yo Ma (w/ Gubaidulina "Rejoice"). Perhaps that's a good one? Are there any other "mix" cds with only No.15?

I also seem to recall enjoying the Shostakovich Qrt./Olympia in the late SQs.

I got the Ma/Kremer/Kashkashian SQ 15 (Sony), with the Gubaidulina. I have nothing to compare with, but it's ok. I don't know how special it is. I thought the...eh, what's the use? ::) ;D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: The new erato on November 20, 2010, 01:20:18 AM
Been listening to Shostakovich's viola sonata again recently.  The first two movements are amazing.  The first expecially, has the most astonishing development of a few melodic cells, and such a sustained mood of bemused irony, a gem.  I've never been able to get through the third, final movement without my attention drifting off.   There's the paraphrase of the Moonlight sonata, and I find myself thinking about whether the car needs an oil change.   :(
Then I suggest you change the oil and listen again. ;D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: vandermolen on November 21, 2010, 02:27:30 AM
The film music for Michurin has been a great new discovery for me - a noble, somewhat uncharacteristic piece.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Opus106 on November 23, 2010, 08:06:26 AM
Which recording, in your opinion, contains the wildest, all-Hell-breaking-loose ending of the 11th symphony? (Thanks in advance.)
Title: Sibelius quotes!
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on December 09, 2010, 06:47:16 AM
Symphony No. 11, first Adagio: Did you recognize the references to/quote of Sibelius' "In Memoriam"? "In Memoriam" is a very recommendable funeral march, Sibelius' only one to my knowledge. The linked Sibelius Youtube clip is the non revised version, which is imho not as good as the revised one.

Compare:
Sibelius: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uwfhc92nISU#t=55s
Shosta: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INE4_7wbfV4#t=188s

Which recording, in your opinion, contains the wildest, all-Hell-breaking-loose ending of the 11th symphony? (Thanks in advance.)
Not much experience with #11, sorry. My choice is Haitink/RCO, I prefer it over Janssons (from the cycle). Least I can say about Haitink: both wild scenes (endings of mvmt2 and 4) are a very powerful experience.
Title: Op 106 : Symph 11
Post by: alkan on December 09, 2010, 07:48:08 AM
Which recording, in your opinion, contains the wildest, all-Hell-breaking-loose ending of the 11th symphony? (Thanks in advance.)

I have the Rostropovich/LSO Live CD, and the ending is pretty overwhelming.       The bells are REALLY loud and clear, and the side-drummer is hammering away like a maniac.      The nice thing at the very end is that despite it being a live recording, the audience are absolutely silent as the reverberation of the bells fades slowly away.    The spell is not broken .....     
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Opus106 on December 09, 2010, 08:11:17 AM
I have the Rostropovich/LSO Live CD, and the ending is pretty overwhelming.       The bells are REALLY loud and clear, and the side-drummer is hammering away like a maniac.

Excellent.

Quote
The nice thing at the very end is that despite it being a live recording, the audience are absolutely silent as the reverberation of the bells fades slowly away.    The spell is not broken .....     

Very nice added bonus, I would say. Thanks.
Title: Opus 106
Post by: alkan on December 10, 2010, 03:33:45 AM
Out of curiosity, I listened again to Rostropovich's LSO Live ending to No 11   .... it had been a while and my message yesterday was based on my old recollections ....

Basically, I still find it to be absolutely overpowering and thrilling.       The build-up is slow, deliberate, and ominous.    There is a marvellous passage with tormented winds punctuated by awesome blows on the bass drum .... really menacing.   I'd forgotten just how good the brass are when they enter into the fray .... a real powerhouse.    The xylophone is extremely clear and piercing.       The bells at the climax are actually not quite as dominant as I thought.    Nevertheless, they are perfectly clear and every so often a crucial dissonance really rings out.     It's great to follow the bells playing in the minor key against the orchestra in the major.

Two impressions dominate.    The first is Rostropovich's control and/or the LSO's discipline.     It never gets ragged or unruly ..... it rolls forward like a monstrous machine.     The second is the recording quality.     There is so much going on at the end and it is all perfectly clear and transparent.    Very impressive.

There are other highlights and climaxes   (eg in the second movement, when the revolt is crushed by the army) which are equally impressive.        I bought this CD on impulse because it was so cheap ..... what a bargain it turned out to be ....  :D
Title: Op 106, awesome endings ...
Post by: alkan on December 10, 2010, 03:50:48 AM
Whilst we are on the topic of awesome endings in Shostakovich Symphonies  (his speciality I think ....), what do you think of the ending of the 4th Symphony?     For me, this is the "creme de la creme".     Not only an apocalyptic climax, but a bizzare and unearthly epilogue.      Rather to my surprise, my favourite recording here is Simon Rattle with the Birmingham SO.    Tremendous power in the climax, followed by a truly atmospheric coda .... it's like surviving an atomic bomb ....    Kondrashin is great too, but the sound is far inferiour and this lessens the impact a little.

For the 5th, my favourite is Sanderling ..... if you have never heard it before, it is quite a shock.    The total opposite to every other recording I know.    But for me, very convincing.

Sanderling also for the end of the 15th ..... this is the most spine-chilling music I know ....
Title: Re: Op 106, awesome endings ...
Post by: jlaurson on December 10, 2010, 05:44:32 AM
Whilst we are on the topic of awesome endings in Shostakovich Symphonies  (his speciality I think ....), what do you think of the ending of the 4th Symphony?     For me, this is the "creme de la creme".     Not only an apocalyptic climax, but a bizzare and unearthly epilogue. ...
Quote
From: http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2008/01/when-heldenleben-orchestra-stops-at.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2008/01/when-heldenleben-orchestra-stops-at.html)

...Beautiful the tic-tocs into the false calm of the third movement’s opening – only to proceed to delve deeply into this strange, enervating, beautifully bizarre world that makes the Mahler-influenced first movement seem perfectly normal. Bychkov managed to tighten the music’s thumbscrews anew at every new start after an intermittent lull or (faux-) lyrical passage.


If someone ever felt compelled to make a film of Griffins having S&M sex, this would be the soundtrack for it: The shrieks, the brutality, the claws, the exhaustion, the climaxes and the pounding, and the relentlessness are harrowing and were particularly so in this performance. There could not be a more appropriate description of it, even if it risks being clichéd: Bychkov and orchestra were playing the hell out of the finale. But more distressing still, because of all that which preceded it, was the ensuing dreamy delicacy of the ticking-away of the symphony... the final breath and that mourning trumpet that sounded like a death knell ringing over a blood soaked battlefield on a Winter dawn … a comment on a victory everyone knows to have been a defeat.


No wonder Shostakovich kept the symphony in the drawer until de-Stalinization was under way. It would otherwise not only have been his fourth, but also his last symphony.
Title: Re: Awesome endings
Post by: alkan on December 10, 2010, 07:42:49 AM
Thanks JLaurson.        For sure, the finale makes the imagination run riot !!

I once saw the end of the 4th symphony used as a very effective soundtrack to a documentary about the Voyager probes to Jupiter!     The quiet part, before the big climax, portrays the probe travelling through outer space for years on end.     As it finally approaches Jupiter, the climax starts.     As the wierd and never-before-seen vista's of Jupiter and its moons fill the screen, the continuous fortissimo and awesome climaxes underline a real feeling of titanic, unearthly grandeur.    Then, Voyager has flashed by Jupiter and is heading off into the depths of space (it has actually left the solar system by now) as represented by the coda.     

A totally different take to the one you mentioned, but incredibly supportive of the images.
Title: Re: Op 106, awesome endings ...
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on December 10, 2010, 12:20:14 PM
Whilst we are on the topic of awesome endings in Shostakovich Symphonies  (his speciality I think ....), what do you think of the ending of the 4th Symphony?     For me, this is the "creme de la creme".
This. Without any doubt. You may want to try Mariss Jansons with the Bavarians here. Very important is the trumpet for me, it makes me shudder. In the Jansons you can clearly hear it. There are other performances where it's too much in the background.

But it's not only greatness in the endings of the whole work, but also endings of movements. In particular I'm thinking of the ending of No. 5 mvmt I, or the second movement of 11. Both share some bizarre, unearthy elements, and fear.

And this is what we like about Shostakovich, don't we? The positive moments are not plain positive and followed by tragedy or question marks. He's not Schubert.  Or the Lento in Symphony No. 1 - was impressing for me as a live experience. Beautiful melody with the clarinet, but that warbling violins transporting uncerrtainty, great.

Quote
For the 5th, my favourite is Sanderling ..... if you have never heard it before, it is quite a shock.    The total opposite to every other recording I know.    But for me, very convincing.
The recordings with the Berliner SO? They're all my favourites except maybe for the 8th and 10th. As for the fifth and that particular recording: IMHO the first movement starting from 13:00 pretty well sums up, what Shostakovich Symphonies are about.

Quote
Sanderling also for the end of the 15th ..... this is the most spine-chilling music I know ....
Yes. Yes. Yes. Absolutely. I prefer both of his recordings. Other conductors play the percussive ending way faster, but I don't like that-.

BTW did you know this reviews page? http://dschjournal.com/reviews/review_master_index.html
Title: Re: Op 106, awesome endings ...
Post by: jlaurson on December 10, 2010, 02:24:26 PM


Sanderling also for the end of the 15th ..... this is the most spine-chilling music I know ....

Not shabby in the 15th: 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: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 11, 2010, 07:11:26 PM
I've come to really appreciate (and love) Shostakovich's music this year. I have really come to enjoy most of his symphonies, the concerti, the ballets, his other various orchestral works, and the string quartets (which I'm still making my way through). I recently listened to the newer Argerich recording of her performing Piano Concerto No. 1, but I really loved the inclusion of his Piano Quintet. Here is the disc:


(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_APppc0EwF1g/TCtXb9NzksI/AAAAAAAABL8/Atsi5q9QfjU/s1600/ShostakovichArgerich.png)


I'm not sure if I can pick a favorite symphony cycle I own (so far): Barshai, Haitink, Ashkenazy, Rostropovich, and Jansons. I'm really enjoying the ongoing cycle with Petrenko. This might be some of the exciting Shostakovich I've heard yet. Has anyone heard Kitajenko's cycle? I've read mixed opinions of his set.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 11, 2010, 08:09:11 PM
I only have the 3 film CDs on Chandos.  I think it's some of his best work.


Not me. Film music was not Shostakovich's medium, although he did compose some great scores. His symphonies, concerti, and the string quartets are his most important contributions to music in my assessment.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 11, 2010, 08:18:01 PM
Add Rostropovich to the debate........

Sarge


I like the Rostropvich cycle or at least so far as I've made my way through Symphonies Nos. 1-11.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on December 12, 2010, 04:46:24 AM
Has anyone heard Kitajenko's cycle? I've read mixed opinions of his set.

I find it extraordinary, especially when I'm in the mood for excellent sound. But I have no "favorites" in Shostakovich, somehow...  not in the same way I do in other composers, at least.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on December 12, 2010, 05:40:39 AM
I'm not sure if I can pick a favorite symphony cycle I own (so far): Barshai, Haitink, Ashkenazy, Rostropovich, and Jansons. I'm really enjoying the ongoing cycle with Petrenko. This might be some of the exciting Shostakovich I've heard yet. Has anyone heard Kitajenko's cycle? I've read mixed opinions of his set.

Haven't got many cycles, just Barshai in fact, but I've heard quite a few Tenths in the past 6 weeks and would rank them in this order:

(No 10)
=outstanding [these three can change places depending on my mood]=
1. Petrenko
2. Jansons
3. Sanderling (sound is dated, sure, but the playing superb)
=very, very good=
4. Karajan 80s
5. Barshai
=flawed in some way=
6. Skrowaczewski
7. M. Shostakovich, LSO (probably the Supraphon is better)
8. Wigglesworth (sound too low-level)
9. Kitajenko (though his third movement is in the top 3, the finale is very plain)

I recently auditioned the scherzo from Ancerl's legendary performance and, despite my love for Ancerl and high expectations, found it a major letdown. It's so fast it loses a lot of intensity. Petrenko and Karajan are best there.

But it's not only greatness in the endings of the whole work, but also endings of movements. In particular I'm thinking of the ending of No. 5 mvmt I, or the second movement of 11. Both share some bizarre, unearthy elements, and fear.

The ends of the first movements of 5, 6, and 10 are all different angles on that same insight.
Title: Re: Op 106 : Symph 11
Post by: Brian on December 12, 2010, 05:43:39 AM
I have the Rostropovich/LSO Live CD, and the ending is pretty overwhelming.       The bells are REALLY loud and clear, and the side-drummer is hammering away like a maniac.      The nice thing at the very end is that despite it being a live recording, the audience are absolutely silent as the reverberation of the bells fades slowly away.    The spell is not broken .....     

This didn't happen at the LPO live 11th I went to earlier this month. There was a burst of hugely enthusiastic applause, then sudden silence as everyone realized the bells were still audible. After a while everyone started clapping again, but kind of awkwardly. The sound engineers were probably kicking themselves.
Title: Re: Op 106 : Symph 11
Post by: Scarpia on December 12, 2010, 06:06:02 AM
This didn't happen at the LPO live 11th I went to earlier this month. There was a burst of hugely enthusiastic applause, then sudden silence as everyone realized the bells were still audible. After a while everyone started clapping again, but kind of awkwardly. The sound engineers were probably kicking themselves.

They're going to re-record the closing at rehearsal to get an applause-free version anyway.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 12, 2010, 07:06:33 PM
I find it extraordinary, especially when I'm in the mood for excellent sound. But I have no "favorites" in Shostakovich, somehow...  not in the same way I do in other composers, at least.


Thanks J., I'll check it out. I see that it's out-of-print. That's a shame.  :'(
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 12, 2010, 07:09:29 PM
Haven't got many cycles, just Barshai in fact, but I've heard quite a few Tenths in the past 6 weeks and would rank them in this order:

(No 10)
=outstanding [these three can change places depending on my mood]=
1. Petrenko
2. Jansons
3. Sanderling (sound is dated, sure, but the playing superb)
=very, very good=
4. Karajan 80s
5. Barshai
=flawed in some way=
6. Skrowaczewski
7. M. Shostakovich, LSO (probably the Supraphon is better)
8. Wigglesworth (sound too low-level)
9. Kitajenko (though his third movement is in the top 3, the finale is very plain)

I recently auditioned the scherzo from Ancerl's legendary performance and, despite my love for Ancerl and high expectations, found it a major letdown. It's so fast it loses a lot of intensity. Petrenko and Karajan are best there.

The ends of the first movements of 5, 6, and 10 are all different angles on that same insight.


Yes, Brian the Petrenko 10th is amazingly good. I might be revisiting it, yet again, tonight. ;) By the way, have you heard Rattle's recording of the 10th with the Philharmonia? This one is another one of my favorites. Here's the cover (or the one I own anyway):

(http://img.maniadb.com/images/album/166/166496_1_f.jpg)


Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on December 12, 2010, 11:11:52 PM
=flawed in some way=
6. Skrowaczewski

I have and enjoy this one. What don't you like about it? I do think the orchestra is not as powerful as it should be, but otherwise I have no objections.

Quote
I recently auditioned the scherzo from Ancerl's legendary performance and, despite my love for Ancerl and high expectations, found it a major letdown. It's so fast it loses a lot of intensity.

That was my reaction. Too fast and too light.

Also, have you heard Jarvi and Mravinsky?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on December 22, 2010, 04:11:43 AM
Important note: I hereby declare Kurt Sanderling to be my personal "Hero of Shostakovich". I have all the Berlin SO CDs with him conducting and I love them all (Sym. Nos. 1, 5, 6, 8, 10 and 15). I now tried No. 8 with Haitink, but happily returned to Sanderling. He's still alive BTW, heading towards 100 years of age :o.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: mc ukrneal on December 22, 2010, 04:34:32 AM
In regards to Sanderling and #10, any thought on how his live version compares (the one Orchestre National de France)?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 22, 2010, 07:30:25 PM
Important note: I hereby declare Kurt Sanderling to be my personal "Hero of Shostakovich". I have all the Berlin SO CDs with him conducting and I love them all (Sym. Nos. 1, 5, 6, 8, 10 and 15). I now tried No. 8 with Haitink, but happily returned to Sanderling. He's still alive BTW, heading towards 100 years of age :o .


I wholeheartedly endorse this message. ;) Yes, Sanderling is a fine Shostakovich conductor. I have just recently bought his set on Berlin Classics and have been enjoying them.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 23, 2010, 12:56:11 PM
I seldom listen to Shostakovich. Not out of personal dislike or anything, because he composed some very good music, but I just don't find myself connecting to his music as much as I do other composers.

That said, I do enjoy Symphonies Nos. 4, 7, and 10 the most of his symphonies. I also really enjoyed "Violin Concerto No. 1" and "Piano Concerto No. 1."

Other than these works, I'm just not moved by his sound-world or what it is he's trying to convey in his music. Given his history, it's hard to know how really felt, but I know this is just my own opinion and obviously doesn't reflect how other's feel about his music.

Looking back on this post, which I made in July, I have to say I'm quite appalled at my attitude towards Shostakovich. It's been two months and I still can't get enough of his music. What brought about this sudden change? Well, I think there were many factors that came into play: 1. I really didn't know that much about his music, what motivated it, and what it was trying to convey, 2. I didn't know much about his life in general, which I clearly understand much better now after tons of research, and 3. I really wasn't giving the music that much of a chance to grab me.

Sometimes it's better to go into music with no kind of pre-conceived notions and just let it wash over you. Once I got past my own prejudices and nagging opinion of what I thought of his music, then I could enjoy it much more and have been listening to almost nothing but his music for the past couple of months.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on December 24, 2010, 05:53:42 AM
MI, you describe what many of us experience, at least me. Oh well, prejudices. They prevented me listening to Brahms. Because this nasty guy insulted my little tiny Bruckner and it was a question of revenge not to listen to Brahms! A mistake... I enjoy his 4th (didn't try other symphonies of his).

Do you know DSCHs 1st symphony? It's a very remarkable first Symphony IMO. I heard it first in the concert hall and was immediately impressed. Only the final movement is still a problem for me. Don't like it as much as the first three.
I'm currently on the Shostakovich trip as well. After a lot of listens to his fifth, I'll listen more properly to the tenth. I already did, but didn't see the point yet why soo many people would prefer it over the fifth. It didn't touch me. Yet. Future will tell....

BTW, Sanderlings Berlin Orchestra produced some flaws, did you notice? There's a scary (flute?) part at the end of 5/mvmt1, the flute in the end did not produce a proper sound, but rather you hear only the blowing... Also at the bombast Sym 5/mvmt4 finale, cymbal and timpany are not synchronous. Anyway it's the best fifth for me.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 24, 2010, 09:07:56 PM
MI, you describe what many of us experience, at least me. Oh well, prejudices. They prevented me listening to Brahms. Because this nasty guy insulted my little tiny Bruckner and it was a question of revenge not to listen to Brahms! A mistake... I enjoy his 4th (didn't try other symphonies of his).

Do you know DSCHs 1st symphony? It's a very remarkable first Symphony IMO. I heard it first in the concert hall and was immediately impressed. Only the final movement is still a problem for me. Don't like it as much as the first three.

I'm currently on the Shostakovich trip as well. After a lot of listens to his fifth, I'll listen more properly to the tenth. I already did, but didn't see the point yet why soo many people would prefer it over the fifth. It didn't touch me. Yet. Future will tell....

BTW, Sanderlings Berlin Orchestra produced some flaws, did you notice? There's a scary (flute?) part at the end of 5/mvmt1, the flute in the end did not produce a proper sound, but rather you hear only the blowing... Also at the bombast Sym 5/mvmt4 finale, cymbal and timpany are not synchronous. Anyway it's the best fifth for me.

Interesting post, Wurstwasser.

I've known Shostakovich's Symphony No. 1 for quite some time and I really enjoy it. It was his graduation piece and it really doesn't sound a whole lot like Shostakovich, but given it was written at such a young age that is to be expected. It certainly was a great start to one of the most compelling symphonic cycles written in the 20th Century.

Interestingly enough, I didn't pick up on any mistakes in the Sanderling set, but I'll probably go back and revisit these recordings soon. As I have stated to many people, an orchestra are going to make mistakes. It's only natural. Even world-renown orchestras make mistakes, but it may be so slight that we can't quite catch it on first hearing. I still enjoyed Sanderling's approach to Shostakovich. Very intense readings. That reading of the 8th blew my mind! I love it! :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 27, 2010, 10:03:24 AM
What do you all you Shostakovich lovers think of the ballet The Golden Age?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on December 27, 2010, 10:16:31 AM
What do you all you Shostakovich lovers think of the ballet The Golden Age?

That Naxos recording is on my To Listen To list : )
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 27, 2010, 10:45:27 AM
That Naxos recording is on my To Listen To list : )


You should definitely listen to it as soon as possible, Karl. Have you heard this work before? The only other recording of this ballet in its complete form is on Chandos with Rozhdestvensky.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on December 27, 2010, 10:54:12 AM
I've only heard the Suite, nor am I sure that I've heard that complete.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 27, 2010, 11:50:01 AM
I've only heard the Suite, nor am I sure that I've heard that complete.


Since you own the Serebrier, I would definitely try to listen to soon. It's a marvelous work.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on December 28, 2010, 07:01:09 AM
What do you think about that strange passage in Symphony No. 8, 3rd movement, Allegro? What was the intention behind it?

Video starts where I mean:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYfliiuj4-c&feature=player_detailpage#t=194s

Humta Humta Humtataaaa ;) - Music for german "Schützenvereine"

(http://www.garstedt.de/Bilder/BilderMax/1236259220-Schuetzenverein-2003-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on December 28, 2010, 09:06:20 PM
Now I understood my "problem" with the 11th symphony. I love it really, but it's an unusual symphony, because all movements except the In Memoriam one are pretty much the same. They aren't really three different movements.

Another note: I also love the violent passage in the second movement, but it's really no "slaughter". The music is just militaristic there, a heavy march, but no sadness, no tragedy, no fear there.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 28, 2010, 09:11:56 PM
What do you think about that strange passage in Symphony No. 8, 3rd movement, Allegro? What was the intention behind it?

Video starts where I mean:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYfliiuj4-c&feature=player_detailpage#t=194s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYfliiuj4-c&feature=player_detailpage#t=194s)

Humta Humta Humtataaaa ;) - Music for german "Schützenvereine"

(http://www.garstedt.de/Bilder/BilderMax/1236259220-Schuetzenverein-2003-1.jpg)

That's apart of the allure of Shostakovich's music. Musicologists, critics, musicians, classical listeners, etc. have been picking his symphonies apart from the time of their premieres to now. Nobody knows why he added this demonic waltz here or those loud almost machine-like military snare rolls there. It's all a mystery to me. But whatever his intentions with his music may have been, it's still some pretty damn fine music. :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on December 28, 2010, 09:32:58 PM
At the first listen of the 8th, I was really surprised to hear something like that. I knew he made some really "easy" music which I didn't like (there's a lot of silly stuff with trumpets)- but I was surprised to find it in the eigth. From what I read, (western?) positive critics quickly tend to talk about a) concessions he made or b) music being ironical/hidden criticism. All in order to pull him on the politically "good" side. Which is too easy for me.

Quote
Nobody knows why he added this demonic waltz here
Music question: is the above passage a Waltz? I think this 1-2 1-2 is a 2/4 - Polka? Not sure.

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 28, 2010, 10:05:23 PM
At the first listen of the 8th, I was really surprised to hear something like that. I knew he made some really "easy" music which I didn't like (there's a lot of silly stuff with trumpets)- but I was surprised to find it in the eigth. From what I read, (western?) positive critics quickly tend to talk about a) concessions he made or b) music being ironical/hidden criticism. All in order to pull him on the politically "good" side. Which is too easy for me.
Music question: is the above passage a Waltz? I think this 1-2 1-2 is a 2/4 - Polka? Not sure.

Well you have to understand the circumstances in which Shostakovich composed his music under. He, as you well know, was under heavy strain from Stalin, and Symphony No. 8 was not a popular symphony and critics quickly dismissed it. If I'm not mistaken, it was banned from performance for many years due to a Soviet doctrine called the Zhdanov Doctrine. This doctrine also banned works by Khactaturian, Prokofiev, and several other Soviet composers. Anyway, I can understand it not being that popular of a work, because it is mostly very bleak in its outlook, but I honestly think it's one of his finest symphonies.

P.S. I have not idea about whether that except is a waltz or polka. I was just using the phrase demonic waltz as an expression to describe how Shostakovich can, with almost the flip of a coin, change musical styles in just one movement.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on December 28, 2010, 11:31:19 PM
P.S. I have not idea about whether that except is a waltz or polka. I was just using the phrase demonic waltz as an expression to describe how Shostakovich can, with almost the flip of a coin, change musical styles in just one movement.
I see. BTW, the Wikipedia S8 article says: "It [the 3rd mvmt.] features an interesting quote of the Sabre Dance from Aram Khachaturian, composed the year before."

Is it the part we're talking about?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Opus106 on December 29, 2010, 12:24:30 AM
I see. BTW, the Wikipedia S8 article says: "It [the 3rd mvmt.] features an interesting quote of the Sabre Dance from Aram Khachaturian, composed the year before."

Is it the part we're talking about?

I don't know whether it's an exact quote but 3:40 and 4:00, lasting for about 5 seconds in each case, sounds like it might have been taken from the Sabre Dance. But that "background" (please pardon me for the loose/inaccurate terminology) with the bassoon (?) and some kind of cymbal (?) is very similar.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 29, 2010, 06:31:46 AM
I see. BTW, the Wikipedia S8 article says: "It [the 3rd mvmt.] features an interesting quote of the Sabre Dance from Aram Khachaturian, composed the year before."

Is it the part we're talking about?

I'm not talking about any specific movement. Just his approach to the symphonic form in general.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on December 29, 2010, 09:52:10 AM
I don't know whether it's an exact quote but 3:40 and 4:00, lasting for about 5 seconds in each case, sounds like it might have been taken from the Sabre Dance. But that "background" (please pardon me for the loose/inaccurate terminology) with the bassoon (?) and some kind of cymbal (?) is very similar.
You're right. The aforementioned passage is not an exact quote of the Khatchaturian Sabre Dance, but it's obviously what they are referring to in the Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._8_(Shostakovich)).
As MI writes, change of musical styles with the flip of a coin. Hey, maybe DCSH even liked marches and waltzes, why not.... :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Opus106 on December 29, 2010, 10:04:41 AM
Hey, maybe DCSH even liked marches and waltzes, why not.... :)

Last night I was listening to the Suite for Varied Orchestra (a.k.a. Jazz Suite No. 2), and it's almost full of those things.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 31, 2010, 05:40:36 PM
Last night I was listening to the Suite for Varied Orchestra (a.k.a. Jazz Suite No. 2), and it's almost full of those things.


Yes, it is and it's a delightful little piece.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on January 12, 2011, 12:25:08 PM
Thought I might as well import this here.

A virtual neighbor attributed a dubious quote to Shostakovich, thus:


Quote
As Shostakovich, Britten and Hindemith as well as other great composers said almost fifty years ago, 12-tone composers can't write a whistleable tune that one can remember when exiting the concert hall.

Of course, this is arrant sock-puppetry; and, why, no, the fellow who offered this "quotation" has not offered a source document (surprised?), even when invited to; after all, if Shostakovich did actually say such a thing, it would be of genuine interest to know just what he said, when, and what the context was.

I took the opportunity to check through my books for any quotes which might even distantly support such a flippant interpretation. Thus:

 
======================================

If I had been a bit better organized, I could have arranged to post those citations in chronological order at the outset.

As it is, though, I chanced upon comment spanning his career; and in particular a neat distribution over three decades later on.  Thus, we have this warm endorsement of Berg (whose Wozzeck was obviously a strong example to Shostakovich for Ledi Makbet) in late 1935:


Quote from: Fay, p.88
In his high-profile role as model young Soviet composer during the year leading up to the condemnation of Lady Macbeth, Shostakovich had been candid about the influence the music of such contemporary composers as Berg, Schoenberg, Krenek, Hindemith, and especially Stravinsky had exerted on his development, especially in the three years after completing Conservatory. Just a few weeks before “Muddle Instead of Music” appeared, Shostakovich commiserated with Sollertinsky on the recent death of Alban Berg: “His passing grieved me no less than you. The deceased was a genius. I am convinced that sooner or later he will be appreciated.”

We have a pitiful picture of Shostakovich as Stalin's "cultural ambassador" in New York in 1949, the year after the Zhdanovshchina, the denunciations at the Congress of Soviet Composers in April 1948; Shostakovich was a newly shaken man, having been dismissed from his professorships at both the Moscow and Leningrad Conservatories as of 1 Sept 1948:

Quote from: N. Nabokov
When, after several trying and ludicrous speeches, his turn came to speak he began to read his prepared talk in a nervous and shaky voice. After a few sentences he broke off, and the speech was continued in English by a suave baritone. In all the equivocation of that conference, Shostakovich's speech was the least direct. Written in the style of the Agitprop speeches, it was quite obviously prepared by the 'party organs' in charge of the Waldorf-Astoria conference, on the Soviet side of the picture. In it these 'organs', through their mouthpiece Shostakovich, condemned most Western music as decadent and bourgeois, painted the glories of the rising Soviet music culture, attacked the demon Stravinsky as the corrupter of Western art (with a dig at Prokofiev) and urged upon the 'progressive Americans' of the conference the necessity of fighting against the reactionaries and warmongers of America and . . . and admitted that the 'mouthpiece' (Mr Shostakovich) had itself often erred and sinned against the decrees of the Party.

I sat in my seat petrified by this spectacle of human misery and degradation. It was crystal clear to me that what I had suspected from the day that I heard that Shostakovich was going to be among the delegates representing the Soviet government was true: this speech of his, this whole peace-making mission was part of a punishment, part of a ritual redemption he had to go through before he could be pardoned again. He was to tell, in person, to all the dupes in the Waldorf conference and to the whole decadent bourgeois world that loved him so much that he, Shostakovich, the famous Russian composer, is not a free man, but an obedient tool of his government. He told in effect that every time the Party found flaws in his art, the Party was right, and every time the Party put him on ice, he was grateful to the Party, because it helped him to recognize the flaws and mistakes.

After his speech I felt I had to ask him publicly a few questions. I had to do it, not in order to embarrass a wretched human being who had just given me the most flagrant example of what it is to be a composer in the Soviet Union, but because of the several thousand people that sat in the hall, because of those that perhaps still could not or did not wish to understand the sinister game that was being played before their eyes. I asked him simple factual questions concerning modern music, questions that should be of interest to all musicians. I asked him whether he, personally, the composer Shostakovich, not the delegate of Stalin's government, subscribed to the wholesale condemnation of Western music as it had been expounded daily by the Soviet press and as it appeared in the official pronouncements of the Soviet Government. I asked him whether he, personally, agreed with the condemnation of the music of Stravinsky, Schoenberg, and Hindemith. To these questions he acquiesced: 'Yes," he said, 'I completely subscribe to the views as expressed by . . . etc. . . .' When he finished answering my questions the dupes in the audience gave him a new and prolonged ovation.

We have a snapshot during the much more composed period after Stalin's death, from 1959 and the early 60s:

Quote from: Fay, pp.214-15
Another theme raised repeatedly during their American visit [22 Oct - 21 Nov 1959], according to an account attributed jointly to Shostakovich and Khrennikov, was the Soviet attitude toward dodecaphony, with the (preposterous, so they claimed) allegations that not only was it not performed in the Soviet Union but Soviet composers were officially forbidden to compose dodecaphonic music and, therefore, were denied artistic freedom. The opening of channels for cultural exchange had ushered in a new era of cultural competition. On his return from Italy and France the previous year, Shostakovich had reported that "the leading French masters are deeply troubled about the future of music in the West. They are troubled by the dissemination of false 'avant-garde' trends — like the notorious dodecaphony or 'concrete music' — among their youth. This still-born art gains no recognition from the broad public, it attests to the ideological impasse, the crisis of bourgeois culture." Such phrases, coupled with tributes to the adherents of genuinely "progressive" music responsive to the needs of the broad listening public, figured increasingly in Shostakovich's lexicon, as mouthpiece of official Soviet aesthetic policy.

In an interview given to a Polish journalist during the Warsaw Autumn Festival but published subsequently in Sovetskaya muzyka, Shostakovich preached at length of the perils of dodecaphony, which he felt had unreasonably monopolized the programs of the festival:

Quote from: Dmitri Dmitriyevich
I am firmly convinced that in music, as in every other human endeavor, it is always necessary to seek new paths. But it seems to me that those who see these new paths in dodecaphony are seriously deluding themselves. The narrow dogmatism of this artificially invented system rigidly fetters the creative imagination of composers and deprives them of individuality. It is no accident that in the entire legacy of Schoenberg's dodecaphonic system there is not a single work that has gained wide acceptance.... Dodecaphony not only has no future, it doesn't even have a present. It is just a "fad" that is already passing.

Soviet music, he asserted by contrast, was evaluated not by its degree of experimentation or by its deviation from tonality but by whether it was good, that is, whether it was rich in substance and artistically consummate.

This is not the place to debate the Soviet failure to acknowledge the aesthetic "inevitability" of the Second Viennese School and Serialism. In hindsight, the stance, though dogmatic, seems considerably less wrong-headed and regressive than it was thought to be in the West. At least in Shostakovich's case, it should not be assumed that he was ignorant of the musical styles he was condemning. Nor can it be taken for granted that the official line he was obliged to toe was completely alien to his real preferences and convictions. Shostakovich was an exceptionally sensitive and literate musician. In Warsaw, in America, and on his frequent foreign jaunts, he was provided with ample opportunity to meet composers, listen to their music, and assess the international picture. He stocked up on recordings whenever he traveled.

His son Maxim has recalled that scores sent by composers or musical organizations could always be found in their home and that Boulez's Le marteau sans maître, the late works of Stravinsky, and a couple of pieces by Xenakis were among the works he admired. In March 1959, as it happens, Shostakovich presented his old friend Shebalin with a score of Le marteau for his birthday. Denisov recorded in a diary entry for 1957 Shostakovich's private comments about his dislike of the music of Schoenberg and his feeling that Messiaen's Trois petites liturgies were rather saccharine. After having been singled out in one of Shostakovich's speeches as the "arch-representative of 'decadent capitalist culture,'" Karlheinz Stockhausen subsequently received a private letter from the composer professing admiration for his music and encouraging him to visit. Still, if his tastes in music were more catholic than his sometimes strident rhetoric might suggest, Shostakovich nonetheless favored more conservative contemporary idioms, the music of Benjamin Britten, for instance. His distaste for dry, inepressive music and his opposition to composition by rational system of mathematical formula were genuine. Direct engagement with his listener, the need to connect through his music with ordinary people remained a central concern for Shostakovich.

And from 1968-ish, when things had been calm enough, for long enough (and the composer was old enough) that you can almost hear Shostakovich breathing more freely:

Quote from: Laurel Fay
Critics remarked on the novelty in form, language, and technical means in the new quartet [the Twelfth], on the composer's unique ability to remain himself while exploring new horizons. There was, indeed, a great deal here that was new and unexpected for Shostakovich's music, not least of which was the considerable dependence on twelve-tone rows for its thematic material, within a broadly tonal context. This was not the cutting edge in Soviet music. Though revered as its elder statesman, a living legend, by now Shostakovich was no longer seen as a pioneer. From the late 1950s through the years of official bluster by the leadership of the Union of Composers—including Shostakovich himself—proclaiming the dangers of dodecaphony and alien avant-garde styles, genuine interest among Soviet musicians in the contemporary trends filtering in from the West had increased steadily, especially among young composers and performers. So had the volume of homegrown "experimental" scores. Shostakovich was not oblivious to these developments. Composer Nilolai Karetnikov even credited him with lending his support and authority to overcome the resistance of the orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre, one of the most conservative bastions of musical tradition, to the staging of Karetnikov's twelve-tone ballet score, Vanina Vanini in 1962.

Shostakovich's adaptation of aspects of twelve-tone writing was not an aesthetic volte-face. Isolated examples of twelve-tone rows had already appeared in Seven Verses of A. Blok and in the Second Violin Concerto. His propensity for chromatic melody writing was longstanding. Queried by Tsyganov about the serial elements in his Twelfth Quartet, the composer is said to have commented: "They can also be found in Mozart." In an interview concerning young composers that appeared just before the Twelfth Quartet received its initial screening, Shostakovich's comments highlighted the consistency of his present practice with his lifelong principles:

Quote from: Dmitri Dmitriyevich
As far as the use of strictly technical devices from such musical "systems" as dodecaphony or aleatory is concerned ... everything in good measure. If, let's say, a composer sets himself the obligatory task of writing dodecaphonic music, then he artificially limits his his possibilities, his ideas. The use of elements from these complex systems is fully justified if it is dictated by the concept of the composition.... You know, to a certain extent I think the formula "the end justifies the means" is valid in music. All means? All of them, if they contribute to the end objective.

As I said earlier, the picture is richer, better nuanced, and more artistically acute than any matter of Shostakovich snapping his fingers in disdain at music that you don't leave the hall a-whistling.

PS/ Note the Nabokov citation is found in the Elizabeth Wilson book.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on February 01, 2011, 12:04:19 PM
"impotent late heir to a traditional hostility towards true originality...feeble mixture of compositional facility and helplessness. Shostakovich, unjustly reprimanded as a cultural Bolshevist by the authorities of his home country...[has] a taste for tastelessness, a simplicity resulting from ignorance, an immaturity which masquerades as enlightenment, and a dearth of technical means."
- Theodor Adorno, Philosophy of Modern Music

EDIT: from the very same page:
"the triumphant meagerness of Benjamin Britten"
"the fame of Sibelius [is] an exceptional case of critical ignorance"
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on March 15, 2011, 10:33:41 AM
Observation
a) George Antheil heavily copied parts from D. D.'s Piano concerto #1/Lento in his Symphony No. 6, Larghetto. Te Larghetto almost begins the same as Dmitris PC. But I don't care, Antheil composed it a most beautiful way, I adore it.

Question
b) How can the thread of the best 20th century composer sink down to GMGs page 6?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

BTW: Finally! I'm reading the Shostakovich book of Krzysztof Meyer (I'm at the Sym. 9 era) - very good book - and will keep the 12-tone question in mind, I let you know if I find a quote.

Found a wonderful 11th Tocsin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYSNJr4-1kk (Jang Yun-Sung/ KBS Symphony Orchestra)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on March 15, 2011, 11:49:09 PM
Are both the same recordings? I have the second one, and I cannot praise it high enough.

(http://specfree.info/uploads/img/2673356.jpg)
(http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00000E2RD.03._SS300_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Opus106 on March 16, 2011, 12:45:43 AM
Found a wonderful 11th Tocsin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYSNJr4-1kk (Jang Yun-Sung/ KBS Symphony Orchestra)

Thanks for the link. The actual Tocsin was a bit fast for my taste, and I could barely hear the "bell" (in-ear, plain-vanilla headphones). I nevertheless found it an exciting build up to the finale. I just wish the 'I-want-to-shout-bravo-first-or-clap-as-soon-as-the-sound-stops' guy would have waited for a few more seconds. >:(
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Dancing Divertimentian on March 16, 2011, 07:56:48 PM
Are both the same recordings?

Yes.

The first image is the reissue.

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on March 16, 2011, 09:14:57 PM
Thanks for the link. The actual Tocsin was a bit fast for my taste, and I could barely hear the "bell" (in-ear, plain-vanilla headphones).
Too fast - I think you mean from 14:00 onwards.. Yes, true. Haitink is slower here and he used my favourite timing.

Quote
I just wish the 'I-want-to-shout-bravo-first-or-clap-as-soon-as-the-sound-stops' guy would have waited for a few more seconds. >:(
Oh yes, what a coward. I thought "Where is the asian restraint"?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on March 18, 2011, 04:26:44 AM
Yes.

The first image is the reissue.

Which means, come to think of it, that the Sixth I have on the Decca reissue (coupled with the Twelfth) is a duplicate.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brahmsian on March 18, 2011, 07:20:04 AM
Looking forward to the next installment of the Petrenko recordings of Shostakovich's symphonies, coming out March 29th:

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on March 20, 2011, 09:26:45 PM
Looking forward to the next installment of the Petrenko recordings of Shostakovich's symphonies, coming out March 29th:
A quick look on Amazon reveals, he already did the big tunes, 5 and 8-11. Usually I like Sanderling/Berlin - slower tempi-, in case of 11 Haitink/Concertgebouw. Is there a reason why I should try Petrenko? TIA.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51VzZ6bs9tL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Viswb2DBCzY/TTEX6OlhjyI/AAAAAAAAFb8/sqMwiwkAtEY/s200/front.jpg)

My local library has the 2nd one. Are those the same recordings?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on March 22, 2011, 06:06:34 AM
A quick look on Amazon reveals, he already did the big tunes, 5 and 8-11.

But, wait a minute . . . that means that Nos. 4 & 7 are yet to be released.  I'm not surprised that these were not in the 'first wave': they are pieces for which excellence of execution depends greatly on how well the orchestra trusts the conductor, and the degree to which the conductor understands the demands he can make of the band.
 
As to the two images, the upper is the outer sleeve, the lower is the booklet cover.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on March 22, 2011, 09:08:49 AM
Looking forward to the next installment of the Petrenko recordings of Shostakovich's symphonies, coming out March 29th:

Hmm, I've already seen the CD in Saturn, Dortmund (http://www2.saturn.de/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/main?storeId=16572&catalogId=20106&langId=-3&ok=T_MYOUTLET&uk=S_DATA), but didn't buy.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on April 20, 2011, 07:28:30 PM
DSCH motif in Symphony No. 15 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DSCH_(Dmitri_Shostakovich)#By_Shostakovich)? Where? Never realized it's also there...
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on April 20, 2011, 10:18:44 PM
But, wait a minute . . . that means that Nos. 4 & 7 are yet to be released.  I'm not surprised that these were not in the 'first wave': they are pieces for which excellence of execution depends greatly on how well the orchestra trusts the conductor, and the degree to which the conductor understands the demands he can make of the band.

The next volume, incidentally, will be Nos 6 and 12.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on April 28, 2011, 06:44:25 PM
http://shostakovi.ch/film/en/

Quote
Here you can see the list on 34 films which music he composed for. You can also watch 23 public-domain vids and 2 ones with Japanese subscriptions.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on April 28, 2011, 06:47:51 PM
Did Kurt Sanderling ever conduct Symphony No. 11 and is it available on CD?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on May 03, 2011, 06:13:58 AM
Ugh. Crawled through Youtube searching for a nice SQ8 performance - my first steps into the chamber music world. Accidentally clicked a wrong link. OK, it's not André Rieu, but anyway, it's hard to stand ;).

http://www.youtube.com/v/K1T2uPhQgLE

BTW.

(http://imagebin.org/index.php?mode=image&id=151500)

Oh noes.
Title: Important information.
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on May 03, 2011, 06:25:17 AM
People. Shostakovich as a part of the GMG username is NOT mandatory here. Just wanted to let you know ;)
Title: Re: Important information.
Post by: Philoctetes on May 03, 2011, 07:02:47 AM
People. Shostakovich as a part of the GMG username is NOT mandatory here. Just wanted to let you know ;)

I wish all the jackasses would go back to their original screen names.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on May 03, 2011, 07:08:01 AM
Philoctetes Dmitriyevich Shostakovich would be fine.

Best regards,
a jackass.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Philoctetes on May 03, 2011, 07:08:35 AM
Philoctetes Dmitriyevich Shostakovich would be fine.

Best regards,
a jackass.

 :P
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: DavidW on May 03, 2011, 07:14:15 AM
I guess I could call myself David W. Joseph Haydn. :D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Philoctetes on May 03, 2011, 07:15:28 AM
I guess I could call myself David W. Joseph Haydn. :D

I think everyone knows who you are. I don't think anyone comes close to having as many posts as you.  :-*
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Philoctetes on May 03, 2011, 07:23:29 AM
Did Kurt Sanderling ever conduct Symphony No. 11 and is it available on CD?

I'm sure that he conducted it at some point, but I cannot seem to find even a rumor of a compact disc, sadly.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: DavidW on May 03, 2011, 07:41:14 AM
I think everyone knows who you are. I don't think anyone comes close to having as many posts as you.  :-*

Karl has 10x the post count.  He is our prolific poster. :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Philoctetes on May 03, 2011, 07:42:22 AM
Karl has 10x the post count.  He is our prolific poster. :)

Only because a certain someone has a habit of doing something.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on May 03, 2011, 10:52:46 AM
Shosta 5-finale, shouldn't the timpany (when being solo for a moment) slow down? He doesn't here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44LqDSSdpew&feature=player_detailpage#t=645s
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on May 05, 2011, 10:25:01 PM
Good luck finding this thread if you search by "Shostakovich"...


I recently took delivery of the symphony cycle conducted by Rozhdestvensky, released through Venezia. This means I now have practically all the major Russian cycles: Kondrashin, Rozhdy, Mravinsky (incomplete), plus Svetlanov (1, 5 & 7). Hooray!

I'm currently listening to disc 1 of the set, symphonies 1 and 12. The interpretations seem a bit soft-edged compared to the recordings I favour, but I will remain optimistic.

My preferences for the cycle are:

 1.  Svet
 4.  Kond
 5.  Svet
 6.  Mrav
 7.  ???
 8.  Mrav (Regis)
 9.  Kond
10. Karajan
11. ???
12. ???
15. Mrav

BTW, the Jansons cycle was mostly disappointing, but I do very much like his discs of 1/15 and 9/10. Pick them up if they become available separately.
 
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on May 06, 2011, 02:02:47 AM
BTW, the Jansons cycle was mostly disappointing, but I do very much like his discs of 1/15 and 9/10. Pick them up if they become available separately.

I haven't heard his entire cycle, but the Tenth & Fifteenth are certainly excellent.  His account of the Eighth (with Pittsburgh, IIRC) is also very good.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on May 06, 2011, 06:01:19 AM
Good luck finding this thread if you search by "Shostakovich"...
I find the thread best if a) I'm being on top forum level and b) search for "dmitri".

Not much experience with Janssons, because in my favourite Symphonies I prefer Sanderling (1,5,8,15), Karajan (10) and Haitink (11). I've got Janssons 4th, but the 4th itself is yet to be cracked by me.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Opus106 on May 06, 2011, 06:04:07 AM
Good luck finding this thread if you search by "Shostakovich"...

Do you mean to say that you don't have the GMG Composer Index (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,8566) bookmarked?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on May 08, 2011, 02:47:13 PM
I find the thread best if a) I'm being on top forum level and b) search for "dmitri".

Not much experience with Janssons, because in my favourite Symphonies I prefer Sanderling (1,5,8,15), Karajan (10) and Haitink (11). I've got Janssons 4th, but the 4th itself is yet to be cracked by me.
Searching dmitri didn't work for me :(

Haven't heard Sanderling. Listened to a bit more of the set - 4 is the standout so far, possibly supplanting* Kondrashin. Very intense, and better sound than K.

But my god it's a long bloody symphony - or sounds that way, having no structure I can discern. I looked through some different CD liner notes and got no clue from them.



* Dictionary tells me to use supplant, not surplant, but sur (Middle English < Old French < Latin 'super') and plant (v. 'plant') does actually work IMO.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on May 08, 2011, 06:45:55 PM
Start the search from here (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php), the top left link...

But my god it's a long bloody symphony - or sounds that way, having no structure I can discern. I looked through some different CD liner notes and got no clue from them.
Exactly my problem. I'm sure understanding of the structure and pleasure will come with repeated listenings, so the 4th will require time - more than other symphonies of his. Currently I could only enjoy the mysterious and frightening finale of the 4th... Shostakovich was so good at movements endings... (Why wasn't Bruckner?...) The 4th requires so much time which I cannot afford currently... So until July I'll play his 11th and 10th back and forth, and his 8th SQ :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on May 09, 2011, 02:38:09 AM
July? What if we do a Listener Group on the Fourth in June?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: DavidW on May 09, 2011, 03:23:51 AM
One listening group at a time Karl. :D

Nah, I'm in. :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on May 09, 2011, 03:36:07 AM
One listening group at a time Karl. :D

That's right!  Agon in May, the Shostakovich Opus 43 in June . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on May 09, 2011, 05:25:32 AM
July? What if we do a Listener Group on the Fourth in June?
I'll not be part of it because I introduce an IT System which has to be finished until 06-30 with spare time already. I'm already lagging with my clarinet exercises :( Or maybe, at a weekend?! Hmm. Hmm. Hmm. Where's the listening group thread?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on May 09, 2011, 05:27:32 AM
I'll not be part of it because I introduce an IT System which has to be finished until 06-30 with spare time already. I'm already lagging with my clarinet exercises :(

All right, we'll set it for July; don't want to leave you out!

You still in, Davey?

(Should think of something else for June . . . .)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on May 09, 2011, 06:29:56 AM
All right, we'll set it for July; don't want to leave you out!
[DSCH 4/Listening group]
If in July, I'm in. It's a welcome reason to listen to #4 properly. Is there a dedicated thread? Rules? Etc.?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: DavidW on May 09, 2011, 06:33:10 AM
All right, we'll set it for July; don't want to leave you out!

You still in, Davey?

(Should think of something else for June . . . .)


Yup I'm good. :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on May 09, 2011, 06:52:37 AM
[DSCH 4/Listening group]
If in July, I'm in. It's a welcome reason to listen to #4 properly. Is there a dedicated thread? Rules? Etc.?

No rules. Just right.
 
The thread will be here (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,18506.0.html).
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on May 09, 2011, 01:18:35 PM
Let's have a Koechlin listening night, but, wait, nobody has any of his recordings. :P
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on May 09, 2011, 03:49:32 PM
OT, buddy! ; )
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on May 09, 2011, 03:58:37 PM
OT, buddy! ; )

Overtime? ;)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Scarpia on May 09, 2011, 04:01:24 PM
Overtime? ;)

Off topic, I presume.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on May 09, 2011, 04:02:59 PM
OT=MI (More Interesting, not Mirror Image)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on May 09, 2011, 04:09:55 PM
OT=MI (More Interesting, not Mirror Image)

 :P I don't know about that. I'm thinking more along the lines of MI=Mutated Imp. :D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on May 09, 2011, 04:58:03 PM
(* ahem *) No matter how hot Koechlin may be, it is hard to justify derailing the Shostakovich thread over him ; )
 
Quite a few places in the historical Kondrashin recording of the Fourth where artifacts from the source (and in places, just plain quality of the recording) which verge on Getting in the Way.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on June 25, 2011, 04:50:37 AM
STRING QUARTETS
The Borodins [yaddayaddayadda] have made three recordings of the complete cycle.

They have made one recording of the complete cycle. And with the Emerson, even if one liked their performances, the applause is bloody annoying.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on June 26, 2011, 04:25:49 AM
The latter was written in 1960 but inspired by the firebombing of Dresden, a disaster that was also a source for Strauss's Metamorphosen. Unlike Metamorphosen, however, this is a bleak creation that offers no sense of hope or reconciliation.

Wrong thread for this, perhaps, but whatever gleam of light or hope there may be in the middle passages of Metamorphosen, I should think that the work's dying moments, and especially those two haunting final chords, leave all such "sense of hope or reconciliation" snuffed out.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on June 26, 2011, 07:50:19 PM
Recently I've been listening to the chamber symphonies a lot, as an accompaniment to writing. I have the two-CD set of Barshai conducting the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, as reissued by Brilliant.



This set has come in for much criticism which I think is unwarranted. It is perhaps not the very fiercest performance one could imagine, but it is certainly not bland or effete. The orchestra is excellent, especially considering they are unknowns, and I think the Italian band are the reason these performances are much more warm and shapely than "dry as dust" Barshai generally manages. It's always good to find "new" orchestral music by Shostakovich, and if that's what you're looking for I recommend you start here.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on June 27, 2011, 02:33:56 AM
I've never been mad for the "chamber symphonies." I'm inclined simply to listen to the source quartets.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: DavidW on June 27, 2011, 05:55:53 AM
I've never been mad for the "chamber symphonies." I'm inclined simply to listen to the source quartets.

Next you're gonna say that you don't like Barber's Adagio! :P

Stinker! ;D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on June 27, 2011, 06:00:26 AM
I'm no fun anymore!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: DavidW on June 27, 2011, 06:03:11 AM
I have a recording of one of the chamber symphonies coupled with an interesting piece... the Suite on Finnish Themes.  Anybody heard that one before? :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on June 27, 2011, 08:04:11 AM
I had that disc!  And, I think I listened to the piece once, and it didn't impress itself upon mine memory. (No! Don't call me a stinker!)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on June 27, 2011, 04:44:31 PM
I've never been mad for the "chamber symphonies." I'm inclined simply to listen to the source quartets.

Well, the symphonies are perfect for me, as the sound of the string quartet (or similar group) has never sat well upon my ears. Too shrill, too timbrally monotonous. Too much display of ego. The adaptations have a richer, smoother and more varied sound, and the musicians are required to show a bit more discipline.
Ain't I a stinker?
 
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on June 28, 2011, 03:53:24 AM
We could perhaps interest monsieur in ze Bartók chamber symphonies?  Arranged, I believe, by André Rieu . . . .

; )
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on June 29, 2011, 04:17:00 PM
Don't get me started on bloody Bartok....
 
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brahmsian on July 23, 2011, 07:48:00 AM
Bump.  According to my listening log, that's 9 Shostakovich compositions in a row I've listened to now.

I'll make it a perfect 10 when I spin Symphony No. 14.   :D 8)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on August 26, 2011, 11:29:59 AM
(http://www.abload.de/thumb/dmitri12rlx.jpg) (http://www.abload.de/image.php?img=dmitri12rlx.jpg)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on September 20, 2011, 09:48:00 AM
I bought these two Shostakovich operas last night:

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0023T9Y94.01.L.jpg) (http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B002N4DZ44.01.L.jpg)

What does everybody think of these two? I read that Lady Macbeth upset Stalin that he left during intermission. Hmmm....sounds like it's right up my alley. :) I usually like operas that off the beaten path like Bartok's Bluebeard or Ravel's L'Enfant et les sortileges for example.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Renfield on October 01, 2011, 02:03:51 AM
The Petrenko 10th has landed (on my doormat). I'll spin it sometime between now and tomorrow afternoon, and report back.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 01, 2011, 02:50:51 AM
Well, the symphonies are perfect for me, as the sound of the string quartet (or similar group) has never sat well upon my ears. Too shrill, too timbrally monotonous.

You and Mrs. Rock have similar taste. Chamber music is Kammermusik in German. But she calls it Jammermusik (Jammer= misery, howling lament)  ;D


Sarge
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on October 01, 2011, 06:20:02 AM
I bought these two Shostakovich operas last night:
(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B002N4DZ44.01.L.jpg)

A friend who's writing her master's dissertation on Lady Macbeth played me a few YouTube clips of highlights from the opera, and they were absolutely riveting. I remember especially a scene where a drunk peasant finds a body, being written and played as if the score and musicians were all on fire. Truly a wild, electric opera if those highlights were indicative. I have my eyes on that CD.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on October 01, 2011, 06:36:10 AM
You absolutely want it, Brian.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on October 01, 2011, 06:30:43 PM
A friend who's writing her master's dissertation on Lady Macbeth played me a few YouTube clips of highlights from the opera, and they were absolutely riveting. I remember especially a scene where a drunk peasant finds a body, being written and played as if the score and musicians were all on fire. Truly a wild, electric opera if those highlights were indicative. I have my eyes on that CD.

I haven't heard it (yet), Brian, but I imagine you would want to pick it up as the audio samples I heard were right up my alley. I usually like 20th Century operas that a little off-the-wall.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brahmsian on October 02, 2011, 03:05:32 PM
The Petrenko 10th has landed (on my doormat). I'll spin it sometime between now and tomorrow afternoon, and report back.

Russian Liquid Nitrogen!

 ;D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: snyprrr on October 03, 2011, 06:00:26 AM
I just can't listen to DSCH anymore. Maybe it's the 'Freebird Syndrome': I've neurally mapped his music in my mind, so, if I want to hear it, I just have to think about it.

I still want to hear SQs 4-5 every now and then, and I love the two late string sonatas.

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Renfield on October 03, 2011, 06:36:57 AM
I have that 'neural mapping' problem with the Mahler 9th.


And I know I owe some impressions on the Petrenko 10th... At the very least, I can say I won't ask for my five quid back!

Sadly, you may have to wait a little for the longer version, as it requires more time than I have right now to type up. :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on October 03, 2011, 07:23:36 AM
I do not have that "neural mapping" problem at all, no matter how well I know any piece.  I don't know, just from knowing the score of a piece, how a given performance will go of it.  So I find any recording value added.  (I suppose I haven't played any particular recording of any Shostakovich work "to destruction"; but again, I expect that in a worst case, I should need to avoid a recording, not the piece itself.)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on October 03, 2011, 02:38:04 PM
I bought this complete recording of the ballet The Bolt many months ago and I'm finally going to listen to it hopefully by tonight, what do you guys think about the work and, in particular, this recording:

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000000AW8.01.L.jpg)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on October 03, 2011, 05:33:00 PM
November on Naxos (http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.572824-25):

(http://cdn.naxos.com/SharedFiles/images/cds/others/8.572824-25.gif)

"This recording of New Babylon, one of Shostakovich’s most inventive and truly symphonic film scores, is the first complete recording of all the surviving music from the original ‘lost’ manuscript full score and the first to use five solo string players only, as conceived by the composer. A remarkable collage of marches, can-cans, carnival music, tumultuous rhythms and musical quotations, New Babylon bristles with witty dissonance and brassy ebullience, emphasizing the film’s content rather than its visual surface. Mark Fitz-Gerald’s two previous Naxos world première recordings of Shostakovich’s film scores for Alone (8.570316) and The Girlfriends (8.572138) have been highly acclaimed."
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on October 04, 2011, 12:55:00 PM
Brilliant, Brian! I've been itching to hear that score for years.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on October 04, 2011, 12:58:32 PM
Nobody with any comments concerning the ballet The Bolt, what the hell is wrong with you bunch of misfits? ;) :D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Opus106 on October 07, 2011, 09:43:03 AM
http://www.quartets.de/

A website dedicated to the string quartets of Shostakovich. A cursory glance at the write-ups seems to suggest a slightly technical discussion of the works, but I'm sure that a layman can pick up a thing or two also.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brahmsian on October 07, 2011, 12:49:53 PM
http://www.quartets.de/

A website dedicated to the string quartets of Shostakovich. A cursory glance at the write-ups seems to suggest a slightly technical discussion of the works, but I'm sure that a layman can pick up a thing or two also.

Navneeth, thank you so much for providing this link!   :)

So far, do you have a particular favourite among Shostakovich's quartets, Nav?

My current favourite is # 4, followed by # 10 and then of course after that is the famous # 8   :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Opus106 on October 07, 2011, 11:14:19 PM
So far, do you have a particular favourite among Shostakovich's quartets, Nav?

None at the moment. In fact, I'm not very familiar with that set of works.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on October 08, 2011, 04:17:20 AM
Think I've mentioned it before, but Wendy Lesser's book on the DSCH quartets Music for Silenced Voices looks very worth reading. Here's a review:

http://www.najp.org/articles/2011/04/review-wendy-lessers-music-for.html
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on October 08, 2011, 08:27:14 AM
I browsed that book once, it sort of rubbed me mildly the wrong way for some reason(s) or other . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on October 08, 2011, 08:50:52 AM
Karl Henning...have you heard Rozhdestvensky's recording of The Bolt? Nobody has responded, but maybe if I call people out it might work...
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on October 08, 2011, 10:31:59 AM
I browsed that book once, it sort of rubbed me mildly the wrong way for some reason(s) or other . . . .

Do you remember why, Karl? (my theory: she's not a real music critic, just a fan)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on October 08, 2011, 02:20:32 PM
I should have a fresh look to remember why. And of course, a real music critic might write something which runs me the wrong way as readily as a fan . . . might almost say that I prefer a fan who writes well to, oh, any number of real music critics ; )
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on October 08, 2011, 02:21:17 PM
Karl Henning...have you heard Rozhdestvensky's recording of The Bolt?might work...

I've not.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on October 08, 2011, 07:07:26 PM
I've not.

Thanks. Have you heard The Golden Age? If yes, what did you think about that work?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on October 09, 2011, 01:22:01 AM
I . . . might almost say that I prefer a fan who writes well to, oh, any number of real music critics ; )

Yeah, I should have been more specific. "Fan" writing tends to be more impressionistic; "critic" writing tends to be more technical. Finding the right balance between the two is one of the things that makes writing about music difficult.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on October 15, 2011, 10:38:49 AM
Thing I did not know:

"Do you know, as it happens, Shostakovich has actually written a piece called Football, which reflects a football game in about five to seven minutes. It’s a lovely little piece, in which you can clearly hear the whistles of the referee, the players running here and there, and struggling with each other, so there are many similarities."
- from an interview with Vasily Petrenko (http://www.naxos.com/news/default.asp?op=933&displayMenu=Naxos_News&type=2)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on October 18, 2011, 09:24:07 PM
Bought these tonight:

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000000ADJ.01.L.jpg) (http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000000AHN.01.L.jpg)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000000AJ2.01.L.jpg) (http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000000AHI.01.L.jpg)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000000AHZ.01.L.jpg) (http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000000AHT.01.L.jpg)

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000000AGQ.01.L.jpg) (http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000000AK7.01.L.jpg)

Have anyone heard any of these?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on October 18, 2011, 10:48:02 PM
Have anyone heard any of these?

The Järvi 10th is really good - one of the best versions I've heard.

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 19, 2011, 02:36:04 AM
The Järvi 10th is really good - one of the best versions I've heard.

1, 6 and 9 are superbly performed too. Sonically very appealing with great brass and percussion. The Suite from Katerina Ismailova is a unique (I don't see many recordings available) and substantial bonus: the interpretation brutal and nasty--as it should be. Best Festive Overture I've ever heard too. And if Järvi's "Tea for Two" doesn't put a big grin on your face, you're seriously lacking a funny bone  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on October 19, 2011, 04:09:01 AM
The Fourth is recorded in too reverberant a space, so that too many passages are rather muddy.  Easily the worst recording of the symphony that I've heard.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: edward on October 19, 2011, 05:46:23 AM
The Fourth is recorded in too reverberant a space, so that too many passages are rather muddy.  Easily the worst recording of the symphony that I've heard.
Was that one of the ones recorded in Glasgow City Hall? It was an acoustic nightmare when I lived in Glasgow in the mid-to-late 90s, though I read that it's had a major refurbishment since then.

I wasn't impressed by the Jarvi 4th either--my memories are of a performance seriously lacking in nuance--I had a culling of 4ths about a decade ago and it and the generally underpowered Ashkenazy were the two recordings that went straight to the 'trade' pile.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on October 19, 2011, 06:18:16 AM
Aye, that's the venue, Edward
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: edward on October 19, 2011, 06:40:06 AM
Aye, that's the venue, Edward
Random Glasgow City Hall trivia: I was told by one of the orchestra players that when the BBC Scottish Symphony did Nielsen's 5th there in the '90s, they had to place the side-drummer on a balcony far above the orchestra to make sure it cut clearly enough through the aural mess in the hall.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Sergeant Rock on October 19, 2011, 06:49:13 AM
The Fourth is recorded in too reverberant a space, so that too many passages are rather muddy.  Easily the worst recording of the symphony that I've heard.

The 9th was recorded in the Henry Woods Hall Glasgow. It doesn't share those sonic faults.

Sarge
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on October 19, 2011, 07:32:07 AM
Thanks for all your feedback. I've always liked Neeme Jarvi's Prokofiev recordings, so, naturally, I was inclined to buy the Shostakovich ones.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Robert on October 19, 2011, 09:06:31 AM
I do not own any Chandos Shostakovich.  I own the DG 11th.   I was very unhappy with this performance so, I never bothered getting any more of his Shostakovich. Prokofiev is another story. .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on October 19, 2011, 06:03:41 PM
I do not own any Chandos Shostakovich.  I own the DG 11th.   I was very unhappy with this performance so, I never bothered getting any more of his Shostakovich. Prokofiev is another story. .

I've never been too impressed with Jarvi's DG recordings for some reason, but I think apart of this comes from his usual choice of orchestra for this label: the Gothenburg Symphony, which lack a certain rawness I like in Shostakovich.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Robert on October 19, 2011, 07:09:37 PM
I've never been too impressed with Jarvi's DG recordings for some reason, but I think apart of this comes from his usual choice of orchestra for this label: the Gothenburg Symphony, which lack a certain rawness I like in Shostakovich.
[/quote

The only set I own is by Kondrachine  w/ Orch Philarmonique de Moscow on Melodia U.S.S. R.  I do own many of his symphonies by Bernstein, Ormandy, Jansons and Wigglesworth....I never felt Jarvi had that rawness,
which he didn't need in Prokofiev.....
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on October 19, 2011, 07:18:43 PM
The only set I own is by Kondrashin  w/ Orch Philarmonique de Moscow on Melodia U.S.S. R.  I do own many of his symphonies by Bernstein, Ormandy, Jansons and Wigglesworth....I never felt Jarvi had that rawness, which he didn't need in Prokofiev.....

But Jarvi's Chandos recordings with Scottish National Orchestra are quite different than the ones on DG. That rawness is ever present in these recordings.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on October 19, 2011, 07:20:27 PM
his usual choice of orchestra for this label: the Gothenburg Symphony

...which were his "usual choice" because he was their Chief Conductor for many, many years.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on October 19, 2011, 07:33:09 PM
...which were his "usual choice" because he was their Chief Conductor for many, many years.

That's right! I like his work with the Scottish National Orchestra the best.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on October 20, 2011, 09:16:04 PM
What does everybody think of the Haitink set?

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000F3T7RO.01.L.jpg)

It has been a few years since I listened to this set. I can't remember the pros/cons of it. I'm thinking about digging it back out, what do you think I should listen to first or what, in your opinion, is one of the better performances of the set?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on October 20, 2011, 09:58:49 PM
What does everybody think of the Haitink set?

I've heard several of the performances in the set. The 8th is a powerful and relentless performance, with awesome playing by the Conc'bouw. The 15th is also very good. The 5th is pretty good, but middle-of-the-road. I can't recall hearing anything else, but the set as a whole seems to get mostly positive reviews.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: edward on October 21, 2011, 05:41:13 AM
I've heard several of the performances in the set. The 8th is a powerful and relentless performance, with awesome playing by the Conc'bouw. The 15th is also very good. The 5th is pretty good, but middle-of-the-road. I can't recall hearing anything else, but the set as a whole seems to get mostly positive reviews.
Agreed regarding the 15th; it's a very fine performance, as is the 14th if you can deal with Fischer-Dieskau barking his way through his vocal parts. Generally, what I've heard I would describe as very well-executed, sympathetic mainstream readings. Whether the listener prefers their Shostakovich in this manner or, say, the approach of a Kondrashin, is likely to come down to individual preference, I think.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on October 21, 2011, 07:18:57 AM
Thanks for your feedback guys. I'll start with the 15th and 8th then. 8)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on October 21, 2011, 08:27:14 AM
I like the Seventh and Thirteenth in the Haitink cycle, as well.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on October 21, 2011, 08:40:41 AM
I like the Seventh and Thirteenth in the Haitink cycle, as well.

Everybody, let's just list the whole cycle. ;)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Robert on October 21, 2011, 09:18:20 AM
What does everybody think of the Haitink set?

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000F3T7RO.01.L.jpg)

It has been a few years since I listened to this set. I can't remember the pros/cons of it. I'm thinking about digging it back out, what do you think I should listen to first or what, in your opinion, is one of the better performances of the set?

John,
Have you heard any Jansons??.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on October 21, 2011, 09:26:33 AM
John,
Have you heard any Jansons??.

You didn't ask me . . . but the Eighth, Tenth and Fifteenth are particularly outstanding in the Jansons cycle.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Robert on October 21, 2011, 09:47:23 AM
You didn't ask me . . . but the Eighth, Tenth and Fifteenth are particularly outstanding in the Jansons cycle.

Sorry Karl. I don't know what I was thinking..Please forgive me.  I guess I was away far too long....I agree with your choices.....I never cared for his Symphony 2 - 3, until I heard Jansons.  I have most of his Shostakovich. He is near the top for me....
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: karlhenning on October 21, 2011, 09:53:01 AM
No worries, Robert, I just chimed right in . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on October 21, 2011, 12:11:16 PM
You didn't ask me . . . but the Eighth, Tenth and Fifteenth are particularly outstanding in the Jansons cycle.
If I recall it correctly (Haven't listened to it in a while) his Thirteenth is also very good in my opinion
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on October 21, 2011, 08:22:01 PM
John,
Have you heard any Jansons??.

Yes, I own and heard the Jansons cycle. I don't remember it though. :-[
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on October 21, 2011, 11:41:58 PM
You didn't ask me . . . but the Eighth, Tenth and Fifteenth are particularly outstanding in the Jansons cycle.

I can vouch for that 15th. It's on the dark side, rather than the whimsical side of the intepretation continuum.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on October 24, 2011, 04:17:35 AM
I like the Seventh and Thirteenth in the Haitink cycle, as well.
The one and only Eleventh is with Haitink. I know I've already mentioned that, but I can't resist.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Robert on October 24, 2011, 09:15:27 AM
Yes, I own and heard the Jansons cycle. I don't remember it though. :-[

Morning John,

I take this to mean you found nothing memorable about his conducting.   Which Shostakovich symphony conductor or conductors do you remember. Can you identify them just by listening to them.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on October 24, 2011, 09:19:49 AM
Morning John,

I take this to mean you found nothing memorable about his conducting.   Which Shostakovich symphony conductor or conductors do you remember. Can you identify them just by listening to them.

Morning Robert,

I took Sanderling, Petrenko, Rattle, and Rostropovich when I first heard them. I can recognize each of these conductors interpretations by the sound of the orchestra and by how they accent different phrases. Haitink and Jansons I seem to can't remember a note. I don't know why.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Robert on October 24, 2011, 09:40:55 AM
Morning Robert,

I took Sanderling, Petrenko, Rattle, and Rostropovich when I first heard them. I can recognize each of these conductors interpretations by the sound of the orchestra and by how they accent different phrases. Haitink and Jansons I seem to can't remember a note. I don't know why.

Yes  I understand.  The one thing I hear in Haitink is his intense detail to sound....It sucks you right in......I also enjoy Rostropovich....
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Robert on October 24, 2011, 09:43:11 AM
The one and only Eleventh is with Haitink. I know I've already mentioned that, but I can't resist.

Forgetting  the age of the recording, Stokowski gives him some stiff competition...
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on October 24, 2011, 09:43:47 AM
Yes  I understand.  The one thing I hear in Haitink is his intense detail to sound....It sucks you right in......I also enjoy Rostropovich....

I'm going to try and give Haitink another trial, because it has been many years since I've listened to any performance from his cycle.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on October 24, 2011, 09:46:30 AM
Forgetting  the age of the recording, Stokowski give him some stiff competition...

As does, Rostropovich. What a scorching performance with the LSO. He also did a good earlier one with National Symphony Orchestra on Teldec.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Robert on October 24, 2011, 10:22:09 AM
I'm going to try and give Haitink another trial, because it has been many years since I've listened to any performance from his cycle.

John

 Did you mean Jansons a trial?  If you meant Haitink start with 10, 8 & 11.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on October 24, 2011, 10:26:17 AM
John

 Did you mean Jansons a trial?  If you meant Haitink start with 10, 8 & 11.

No, I'm talking about Haitink. I will give these a listen, Robert. Thanks.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Robert on October 24, 2011, 02:20:03 PM
No, I'm talking about Haitink. I will give these a listen, Robert. Thanks.

John

If you ever consider looking at Jansons again try his 3 7 15.  I never really liked his 2 & 3 until I heard Jansons.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on October 24, 2011, 05:10:41 PM
John

If you ever consider looking at Jansons again try his 3 7 15.  I never really liked his 2 & 3 until I heard Jansons.

Thanks Robert. Will give these a try.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: AndanteCantabile on November 07, 2011, 06:18:06 PM
I have not listened to much Shostakovich, but recently heard a bit of the C minor quartet performed and liked it. Can anyone tell me what they think of the quartets in general and perhaps suggest some nice complete sets?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brahmsian on November 07, 2011, 06:23:31 PM
I have not listened to much Shostakovich, but recently heard a bit of the C minor quartet performed and liked it. Can anyone tell me what they think of the quartets in general and perhaps suggest some nice complete sets?

Love Shostakovich's string quartets.  They are amazing works.  Every single one of them very unique from the other.

There are a lot of great sets that people will recommend, including:

Fitzwilliam SQ
Borodin SQ
Emerson SQ
Eder Quartet
Manderling SQ
Sorrel SQ
Rubio SQ

I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but my favorite sets of what I have heard are the Fitzwilliam's and Eder Quartet.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on November 08, 2011, 01:10:31 AM
Love Shostakovich's string quartets.  They are amazing works.  Every single one of them very unique from the other.

I agree with this. Not a weak one in the bunch. Some of his best music, from #1 to #15.

I started with single issues by the Eder and Shostakovich Qts, and have heard some of the Emerson and Borodin cycles. I bought the Fitzwilliam cycle and have been happy with that. Very consistent set in terms of quality. But the other sets I've heard were good too in their own ways. Collectors are lucky with this music, many good choices.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on November 13, 2011, 05:47:28 PM
If you ever consider looking at Jansons again try his 3 7 15.  I never really liked his 2 & 3 until I heard Jansons.

From the Jansons box I recommend 1/15 and 9/10. The rest I found pretty blah, but these were very effective.
 
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 13, 2011, 05:57:26 PM
I'm an unreconstructed table-pounder for the Tenth played by the Phila Orch under Jansons's baton.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on December 14, 2011, 08:59:29 AM
String arrangements were always difficult for me, I'm preferring full orchestra over any kind of chamber like music. But that may change... That being said, I'm really into the SQ8 now, listened a lot of times to it. Which one would you recommend me to try next?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 14, 2011, 09:06:29 AM
String arrangements were always difficult for me, I'm preferring full orchestra over any kind of chamber like music. But that may change... That being said, I'm really into the SQ8 now, listened a lot of times to it. Which one would you recommend me to try next?

Of the string quartets, you mean?  № 12 in Db.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Est.1965 on December 24, 2011, 06:05:02 AM
As does, Rostropovich. What a scorching performance with the LSO. He also did a good earlier one with National Symphony Orchestra on Teldec.

Shosty is a composer I never 'got'.  UNTIL NOW! Here is an extract from my journal last night...music notes have been written in my journal given the absence of GMG as I've been tussling with broadband provider problems for months...(now resolved)

"...Re Music:  I never got Shotakovich.  I got Bruckner alright, despite his symphonic massiveness, even some conductors find Bruckner heavy going, but I got him ok.  Shostakovich has always been a hard one for me, I could not sit with his difficult changing tempos and textures, something always felt jarring about his stuff.  Well, tonight I laid back and listened to his 8th Symphony in full, and got it straight away.  It was brilliant.  His 8th is a Masterpiece.  I switched on to it somewhat easier than ever, and this means more Shosty for the future!  (Version was from the Rostropovich set)..."
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 24, 2011, 06:23:34 AM
Shosty is a composer I never 'got'.  UNTIL NOW! Here is an extract from my journal last night...music notes have been written in my journal given the absence of GMG as I've been tussling with broadband provider problems for months...(now resolved)

"...Re Music:  I never got Shotakovich.  I got Bruckner alright, despite his symphonic massiveness, even some conductors find Bruckner heavy going, but I got him ok.  Shostakovich has always been a hard one for me, I could not sit with his difficult changing tempos and textures, something always felt jarring about his stuff.  Well, tonight I laid back and listened to his 8th Symphony in full, and got it straight away.  It was brilliant.  His 8th is a Masterpiece.  I switched on to it somewhat easier than ever, and this means more Shosty for the future!  (Version was from the Rostropovich set)..."

Excellent, John! Shostakovich's 8th is darkly themed work. It's one of those works that made me go "Huh?" when I first heard it. But I've come to enjoy with repeated listening. You can't go wrong with Rostropovich in Shostakovich whether he's conducting or performing the Cello Concertos, he was dedicated to this composer's vision.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Est.1965 on December 24, 2011, 08:15:16 AM
You can't go wrong with Rostropovich in Shostakovich whether he's conducting or performing the Cello Concertos, he was dedicated to this composer's vision.

Yes.  I watched a documentary a few months ago about Rostropovich.  He was very close to Shosty, and Shosty likewise.  It would be hard for any other conductor to get as close to an interpretation as Shosty wanted than Rostropovich.  I am currently seeking Rostropovich doing the Bach Cello Concertos.  If I had known about the likes of Rostropovich, Du Pre, Starker, Cassals and the like when I was learning Cello at secondary school, I would not have been so quick to 'lose' the damn Cello in favour of football...pah!   :-[
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: kishnevi on December 24, 2011, 01:39:27 PM
Yes.  I watched a documentary a few months ago about Rostropovich.  He was very close to Shosty, and Shosty likewise.  It would be hard for any other conductor to get as close to an interpretation as Shosty wanted than Rostropovich.  I am currently seeking Rostropovich doing the Bach Cello Concertos.  If I had known about the likes of Rostropovich, Du Pre, Starker, Cassals and the like when I was learning Cello at secondary school, I would not have been so quick to 'lose' the damn Cello in favour of football...pah!   :-[

You mean the Bach Cello Suites, don't you?  The Bach Cello Concertos are, to put it mildly, extremely hard to locate :)  (And Rostropovich's take on the Suites seems to be one of the less favored ones here at GMG.)

Almost the first recordings of Shostakovich I heard were Rostropovich conducting Symphonies 8 and 11 on LSO Live, and they remain my favorite recordings of those symphonies.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Est.1965 on December 24, 2011, 01:52:48 PM
You mean the Bach Cello Suites, don't you?  The Bach Cello Concertos are, to put it mildly, extremely hard to locate :)  (And Rostropovich's take on the Suites seems to be one of the less favored ones here at GMG.)

Almost the first recordings of Shostakovich I heard were Rostropovich conducting Symphonies 8 and 11 on LSO Live, and they remain my favorite recordings of those symphonies.

Yes Jeffrey, I did mean the Suites.  I don't even know if Bach wrote Cello Concertos.   :-[
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on December 25, 2011, 04:45:51 AM
Yes.  I watched a documentary a few months ago about Rostropovich.  He was very close to Shosty, and Shosty likewise.  It would be hard for any other conductor to get as close to an interpretation as Shosty wanted than Rostropovich.
Kurt Sanderling? I prefer his recordings with Berlin Symphony Orchestra almost entirely.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 25, 2011, 06:57:28 AM
Shosty is a composer I never 'got'.  UNTIL NOW! Here is an extract from my journal last night...music notes have been written in my journal given the absence of GMG as I've been tussling with broadband provider problems for months...(now resolved)

"...Re Music:  I never got Shotakovich.  I got Bruckner alright, despite his symphonic massiveness, even some conductors find Bruckner heavy going, but I got him ok.  Shostakovich has always been a hard one for me, I could not sit with his difficult changing tempos and textures, something always felt jarring about his stuff.  Well, tonight I laid back and listened to his 8th Symphony in full, and got it straight away.  It was brilliant.  His 8th is a Masterpiece.  I switched on to it somewhat easier than ever, and this means more Shosty for the future!  (Version was from the Rostropovich set)..."

Johnny-lad, good to see you!  And good to see you've come round with Dmitri Dmitriyevich : )
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 04, 2012, 07:53:47 PM
Kurt Sanderling? I prefer his recordings with Berlin Symphony Orchestra almost entirely.

Yeah, even though the orchestra Sanderling is conducting is far from a first-rate ensemble, it's Sanderling who saves the day and inspires them to play as well as they can.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 04, 2012, 07:58:19 PM
I wonder how John is getting on now with Shostakovich. Any new developments, John?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Est.1965 on January 05, 2012, 04:45:26 AM
 :D

The latest development is a listening to Shosty 5 again from the Rostropovich set.  It seems something went wrong all those years of avoiding Shosty.  He was right when I studied him but wrong when I heard him.  Now, all of a sudden, his music makes perfect sense.  Couple of nights ago, the moody 5th was right on the money.  It is fair to say that Shosty is now my friend, and I'll go a long way with him this year.  I am concerned about the Babi Yar though.  I will have to find out what Babi Yar is all about.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 05, 2012, 04:46:37 AM
Interesting, Johnnie! Babi Yar was an early hit with me.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 05, 2012, 07:35:57 PM
:D

The latest development is a listening to Shosty 5 again from the Rostropovich set.  It seems something went wrong all those years of avoiding Shosty.  He was right when I studied him but wrong when I heard him.  Now, all of a sudden, his music makes perfect sense.  Couple of nights ago, the moody 5th was right on the money.  It is fair to say that Shosty is now my friend, and I'll go a long way with him this year.  I am concerned about the Babi Yar though.  I will have to find out what Babi Yar is all about.

Oh, how I love the 5th. A wonderful symphony through and through. The Rostropovich performance is great. I own both of his recordings. The one with the LSO is especially good.

Babi Yar is an interesting symphony. If I recall, the mood is quite grim in this work, but I remember liking it. I think Shostakovich is a hard composer to get a grasp of because many times what is on the surface of the music is not always what the music is trying to express. But this is a quality I've come to admire about his music. It's mystery in other words.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Opus106 on January 05, 2012, 09:10:32 PM
Oh, how I love the 5th. A wonderful symphony through and through. The Rostropovich performance is great. I own both of his recordings. The one with the LSO is especially good.

Both of the three? ;)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 05, 2012, 09:14:50 PM
Both of the three? ;)

Whoops..you're so right, Opus. I forgot he did one on DG with the National Symphony Orchestra. I don't own this one. Is it good?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Opus106 on January 05, 2012, 09:22:42 PM
Whoops..you're so right, Opus. I forgot he did one on DG with the National Symphony Orchestra. I don't own this one. Is it good?

Can't say, since I haven't heard the other two.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 05, 2012, 09:25:30 PM
Can't say, since I haven't heard the other two.

Hmmm....looks like I won't be getting this performance any time soon as it's out-of-print and quite expensive.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Opus106 on January 05, 2012, 09:29:34 PM
Hmmm....looks like I won't be getting this performance any time soon as it's out-of-print and quite expensive.

I have it as a part of the 8-CD set shown below:

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 05, 2012, 09:40:26 PM
I have it as a part of the 8-CD set shown below:



Oh, I see. Well, I'm not going to buy a box set for one performance. :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 06, 2012, 10:49:47 PM
Has anyone heard/own this 3-CD set from Serebrier on Warner:



Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 07, 2012, 07:17:21 PM
Re: John's Shostakovian Progression

John, have you heard Shosty's Symphony No. 8 yet? This is one hell of a symphony. I'm also curious as to which recordings you own or do you own a symphony cycle?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 07, 2012, 09:57:34 PM

You should definitely listen to it as soon as possible, Karl. Have you heard this work before? The only other recording of this ballet in its complete form is on Chandos with Rozhdestvensky.

Edit: There's another recording of it, in complete form, on the Russian Disc label with Yuri Simonov conducting the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra. So, there are only three recordings of this ballet in it's complete form.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Opus106 on January 07, 2012, 10:52:16 PM
Re: John's Shostakovian Progression

John, have you heard Shosty's Symphony No. 8 yet? This is one hell of a symphony. I'm also curious as to which recordings you own or do you own a symphony cycle?

You should change your name to psychoticaboutshostakovich.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 08, 2012, 08:10:05 AM
You should change your name to psychoticaboutshostakovich.

 :P

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 08, 2012, 09:50:58 AM
Anyone else here own Dmitrij Kitajenko's Shostakovich cycle? I'm finding these interpretations really good and the cycle so far has been incredibly consistent (like Haitink's for example).
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on January 08, 2012, 10:15:21 AM
:P

You certainly couldn't be shyaboutshostakovich - and nor could I.

May I recommend kookooforkoechlin?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 08, 2012, 10:18:08 AM
You certainly couldn't be shyaboutshostakovich - and nor could I.

May I recommend kookooforkoechlin?

Ha! Kookooforkoechlin, I like it! That should be a bumper sticker. :D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Opus106 on January 08, 2012, 10:18:29 AM
You certainly couldn't be shyaboutshostakovich - and nor could I.

May I recommend kookooforkoechlin?

bonkersaboutbartók.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 08, 2012, 06:56:31 PM
I know I asked this before but I still haven't received a response, but what do you Shostakovich fans think of his ballets: The Golden Age, The Bolt, and The Limpid Stream. I haven't heard The Limpid Stream, but The Bolt and The Golden Age are fantastic ballets full of such a diverse range of musical styles and both ballets contain some gorgeous lyrical slow sections.

For The Golden Age, there are three recordings of the complete ballet: Rozhdestvensky/Chandos, Simonov/Russian Disc, and Serebrier/Naxos. The Serebrier recording edges out Rozhdestvensky, but I have not heard Simonov's performance. For The Bolt, the only complete recording that I know of is Rozhdestvensky's. Hopefully, Serebrier will record this one too. He'd do really well with it.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 11, 2012, 05:45:23 AM
The one I am hankerin’ for is «Новый Вавилон».
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 14, 2012, 09:56:04 AM
The one I am hankerin’ for is «Новый Вавилон».

New Babylon? Wasn't there a new release on Naxos of the complete film score? That might be interesting...
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on January 16, 2012, 11:17:22 AM

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B004YZF09S.01.L.jpg)
D. Shostakovich / R. Schhedrin
Piano Concertos no.1 & 2 / no.5
D.Matsuev / V.Gergiev / Mariinsky Orchestra
Mariinsky Live SACD
(http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B004YZF09S/goodmusicguide-20)
(Interestingly the second time Matsuev has recorded Schhedrin's 5th PC; the last time on Sony with Mariss Jansons (oop).)

Very good recording. Can't say I'm a Matsuev fan, nor particularly often fond of Gergiev -- but this is terrific. Better, me thinks (without direct comparison), than the Helmchen-Jurowski-LPO release I praised as being among the best of 2011. http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/12/best-recordings-of-2011-1-10.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/12/best-recordings-of-2011-1-10.html)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 16, 2012, 02:41:11 PM
Bought these Shostakovich recordings the other day:

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000HOL666.01.L.jpg) (http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B002G1TSBS.01.L.jpg)

(http://www.naxos.com/sharedfiles/images/cds/hires/BIS-CD-973-74.jpg) (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/sept99/shos7BIS.jpg)

(http://www.classicalarchives.com/images/coverart/9/2/c/e/7318599914831_300.jpg) (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2007/Nov07/Shostakovich_9_12_bissacd1563.jpg)

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Top0_xZayDU/TO8eicywyQI/AAAAAAAAEb4/dsC5zRgIb5Y/s1600/Shostakovich%2BSym%2B11%2BWigglesworth.jpg) (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2001/Sept01/Shostakovich14_Wigglesworth.jpg)

(http://www.classicalarchives.com/images/coverart/9/1/3/1/7318599915531_300.jpg)

I'm real excited to hear these Wigglesworth recordings as I've heard good things about them. Anyone familar with them? Also, the film music is of particular interest to me as well.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on January 16, 2012, 03:26:09 PM

I'm real excited to hear these Wigglesworth recordings as I've heard good things about them. Anyone familar with them? Also, the film music is of particular interest to me as well.

I have Wiggle-8, 9, 12.

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/01/shostakovichs-eighth-symphony.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/01/shostakovichs-eighth-symphony.html)
Hum-ho...
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 16, 2012, 03:34:15 PM
I have Wiggle-8, 9, 12.

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/01/shostakovichs-eighth-symphony.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/01/shostakovichs-eighth-symphony.html)
Hum-ho...

I'm excited about the Wigglesworth and get a British slant on Shostakovich. I've never been too impressed with Gergiev's Shostakovich recordings, but have you heard his newer recordings on the Mariinsky label?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on January 16, 2012, 03:38:18 PM
I'm excited about the Wigglesworth and get a British slant on Shostakovich. I've never been too impressed with Gergiev's Shostakovich recordings, but have you heard his newer recordings on the Mariinsky label?

Yes. Was underwhelmed by the "War Symphonies" on Philips, for the most part... except for the 5/9 coupling. Not particularly impressed by the new ones, either, but not found them particularly lacking, either. Ho-humm again.
:-) Nor his DSCH-live so far. http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/11/gergievs-munich-shostakovich-symphonies.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/11/gergievs-munich-shostakovich-symphonies.html)
But then Gergiev is unpredictable... and just when you expect a dud, he comes up with a real hit.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 16, 2012, 04:21:08 PM
But then Gergiev is unpredictable... and just when you expect a dud, he comes up with a real hit.

Which is why I never paid much attention to him --- unpredictable. I look for consistency in conducting.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 16, 2012, 06:48:38 PM
Just bought:



I still have my eye on the Kondrashin and Caetani.

I now have the following cycles: Kitajenko, Haitink, Barshai, Jansons, Rostropovich, Ashkenazy, and now M. Shostakovich

Missing: Kondrashin, Rozhdestvensky, Caetani
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 17, 2012, 11:33:59 AM
I'm not sure if this has been asked, but what are your top 10 favorite works by Shosty?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on January 17, 2012, 11:54:36 AM
I'm not sure if this has been asked, but what are your top 10 favorite works by Shosty?
In no particular order*:

1. Symphony #10
2. Violin Concerto #1
3. Lady Macbeth of the Mstensk District
4. Cello Concerto #1
5.  String Quartert #13
6. Execution of Stepin Razin
7. Piano Trio #2 in E Minor
8. Suite on Words of Michelangelo
9. Symphony #7
10. Violin Concerto #2

*Subject to Change
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 17, 2012, 12:10:05 PM
In no particular order*:

1. Symphony #10
2. Violin Concerto #1
3. Lady Macbeth of the Mstensk District
4. Cello Concerto #1
5.  String Quartert #13
6. Execution of Stepin Razin
7. Piano Trio #2 in E Minor
8. Suite on Words of Michelangelo
9. Symphony #7
10. Violin Concerto #2

*Subject to Change

I have yet to listen to The Execution of Stepin Razin. I hope to change this very soon. Lady Macbeth is great. Haven't listened to Piano Trio No. 2 yet, but of Shosty's chamber works I really like his Piano Quintet. I like all of the concerti but really need to revisit the ones for cello as it's been too long since I listened to them. Symphony No. 7 is an interesting choice. I like the work but it hasn't completely won me over yet. What is it about this symphony that you enjoy?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 17, 2012, 12:24:10 PM
I'm not sure if this has been asked, but what are your top 10 favorite works by Shosty?

1. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk
2. Symphony #4
3. Symphony #9
4. Symphony #15
5. String Quartet #7
6. String Quartet #15
7: Cello Concerto #2
8. Violin Concerto #1
9. Viola Sonata op.147
10. 24 Preludes and Fugues


Sarge
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on January 17, 2012, 12:32:57 PM
I have yet to listen to The Execution of Stepin Razin. I hope to change this very soon. Lady Macbeth is great. Haven't listening to Piano Trio No. 2 yet, but of Shosty's chamber works I really like his Piano Quintet. I like all of the concerti but really need to revisit the ones for cello as it's been too long since I listened to them. Symphony No. 7 is an interesting choice. I like the work but it hasn't completely won me over yet. What is it about this symphony that you enjoy?
Some of my choices are changeable with other works, and sometimes are captive to what I am listening to....

But the 7th, I find that the 3rd movement is one of the most beautiful movements in his music, especially with the form, sort of ABA, where the first section is very calm, beautiful,  where the 2nd section is hectic. 

I may be alone on this, but I love the first movement, specifically the march theme, and when it gets out of that theme.  I just think there's something magical about that part, even though it is Bolero-like (Though done much better than Bolero, IMO), as it gets to the point of tension with being a bit of annoyance, there's just something I really like about that section.

And the transition between the third and fourth movements......
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 17, 2012, 12:42:51 PM
Some of my choices are changeable with other works, and sometimes are captive to what I am listening to....

But the 7th, I find that the 3rd movement is one of the most beautiful movements in his music, especially with the form, sort of ABA, where the first section is very calm, beautiful,  where the 2nd section is hectic. 

I may be alone on this, but I love the first movement, specifically the march theme, and when it gets out of that theme.  I just think there's something magical about that part, even though it is Bolero-like (Though done much better than Bolero, IMO), as it gets to the point of tension with being a bit of annoyance, there's just something I really like about that section.

And the transition between the third and fourth movements......

Yeah, I like third movement is quite beautiful I agree. The first movement is very cool and, yes, it outdoes Bolero, which I never have liked. Good to read your comments. I always found the first movement of the 6th especially moving, especially towards the end. Quite a contrast to the 5th, which is what Shosty wanted.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on January 17, 2012, 12:45:31 PM
Yeah, I like third movement is quite beautiful I agree. The first movement is very cool and, yes, it outdoes Bolero, which I never have liked. Good to read your comments. I always found the first movement of the 6th especially moving, especially towards the end. Quite a contrast to the 5th, which is what Shosty wanted.
On the Bernstein DVD of the 6th, he describes the first movement as a sort of sequel to Tchaik 6.  Interesting comparison there.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 17, 2012, 12:47:00 PM
On the Bernstein DVD of the 6th, he describes the first movement as a sort of sequel to Tchaik 6.  Interesting comparison there.

Hmmm...I need that DVD! (going to buy immediately)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on January 17, 2012, 12:48:57 PM
Much same as Sarge's; in no order

 Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk
 Symphony #4
 Symphony #9
 Symphony #15
 String Quartet #1
 String Quartet #3
 String Quartet #11
 24 Preludes and Fugues
 Piano Trio #2
 Piano Concerto No.2
 [Something obvious I'm probably overlooking right now.]
 
On the Bernstein DVD of the 6th, he describes the first movement as a sort of sequel to Tchaik 6.  Interesting comparison there.

Not that that even helped a lick in my 'getting' the Sixth... :-)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 17, 2012, 01:06:03 PM
String Quartet #3

Almost made my list.

Sarge
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: DavidW on January 17, 2012, 04:43:04 PM
Much same as Sarge's;

Neither of you like the 10th symphony!?  One of the greatest symphonies of the 20th century!?! :o
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 17, 2012, 05:01:06 PM
Neither of you like the 10th symphony!?  One of the greatest symphonies of the 20th century!?! :o

Why do you find this so strange? I personally love the 10th, but I think, to be honest, every Shostakvoich symphony is worth hearing and some many, many times over. :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on January 17, 2012, 05:10:44 PM
DavidW: but choosing only ten Shosty works is so hard!

Piano Concerto No.2

I'm glad someone else is showing a little love for this piece! It's so miniature and so light on the surface that it easily gets lost amid the profundity of the rest...

...that said, my current eight are...
Symphonies 6, 9, 10
String Quartet 8
Cello Concerto 1
Piano Concerto 2
24 Preludes and Fugues
Piano Quintet

I can't post a top ten yet because I have yet to hear many of the quartets, half the symphonies (still to go: 2-4, 8, 12-15), and Lady Macbeth, though I saw a scene of Lady on YouTube and thought it was astonishing.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 17, 2012, 05:19:34 PM
I can't post a top ten yet because I have yet to hear half the symphonies (still to go: 2-4, 8, 12-15)

Wow, you've got a lot of listening to do then. Symphony No. 8 is an astonishing work. This should be the next symphony you hear, Brian. But I warn you, it's quite ominus and brooding, but not without it's moments of radiant light. The first movement alone contains some of the most haunting music Shostakovich has ever written.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: DavidW on January 17, 2012, 05:28:38 PM
DavidW: but choosing only ten Shosty works is so hard!

Yeah I'll try myself but I think my list will be rubbish because I don't really have all of his works firmly in mind:

1. Symphony 10
2. Symphony 8
3. Symphony 5
4. String Quartet 8
5. Piano Quintet
6. Viola Sonata
7. String Quartet 13
8. Violin Concerto 2
9. Jazz Suite 2
10. Cello Concerto 1
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: DavidW on January 17, 2012, 05:30:46 PM
Wow, you've got a lot of listening to do then. Symphony No. 8 is an astonishing work. This should be the next symphony you hear, Brian. But I warn you, it's quite ominus and brooding, but not without it's moments of radiant light. The first movement alone contains some of the most haunting music Shostakovich has ever written.

Awesome!  Good to find another symphony #8 lover.  It took me awhile to crack that nut but it became one of my favorite symphonies when I did.  I think Mravinsky got me into that.  I like it even more than the 5th!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 17, 2012, 05:51:58 PM
Awesome!  Good to find another symphony #8 lover.  It took me awhile to crack that nut but it became one of my favorite symphonies when I did.  I think Mravinsky got me into that.  I like it even more than the 5th!

Yeah, it's a great symphony. I'm trying to remember the first performance of the 8th I heard and I think it may have been either Barshai or Haitink. I can't remember, but back then it was a very difficult listen for me because of it's dark, repressed mood, but now I think it's one of the most brilliant symphonies I've heard. I guess it took listening to Pettersson's 7th and Berg's Three Pieces for Orchestra and Violin Concerto to come to fully appreciate it. 8)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on January 17, 2012, 05:59:15 PM
I like it even more than the 5th!

Hmm, I like 6, 9, and 10 more than the 5th!

I do have a complete cycle (Barshai) and V. Petrenko's 8th as well. I think I have Previn's 4th around, too.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 17, 2012, 06:01:27 PM
Hmm, I like 6, 9, and 10 more than the 5th!

I do have a complete cycle (Barshai) and V. Petrenko's 8th as well. I think I have Previn's 4th around, too.

What's taking you so long to listen to the 8th? My goodness man quit talking and start listening!!! :D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on January 17, 2012, 06:11:46 PM
Awesome!  Good to find another symphony #8 lover.  It took me awhile to crack that nut but it became one of my favorite symphonies when I did.  I think Mravinsky got me into that.  I like it even more than the 5th!
the 8th is consistently of the rotation of what is my second favorite Shostakovich statement :D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: DavidW on January 17, 2012, 09:09:20 PM
the 8th is consistently of the rotation of what is my second favorite Shostakovich statement :D

Awesome! :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 18, 2012, 03:54:35 AM
Neither of you like the 10th symphony!?  One of the greatest symphonies of the 20th century!?! :o

I like about 50% of it. Love the Allegro but the Moderato opening movement bores me to death. The last two movements have their moments but not enough to sway me. I have no trouble with your description of the symphony. After the Fifth, it's probably his most popular symphony. Even conductors who don't normally conduct much Shosty (like Karajan) have recorded it. The work is respected. It just happens to be one of those masterpieces that, for some reason, fails to hold my interest. I keep trying though. I have eight Tenths in my collection, including the newish Petrenko. Maybe one day it will click. I'll listen again this morning.

Awesome!  Good to find another symphony #8 lover.

I love it too. It was one of my picks in the symphony poll (4, 8, 9, 14, 15). It doesn't make my top ten here because there is so much more to Shostakovich. I'm fascinated, haunted by, actually, the music he wrote at the end of his life: the Violin and Viola Sonatas, the last quartets, the final symphonies.

Sarge
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 18, 2012, 05:29:30 AM
DavidW: but choosing only ten Shosty works is so hard!

This.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 18, 2012, 05:34:44 AM
This.

True. It is much easier for me to pick, say, my two least favorite Shostakovich symphonies than pick two favorites.

Sarge
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 18, 2012, 05:36:18 AM
. . . I think I have Previn's 4th around, too.

Mmm, with Chicago? That's a sentimental fave of mine.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 18, 2012, 05:36:54 AM
True. It is much easier for me to pick, say, my two least favorite Shostakovich symphonies than pick two favorites.

Again, you speak sooth, Sarge.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 18, 2012, 05:39:52 AM
I am astonied that the opening movement of the Tenth eludes you, Sarge! We can still be mates, of course . . . but I cain't figger it . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 18, 2012, 05:45:40 AM
I am astonied that the opening movement of the Tenth eludes you, Sarge! We can still be mates, of course . . . but I cain't figger it . . . .

I can't figure it out either, Karl. I have no trouble with most other long, relatively slow Shostakovich movements. Why the Tenth eludes me, bores me for most of its length, is a puzzle. It did go better today. My mind wandered less than usual. Perhaps it's finally growing on me. As always, the end of the symphony had me grinning (in pleasure)...and not only because the symphony was finally over  ;D

Sarge
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on January 18, 2012, 05:49:28 AM
I'm not sure if this has been asked, but what are your top 10 favorite works by Shosty?
Very likely it has been asked :). Top 4:

1: Symphony No. 11 and No. 5, I cannot decide. Ending of mvmt. 1 of Sym. 5 is a fucking masterpiece.
3: Symphony No. 8
4: SQ8

... Symphony No. 10 ranking...somewhere... Not so extreme love for it like others...
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 18, 2012, 05:57:34 AM
. . . Why the Tenth eludes me, bores me for most of its length, is a puzzle.

Please, tell me it's not the long-breathed clarinet solos! ; )
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: edward on January 18, 2012, 09:34:56 AM
As someone who's a bit more DSCH-agnostic than many here, there are still a few works that for me stand out (mostly late ones):

Symphony #4, for the way it takes off from where Mahler left off, has the 'wow' factor but plenty to say that is less obvious.
Cello Concerto #2; easily my favourite of the concerti, at least in part due to its refusal to give easy answers to the questions it poses.
The 12th string quartet's incredible sense of purpose, and ultimately defiant ending ring very true to me.
And of course the 15th symphony, enigmatic and dark, yet witty, and again avoiding easy answers.

However, if there's a single DSCH work I have to take, it'd have to be the 14th symphony--surely one of the few 20th century works of its kind to stand with Das Lied von der Erde. It does seem to sum up Shostakovich's vocal world well; the obvious influences of Mahler, Mussorgsky, Berg and Britten are fully synthesised together (with a few finishing touches from DSCH's own students). I don't find the completely bleak nature of the work problematical, as some critics do; indeed I find its emotional narrative most compelling: the gloom of the first two songs broken up by the dramatic nature of Lorelei; the first four Apollinaire settings building up a claustrophobic atmosphere that explodes into the rage of The Zaphorozian Cossacks' reply to the Sultan, followed by consolation in O Delvig, Delvig, acceptance in The Poet's Death and ... well, I'm not sure what in the last movement.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 18, 2012, 07:21:11 PM
...there is so much more to Shostakovich.

Amen brother. I've been trying to tell all you guys to listen to The Bolt and The Golden Age, but, as usual, nobody listens to me. :) I think, in the ballet tradition, these are really fine works. They contain some just really gorgeous music and, of course, some of that great Shostakovich panache.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 23, 2012, 11:35:25 PM
Well it looks like our resident Scots John has purchased the Haitink Shostakovich set. I think he's going to love it! As I told him, the performances of the 5th, 8th, and 11th are still some of the best I've heard on record. I like Haitink's 6th and 9th a lot too. Great cycle. If this doesn't make a Shostakovich fan out of John, I don't know what will! 8)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 02, 2012, 06:07:34 PM
I've been digging my through this set:

(http://store.acousticsounds.com/images/large/CART_47850_SA__36567__01152009115243-1982.jpg)

When I first read about this set, I was pretty skeptical of how a Swiss conductor of Ukranian/Italian descent was going to handle Shostakovich's symphonies, then I read that he is the son of famous conductor/composer Igor Markevitch and after I read this, I became a little more interested. One of the oddest things about this set is that Caetani is conducting an Italian orchestra: the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi. But all of my doubts were cast aside when I heard the 6th from this set. All I have to say is it's outstanding and the playing from this orchestra is awesome. This orchestra may not be the Berliners or Concertgebouw, but it's playing is especially fine.

Those looking for another Shostakovich symphony cycle, then look no further. This one is definitely a keeper!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on February 02, 2012, 06:47:58 PM
I've heard good things about this but am waiting for a bargain issue :(
This same orchestra recorded the chamber symphonies under Barshai, though I suspect the audio is nowhere near the current release.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 02, 2012, 06:54:04 PM
I've heard good things about this but am waiting for a bargain issue :(
This same orchestra recorded the chamber symphonies under Barshai, though I suspect the audio is nowhere near the current release.

Yeah, I bought this set for $70 I believe, which was the cheapest I've seen it. If you wait around awhile, the price could come down. The set is expensive, but look at what some box sets are going for (i. e. Wagner Ring sets). :o
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 02, 2012, 07:38:53 PM
This is incredibly moving...Bernstein at his finest:

http://www.youtube.com/v/LpsfTdB4TCI&feature=related
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on February 03, 2012, 09:56:28 AM
Haitink+Concertgebouw are really great with Symphonies Nos. 11 (my favorite #11) and 8, but someone mentioned #5. Well, I don't like it. Especially when it comes to the endings of the first and last movement, the tempi are just - strange. Too variable, to insanely fast, also I recognized some instruments entering not exactly at the right time. No - Sanderling/BSO rocks.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 03, 2012, 08:43:47 PM
Haitink+Concertgebouw are really great with Symphonies Nos. 11 (my favorite #11) and 8, but someone mentioned #5. Well, I don't like it. Especially when it comes to the endings of the first and last movement, the tempi are just - strange. Too variable, to insanely fast, also I recognized some instruments entering not exactly at the right time. No - Sanderling/BSO rocks.

I happen to like the Haitink 5th recording. One of the most moving Largo movements on record. Haitink was not just good in the 8th and 11th. I think he nailed the 2nd, 6th, and 9th too. My favorite 10th is still Rattle/CBSO. Karajan's is great too. I actually really liked Kitajenko's too. Everybody has their preferences though.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: nesf on February 04, 2012, 04:55:53 PM
So CC No. 2 is very interesting. I'd like to know a bit more about the many things going on in it, where do I start reading? :D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: KeithW on February 05, 2012, 03:35:51 AM
So CC No. 2 is very interesting. I'd like to know a bit more about the many things going on in it, where do I start reading? :D

Depends what you have access to, and how much you want to read.  Grove is generally a good starting point, but it can be pricey if you don't have access through a good library (the online is much better than the old print version).

Otherwise, dig around on the Web.  A number of record companies make their CD booklets freely available - Hyperion is very good on this score, as are a number of record companies that sell through services like eclassical.com and theclassicalshop.net - try this to get an idea: http://www.theclassicalshop.net/download_booklet.aspx?file=CHAN%205093.pdf (http://www.theclassicalshop.net/download_booklet.aspx?file=CHAN%205093.pdf) 

Look out for concert programme notes on the web too - this is becoming very common - for example: http://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/?fuseaction=composition&composition_id=3749 (http://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/?fuseaction=composition&composition_id=3749)

And closer to home, some expert analysis is available at http://www.good-music-guide.com/reviews/104-shostakovich-cello.htm (http://www.good-music-guide.com/reviews/104-shostakovich-cello.htm)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: nesf on February 05, 2012, 06:34:42 AM
Thank you. I assume the Concise Grove isn't worth a damn for this kind of stuff outside of the most major composers?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: KeithW on February 05, 2012, 11:37:41 AM
Thank you. I assume the Concise Grove isn't worth a damn for this kind of stuff outside of the most major composers?

My general advice with concise stuff is that it depends on your starting knowledge base, how much detail you want and how much you expect your interest to grow in the future.  My recollection is that the new edition of Grove came out around ten years ago - in 20 or so volumes - but that the latest concise Grove was quite a few years before then.  In other words, the latest Grove concise preceded the current full work.  If you really want the concise Grove, go for it - it is reasonably priced - but be aware of the date.

There are other options for the concise approach, especially if you are happy with a Kindle edition.  I bought the 5 volume Oxford history of western music for the Kindle - a bargain at around GBP30 from the UK Kindle store.  Much lighter than the five volumes which come in at around 3,500 pages in print!



You can also look at individual volumes of the full Cambridge or Oxford histories - perhaps the 20th century Cambridge if you really want to read up on that period.  But they tend to be print only, and not cheap.  I'd really advise looking at a selection of these in a library or bookstore before investing too much cash.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: nesf on February 05, 2012, 12:19:33 PM
My general advice with concise stuff is that it depends on your starting knowledge base, how much detail you want and how much you expect your interest to grow in the future.  My recollection is that the new edition of Grove came out around ten years ago - in 20 or so volumes - but that the latest concise Grove was quite a few years before then.  In other words, the latest Grove concise preceded the current full work.  If you really want the concise Grove, go for it - it is reasonably priced - but be aware of the date.

There are other options for the concise approach, especially if you are happy with a Kindle edition.  I bought the 5 volume Oxford history of western music for the Kindle - a bargain at around GBP30 from the UK Kindle store.  Much lighter than the five volumes which come in at around 3,500 pages in print!



You can also look at individual volumes of the full Cambridge or Oxford histories - perhaps the 20th century Cambridge if you really want to read up on that period.  But they tend to be print only, and not cheap.  I'd really advise looking at a selection of these in a library or bookstore before investing too much cash.

Hmm, unfortunately Irish people have to use the US store which isn't so favourably priced for that set. Still the set is less than £60 in hardcopy on .co.uk which is reasonable enough for reference set (we've 3 bookshelves filled with academic books/dictionaries/etc here so such prices are not alien to me, I've paid *far* more for a single volume in the past). Unfortunately my local bookstores here are pretty poor when it comes to music (and other specialist interests). Thanks for the recommendations though, I'll download some samples from the Kindle store to get a feel for the writing style etc.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 14, 2012, 08:47:19 PM
Haitink+Concertgebouw are really great with Symphonies Nos. 11 (my favorite #11) and 8, but someone mentioned #5. Well, I don't like it. Especially when it comes to the endings of the first and last movement, the tempi are just - strange. Too variable, to insanely fast, also I recognized some instruments entering not exactly at the right time. No - Sanderling/BSO rocks.

I would go so far as to say Bernstein's 1979 performance of the 5th is now my favorite of them all. Everything is just right or at least sounds right to me. The Largo is so emotional and deeply felt that it has made me question previous favorites of mine.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 16, 2012, 08:38:27 AM
WAHOOO!!! JUST BOUGHT MY NINTH SHOSTAKOVICH SYMPHONY CYCLE!!!!


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41ITXXeJpaL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Bought this set for $57 + shipping. A far cry from the $100+ price tag! Can't wait to hear these legendary performances!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 16, 2012, 08:41:49 AM
That is an excellent price. I forget now just what I paid for it . . . might have been $79 incl. shipping.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 16, 2012, 08:45:54 AM
That is an excellent price. I forget now just what I paid for it . . . might have been $79 incl. shipping.

That's a good price too, Karl.

Yeah, it really is a great price and Kondrashin's cycle was one of the only ones I was missing. To those who don't have it, there are two listings on Amazon for this set. The import listing is the one for $57 from an Amazon MP seller.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: DavidW on February 16, 2012, 11:11:20 AM
That is an excellent price. I forget now just what I paid for it . . . might have been $79 incl. shipping.

That was exactly what I paid for mine... was yours Aulos too?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 16, 2012, 11:17:38 AM
No, the 11-disc Melodia box.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on February 16, 2012, 04:49:18 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41ITXXeJpaL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Bought this set for $57 + shipping. A far cry from the $100+ price tag! Can't wait to hear these legendary performances!

And in terrible sound! ;)

I have the Venezia issue, which I think is now OOP.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: edward on February 16, 2012, 07:09:48 PM
And in terrible sound! ;)
It's a Melodiya recording: can't expect anything else. ;)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 16, 2012, 07:34:33 PM
And in terrible sound! ;)

I have the Venezia issue, which I think is now OOP.

Well it's my ninth Shostakovich symphony cycle. Kondrashin and Rozhdestvensky were the ones I was missing. Now, I'm only missing one. 8)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: edward on February 16, 2012, 07:46:12 PM
Well it's my ninth Shostakovich symphony cycle. Kondrashin and Rozhdestvensky were the ones I was missing. Now, I'm only missing one. 8)
With those two, I'd say you might have saved (performance-wise; most definitely not sonically) the best for last.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 16, 2012, 07:59:10 PM
With those two, I'd say you might have saved (performance-wise; most definitely not sonically) the best for last.

:D Ha! I've been wanting the Kondrashin for a long time, but it I never saw it for a decent price. The Rozhdestvensky is another one that's just really expensive. Hopefully, I'll see it for a good price at some point. I would like to pickup Rozhdestvensky's Prokofiev symphony cycle at some point too since I already own most of his Prokofiev ballet recordings.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on February 16, 2012, 08:16:22 PM
With those two, I'd say you might have saved (performance-wise; most definitely not sonically) the best for last.

I'm afraid I found Rozhdestvensky's cycle strangely underwhelming for the most part. Not as hardbitten as Kondrashin, that's for sure.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 16, 2012, 08:22:42 PM
I'm afraid I found Rozhdestvensky's cycle strangely underwhelming for the most part. Not as hardbitten as Kondrashin, that's for sure.

What cycles do you own, eyeresist?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on February 16, 2012, 09:00:22 PM
What cycles do you own, eyeresist?

Kondrashin
Mravinsky (incomplete)
Jansons
Barshai
Rozhdestvensky
Slovak (it was cheap!)

- in order of preference. I think that's all of them. I always give preference to the Russians.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 16, 2012, 09:08:22 PM
Kondrashin
Mravinsky (incomplete)
Jansons
Barshai
Rozhdestvensky
Slovak (it was cheap!)

- in order of preference. I think that's all of them. I always give preference to the Russians.

I'm surprised you don't own Haitink's set. I think he's an excellent Shostakovich conductor. Much better than I thought he was going to be. Kitajenko and Caetani are also quite good. My preference for these two (Kitajenko/Caetani) goes to Caetani who I think plays with more gusto and passion. I think Kitajenko did an excellent job with the 2nd, 8th, 11th, and 14th though. Caetani does a remarkable job with the 6th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 15th. No cycle is perfect though. They all have flaws, but I'm really impressed with Caetani both performance-wise and audio quality. Kitajenko's cycle sounds remarkably good too, but I think Caetani's Italian forces have a more remarkable string section with a darker tone.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on February 16, 2012, 09:19:44 PM
I know Haitink has a good reputation in this music, but based on my limited experience he is not for me. I have a disc of him in the 5th and 9th - great playing and sound, but I felt the 5th lacked drive. I just want something more manic, more hysterical, more tasteless in these symphonies (the other works are a separate case). Is this a limited view? Maybe....

I will acquire further cycles when the opportunity presents.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 16, 2012, 09:23:44 PM
I know Haitink has a good reputation in this music, but based on my limited experience he is not for me. I have a disc of him in the 5th and 9th - great playing and sound, but I felt the 5th lacked drive. I just want something more manic, more hysterical, more tasteless in these symphonies (the other works are a separate case). Is this a limited view? Maybe....

I will acquire further cycles when the opportunity presents.

Haitink's 8th and 11th are some of the best around IMHO. I also really dig his 2nd and 6th. I agree that his 5th isn't that great, especially after hearing Bernstein's 1979 performance with the New York Philharmonic. Haitink sounds uninspired by comparison. Yes, I think just hearing Haitink's 5th and 9th gives you a limited view of his overall cycle especially considering those are two of the weakest performances of the whole cycle.

I listened to some of Jansons's cycle last week and it almost made me want to throw the box set through the window! I really hate that cycle. I got it for free so I can't complain, but still I mean talk about uninspired....
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on February 16, 2012, 11:56:36 PM
I listened to some of Jansons's cycle last week and it almost made me want to throw the box set through the window! I really hate that cycle. I got it for free so I can't complain, but still I mean talk about uninspired....

Oh, feel free to complain, it's what we're here for :D

Yes, I think this set was discussed earlier, which I guess convinced you to get it. As I said then, I thought 1, 9, 10 and 15 were good, but the rest insipid.  Maybe give the numbers I mentioned another go some time (unless they were the ones you especially hated).
 
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 17, 2012, 04:29:16 AM
Oh not the Eighth! Jansons' Eighth with Pittsburgh is mighty fine
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: TheGSMoeller on February 17, 2012, 05:05:48 AM
Haitink's 8th and 11th are some of the best around IMHO. I also really dig his 2nd and 6th. I agree that his 5th isn't that great, especially after hearing Bernstein's 1979 performance with the New York Philharmonic. Haitink sounds uninspired by comparison. Yes, I think just hearing Haitink's 5th and 9th gives you a limited view of his overall cycle especially considering those are two of the weakest performances of the whole cycle.

I listened to some of Jansons's cycle last week and it almost made me want to throw the box set through the window! I really hate that cycle. I got it for free so I can't complain, but still I mean talk about uninspired....


Wait! Ill be in Atlanta in 2 weeks, then you can throw it out of the window!!! I'll catch it!!  ;D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 17, 2012, 05:19:19 AM
 Quote from: edward on February 16, 2012, 11:09:48 PM (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic=164.msg602232#msg602232)
It's a Melodiya recording: can't expect anything else. ;)
 
It's a fair cop.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 17, 2012, 05:23:13 AM
 Quote from: eyeresist on Today at 01:19:44 AM (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic=164.msg602255#msg602255)
. . . I just want something more manic, more hysterical, more tasteless in these symphonies . . . .
 
It was your word, mate . . . just wanted to observe that (a) I don't believe that Shostakovich is at all well served with a tasteless interpretational bent, and (b) "more manic, more hysterical, more tasteless" is just exactly what he was not trying to achieve with the Fifth, as it is just exactly what would have got him packed onto a cattle car headed east into Siberia.

If you've not noted afore, I am profoundly out of sympathy with any demand for lurid Shostakovich interpretation. Strikes me as little better than voyeurism.  YMMV . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 17, 2012, 08:04:42 AM
Oh, feel free to complain, it's what we're here for :D

Yes, I think this set was discussed earlier, which I guess convinced you to get it. As I said then, I thought 1, 9, 10 and 15 were good, but the rest insipid.  Maybe give the numbers I mentioned another go some time (unless they were the ones you especially hated).

I've owned the Jansons set for a couple of years, so any discussion we've had about it was prior to me purchasing it. Yeah, I remember going to through the whole cycle and not being taken by it. I listened to the 5th and 6th last week and it kind of put me in a bad mood because I was just disappointed. But I'll listen to the 8th, which Karl recommends, and I'll listen to the 10th, maybe these performances will shake off some of that negative residue I've had for many years regarding this set.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 17, 2012, 08:08:18 AM
Yes, that Tenth with the Phila Orchestra is one of my favorite recordings of the piece, John.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 17, 2012, 08:09:28 AM

Wait! Ill be in Atlanta in 2 weeks, then you can throw it out of the window!!! I'll catch it!!  ;D

 :P

The only problem is I don't live in Atlanta, Greg. I just use Atlanta as a point of reference when somebody from out of state or in another country asks me where I'm from. I'm actually 45 miles NE of Atlanta.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 17, 2012, 08:10:26 AM
Yes, that Tenth with the Phila Orchestra is one of my favorite recordings of the piece, John.

I like the Philadelphia Orchestra a lot. I'll give this one a fresh listen in due time. Thanks my friend.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: TheGSMoeller on February 17, 2012, 09:47:43 AM
:P

The only problem is I don't live in Atlanta, Greg. I just use Atlanta as a point of reference when somebody from out of state or in another country asks me where I'm from. I'm actually 45 miles NE of Atlanta.


Then throw it far!!  ;D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 17, 2012, 09:50:48 AM
. . . a long, long way to run . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: TheGSMoeller on February 17, 2012, 09:54:37 AM
:P

The only problem is I don't live in Atlanta, Greg. I just use Atlanta as a point of reference when somebody from out of state or in another country asks me where I'm from. I'm actually 45 miles NE of Atlanta.


And same here, I'll be in Tyrone, GA which is about 25 miles south of ATL.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 17, 2012, 10:01:33 AM
Well, some day you'll meet in the middle and hear some live Henningmusick.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: TheGSMoeller on February 17, 2012, 10:07:21 AM
Well, some day you'll meet in the middle and hear some live Henningmusick.

I really hope this happens, Karl. I enjoy nothing more than "live" performances and would be thrilled to see Henningmusick.

Just don't be disappointed when you realize I'm really not a sock monkey  :o
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 17, 2012, 12:00:36 PM

And same here, I'll be in Tyrone, GA which is about 25 miles south of ATL.

I've never been to Tyrone, GA sad to say, so I'm not sure what I'm missing or not missing. :)

Karl, if you're ever down in GA let me know, we'll have to arrange some time to hang out with each other. Do you like aquariums? Atlanta has the Georgia Aquarium which is home to some exotic and not-so-exotic animals. Oh and Greg can come too! ;) :D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 17, 2012, 12:07:39 PM
I like aquaria, sounds like fun even if Greg is not really a sock monkey . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 17, 2012, 12:23:42 PM
I like aquaria, sounds like fun even if Greg is not really a sock monkey . . . .

 :P
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 17, 2012, 09:45:50 PM
Bought this (Gergiev, 5 CD set) for $29 + shipping through Arkivmusic (first time using their site):

(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-fQnm-r7zLX8/Tfjq4MJUJcI/AAAAAAAAB00/9Lomb5fWkpc/s1600/Front%252843%2529.jpg)

I'm not a big Gergiev fan, as everybody knows, but I couldn't pass on this great offer.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: kishnevi on February 18, 2012, 06:39:02 PM
Bought this (Gergiev, 5 CD set) for $29 + shipping through Arkivmusic (first time using their site):

(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-fQnm-r7zLX8/Tfjq4MJUJcI/AAAAAAAAB00/9Lomb5fWkpc/s1600/Front%252843%2529.jpg)

I'm not a big Gergiev fan, as everybody knows, but I couldn't pass on this great offer.

I have that series in the form of the original issues (as well as the Maryiinsky DSCH recordings), and the Fourth (which was both the first of the series I purchased and the first recording of the Fourth I ever heard) remains a particular favorite of mine.  I would in fact say it's the best performance in this set (his recording of the 11th is also good, but that's in the Maryiinsky series).
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 18, 2012, 08:11:40 PM
I have that series in the form of the original issues (as well as the Maryiinsky DSCH recordings), and the Fourth (which was both the first of the series I purchased and the first recording of the Fourth I ever heard) remains a particular favorite of mine.  I would in fact say it's the best performance in this set (his recording of the 11th is also good, but that's in the Maryiinsky series).

This is good to hear, Jeffrey. I've heard many negative things about Gergiev's Mariinsky Shostakovich recordings. I'm typically not a fan of Gergiev's approach to music these days, but I have been finding myself enjoying his earlier recordings more and more. I think his approach was broader in his earlier days. I look forward to hearing this set.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on February 18, 2012, 08:21:19 PM
This is good to hear, Jeffrey. I've heard many negative things about Gergiev's Mariinsky Shostakovich recordings. I'm typically not a fan of Gergiev's approach to music these days, but I have been finding myself enjoying his earlier recordings more and more. I think his approach was broader in his earlier days. I look forward to hearing this set.
I do like Gergiev's recording of The Nose though.

I also generally prefer him in operatic music anyways. 
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 18, 2012, 08:22:56 PM
I do like Gergiev's recording of The Nose though.

I also generally prefer him in operatic music anyways.

I should have been more specific. Yes, his recording of The Nose was very good.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on February 18, 2012, 08:27:52 PM
I should have been more specific. Yes, his recording of The Nose was very good.
I feel his operatic attempts are much stronger than his symphonic side in general though, in my opinion of course
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 18, 2012, 08:34:54 PM
I feel his operatic attempts are much stronger than his symphonic side in general though, in my opinion of course

I'm finding his later symphonic recordings to be incredibly unfocused and just not driven enough. I made the comment to one GMG member, I forget whom, that he just seems to be so busy these days that I think he's missing out on the big picture, which is to try and be consistently good. His performances lately just have been hit and miss, mostly all misses IMHO.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: kishnevi on February 19, 2012, 07:15:25 AM
This is good to hear, Jeffrey. I've heard many negative things about Gergiev's Mariinsky Shostakovich recordings. I'm typically not a fan of Gergiev's approach to music these days, but I have been finding myself enjoying his earlier recordings more and more. I think his approach was broader in his earlier days. I look forward to hearing this set.

just to clarify: while I like the Mariinsky recordings (The Nose is in transit to me now),  I still prefer the Rostropovich/LSO Live as the best I've heard for the 11th.  It's the performances of 2 and 3 that I think may qualify as the best performances of those works.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 19, 2012, 07:38:21 AM
just to clarify: while I like the Mariinsky recordings (The Nose is in transit to me now),  I still prefer the Rostropovich/LSO Live as the best I've heard for the 11th.  It's the performances of 2 and 3 that I think may qualify as the best performances of those works.

The 2nd is a very experimental work and the best recording I've heard of it is Haitink's believe it or not. Caetani is also very good in this symphony. I still have yet to hear any of Maxim Shostakovich's cycle which I bought months ago. :-[
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on February 19, 2012, 05:14:16 PM
Haitink's 8th and 11th are some of the best around IMHO. I also really dig his 2nd and 6th. I agree that his 5th isn't that great, especially after hearing Bernstein's 1979 performance with the New York Philharmonic. Haitink sounds uninspired by comparison. Yes, I think just hearing Haitink's 5th and 9th gives you a limited view of his overall cycle especially considering those are two of the weakest performances of the whole cycle.

I checked the Third Ear Guide over the weekend, and the reviewer seems to agree with this opinion, so I have added Haitink to the (long, long) list.


just wanted to observe that (a) I don't believe that Shostakovich is at all well served with a tasteless interpretational bent, and (b) "more manic, more hysterical, more tasteless" is just exactly what he was not trying to achieve with the Fifth, as it is just exactly what would have got him packed onto a cattle car headed east into Siberia.

If you've not noted afore, I am profoundly out of sympathy with any demand for lurid Shostakovich interpretation. Strikes me as little better than voyeurism.  YMMV . . . .


*mumble mumble* No wonder you hate Mahler!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on February 19, 2012, 06:32:58 PM

Mravinsky is sometimes accused of political cowardice or even personal betrayal for the fact that he didn't conduct the premiere of Shostakovich's 13th symphony. As is usual in these cases, there is no evidence to back these accusations. Nonetheless, I've been wondering over the years why Mravinsky didn't conduct the work.

I had theorised that Mrav had a personal aversion to choral work: the single choral work in his discography is Shosty's Song of the Forest, which Mrav premiered and recorded in 1949.

More recently I became curious about the chronology of the premiers and noticed that while Mrav conducted the first 12th in October 1961, the belated first performance of the 4th was given in December of that same year, not by Mrav but by Kondrashin. Since Mrav had conducted all but two premiers (7 and 11) since and including the 5th, is it possible he was angry at being overlooked for this important event, and refused the 13th for this reason?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: TheGSMoeller on February 20, 2012, 10:15:27 AM
(http://gregscottmoeller.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/dsch1.jpg?w=500&h=750)  (http://gregscottmoeller.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/dsch-2.jpg?w=500&h=750)


I posted this in "Pictures I Like" thread also, just in case some of you dont check that, I thought I would post it here also for you to enjoy.  :)
Was doing FaceTime with my brother, he was showing some of the score to DSCH's opera Moskva, Cheremushki, Op. 105, if you notice the second pic describes the t-bones to "make a horrible noise".
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Drasko on February 21, 2012, 03:03:56 AM
Mravinsky is sometimes accused of political cowardice or even personal betrayal for the fact that he didn't conduct the premiere of Shostakovich's 13th symphony. As is usual in these cases, there is no evidence to back these accusations. Nonetheless, I've been wondering over the years why Mravinsky didn't conduct the work.

I was curious about same questions you pose, but never could find anything resembling definite answer.
There definitely was political pressure about premiere of the 13th, two bass soloists backed out on the day of the performance and only third option, very little known Gromadsky sung it.
Kurt Sanderling, who knew Mravinsky very well, argued that if Mravinsky backed out under party pressure it wouldn't be because being afraid for himself (he already had openly defied the party on numerous questions, and they never really could touch him) but because being afraid of repercussions on other participants.
Gregor Tassie, author of only english language Mravinsky biography (which I haven't read) argues in an article in Gramophone that the reason was purely personal, namely that Mravinsky's wife was on her death bed at that time and that Mravinsky hasn't conducted much at all, let alone premieres of new pieces, even canceled some tours.
Is any of these views correct I have no idea.

Quote
I had theorised that Mrav had a personal aversion to choral work: the single choral work in his discography is Shosty's Song of the Forest, which Mrav premiered and recorded in 1949.

That's also something I noticed, lack of recordings of choral music is very prominent in Mravinsky's discography. But then I run across some of his concert listings on some Russian site. How much are those correct I can't tell but they do list a number of choral pieces he performed, including Beethoven's 9th and Missa Solemnis, Berlioz Requiem, Prokofiev's Nevsky.
So I came up with a different theory - Grand Hall of Leningrad Philharmonic is not very well suited for performances for orchestra and chorus. The stage is very shallow and to best of my knowledge the chorus has to be positioned on galleries above, left and right. That set-up is probably difficult to record live (back in those days), and since Mravinsky only allowed live recordings for most of his career he might not be satisfied with recording results and simply refused to record choral pieces.
But this is only just theory as well.

Quote
More recently I became curious about the chronology of the premiers and noticed that while Mrav conducted the first 12th in October 1961, the belated first performance of the 4th was given in December of that same year, not by Mrav but by Kondrashin. Since Mrav had conducted all but two premiers (7 and 11) since and including the 5th, is it possible he was angry at being overlooked for this important event, and refused the 13th for this reason?

I don't know much about the premiere of the 4th, but I doubt that was a reason.


 
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brewski on February 22, 2012, 01:03:32 PM
There's a very fine Shostakovich 11th Symphony available online until April 3, with Charles Dutoit and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (taped March 2010). Never quite warmed up to Dutoit in these symphonies, but heard him last year in the Tenth with Philadelphia (excellent) and now this, so...  Dutoit takes the ending slightly faster than I'd like, but the playing is outstanding.

http://cso.org/ListenAndWatch/Details.aspx?id=19621

--Bruce
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on February 22, 2012, 05:36:31 PM
Gregor Tassie, author of only english language Mravinsky biography (which I haven't read) argues in an article in Gramophone that the reason was purely personal, namely that Mravinsky's wife was on her death bed at that time and that Mravinsky hasn't conducted much at all, let alone premieres of new pieces, even canceled some tours.
Is any of these views correct I have no idea.

That's also something I noticed, lack of recordings of choral music is very prominent in Mravinsky's discography. But then I run across some of his concert listings on some Russian site. How much are those correct I can't tell but they do list a number of choral pieces he performed, including Beethoven's 9th and Missa Solemnis, Berlioz Requiem, Prokofiev's Nevsky.
This is very interesting, thank you.

Another oddity re Mrav not conducting the 4th: the orchestral parts, whose rediscovery led to the late debut performance, were actually found in the archives of the Leningrad Phil, which of course was Mravinsky's orchestra.

Could you link to that site of Mrav's live performances? I'd like to know if he ever conducted the 4th (no recording exists as far as I know).
Title: my long-serving three Shostakovich LP's
Post by: Scion7 on February 22, 2012, 06:04:54 PM
Sure, London Treasury US-New York pressings are pretty miserable.  And yeah, there are much better modern recordings of the London FFF albums that I have on CD.  The Karajan was a straight DDD so that was an easy transfer to CD.  Still, I will love these records!

(http://www.freeimagehosting.net/newuploads/eentl.jpg)   (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/newuploads/kqdy6.jpg)
(http://www.freeimagehosting.net/newuploads/d3npp.jpg)
Title: Re: my long-serving three Shostakovich LP's
Post by: Est.1965 on February 22, 2012, 06:10:52 PM
Sure, London Treasury US-New York pressings are pretty miserable.  And yeah, there are much better modern recordings of the London FFF albums that I have on CD.  The Karajan was a straight DDD so that was an easy transfer to CD.  Still, I will love these records!

Kertesz and Shostys 5th?  That sounds very interesting indeed.  I'd love to hear the Largo from that!
Title: Re: my long-serving three Shostakovich LP's
Post by: Mirror Image on February 22, 2012, 06:58:45 PM
Kertesz and Shostys 5th?  That sounds very interesting indeed.  I'd love to hear the Largo from that!

Me too! 8)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Drasko on February 23, 2012, 12:55:27 AM
Could you link to that site of Mrav's live performances? I'd like to know if he ever conducted the 4th (no recording exists as far as I know).

Sure, but it's in Cyrillic

http://www.mravinsky.org/pages/op-list.htm

I wrote down some:

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,11288.msg280443.html#msg280443
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 23, 2012, 07:55:30 AM
Heard the Fifth recently in Boston's Symphony Hall:

http://seenandheard-international.com/2012/02/22/stephane-deneve-returns-to-boston-symphony-orchestra/
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on February 23, 2012, 04:47:04 PM
Sure, but it's in Cyrillic

http://www.mravinsky.org/pages/op-list.htm

I wrote down some:

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,11288.msg280443.html#msg280443

Many thanks, Drasko!  According to the site (translated by Google), composers Mrav performed included A. Stomachs and M. Deaf.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Drasko on February 24, 2012, 01:38:57 AM
Many thanks, Drasko!  According to the site (translated by Google), composers Mrav performed included A. Stomachs and M. Deaf.

It's not badly translated actually

Живот (zhivot) = belly, stomach => A. Stomachs = А. Животов = Alexander Zhivotov (whose Heroic Poem Mravinsky did perform and record, 5th disc of Brilliant Classics box)

Глух (glukh) = deaf => M. Deaf = Михаил Александрович Глух = Mikhail Glukh (whose Suite Mravinsky performed once, and whose name is probably some russified version of German name Gluck rather than deaf in its original meaning)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 24, 2012, 02:27:21 PM
Since this thread gets a lot of traffic I have to post this, for those Shostakovich fans out there that don't own the Kondrashin box, now here's your chance to buy for $58 with free shipping if you have an account with Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Shostakovich-Complete-Symphonies-Dmitry/dp/B000IONEZG/ref=sr_1_12?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1330121957&sr=1-12

This is an incredible deal since this set is going for $134 under another listing on Amazon. Don't hesitate to buy this set!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on February 26, 2012, 06:22:19 PM
So, is this any good?

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 26, 2012, 06:37:18 PM
So, is this any good?



Yes, so far, but I've only read the first chapter. I don't own this edition, I own the original.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 26, 2012, 06:40:17 PM
So, is this any good?



Very good. In fact, I consider it obligatory reading.

Separately: no interest in the review of a live performance of the Fifth? That's all right, of course … but surprises me a touch.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 26, 2012, 06:40:39 PM
Since this thread gets a lot of traffic I have to post this, for those Shostakovich fans out there that don't own the Kondrashin box, now here's your chance to buy for $58 with free shipping if you have an account with Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Shostakovich-Complete-Symphonies-Dmitry/dp/B000IONEZG/ref=sr_1_12?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1330121957&sr=1-12

This is an incredible deal since this set is going for $134 under another listing on Amazon. Don't hesitate to buy this set!

Did anyone, in the US, take advantage of this offer yet?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 26, 2012, 06:42:51 PM
Yes, so far, but I've only read the first chapter. I don't own this edition, I own the original.

The new edition is certainly value added.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on February 26, 2012, 06:44:23 PM
Very good. In fact, I consider it obligatory reading.

Separately: no interest in the review of a live performance of the Fifth? That's all right, of course … but surprises me a touch.


I read it, and thought it was good, but couldn't think of anything to say :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 26, 2012, 06:50:41 PM
Well, sometimes one cannot.

That's cool.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 26, 2012, 06:59:31 PM
The new edition is certainly value added.

I'm sure it is, but at $4 I wasn't about to argue.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 26, 2012, 07:07:59 PM
Sure. They do unload outdated editions at a pittance. (Games Publishers Play)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on February 26, 2012, 08:03:51 PM
Sure. They do unload outdated editions at a pittance. (Games Publishers Play)

What exactly is this unmissable added value in the 2nd edition?
 
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 26, 2012, 08:10:35 PM
Sure, ask while I'm a 6-hr flight from home ; )
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on February 26, 2012, 08:30:34 PM
Sure, ask while I'm a 6-hr flight from home ; )

Well, you've nothing else to occupy your mind, right? :D


Apart, of course, from "don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash don't crash ...."

Which is why I don't fly.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on March 14, 2012, 09:56:46 AM
Separately: no interest in the review of a live performance of the Fifth? That's all right, of course … but surprises me a touch.[/font]
I'll read it, but I'm also jealous - except the First I've never heard/seen a Shostakovich Symphony performed live. I hopefully will see and listen to #4,5,7,8,9,10,11,15... one day.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: TheGSMoeller on March 14, 2012, 10:24:08 AM
I'll read it, but I'm also jealous - except the First I've never heard/seen a Shostakovich Symphony performed live. I hopefully will see and listen to #4,5,7,8,9,10,11,15... one day.


I attended the San Antonio Symphony performing DSCH 15th a few years ago, quite an experience. Other than that I've seen the 5th and 10th both twice. But I can imagine any of his symphonies sounding good live.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on March 14, 2012, 10:32:28 AM
Mmm, to hear the Fifteenth live!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on March 14, 2012, 10:46:47 AM
I hopefully will see and listen to #4,5,7,8,9,10,11,15... one day.
YES YES YES!!! Symphony #5 pretty close to where I live in MAY! OMFG! I WILL BE THERE!!! Plus Tchaikovsky #4 - I love the Andantino so much.[1] EXCELLENT! http://www.duisburger-philharmoniker.de/Konzerte/triumph-des-lebens/
It's always difficult for me to find concerts of specific composers, I don't know of any german web site who has information and the possibility to search for all the concert action that's taking place in germany.
[1] Just having the idea to play it on the clarinet - it's so beautiful.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: TheGSMoeller on March 14, 2012, 11:24:52 AM
YES YES YES!!! Symphony #5 pretty close to where I live in MAY! OMFG! I WILL BE THERE!!! Plus Tchaikovsky #4 - I love the Andantino so much.[1] EXCELLENT! http://www.duisburger-philharmoniker.de/Konzerte/triumph-des-lebens/
It's always difficult for me to find concerts of specific composers, I don't know of any german web site who has information and the possibility to search for all the concert action that's taking place in germany.
[1] Just having the idea to play it on the clarinet - it's so beautiful.


Awesome!!!  ;D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on March 14, 2012, 09:16:47 PM
Can anyone tell me what the timings are for the Borodins in the middle movement of the string quartet No. 5? I was just listening to my new Shostakovich Quartet recording, and their take on this andante really did not seem slow enough (8:39). Thanks for any help.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on March 14, 2012, 10:55:51 PM
Can anyone tell me what the timings are for the Borodins in the middle movement of the string quartet No. 5? I was just listening to my new Shostakovich Quartet recording, and their take on this andante really did not seem slow enough (8:39). Thanks for any help.
- 8:11 in the Chandos cycle
- 9:06  in the Melodiya cycle
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on March 15, 2012, 02:42:46 PM
- 8:11 in the Chandos cycle
- 9:06  in the Melodiya cycle

Excellent! Thank you!  I guess the Melodiya cycle is the one to get (that's the complete one, right?). I think I may end up having to buy multiple sets of these works :o   Outside of the big names, I am considering Razumowsky (Rasumovsky - the spelling varies), Rubio, Brodsky (it can't be that bad, can it?) and the Alexander Quartet's "Fragments" series.


EDIT: According to a user review on B&N, "the Brodsky Quartet is one of only two ensembles - the other being the Rubio Quartet - that takes more than 10 minutes to play the slow (middle) movement" of the 5th quartet.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on March 15, 2012, 02:45:46 PM
I've really been enjoying Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk this afternoon. Really an evocative opera and the music is just brilliant.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on March 15, 2012, 07:06:58 PM
Now here's a question: Has anyone heard the Sorrel Quartet's set?  They seem to match my desired movement timings the best so far.

EDIT:

So far, for the quartets, I'm looking at:

Borodin II
Fitzwilliam
Sorrel (though apparently they suffer from "the Chandos sound" *sob*)
Brodsky ('cause it's cheap)

I'd also like to check out the Alexander and Pacifica, but Alexander is relatively expensive (near $80 the set) and Pacifica is incomplete.

There's a lot of commentary online regarding the Borodin and Fitzwilliam sets. I'd like to hear from anyone who's heard the others I've listed :)


My notes on desired timings for the 8th quartet:
    I should be over 4.50
    II under 2.49
    III over 4.15
    IV over 5.30
    V over 3.47
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on March 18, 2012, 06:16:30 PM
I have listened to the Shostakovich Quartet's set a couple of times now. (Unfortunately it is not in chronological order.) I really like the slow movements of the late quartets, including the 15th. However, although this may be one of the slowest recorded performances (I. 12:33, II. 5:28, III. 2:01, IV. 5:04, V. 4:55, VI. 6:45), it is not nearly slow enough! The tempos seem to me to rarely drop below moderato, when they should all be adagio or adagio molto. I think that first movement should really last about 20 minutes.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Lisztianwagner on March 19, 2012, 06:56:19 AM
Shostakovich is one of my absolute favourite russian composers, I've loved his music since I listened to the 1st movement of Piano Concerto No.2 on Fantasia 2000. :)
His music is extremely powerful, passionate and thrilling, with sharp contrasts, but also rich of beauty and chromaticism; I think it can fully express that poetical tragedy of the russian spirit, with its great expressive strenght, wonderful harmony and the colourful orchestration, absolutely brilliant and moving.
Piano Concerto No.2 was my favourite Shostakovich's piece for much time, now his symphonies are my favourite works (especially No.5, No.7, No.9, No.10, No.11, No.12 and No.13); other Shostakovich's compositions I love include the Piano Concerto No.1, Violin and Cello Concertos, the String Quartets and 24 Preludes and Fugues.
 
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on March 19, 2012, 06:48:16 PM
Shostakovich is one of my absolute favourite russian composers, I've loved his music since I listened to the 1st movement of Piano Concerto No.2 on Fantasia 2000. :)
His music is extremely powerful, passionate and thrilling, with sharp contrasts, but also rich of beauty and chromaticism; I think it can fully express that poetical tragedy of the russian spirit, with its great expressive strenght, wonderful harmony and the colourful orchestration, absolutely brilliant and moving.
Piano Concerto No.2 was my favourite Shostakovich's piece for much time, now his symphonies are my favourite works (especially No.5, No.7, No.9, No.10, No.11, No.12 and No.13); other Shostakovich's compositions I love include the Piano Concerto No.1, Violin and Cello Concertos, the String Quartets and 24 Preludes and Fugues.

Well said, Ilaria. :) I agree with everything you said. I think the more time a listener spends with Shostakovich, the more rewards the listener will receive because his music is just so personal and tragic. Have you heard The Golden Age yet?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Scion7 on March 19, 2012, 07:36:47 PM
Dmitri figured large in a 400-level 55 pg college paper I wrote about the Soviet control of/artist sidestepping
music - along with Prokofiev, Khachaturian, etc.

Read Testiment about three times.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on March 19, 2012, 09:44:50 PM
Read Testiment about three times.
Testimony. A waste of time.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Lisztianwagner on March 20, 2012, 06:05:11 AM
Well said, Ilaria. :) I agree with everything you said. I think the more time a listener spends with Shostakovich, the more rewards the listener will receive because his music is just so personal and tragic. Have you heard The Golden Age yet?

Thanks, John :) I'm afraid not, I've heard just excerpts from the ballet; but I would really like to buy the complete work, it sounds so amazing! I saw both Serebrier and Rozhdestvensky recorded the ballet, but is there any other recording though?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on March 20, 2012, 06:08:19 AM
Shostakovich is one of my absolute favourite russian composers, I've loved his music since I listened to the 1st movement of Piano Concerto No.2 on Fantasia 2000. :)
His music is extremely powerful, passionate and thrilling, with sharp contrasts, but also rich of beauty and chromaticism; I think it can fully express that poetical tragedy of the russian spirit, with its great expressive strenght, wonderful harmony and the colourful orchestration, absolutely brilliant and moving.
Piano Concerto No.2 was my favourite Shostakovich's piece for much time, now his symphonies are my favourite works (especially No.5, No.7, No.9, No.10, No.11, No.12 and No.13); other Shostakovich's compositions I love include the Piano Concerto No.1, Violin and Cello Concertos, the String Quartets and 24 Preludes and Fugues.
 

You certainly want to make the acquaintance of the e minor piano trio, Ilaria!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Lisztianwagner on March 20, 2012, 06:31:40 AM
You certainly want to make the acquaintance of the e minor piano trio, Ilaria!

Do you mean No.2? I've got it, that's a gorgeous piece!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on March 20, 2012, 06:37:24 AM
Aye, that's the one!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on March 20, 2012, 06:53:32 AM
Thanks, John :) I'm afraid not, I've heard just excerpts from the ballet; but I would really like to buy the complete work, it sounds so amazing! I saw both Serebrier and Rozhdestvensky recorded the ballet, but is there any other recording though?

There are three complete recordings of The Golden Age: Rozhdestvensky/Royal Stockholm, Simonov/Bolshoi, and Serebrier/RSNO. The best one is Serebrier IMHO. I think Serebrier has the better orchestra and the audio quality is great. It can also be bought a lot cheaper than the other two recordings which are more or less full-priced.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: North Star on March 20, 2012, 12:05:26 PM
You certainly want to make the acquaintance of the e minor piano trio, Ilaria!
Yes, a superb piece, that one.
I think I'll give it a spin now - with Argerich, Kremer & Maisky
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Lisztianwagner on March 20, 2012, 12:47:12 PM
There are three complete recordings of The Golden Age: Rozhdestvensky/Royal Stockholm, Simonov/Bolshoi, and Serebrier/RSNO. The best one is Serebrier IMHO. I think Serebrier has the better orchestra and the audio quality is great. It can also be bought a lot cheaper than the other two recordings which are more or less full-priced.

It sounds great, thanks for the feedback, John :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on March 20, 2012, 06:03:26 PM
It sounds great, thanks for the feedback, John :)

My pleasure, Ilaria.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Madiel on April 30, 2012, 05:22:33 AM
Today's random question...

Is it just me, or is anyone else annoyed at all the attention that String Quartet No. 8 gets at the expense of all the others?

Honestly, attach a bit of a programmatic hint to something and everyone gets all excited.  To me it's one of the least satisfying of the quartets.

Grumble.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: DavidW on April 30, 2012, 05:29:18 AM
The 8th string quartet has such a memorable tune that I can still recall it with ease.  I can't say the same for the others... although I will admit that most of them are on par with that quartet, and the late ones surpass it on the grounds of aesthetics and the nuanced emotional landscape they create.  Eh still my favorite though! :D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 30, 2012, 05:34:27 AM
The 8th string quartet has such a memorable tune that I can still recall it with ease.

A fact which, I should think, comes close to ranking the piece with the Beethoven Fifth Symphony.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on April 30, 2012, 04:41:32 PM
A fact which, I should think, comes close to ranking the piece with the Beethoven Fifth Symphony.

I guess knock at door + music = sure-fire hit?

"You keep a-knockin' but you can't come in!"
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on April 30, 2012, 07:36:21 PM
Shostakovich = brilliant composer. My absolute favorite of the whole lot.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: DavidW on May 01, 2012, 03:49:02 AM
A fact which, I should think, comes close to ranking the piece with the Beethoven Fifth Symphony.

That reminds me of that Simpsons episode where everyone goes to the new concert hall (it was spoofing the walt disney hall and even had the architect as a guest star) and they hear the opening of Beethoven's 5th and promptly leave because they associate the symphony with the ringtone on their cell phones! :D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: raduneo on May 01, 2012, 05:24:17 AM
Indeed a truly magnificent composer. I remember reading in Plotkin's book on classical music that it usually takes over 50-70 years for a composer to truly get recognizes to his real value. Just as Mahler got his deserved spot, I really hope Shostakovich does to! He is very dear to me: not only is he probably the composer who was interested the most in the sufferings of the people in the 20th century, but his musical talent is brilliant enough to be able to express his ideas and make great music in the process!

I was reading a quote on a chapter on Manet from this book I'm reading, and I ran across a quote by Baudelaire: "Great colorists know how to create color with a black coat, a white cravat and a gray background". I have a feeling this applies to Shostakovich quite well! :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on May 11, 2012, 05:19:14 AM


Gergiev's Munich Shostakovich - Symphonies 6 & 10


(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8lfTdFUMcVU/T60Y5FAzGjI/AAAAAAAAB-s/UK2Yc3JAXF4/s400/Shostakovich_Cycle_Gergiev_.png)

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/05/gergievs-munich-shostakovich-symphonies.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/05/gergievs-munich-shostakovich-symphonies.html)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: kishnevi on May 11, 2012, 02:24:08 PM


Gergiev's Munich Shostakovich - Symphonies 6 & 10


(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8lfTdFUMcVU/T60Y5FAzGjI/AAAAAAAAB-s/UK2Yc3JAXF4/s400/Shostakovich_Cycle_Gergiev_.png)

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/05/gergievs-munich-shostakovich-symphonies.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/05/gergievs-munich-shostakovich-symphonies.html)

sounds like, yet again, he did a better job in concert than in the recording studio. 

The Clevelanders will be doing the 10th here in Miami with Welser-Most next year. 

And, relative to DSCH,  I gave a first listen to the Petrenko recording of 2 and 15 this afternoon; it seems to keep to the high quality of the earlier issues in that series.  Just have to cross our fingers that he completes the cycle for EMI if he doesn't do it for Naxos.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on May 11, 2012, 02:55:16 PM


Gergiev's Munich Shostakovich - Symphonies 7 & 9


(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8lfTdFUMcVU/T60Y5FAzGjI/AAAAAAAAB-s/UK2Yc3JAXF4/s400/Shostakovich_Cycle_Gergiev_.png)

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/05/gergievs-munich-shostakovich-symphonies_11.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/05/gergievs-munich-shostakovich-symphonies_11.html)

sounds like, yet again, he did a better job in concert than in the recording studio. 

The Clevelanders will be doing the 10th here in Miami with Welser-Most next year. 

And, relative to DSCH,  I gave a first listen to the Petrenko recording of 2 and 15 this afternoon; it seems to keep to the high quality of the earlier issues in that series.  Just have to cross our fingers that he completes the cycle for EMI if he doesn't do it for Naxos.

His DSCH Piano Concertos (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B004YZF09S/nectarandambr-20) (with Matsuev, not a natural favorite of mine) are excellent on disc. That's about it, though, as of late. Oh, and his Mahler 5.

But tonight I heard the best DSCH of them all: Stanisław Skrowaczewski. A clearer beat and more limber arms than colleagues half his age. And the most kick-ass Shostakovich 5th I've heard in... so far. Holy Mackerel! And that's despite already expecting a lot from one of my favorite underrated conductors.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Sandra on May 11, 2012, 06:54:32 PM
Testimony. A waste of time.

Why? Is Volkov a fraud? I heard a lot of favorable opinions about him, but certain people feel he was cashing in on a famous biography.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: kishnevi on May 11, 2012, 07:31:14 PM
Why? Is Volkov a fraud? I heard a lot of favorable opinions about him, but certain people feel he was cashing in on a famous biography.

As I understand it, the problem with Testimony is that of deciding:
--what Shostakovich actually said (that is, what "quotes" are actual quotes)
--what Shostakovich might have said (that is, what "quotes" can be described as "fake but accurate")
--what Volkhov wanted people to think Shostakovich said (that is, what "quotes" are totally inauthentic)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on May 11, 2012, 10:26:10 PM
Why? Is Volkov a fraud? I heard a lot of favorable opinions about him, but certain people feel he was cashing in on a famous biography.

He's a fraud from A to Я.

Here's what his Third wife Irina has to say about Volkov. Not that she's 100% reliable, either, but this gets to the point nicely and is more easily read than Fay's excellent analysis.

Quote
Volkov and 'Testimony'

During interviews, I am often asked about the veracity of the book "Testimony" by Solomon Volkov, published as Shostakovich's memoirs. Here is what I think.

Mr. Volkov worked for Sovetskaya Muzyka magazine, where Shostakovich was a member of the editorial board. As a favor to Boris Tishchenko, his pupil and colleague, Shostakovich agreed to be interviewed by Mr. Volkov, whom he knew little about, for an article to be published in Sovetskaya Muzyka. There were three interviews; each lasted two to two and a half hours, no longer, since Shostakovich grew tired of extensive chat and lost interest in the conversation. Two of the interviews were held in the presence of Mr. Tishchenko. The interviews were not taped.

Mr. Volkov arrived at the second interview with a camera (Mr. Volkov's wife, a professional photographer, always took pictures of Mr. Volkov with anyone who might become useful in the future) and asked Mr. Tishchenko and me to take pictures "as a keepsake." He brought a photograph to the third interview and asked Shostakovich to sign it. Shostakovich wrote his usual words: "To dear Solomon Maseyevich Volkov, in fond remembrance. D. Shostakovich 13.XI.1974." Then, as if sensing something amiss, he asked for the photograph back and, according to Mr. Volkov himself, added: "In memory of our talks on Glazunov, Zoshchenko and Meyerhold. D. Sh."

That was a list of the topics covered during the interviews. It shows that the conversation was about musical and literary life in prewar Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) and nothing more. Some time later, Mr. Volkov brought Shostakovich a typed version of their conversations and asked him to sign every page at the bottom. It was a thin sheaf of papers, and Shostakovich, presuming he was going to see the proof sheets, did not read them. I came into Shostakovich's study as he was standing at his desk signing those pages without reading them. Mr. Volkov took the pages and left.

I asked Shostakovich why he had been signing every page, as it seemed unusual. He replied that Mr. Volkov had told him about some new censorship rules according to which his material would not be accepted by the publishers without a signature. I later learned that Mr. Volkov had already applied for an exit visa to leave the country and was planning to use that material as soon as he was abroad.

Soon after that, Shostakovich died, and Mr. Volkov put his plans into further action.

Mr. Volkov had told a lot of people about those pages, boasting his journalist's luck. This threatened to complicate his exit. It seems that he managed to contrive an audience with Enrico Berlinguer, secretary of the Italian Communist Party, who happened to be visiting Moscow, showed him the photograph signed by Shostakovich and complained that he, Mr. Volkov, a friend of Shostakovich's, was not allowed to leave the country for political reasons. In any case, an article about Mr. Volkov and the same photograph appeared in the Italian Communist newspaper La Stampa. Apparently, it did the trick.

I met Mr. Volkov at a concert and asked him to come and see me (but without his wife, as he had wanted) and leave me a copy of the material he had, which was unauthorized (since it had never been read by Shostakovich). Mr. Volkov replied that the material had already been sent abroad, and if Mr. Volkov was not allowed to leave, the material would be published with additions. He soon left the country, and I never saw him again.

Later on, I read in a booklet that came with the phonograph record of the opera "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District" conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich, which was released abroad, that Mr. Volkov was Shostakovich's assistant with whom he had written his memoirs. Elsewhere I read that when Shostakovich was at home alone, he would phone Mr. Volkov and they would see each other in secret.

Only someone with rich fantasy could invent something like that; it was not true, if only because at that time Shostakovich was very ill and was never left on his own. And we lived outside Moscow at the dacha. There was no opportunity for secret meetings. Mr. Volkov's name is nowhere to be found in Shostakovich's correspondence of the time, in his letters to Isaak Glikman, for example.

Mr. Volkov found a publisher in the United States, and the advertising campaign began. Extracts from the book appeared in a German magazine and reached Russia, where at that time there was state monopoly on intellectual property. VAAP, the Soviet copyright agency, asked for verification of Shostakovich's signature. American experts confirmed its authenticity. The book was published. Each chapter of the book was preceded by words written in Shostakovich's hand: "Have read. Shostakovich."

I can vouch that this was how Shostakovich signed articles by different authors planned for publication. Such material was regularly delivered to him from Sovetskaya Muzyka magazine for review, then the material was returned to the editorial department, where Mr. Volkov was employed. Unfortunately, the American experts, who did not speak Russian, were unable and certainly had no need to correlate Shostakovich's words with the contents of the text.

As for the additions, Mr. Volkov himself told me that he had spoken to a lot of different people about Shostakovich, in particular to Lev Lebedinsky, who later became an inaccurate memoirist and with whom Shostakovich had ended all relations a long time before. A friend of Shostakovich's, Leo Arnshtam, a cinema director, saw Mr. Volkov on his request, and Arnshtam later regretted it. A story about a telephone conversation with Stalin was written from his words. All this was included in the book as though it were coming from Shostakovich himself.

The book was translated into many languages and published in a number of countries, except Russia. Mr. Volkov at first claimed that the American publishers were against the Russian edition, then that the royalties in Russia were not high enough, then that those offering to publish it in Russia were crooks and, finally, that he had sold his manuscript to a private archive and it was not available anymore. Retranslation into Russian relieves the author of responsibility and permits new liberties.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on May 13, 2012, 05:20:26 PM
Why? Is Volkov a fraud? I heard a lot of favorable opinions about him, but certain people feel he was cashing in on a famous biography.

This has handily been addressed by JLaurson, above. I'll only add that for me the prime reason Testimony must be openly refuted is that it claims to be the revealed truth of the music itself. Ian MacDonald was the foremost apostle of this revelation, with his book "The New Shostakovich", in which he claimed to be able to decode the intended political meaning of the symphonies note by note. Of course Shostakovich, like all composers, associated external meanings with his music, but abstracting the whole artwork into a coded essay on resistance to totalitarianism only belittles the music, IMO. What makes music great is that it creates expressions and experiences that cannot be translated into a prose equivalent.


To change the subject, I wonder if anyone has written anything on the connection between Nielsen and Shostakovich? There is nothing in Elizabeth Wilson's book - she says that Shost studied contemporary works as a student in the 20s, mentions Hindemith and another name I don't recall, but no mention of Nielsen, whose 5th and 6th symphonies relate so closely to the style of Shostakovich's music up to the 4th symphony that I don't think it could be a coincidence. (I've also wondered if the 1st mvt of the 5th symphony inspired Ravel's Bolero!)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on May 14, 2012, 05:38:34 PM
JLaurson recommended Barshai's recording of the 4th symphony in another thread, so I listened to it last night (I have the Brilliant box set). This is definitely one of the greats. In this admittedly meandering work, conductors too often let the music sound rote, but Barshai has obviously attended to every bar. I just wish I liked the sound of the recording a bit more....
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on May 14, 2012, 06:46:23 PM
JLaurson recommended Barshai's recording of the 4th symphony in another thread, so I listened to it last night (I have the Brilliant box set). This is definitely one of the greats. In this admittedly meandering work, conductors too often let the music sound rote, but Barshai has obviously attended to every bar. I just wish I liked the sound of the recording a bit more....

For me, Rattle's 4th is still one of the best, but I hope a Petrenko performance is in the pipeline.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on May 14, 2012, 08:39:49 PM
JLaurson recommended Barshai's recording of the 4th symphony in another thread...

I did so by way of actually, really, recommending Mariss Jansons (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/04/mariss-jansonss-dsch-4.html), though. :-)
That one combines many of Barshai's lean, skeletal qualities with much of the wallop that, say, Bychkov (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000JLPNIE/goodmusicguide-20).
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on May 14, 2012, 08:46:15 PM
I did so by way of actually, really, recommending Mariss Jansons (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/04/mariss-jansonss-dsch-4.html), though. :-)

Really? I must have missed that bit. I found Barshai more involved and characterful than Jansons.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on May 14, 2012, 11:34:54 PM

Heard the finest live DSCH 5th last week -- with the 90 year old (!) and totally limber Skrowaczewski  conducting the BRSO.
Put the already excellent Gergiev performances of 6, 7, 9, 10 from a couple days earlier in perspective, again.

How about the plethora of top-notch PC recordings over the last year!?!




(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B004QOEG8S.01.L.jpg)
DSCH
Piano Concertos
+ Piano Quintet
V.Jurowski / M.Helmchen
LPO
LPO  (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B004QOEG8S/goodmusicguide-20)
German link (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00713Y2R6/goodmusicguidede-21) - UK link (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00713Y2R6/goodmusicguide-21)


(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B006FVM1ZU.01.L.jpg)
DSCH
Piano Concertos
V. Fedoseyev / P. Gulda
Moscow RSO
Gramola (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B006FVM1ZU/goodmusicguide-20)
German link (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/B006FVM1ZU/goodmusicguidede-21) - UK link (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B006FVM1ZU/goodmusicguide-21)


(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B004YZF09S.01.L.jpg)
DSCH
Piano Concertos
+ Shchedrin PC #5
D.Matsuev / V.Gergiev
Mariinsky Live (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B004YZF09S/goodmusicguide-20)
German link (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/B004YZF09S/goodmusicguidede-21) - UK link (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B004YZF09S/goodmusicguide-21)


(http://www.seenandheard-international.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/DSCH_PCs_Toradze_Jarvi.jpg)
DSCH
Piano Concertos
Alexander Toradze / Paavo Järvi
Frankfurt RSO
hr-music classic (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B007ZEG3Z0/goodmusicguide-20)
German link (http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/B007NUP6UO/goodmusicguidede-21) - UK link (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B007NUP6UO/goodmusicguide-21)

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on May 15, 2012, 09:04:25 AM
Heard the finest live DSCH 5th last week -- with the 90 year old (!) and totally limber Skrowaczewski conducting the BRSO.

I own the Skrowaczewski recordings of Shosty's 1, 5, 6, and 10 with Halle Orchestra and they are all excellent performances. Much better than any of the Gergiev recordings I've heard.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on May 15, 2012, 10:46:13 AM
I own the Skrowaczewski recordings of Shosty's 1, 5, 6, and 10 with Halle Orchestra and they are all excellent performances. Much better than any of the Gergiev recordings I've heard.

Absolutely fantastic recordings!


Ionarts-at-Large: The Admirable, Adorable Stanisław Skrowaczewski

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-S3lQPsfJN8E/T7J9NcOe07I/AAAAAAAAB-8/OdvKBAg6vOo/s400/BRSO_Skrowa_DSCH.png)
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/05/ionarts-at-large-admirable-adorable.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/05/ionarts-at-large-admirable-adorable.html)

Quote
When it rains, it pours. Raining Shostakovich in this case, not the most regularly performed composer in Munich, and now the fifth Symphony in as many days! And incidentally the Fifth Symphony this time – part of the regular Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra season with veteran conductor Polish Stanisław Skrowaczewski on the rostrum.

Stanisław Skrowaczewski is one of those fascinating cases of great, acknowledged, prize-winning, Pulitzer-nominated achievement that yet manages to remain underestimated. The one-time Nadia Boulanger student has worked with the perfectly underestimatable Hallé and Minnesota orchestras. He has recorded superb, but of course underestimated Shostakovich Symphonies (1 & 6, 5 & 10) with the former. And his is by far the best underrated Bruckner Symphony Cycle (with the Saarbrücken RSO on Oehms. Quote Skrowaczewski: "For me, Bruckner is one of the greatest composers, even though I cannot exactly say why." A man after my own heart!)...
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: kishnevi on May 20, 2012, 04:05:02 PM
Eyeresist asked for a debriefing after I gave a first listen to my trio of newly acquired Fourths.

To recap,  three different recordings of the Symphony No. 4 in c minor, Op. 43
--Scottish National Orchestra, N. Jarvi cond.
--Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, M. Jansons cond.
--City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, S. Rattle cond. (with Britten's Russian Funeral for brass and percussion as an add on)

 I was least impressed by the Jarvi--did not sound as intense as the others. In part this seemed to be because of some less than first rate audio--the sound did not seem as clear as it does on the other two recordings.

Of the other two, I'm not sure which I prefer, although I'm inclined to give the nod to Jansons.  Rattle has what I think is a more intense first movement,  but Jansons a better third movement, and Rattle seems to give the very last bar a sort of odd hopeful chuckle whch doesn't really fit in well. 

I will, however, have to give both a few more listens before I can give a real opinion.  Nor am I yet prepared to say either one is noticeably better than the Gergiev, although it's been a little while since I've actually played that performance.  And I have yet to listen to the Barshai performance, so all this is definitely provisional. I can say, however, I like both the Rattle and the Jansons better than I do either of the Haitink recordings (in the Decca boxset and on CSO Resound--the one that won the Grammy), or the Rostropovich recording, which is the other performance I have of this symphony,.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on May 20, 2012, 05:33:41 PM
Eyeresist asked for a debriefing after I gave a first listen to my trio of newly acquired Fourths.

Thanks for remembering :)  I think I'll listen to Barshai later today.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 21, 2012, 03:42:41 AM
Eyeresist asked for a debriefing after I gave a first listen to my trio of newly acquired Fourths.

To recap,  three different recordings of the Symphony No. 4 in c minor, Op. 43
--Scottish National Orchestra, N. Jarvi cond.
--Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, M. Jansons cond.
--City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, S. Rattle cond. (with Britten's Russian Funeral for brass and percussion as an add on)

 I was least impressed by the Jarvi--did not sound as intense as the others. In part this seemed to be because of some less than first rate audio--the sound did not seem as clear as it does on the other two recordings.

Thanks for this, Jeffrey! I am still making my acquaintance with the Rattle, and (curiously) have yet to listen at all to the Jansons . . . but the Järvi truly is impossibly tubby of sound, partly a result of the over-reverberant space in which (what were they thinking?) they elected to record . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: edward on May 21, 2012, 05:49:19 AM
Thanks for this, Jeffrey! I am still making my acquaintance with the Rattle, and (curiously) have yet to listen at all to the Jansons . . . but the Järvi truly is impossibly tubby of sound, partly a result of the over-reverberant space in which (what were they thinking?) they elected to record . . . .
Good question. I never liked the acoustics in the Glasgow City Hall--depending on where you sat different frequency ranges came through either dry or muddy. I suppose the Caird Hall in Dundee (which IIRC at the time was Chandos' recording venue of preference for the RSNO) may have been booked up.

I once went to a Nielsen's 5th under Vanska in Glasgow City Hall where the side-drummer was placed high above the orchestra in one of the boxes--I was told the reason for this was that otherwise the sound of the side drum simply couldn't cut through the orchestral wash in some parts of the hall.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on May 30, 2012, 02:16:26 PM
I have probably stated this before, either in this thread or in the other forum, but I just want to emphasize one of the aspects I really like in the Eight Symphony:  The delayed use of the percussion instruments in the first movement.

To me, the absence of the percussion instruments in the first ten minutes creates tension that is almost furthered by the snare drum when it enters.  It highlights the main climax of the movement, as there is also no percussion instruments past that use (or very limited). 
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 31, 2012, 09:49:39 AM
I have probably stated this before, either in this thread or in the other forum, but I just want to emphasize one of the aspects I really like in the Eight Symphony:  The delayed use of the percussion instruments in the first movement.

Tangential to this: I really like how, in many of the symphonies, he starts out with ye olde string choir, both because he had such a talent for writing richly for the strings, and because as a result (as you observe here, Paul) part of the drama of the unfolding sonata design is, the entrance of other parts of the orchestra, like characters entering upon the stage.

And: Leningrad party (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,20577.msg633676/topicseen.html#msg633676) at Bruce's! : )
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on May 31, 2012, 10:37:06 AM
Tangential to this: I really like how, in many of the symphonies, he starts out with ye olde string choir, both because he had such a talent for writing richly for the strings, and because as a result (as you observe here, Paul) part of the drama of the unfolding sonata design is, the entrance of other parts of the orchestra, like characters entering upon the stage.

And: Leningrad party (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,20577.msg633676/topicseen.html#msg633676) at Bruce's! : )
Not only strings in general, but how he also uses the low strings.  Thinking especially of the 10th symphony.  The atmosphere, along with the use of the higher strings in their lower positions with a more earthy sound, that it creates really sets up the clarinet when the instrument enters.  The clarinet has the perfect timbre for this opening of the movement (and throughout the piece).  I think it's the best opening statement he wrote, at least, in a symphony.
(Perhaps, I am a bit biased in saying that, as the 10th is my favorite symphony)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 31, 2012, 10:43:35 AM
There's nought wrong with the Tenth being your favorite symphony, lad! : )
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: TheGSMoeller on June 01, 2012, 09:14:20 AM
There's nought wrong with the Tenth being your favorite symphony, lad! : )

+10  ;D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 04, 2012, 04:05:07 AM
I do find myself thinking continually better of the Eleventh; it helped, chancing to catch a bit of a live broadcast yesterday of the Houston Symphony playing it at Carnegie Hall under the baton of Hans Graf.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: TheGSMoeller on June 04, 2012, 09:45:32 AM
I do find myself thinking continually better of the Eleventh; it helped, chancing to catch a bit of a live broadcast yesterday of the Houston Symphony playing it at Carnegie Hall under the baton of Hans Graf.

Them Houstonians have a good band.
Was this performance on the radio?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 04, 2012, 09:50:54 AM
It was, and Bruce corrected me:  the actual concert was something like a month ago.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: TheGSMoeller on June 04, 2012, 09:53:09 AM
It was, and Bruce corrected me:  the actual concert was something like a month ago.

Very cool, thanks, Karl!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on June 04, 2012, 10:06:22 AM
Them Houstonians have a good band.
It's funny, they always draw great acclaim on the road - but then, I only ever see them at Jones Hall, which is acoustically deadening. It's not a great place to see a concert.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 04, 2012, 10:15:24 AM
Brings new meaning to the term Jonesing . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 04, 2012, 10:17:37 AM
Brian, how does the Petrenko account of the Eleventh compare, do you know?  I was thinking of giving that instalment in his ongoing series a miss, but this taste of the piece as your home band gave it out has me wondering . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on June 04, 2012, 10:19:54 AM
Brian, how does the Petrenko account of the Eleventh compare, do you know?  I was thinking of giving that instalment in his ongoing series a miss, but this taste of the piece as your home band gave it out has me wondering . . . .

I actually plan to listen to it again soon - I'm soon to be reviewing the Kreizberg Eleventh (from Monte Carlo) for MusicWeb and will compare with Petrenko among others. I can tell you that when I saw Petrenko conduct the piece live (LPO), it was an utterly thrilling account - in fact, the 'massacre' section was probably the most purely terrified I've been, in a concert hall. Yes, I really will have to listen to the CDs soon  :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on June 11, 2012, 07:40:08 PM
So I've been revisiting the VCs, what spectacular works these are! I'm trying to get a better understanding of the 2nd, which obviously is late-Shostakovich as it is Op. 129. Anybody got any suggestions or thoughts that could help me understand 2nd VC better?
Title: Re: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 12, 2012, 02:01:32 AM
So I've been revisiting the VCs, what spectacular works these are! I'm trying to get a better understanding of the 2nd, which obviously is late-Shostakovich as it is Op. 167. Anybody got any suggestions or thoughts that could help me understand 2nd VC better?

Oh, not Op.167! That's impossibly high.

It's a wonderful, and wonderfully elusive, piece. Not even sure how to "pitch" such a piece.  My only suggestion, John (and it may well be that others have a better) is: live with the concerto, do an intensive course with it, for a week.  I didn't find it the sort of piece which I could fathom, just playing it a few times as part of a regular flood of rotation. It's a piece of surprising, compelling quietude which requires close attention.

And: it might be the leverage for you which illuminates Schnittke.

Maybe.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 12, 2012, 04:59:37 AM
. . . as it is Op. 167.

Of course, I see where this typo came from, now: Opus 129 (1967)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: edward on June 12, 2012, 05:07:22 AM
It's been a really long time since I've heard op 129, so I should rectify this soon. Karl's 'elusive' is of course a very good description of the piece; I'd characterize it as one of the more understated works in DSCH's late period. I could be wrong, but I seem to recall there being a few sly half-references to the violin concerto from Hindemith's Kammermusik in the piece.

As for the Schnittke comment: I'm going from memory here, but I seem to recall reading that Schnittke listed the second violin and cello concerti and the 14th quartet as amongst the Shostakovich works that meant the most to his generation of composers in the USSR. It's easy for me (at least) to see how, given the expressively ambivalent nature of all three.
Title: Re: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on June 12, 2012, 06:16:42 AM
Oh, not Op.167! That's impossibly high.

It's a wonderful, and wonderfully elusive, piece. Not even sure how to "pitch" such a piece.  My only suggestion, John (and it may well be that others have a better) is: live with the concerto, do an intensive course with it, for a week.  I didn't find it the sort of piece which I could fathom, just playing it a few times as part of a regular flood of rotation. It's a piece of surprising, compelling quietude which requires close attention.

And: it might be the leverage for you which illuminates Schnittke.

Maybe.

Thank you, Karl. And, yes, it's Op. 129. I don't know where I got the other number from. I mean I like the work, I'm just not as crazy about as I am Op. 77 (or 99 ???). But we'll see how it goes.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on June 12, 2012, 06:19:29 AM
It's been a really long time since I've heard op 129, so I should rectify this soon. Karl's 'elusive' is of course a very good description of the piece; I'd characterize it as one of the more understated works in DSCH's late period. I could be wrong, but I seem to recall there being a few sly half-references to the violin concerto from Hindemith's Kammermusik in the piece.

As for the Schnittke comment: I'm going from memory here, but I seem to recall reading that Schnittke listed the second violin and cello concerti and the 14th quartet as amongst the Shostakovich works that meant the most to his generation of composers in the USSR. It's easy for me (at least) to see how, given the expressively ambivalent nature of all three.

Thanks for you feedback, Edward. I shall be giving it more careful listens soon.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 12, 2012, 06:27:17 AM
. . . I'm just not as crazy about as I am Op. 77 (or 99 ???)

At this point there are enough recordings and/or concert program notes out there with the wrong number, that the error may never be completely eradicated, but yes: the First Vn Cto is Op.77.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on June 12, 2012, 08:30:22 AM
At this point there are enough recordings and/or concert program notes out there with the wrong number, that the error may never be completely eradicated, but yes: the First Vn Cto is Op.77.

If I was a professor of music, I would make my students remember Op. 77 NOT Op. 99!!! :D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on June 12, 2012, 09:57:29 AM
If I was a professor of music, I would make my students remember Op. 77 NOT Op. 99!!! :D
I would be the nice professor and accept both answers :P  (As long as the hypothetical student labels Op. 99 as the Violin Concerto*)

I enjoy the both of the later violin and cello concerto's as much as the first of both genres.  It's...unfortunate they arent recorded more.

*this attitude is subject to change as I grow wiser
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on June 13, 2012, 01:08:51 PM
Here's an excellent performance of Shosty's Violin Concerto No. 1 with Vadim Repin (violin) and Paavo Jarvi conducting the Orchestre de Paris:

Movement 1 - Nocturne:

http://www.youtube.com/v/7r4kYqB_mx4

Movement 2 - Scherzo:

http://www.youtube.com/v/42pcJ-_AN1I

Movement 3 - Passacaglia: Andante:

http://www.youtube.com/v/mbzprkgFbtY

Movement 4 - Cadenza, Burlesque:

http://www.youtube.com/v/rWx58Lte0uk
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 21, 2012, 02:54:10 AM
The only time (thus far) that I've heard the Op.77 live, it was Repin, Masur, and our band here in Boston. Dynamite!

Jens, did I imagine it, or did you express a low opinion of Slava's account of the Op.43?  I can see your point, and yet . . . and yet . . . well, I should really compose a proper paragraph or two on that . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on June 21, 2012, 04:47:32 AM
The only time (thus far) that I've heard the Op.77 live, it was Repin, Masur, and our band here in Boston. Dynamite!

Jens, did I imagine it, or did you express a low opinion of Slava's account of the Op.43?  I can see your point, and yet . . . and yet . . . well, I should really compose a proper paragraph or two on that . . . .


You're probably right, since i have a low opinion of most of Slava's DSCH recordings... especially the symphonies. He wasn't a good conductor and he didn't have a good orchestra and he used DSCH to further his conducting career.

Quote
Of his Shostakovich symphonies (the complete set - largely with the NSO - is available on Teldec), I cannot recommend many when there is always an interpretation that I'd much rather hear. The early recordings are uneven, lacking in the necessary tension, and are often let down by the NSO's lack of will or ability. Any complete set I know is preferable, be it Jansons (EMI), Barshai (Brilliant), Kitajenko (Capriccio), Kondrashin (Aulos/Melodiya) or Haitkink (Decca). The LSO recordings on the orchestras' own label are better, by-and-large, but hugely overrated. His Eighth on that label, though, is a worthy contender. Slowness in that symphony is no detriment to the grim and stark atmosphere and I rate his account above Gergiev (Philips) and Wiggelsworth (BIS), alongside Barshai and Kitajenko and only marginally behind Jansons.

(The Violin Concertos with him and Vengerov are very good, but that's not really Rostropovich's doing.)

Ha, just read the review of his last concert in the US, which ends on the nastiest little zinger I may have ever penned.

Quote
To keep the audience members in their seats until the end (Britten and Dutilleux are not acceptable Washington fare), Dvořák’s 8th Symphony was programmed. Possibly as good as the overplayed “From the New World,” it is a work that is easy on the ears, occasionally grandiose, rightly popular with concert-goers. Until tonight, that was. Listening to what Rostropovich did with this work was puzzling. Literally and metaphorically speaking, he turned it into the longest Dvořák symphony I ever had to sit through. Plodding along at insufferably slow speeds, he made sure that musical lines disappeared and that any sense of rhythm here or heroism there were fastidiously excised; emotional subtleties plowed under. The brass fanfare opening the last movement smacked of tin, the following strings sounded better. But the orchestra should not be blamed for this. (Except that they should not only not have looked at Rostropovich, they should have outright ignored his instructions.) Anyone to attend today, Friday, or tomorrow, Saturday, at 8PM will come away with a greater appreciation for Leonard Slatkin.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 21, 2012, 06:17:44 AM
You're probably right, since i have a low opinion of most of Slava's DSCH recordings... especially the symphonies. He wasn't a good conductor and he didn't have a good orchestra and he used DSCH to further his conducting career.

Not the best conductor of not the best orchestra is inarguable (and something which we might observe of the Barshai set, meseems).

That last is an intangible, and open to discussion. He was no Volkov, for heaven's sake
; )
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 21, 2012, 06:22:36 AM
Ha, just read the review of his last concert in the US, which ends on the nastiest little zinger I may have ever penned.

Oh! That reminds me. I meant to ask if you perhaps had heard him do the Fourth live?  I am trending towards liking this recording, but it would certainly not be my first suggestion to anyone initially coming to the piece.  Although, I could see that performance having a positive impact live.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: kishnevi on June 21, 2012, 06:33:27 AM
While I think Slava's NSO 4th is a relatively poor performance,  and based on that have never been interested in listening to the rest of his NSO recordings,  I have to say that his 8th and 11th on LSO Live are my favorite performances of those symphonies.  They were among my first DSCH recordings, and my introductions to those symphonies, and I have yet to find a performance that equals, much less excels them (this refers to such recordings as Gergiev and Haitink but not some standards I haven't heard such as Barshai and Kondrashin).
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 21, 2012, 07:35:10 AM
While I think Slava's NSO 4th is a relatively poor performance,  and based on that have never been interested in listening to the rest of his NSO recordings,  I have to say that his 8th and 11th on LSO Live are my favorite performances of those symphonies.  They were among my first DSCH recordings, and my introductions to those symphonies, and I have yet to find a performance that equals, much less excels them (this refers to such recordings as Gergiev and Haitink but not some standards I haven't heard such as Barshai and Kondrashin).

I like Rostropovich's Shostakovich, including some of the NSO recordings. His Fifth is my favorite along with Lenny and the New York Phil in Tokyo. But Rostropovich conducts what I call the Volkov Finale: it's pure torture, grinning through the agony, and not everyone is going to respond to it positively. (It's the opposite of Lenny's triumphalism.) Some younger conductor's play it the same way now, so Slava has been influential.

While I was going through his cycle, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13 and 14 stood out. Jeffrey, I agree with you about the live LSO 11th. Spectacular.

Sarge
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 21, 2012, 10:34:00 AM
Well, and now I am curious (a) to hear the Masur-led Thirteenth (thanks especially to Miró's Sock Monkey Greg) and (b) to revisit the Slava/NSO Thirteenth, which I am sure was the first I heard the entire piece, long ago . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on June 21, 2012, 12:02:17 PM
the Volkov Finale: it's pure torture, grinning through the agony, and not everyone is going to respond to it positively. (It's the opposite of Lenny's triumphalism.) Some younger conductor's play it the same way now, so Slava has been influential.

Haven't heard Slava, but I know this from the agonizing Kreizberg/RNO on PentaTone.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on June 21, 2012, 06:11:02 PM
You're probably right, since i have a low opinion of most of Slava's DSCH recordings... especially the symphonies. He wasn't a good conductor and he didn't have a good orchestra and he used DSCH to further his conducting career.

I don't know if he used Shostakovich to further his conducting career, because that's just speculation on your part, but I know Rostropovich wasn't a great conductor, but, and this is a very big BUT ;), he does have a way of communicating to the orchestral musicians exactly what he wants out of the performance or else he wouldn't have yielded such good results. He may not have the finesse of a Haitink or MTT but he did well with the minimal amount of baton technique he had.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on June 21, 2012, 06:57:00 PM
Well, and now I am curious (a) to hear the Masur-led Thirteenth (thanks especially to Miró's Sock Monkey Greg) and (b) to revisit the Slava/NSO Thirteenth, which I am sure was the first I heard the entire piece, long ago . . . .

I bought the Masur 7th and 13th, so I'm really anxious to hear them. I heard both were great performances. I've come to really enjoy the 13th. I'm still wrapping my mind around the 14th.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on June 21, 2012, 07:17:57 PM
I've just got to give Bernstein a shout out for his performance of Symphony No. 7 "Leningrad". It might be a little self-indulgent, but I've never heard this symphony sound better. This performance really has some weight and that Adagio was just handled with dare I say perfection. :D This has to be my favorite 7th now. I've listened to this years ago, back when I wasn't particularly fond of Shostakovich, and it didn't make much of an impression, but now I really enjoy it. This performance is one of those situations where ignorance took over and kept me from enjoying the music. 8)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on June 21, 2012, 07:47:00 PM
The only time (thus far) that I've heard the Op.77 live, it was Repin, Masur, and our band here in Boston. Dynamite!

I may have to fly up to Boston just so I can slap you in the face with a dead fish for this one, Karl. I'm SO jealous!!! >:( ;D

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on June 21, 2012, 11:35:30 PM
Not the best conductor of not the best orchestra is inarguable (and something which we might observe of the Barshai set, meseems).

Oh, Orchestra aside (and the WDR SO is a very, very considerably better orchestra than the NSO, esp. in those years) but Barshai and Slava are not even remotely in the same league as far as their conducting skills are concerned. Barshai was actually a capable conductor, Rostropovich was always a great cellist.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: TheGSMoeller on June 22, 2012, 01:25:50 AM
Just curious, are we discussing Rostropovich's physical conducting style? As in how he looked when he conducted? Or his interpretation of the music and communication with the orchestra he was conducting?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on June 22, 2012, 01:44:07 AM
Just curious, are we discussing Rostropovich's physical conducting style? As in how he looked when he conducted? Or his interpretation of the music and communication with the orchestra he was conducting?

from the WETA column, which seemingly has received its final death blow (http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Jowb37ixL2MJ:www.weta.org/oldfmblog/%3Fp%3D116+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&lr=lang_de%7Clang_en):

Quote
If these are my favorite recordings with the cellist Rostropovich, there are some that are worth noting where he conducts. His undeniable understanding of the music was, when coupled with outstanding collaborators, enough to overcome his limitations as a conductor. His recordings with Maxim Vengerov and the London Symphony Orchestra of the Prokofiev and Shostakovich Violin Concertos (one of each on two Telarc CDs – lest you find the European Warner/Apex re-issue with the two Shostakovich concertos extracted unto one disc) are superb for either composer – and despite ever-stiffening competition in the Shostakovich (last year alone I’ve heard excellent new recordings of Daniel Hope, Leila Josefowicz, Arabella Steinbacher, and Sergey Khachatryan) they are still the recordings to judge all others against.


Prokofiev/Rachmaninov PCs #3 (SACD)
Another double-Russian/Russian combination is very appealing: Prokofiev/Rachmaninov with Rostropovich/Pletnev. Piano Concertos No.3 of both composers make as compelling a combination as an odd one – and the excellent playing, filled with excitement and delightful accents and exclamation marks, all in stunning sound from DG, make this a most worthy traversal of both concertos, even if you already have them in other versions.


DSCH: Sy. #8 (SACD)
Of his Shostakovich symphonies (the complete set – largely with the NSO – is available on Teldec), I cannot recommend many when there is always an interpretation that I’d much rather hear. The early recordings are uneven, lacking in the necessary tension, and are often let down by the NSO’s lack of will or ability. Any complete set I know is preferable, be it Jansons (EMI), Barshai (Brilliant), Kitajenko (Capriccio), Kondrashin (Aulos/Melodiya) or Haitkink (Decca). The LSO recordings on the orchestras’ own label are better, by-and-large, but hugely overrated. His Eighth on that label, though, is a worthy contender. Slowness in that symphony is no detriment to the grim and stark atmosphere and I rate his account above Gergiev (Philips) and Wiggelsworth (BIS), alongside Barshai and Kitajenko and only marginally behind Jansons.


DSCH: Lady Macbeth
If Rostropovich had recorded nothing but Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtensk District, he’d have done the world of music – and the composer – a service enough to forget all the gratuitous boasting I’ve griped about before. With his wife, Galina Vishnevskaya as Katerina Izmailova, this is the recording that put the opera firmly back on the map (though still not firmly enough for the masterpiece it is) and it is the only recording you need to think of acquiring, if you are looking for Audio-only, at least. Any and all of these recordings serve his memory in the best possible way.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: TheGSMoeller on June 22, 2012, 01:52:32 AM
Thanks for posting, Jens.  ;D

The Britten cello suite disc is a mighty fine one, I'm also partial to his Cello-Symphony recording.

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 22, 2012, 02:58:43 AM
I bought the Masur 7th and 13th, so I'm really anxious to hear them. I heard both were great performances. I've come to really enjoy the 13th. I'm still wrapping my mind around the 14th.

As a composer, I am useless as a guide for the general listening public . . . but the Fourteenth grabbed right from the start.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: TheGSMoeller on June 22, 2012, 03:04:21 AM
As a composer, I am useless as a guide for the general listening public . . . but the Fourteenth grabbed right from the start.

The 14th and 15th struck me on first listens more than any other DSCH symphony. I've had the pleasure of seeing the 15th performed live which was quite an experience, would love to see no14.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 22, 2012, 03:08:41 AM
from the WETA column, which seemingly has received its final death blow (http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Jowb37ixL2MJ:www.weta.org/oldfmblog/%3Fp%3D116+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&lr=lang_de%7Clang_en):

And I'll thank you, too. This recording of the Fourth, now . . . I shall agree that it largely lacks tension, and that this lack may be a significant part of why (as I think it must have been the first I heard of the symphony) I came away from this initially, not thinking all that much of the music. Yet now, much better familiar with the symphony as I am, that reduction in tensile pressure here and there I am finding considered and musical — by no means The Way it must be done (any more than I should cast such a judgement for Lenny's extraordinary Leningrad with Chicago), but I shy away from dismissing the result as weakness at the podium.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 22, 2012, 03:52:31 AM
And (FWIW) I find Slava's Fourth thoughtfully weighed, bar by bar, as opposed to Gergiev's (which, at the time when I listened to it, I should have been inclined to like), which I found wilful and capricious.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 22, 2012, 05:06:07 AM
And (FWIW) I find Slava's Fourth thoughtfully weighed, bar by bar [....]

Returning to it now, I think that my long-ago problem with the CD must not have lain in Slava or the NSO, but in the environment (audio & otherwise) when I first heard it.  Again, I should really take an hour to draw up a couple of paragraphs.  And will do, after giving it a third post-reunion listen.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 22, 2012, 11:56:05 AM
Well, this must be the first day I've ever listened to the Opus 43 four times the same day. Guess I'm a phan-boy.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on June 22, 2012, 06:05:20 PM
I think Rostropovich is just fine in Shostakovich's music. The man knew Shostakovich so who better than somebody who was friends with him conduct his music? I may share an outsider's opinion in this regard, but I can't help but admire the man and what he's done whether on the podium, onstage with cello in hand, or away from the lighted stage.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on June 23, 2012, 12:41:47 AM
I think Rostropovich is just fine in Shostakovich's music. The man knew Shostakovich so who better than somebody who was friends with him conduct his music? I may share an outsider's opinion in this regard, but I can't help but admire the man and what he's done whether on the podium, onstage with cello in hand, or away from the lighted stage.

I'm friends with a few composers. You can bet they don't want me to conduct their work.  ;) (But I know what you mean, obviously.)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on June 23, 2012, 05:42:48 AM
I'm friends with a few composers. You can bet they don't want me to conduct their work.  ;) (But I know what you mean, obviously.)

 :P
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on June 24, 2012, 08:55:53 PM
Quite a good performance of the 5th with Bychkov conducting the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra:

http://www.youtube.com/v/RGjb8ygLBhc&feature=related
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 25, 2012, 10:39:16 AM
They're on top of it!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 26, 2012, 09:01:37 AM
Rediscovering how keen I am for the Thirteenth Symphony (which was one of the first I heard, back when I was a mere slip of an undergraduate).  This comparative listening of the first movement is eye- and ear-opening in unforeseen ways.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on June 26, 2012, 09:17:49 AM
Rediscovering how keen I am for the Thirteenth Symphony (which was one of the first I heard, back when I was a mere slip of an undergraduate).  This comparative listening of the first movement is eye- and ear-opening in unforeseen ways.

Which performances are you comparing, Karl?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 26, 2012, 09:32:24 AM
So far, just the first movement, John:

Keen to do this again, and taking a deep breath, all the same:
 
Дмитри Дмитриевич [ Dmitri Dmitriyevich (Shostakovich) ]
Symphony № 13 « Babi Yar », Op.113
Mvt i. Babi Yar. Adagio
 
Nicola Ghiuselev; Men of the Choral Arts Society of Washington; National Symphony Orchestra; Slava
Sergei Leiferkus; Men of the New York Choral Artists; New York Philharmonic Orchestra: Masur
Artur Eizen; Basses of the Russian State Choral Cappella; Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra; Kondrashin (a prior acquisition)
Peter Mikuláš; Male Choruses of the Prague Philharmonic Choir and of the Kühn Mixed Choruses; Prague Symphony Orchestra; Максим Дмитриевич [ Maksim Dmitriyevich (Shostakovich) ] (a prior acquisition)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on June 26, 2012, 10:02:30 AM
So far, just the first movement, John:

The only ones from your list I have yet to hear are Kondrashin's and M. Shostakovich's. I own both of their cycles but haven't explored them in depth (yet).
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 26, 2012, 11:28:03 AM
So far, just the first movement, John

The back of yet another envelope . . . .

Slava &al. – The opening has a plaintive, sorrowful cast;  he has them play it, as if (you see this coming, but it’s true) they were collectively, one great cello.  The men’s choir comes in like a delicate eulogy.  The horns and trumpet, sweetly lyrical in the passage after the choir sing “I feel as old today / as the Jewish race itself.”  Ghiuselev comes in, singing on the monotone in character very like a Deacon intoning a Psalm in the Russian Orthodox liturgy; I like his delivery throughout the movement, a very great deal.  More than a little strange to find that the National Symphony brass are more than holding their own against the NY Phil;  but, that’s what my ears tell me.  Overall, this performance grabs me as intensely emotive, without slamming the gas pedal.  Marvelous quiet entrance for “Above Babi Yar the wild grass rustles,” emerging from the tam-tam crash. [duration: 16'17]

Masur &al. – The initial entrance of the men’s choir is a bit on the martial side, which right away strikes me as different (not at all wrong, mind you).  Leiferkus is as ever in excellent voice;  perhaps a bit operatic compared to ‘the field’ here.  (Again, not to suggest that this is anything like wrong.)  Orchestra strikes me generally as restrained;  I don’t want them to play with abandon, mind you, but I often feel they are not quite present and accounted for.  Chief complaint on this head:  the build-up and climax after “They are knocking down the door!” – “No, it’s the ice breaking.” is under-powered.  Was he saving up for the very close of the movement?  Still, I think there should have been more juice there. [duration: 15'14]

Kondrashin &al. – One obvious disadvantage from the outset:  Unfortunately the exposed muted trumpets right away sound less in control of their instruments, I won’t say merely in comparison to this field, but generallyEizen has a wonderful voice.  He opens rather declamatory & fiery – which is entirely good (without negating other good approaches);  it’s a poem, and (a) the poem sustains a variety of deliveries, as well as (b) the music of that passage being written in a way which is equally flexible.  On the whole, Kondrashin takes a brisk view of the movement.  (It is worth remembering that upon Mravinsky’s demurring, it was Kondrashin who conducted the symphony’s première, 18 December 1962;  this recording dates from 1967.)  In the Kondrashin cycle, this symphony (with the Leningrad) suffers the most from flare and distortion during the fortissimo sections.  The “Above Babi Yar the wild grass rustles” chorus mentioned above, which is so breathtakingly quiet in Slava’s account, here is a bit on the matter-of-fact side – which it is hard for me not to find a little disappointing, anti-poetic.  (Maybe I’ll feel otherwise to-morrow, hey.) [13'40 – yes, that’s right!]

Shostakovich fils &al. – The trumpet-&-bassi opening is, I think, a marvelous discovery here.  It has not the dourly purposeful tone of the Masur, nor the unhurried malevolence which seems not far below the surface in Kondrashin.  Nor elegiac, like Slava’s (which is still such a pleasant sonic memory).  But Maksim Dmitriyevich has found a brilliant pace, like a slow ritual dance – it’s the yurodivy, dancing without heeding whether anyone else nearby is dancing, as well.  The entrance of the men’s choir is delicate, not greatly unlike Slava; yet the size of the choir generates a certain mass so that, although the keening strings are a bit louder, the choir do not suffer any seeming of being in the background: they are the musical matter, and the strings are a highlightMikuláš’s voice is lovely, timbrally a fine instrument for the role;  he seems to be a Slovak, and at times his Russian enunciation seems a bit west of center, but that is no serious quarrel. The orchestra is by turns powerful, sweetly lyrical, subtle.  Maksim Dmitriyevich’s shaping of the movement, and handling of the band, are masterly.  At the point already referred to, with the chorus singing “Above Babi Yar the wild grass rustles,” they sing with such touching weariness (I mean, dramatized weariness, not a choir who have run out of steam) that the text is illuminated yet more richly. [duration: 16'45]

Although I have more than once in the past pounded the table for Maksim Dmitriyevich’s set, I came to this task without a dog in the race, as it were – if anything, my ears were keen to take in what Slava and Masur did with the piece, on their own terms.  That said (and honestly said, too): of the four, Maksim Dmitriyevich grabs my musical collar as a clear favorite.  You’ll note that his account of the first movement is easily the longest in duration by the clock, but there is no flagging of intensity in the least.  While both Masur and Kondrashin certainly give a fine account of the piece, I’ve got to give Slava the palme d’argent here, largely for an extra degree of poetry, that musical intangible.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on June 26, 2012, 12:20:33 PM
Most interesting, Karl. I recall you giving M. Shostakvoich's cycle high praise. I really need to listen to that cycle.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: TheGSMoeller on June 26, 2012, 01:00:53 PM
The back of yet another envelope . . . .
...
 I’ve got to give Slava the palme d’argent here, largely for an extra degree of poetry, that musical intangible.


(http://www.brikcius.com/Images/MstislavRostropovich.conductor.jpg)


HA!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 27, 2012, 02:05:43 AM
Those were the four I had to hand, yesterday. Yestereven, I rooted about for the Haitink and Barshai accounts of the Opus 113. Will spin the first mvt from each this morning, probably after orbiting Uranus.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on June 27, 2012, 10:08:00 AM
These landed today:

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000009OQT.01.L.jpg) (http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B00000JQY0.01.L.jpg)

So far I'm greatly impressed with Previn's Shostakovich. Listening to his 4th performance right now.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on June 27, 2012, 11:04:04 AM
(http://www.brikcius.com/Images/MstislavRostropovich.conductor.jpg)


Rostropovich looks like he's about to take a bite out of his fist. :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on June 27, 2012, 04:31:18 PM
So far I'm greatly impressed with Previn's Shostakovich. Listening to his 4th performance right now.

I have singles of Previn's 4 and 5, and recall the sound being pretty harsh. Possibly you have remasters?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on June 27, 2012, 04:33:10 PM
I have singles of Previn's 4 and 5, and recall the sound being pretty harsh. Possibly you have remasters?

Yes, they are remasters and they sound quite good.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 28, 2012, 03:07:25 AM
I bought the Masur 7th and 13th, so I'm really anxious to hear them. I heard both were great performances. I've come to really enjoy the 13th. I'm still wrapping my mind around the 14th.

Part of the temptation at BRO to which I yielded yesterday was another recording of the Fourteenth, with Kremerata Baltica, and a singleton from your well-liked Caetani cycle, John: the Ninth & Tenth.  At $3.99, I couldn't ask for a better risk:reward profile ; )
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on June 28, 2012, 05:40:50 AM
Part of the temptation at BRO to which I yielded yesterday was another recording of the Fourteenth, with Kremerata Baltica, and a singleton from your well-liked Caetani cycle, John: the Ninth & Tenth.  At $3.99, I couldn't ask for a better risk:reward profile ; )

Cool, Karl. Let me know your thoughts of the Caetani once you've heard it.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on June 28, 2012, 04:35:37 PM
Cool, Karl. Let me know your thoughts of the Caetani once you've heard it.

Yes, definitely looking forward to a second opinion on this. :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on June 28, 2012, 05:16:29 PM
Yes, definitely looking forward to a second opinion on this. :)

Even though I own the box set and enjoy it, I look forward to hearing Karl's thoughts on this recording of the 9th and 10th.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: kishnevi on June 28, 2012, 06:10:04 PM
Finished a first run through of the Fitzwilliam SQ box of the Quartets.  First impression is that, other than the last CD of the set (SQs 14 and 15),  I'll be reaching for my other boxes (Emerson, Mandelring) more than I will this one.  The last two quartets, however, better performed than I remember from the other two cycles, although now of course I'll need to go back to those to be sure.

And I still have (possibly) tomorrow,  the second installment of the Pacifica Quartet cycle in progress to listen to.

And after that I have the box of song cycles/Lady Macbeth to go through, although there are other things in the listening pile that have been waiting longer for my attention.  But I haven't forgotten you, Eyeresist.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on June 28, 2012, 06:44:57 PM
Tonight, I've been digging this performance a lot:

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0010M6HCM.01.L.jpg)

Previn knows his Shostakovich. I should have explored these Previn recordings sooner, but I suppose now is better than never. I really like his 4th and 5th. I thought the 10th was good but could have used more firepower in the finale. I haven't heard his Babi Yar yet. Kondrashin's Dresden performances landed today so I'm going to be digging into those as well.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on June 30, 2012, 07:48:47 PM
Finished a first run through of the Fitzwilliam SQ box of the Quartets.  First impression is that, other than the last CD of the set (SQs 14 and 15),  I'll be reaching for my other boxes (Emerson, Mandelring) more than I will this one.  The last two quartets, however, better performed than I remember from the other two cycles, although now of course I'll need to go back to those to be sure.

And I still have (possibly) tomorrow,  the second installment of the Pacifica Quartet cycle in progress to listen to.

And after that I have the box of song cycles/Lady Macbeth to go through, although there are other things in the listening pile that have been waiting longer for my attention.  But I haven't forgotten you, Eyeresist.

How is the Mandelring Quartet box set, Jeffrey? I own the Emerson's and the partial cycle from the original members of the Borodin Quartet on Chandos. I'm not a big fan of SQs, but the Mandelring has had me intrigued for awhile.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on July 01, 2012, 01:11:21 AM
How is the Mandelring Quartet box set, Jeffrey? I own the Emerson's and the partial cycle from the original members of the Borodin Quartet on Chandos. I'm not a big fan of SQs, but the Mandelring has had me intrigued for awhile.

Mandelring DSCH:

First Impressions and Shostakovich (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/08/first-impressions-and-shostakovich.html)

Shostakovich with the Mandelring Quartett (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2008/05/shostakovich-with-mandelring-quartett.html)

Best Recordings of 2011 (#9) (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/12/best-recordings-of-2011-9.html)

Notes from the 2011 Salzburg Festival ( 18 )
Shostakovich Cycle (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/09/notes-from-2011-salzburg-festival-18.html)


In summary: They are a luxury edition addition to your collection, easy to enjoy... and I find them highly recommendable, but I'd never suggest that they are essential to a DSCH-SQ4t collection... certainly not given the few parameters you mention. They are, however, sufficiently different from the Emersons (and very, very different from the Borodins -- whose first or second set are the touchstone -- of course). First they're not live, no applause, better sound, broadly speaking with a rounder and smoother, more emotive beauty... less cool stringency. Speckless, for better or worse.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 01, 2012, 05:22:01 AM
Mandelring DSCH:

First Impressions and Shostakovich (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/08/first-impressions-and-shostakovich.html)

Shostakovich with the Mandelring Quartett (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2008/05/shostakovich-with-mandelring-quartett.html)

Best Recordings of 2011 (#9) (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/12/best-recordings-of-2011-9.html)

Notes from the 2011 Salzburg Festival ( 18 )
Shostakovich Cycle (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2011/09/notes-from-2011-salzburg-festival-18.html)


In summary: They are a luxury edition to your collection, easy to enjoy... and I find them highly recommendable, but I'd never suggest that they are essential to a DSCH-SQ4t collection... certainly not given the few parameters you mention. They are, however, sufficiently different from the Emersons (and very, very different from the Borodins -- whose first or second set are the touchstone -- of course). First they're not live, no applause, better sound, broadly speaking with a rounder and smoother, more emotive beauty... less cool stringency. Speckless, for better or worse.

Thanks, Jens! Much appreciated.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: calyptorhynchus on July 02, 2012, 03:11:31 PM
I grew up listening to Shostakovich and knew most of his symphonies and other major works from my teens but for some reason I never listened to the Leningrad Symphony until this week. As I was listening to it I was struck by how completely unpropagandistic and unpatriotic a work it was, I was amazed, I had expected some piece of political music and instead here was a symphony that sounded pretty much like 4 and 6, grumpy, oppositional and definitely not 'soviet', with the famous war-theme depicting anything other than the Wehrmacht. (For my money 8 is much more of a war symphony, though the ending is hardly triumphant).

How did Shostakovich get away with it? I suppose his symphonies 2, 3, 11 and 12 are official works, but the rest are anything but, even 5 (which, objectively, is just as disaffected as 4, only put in a tighter form). If Shostakovich had been a poet or a novelist he would have been shot round about 1933. I'd be interested in people's thoughts on this.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 02, 2012, 03:44:00 PM
I grew up listening to Shostakovich and knew most of his symphonies and other major works from my teens but for some reason I never listened to the Leningrad Symphony until this week. As I was listening to it I was struck by how completely unpropagandistic and unpatriotic a work it was, I was amazed, I had expected some piece of political music and instead here was a symphony that sounded pretty much like 4 and 6, grumpy, oppositional and definitely not 'soviet', with the famous war-theme depicting anything other than the Wehrmacht. (For my money 8 is much more of a war symphony, though the ending is hardly triumphant).

How did Shostakovich get away with it? I suppose his symphonies 2, 3, 11 and 12 are official works, but the rest are anything but, even 5 (which, objectively, is just as disaffected as 4, only put in a tighter form). If Shostakovich had been a poet or a novelist he would have been shot round about 1933. I'd be interested in people's thoughts on this.

Some interesting thoughts. One question in your post stuck out like a sore thumb:

Quote
How did Shostakovich get away with it?

Without wearing my own hands out, let me give you the short answer: he got away with it because Stalin allowed him to, but, at the same time, Stalin kept a very close watch on Shostakovich's activities making sure he didn't get too far out of line. But one of the things we should bear in mind, Stalin had many of Shostakovich's close friends and his own sister exiled. This was his way of keeping him in check. This also caused Shostakovich to continually watch his back. Whether there are hidden messages in his music or not has been fiercely debated by scholars for many years. According to Michael Tilson Thomas, one reason why Shostakovich didn't get killed or exiled had to do with Stalin's own sentimental attachment to a song Shostakovich wrote, but I think Shostakovich was just smart enough to be careful about what he composed, especially after being blasted by Soviet propaganda papers after Stalin witnessed Lady Macbeth live. He remained on very thin ice from that moment on.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on July 02, 2012, 05:39:29 PM
I think he also got away with it because he was generally acknowledged to be the greatest composer in the USSR. If he was gone, who was there to fill that vacancy? As a matter of national prestige, they couldn't do away with him.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 02, 2012, 05:45:07 PM
I think he also got away with it because he was generally acknowledged to be the greatest composer in the USSR. If he was gone, who was there to fill that vacancy? As a matter of national prestige, they couldn't do away with him.

This is also a good point. He achieved fame early on with his first symphony being composed when he was 19. I read a good quote from writer/composer Nicolas Nabokov the other day that said:

"To me, he seemed like a trapped man, whose only wish was to be left alone, to the peace of his own art and to the tragic destiny to which he had been forced to resign himself."
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on July 02, 2012, 05:50:19 PM
I read a good quote from writer/composer Nicolas Nabokov the other day that said:

"To me, he seemed like a trapped man, whose only wish was to be left alone, to the peace of his own art and to the tragic destiny to which he had been forced to resign himself."

That describes me too :D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 02, 2012, 05:53:42 PM
That describes me too :D

Somebody asked me the other day what is about Shostakovich's music that I relate to? I would say his struggle to conform to the rigid rules of the Soviet regime. He had to find a way to be himself just like we all have to find a way to be ourself in the narrow confines of the society we live in.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on July 02, 2012, 06:10:48 PM
Somebody asked me the other day what is about Shostakovich's music that I relate to? I would say his struggle to conform to the rigid rules of the Soviet regime. He had to find a way to be himself just like we all have to find a way to be ourself in the narrow confines of the society we live in.

Hmm. Depends what you mean by "conform". Did he want to believe, did he want to be the New Soviet Man? Or did he want to be himself, and only put up a show of conformity in order to survive?

He grew up under Soviet rule, and with symphonies 2 and 3 did appear to be reconciling himself to the dominant ideology, after a fashion. But the criticism he encountered seemed to be not really based on ideology, but upon people cynically gaming the system, casting aspersions on rivals and objects of dislike. I've read (somewhere) that Shostakovich remained to some extent a believer in the ideals of Communism, but after the Terror he must have realised that the USSR was only a travesty of these ideals.

From this, I would say the conformity of his later years was only a shield, a survival tool. But then, it is also true that the man becomes the mask he wears....

In conclusion: Dmitri was not a happy bunny.
Title: Re: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 02, 2012, 06:10:57 PM
Somebody asked me the other day what is about Shostakovich's music that I relate to?

In my case: the beauty and integrity of the music.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on July 02, 2012, 06:17:11 PM
What do you mean by "integrity"?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 02, 2012, 06:29:47 PM
Hmm. Depends what you mean by "conform". Did he want to believe, did he want to be the New Soviet Man? Or did he want to be himself, and only put up a show of conformity in order to survive?

He grew up under Soviet rule, and with symphonies 2 and 3 did appear to be reconciling himself to the dominant ideology, after a fashion. But the criticism he encountered seemed to be not really based on ideology, but upon people cynically gaming the system, casting aspersions on rivals and objects of dislike. I've read (somewhere) that Shostakovich remained to some extent a believer in the ideals of Communism, but after the Terror he must have realised that the USSR was only a travesty of these ideals.

From this, I would say the conformity of his later years was only a shield, a survival tool. But then, it is also true that the man becomes the mask he wears....

In conclusion: Dmitri was not a happy bunny.

Interesting view, eyeresist. It's hard for me to say whether he conformed or not, because there are still so many unanswered questions regarding his life that haven't even been answered. Like, for example, what's the meaning of the 5th symphony? What's the idea of the 9th --- was it a celebration of Soviet victory from the Germans or was it a sarcastic musical statement depicting Stalin as an egomaniac? What's the meaning behind the Passacaglia in Violin Concerto No. 1? What does this heartfelt outpouring of emotion symbolize? So many questions...
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on July 02, 2012, 07:05:05 PM
I don't think the 9th had any sort of program. It's an exercise in contrasting moods.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 02, 2012, 07:27:44 PM
I don't think the 9th had any sort of program. It's an exercise in contrasting moods.

Evidently, the Soviet authorities thought differently since it was a work that got Shostakovich into a lot of hot water.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._9_(Shostakovich)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on July 02, 2012, 08:12:39 PM
Evidently, the Soviet authorities thought differently since it was a work that got Shostakovich into a lot of hot water.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._9_(Shostakovich) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._9_(Shostakovich))

Who am I to contradict the Politburo?  0:)  The response of the New York World-Telegram is hilarious: "The Russian composer should not have expressed his feelings about the defeat of Nazism in such a childish manner". Yes, Mom!

Listening to the 9th now (Kondrashin). It reminds me of the string quartets, particularly the early ones, with its mix of folksy dance rhythms and pathos. I think it might do well in a quartet arrangement.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 02, 2012, 08:27:58 PM
Who am I to contradict the Politburo?  0:)  The response of the New York World-Telegram is hilarious: "The Russian composer should not have expressed his feelings about the defeat of Nazism in such a childish manner". Yes, Mom!

Listening to the 9th now (Kondrashin). It reminds me of the string quartets, particularly the early ones, with its mix of folksy dance rhythms and pathos. I think it might do well in a quartet arrangement.

I find it amusing that the Soviet authorities reacted so negatively towards it. The whole work is a joke and cartoonish, but this, of course, doesn't make it any less fun to listen to. I need to revisit it. I've neglected it for too long, although it's a work I've always enjoyed.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on July 02, 2012, 11:31:22 PM
I don't think the 9th had any sort of program. It's an exercise in contrasting moods.

That would have been part of the problem.

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/05/gergievs-munich-shostakovich-symphonies_11.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/05/gergievs-munich-shostakovich-symphonies_11.html)
Quote
...At a symposium earlier that day, Gergiev grumbled that to ignore the humor in DSCH was to miss the point of his music entirely. That’s particularly true for the Ninth Symphony, coy and glittery and frivolously charming, with a brass section that sounds like the Keystone Kops at band-camp. Dainty ballet-girls and beer hall oompah-bands never existed in such harmonious proximity. Deliberately undercutting the mythical status that Beethoven set for a “Ninth Symphony” already made a (musical) statement in and of itself. Doing so in the summer of 1945, following the defeat of Nazi Germany and after announcements in the press had suggested a “Victory Symphony”, added another, political, dimension. Imagine collective expectations of a high-holy paean to Stalin, vanquisher of evil and preserver of the people. And then you get the symphonic equivalent of “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.” In a place and at a time where being apolitical (never mind wrong-political) was a crime, that was strong stuff.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Est.1965 on July 03, 2012, 03:54:58 AM
I find it amusing that the Soviet authorities reacted so negatively towards it. The whole work is a joke and cartoonish, but this, of course, doesn't make it any less fun to listen to. I need to revisit it. I've neglected it for too long, although it's a work I've always enjoyed.

Shosty, it seems, was quite happy to drop little dittys and daft wee tunes into his major symphonic works. 
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-sd4H9AkTX4E/T_LrQMgK52I/AAAAAAAAACQ/ZnssnvR-1wk/s576/hg.jpg)
Title: Re: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 03, 2012, 04:09:03 AM
I find it amusing that the Soviet authorities reacted so negatively towards it.

Well, it was rather serious business, actually, and (not to seem to brow-beat you) I'm not sure amusement is quite an apt response. It would not be until Stalin had died, that Dmitri Dmitriyevich would write another symphony. In that interval, he eschewed that genre for a reason.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 03, 2012, 05:56:16 AM
Shosty, it seems, was quite happy to drop little dittys and daft wee tunes into his major symphonic works. 
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-sd4H9AkTX4E/T_LrQMgK52I/AAAAAAAAACQ/ZnssnvR-1wk/s576/hg.jpg)

:D

By the way, welcome back, John!
Title: Re: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 03, 2012, 06:01:03 AM
Well, it was rather serious business, actually, and (not to seem to brow-beat you) I'm not sure amusement is quite an apt response. It would not be until Stalin had died, that Dmitri Dmitriyevich would write another symphony. In that interval, he eschewed that genre for a reason.

Yes, I know it was serious business, but what I don't know about is the level of suffering Shostakovich had to endure. None of us know unless we were there with him or knew him. All we can do is read about his life and try to wrap our minds around what it was like for him.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Sergeant Rock on July 03, 2012, 06:18:32 AM
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/05/gergievs-munich-shostakovich-symphonies_11.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2012/05/gergievs-munich-shostakovich-symphonies_11.html)

Re the Ninth: "Imagine collective expectations of a high-holy paean to Stalin, vanquisher of evil and preserver of the people. And then you get the symphonic equivalent of “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.”

Brilliant, Jens  :D

Sarge
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: edward on July 03, 2012, 07:42:44 AM
I find it amusing that the Soviet authorities reacted so negatively towards it. The whole work is a joke and cartoonish, but this, of course, doesn't make it any less fun to listen to. I need to revisit it. I've neglected it for too long, although it's a work I've always enjoyed.
I'm not sure it's all a joke, though. Much of the 9th may be light-hearted but my favourite performances tend to be ones that let the listener know that yes, we're having a good time, but nonetheless there's something nasty in the woodshed. (Kosler would be a prime example of this--IMO one of the great DSCH recordings.)

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 03, 2012, 10:16:47 AM
I'm not sure it's all a joke, though. Much of the 9th may be light-hearted but my favourite performances tend to be ones that let the listener know that yes, we're having a good time, but nonetheless there's something nasty in the woodshed. (Kosler would be a prime example of this--IMO one of the great DSCH recordings.)

The Presto movement of the 9th is a perfect example of this flamboyant light-heartedness but with some grim touches. :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: nesf on July 03, 2012, 10:44:02 AM
Noob question:

Recommended listening order for Shostakovich's String Quartets?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Conor71 on July 03, 2012, 10:58:02 AM


Quote from: nesf on Today at 03:44:02 AM (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic=164.msg641339#msg641339)
Noob question:

Recommended listening order for Shostakovich's String Quartets?

I listened to them in sequence (1, 2, 3 etc..) - theres a nice progression in style and mood from somewhat playful/traditional in the early works to more serious/experimental in the later quartets. If you want to start with highlights for me that would be 8th and I also like the 15th too :)
Edit: Have you heard the Piano Trios yet? - I think you would find them appealing as well and both are very worthwhile!

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: nesf on July 03, 2012, 11:09:55 AM
Edit: Have you heard the Piano Trios yet? - I think you would find them appealing as well and both are very worthwhile!


Just no. 2. :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Conor71 on July 03, 2012, 11:43:53 AM


Quote from: nesf on Today at 04:09:55 AM (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php?topic=164.msg641347#msg641347)
Just no. 2. :)

I have this set which i think very highly of - it has both Piano Trios, the Quintet, Cello Sonata and a couple of String Quartets as well and is only 5 quid off the Amazon marketplace if you are interested.
I would recommend a full set of the String Quartets in future though - they are wonderful works and work exploring in full!  8)

>


Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: nesf on July 03, 2012, 11:51:29 AM
I have the Emerson Quartet set of the string quartets already. :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: North Star on July 03, 2012, 11:53:53 AM
I have the Emerson Quartet set of the string quartets already. :)
Listen to that in order, then. No bad pieces there, and nothing composed just to please Stalin.

Piano trio no. 2 is a masterpiece, and the violin & viola sonatas, too.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on July 03, 2012, 02:06:40 PM
Noob question:

Recommended listening order for Shostakovich's String Quartets?

From the top. (Or bottom, depending on how you look at it.) In any case: might as well start with No.1 and work your way through them chronologically... they're masterpieces all and No.1 starts off particularly strong.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 04, 2012, 11:04:16 AM
Hey Jens,

You mentioned in a post to me that you really enjoyed this recording:

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B007ZEG3Z0.01.L.jpg)

The only thing holding me back from this recording is the expensive price tag.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on July 04, 2012, 01:22:14 PM
Hey Jens,

You mentioned in a post to me that you really enjoyed this recording:

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B007ZEG3Z0.01.L.jpg)

The only thing holding me back from this recording is the expensive price tag.

I did, I did... but I'll go over it again and compare to another one (Gergiev / Matsuev) that stood out of recent DSCH-PC recordings (incl. Gulda / Gramola and yet two more that don't come to mind) to see if one has a clear edge over the other.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 04, 2012, 02:01:28 PM
I did, I did... but I'll go over it again and compare to another one (Gergiev / Matsuev) that stood out of recent DSCH-PC recordings (incl. Gulda / Gramola and yet two more that don't come to mind) to see if one has a clear edge over the other.

No need to do that Jens. I see that the Matsuev/Gergiev isn't very highly recommended. Of recent Shostakovich PC recordings, I like this one the best:

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B006OGSS80.01.L.jpg)

But my favorite recording of these two PCs comes from Hamelin/Litton on Hyperion.

As for the VC No. 1, I would seriously like to have a pristine recording of the Repin/P. Jarvi YouTube video I posted a page or so back. That was an intense performance. Jarvi exerted himself rather well in that performance (I'm not a big fan of his conducting).
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on July 04, 2012, 02:39:16 PM
No need to do that Jens. I see that the Matsuev/Gergiev isn't very highly recommended. O

Hmm... for what it's worth, I think it's one of the few Matsuev-and-or-Gergiev recordings that I think are quite outstanding. Also best coupling since Hamelin / Litton.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 04, 2012, 02:43:29 PM
Hmm... for what it's worth, I think it's one of the few Matsuev-and-or-Gergiev recordings that I think are quite outstanding. Also best coupling since Hamelin / Litton.

I'll check it out, Jens. Thanks for your help.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on July 10, 2012, 08:30:29 AM
any one familiar with Gianandrea Noseda with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and the cellist Enrico Dindo's recording of the cello concertos on Chandos?  I'm thinking about getting that CD. 
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 10, 2012, 08:51:50 AM
any one familiar with Gianandrea Noseda with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and the cellist Enrico Dindo's recording of the cello concertos on Chandos?  I'm thinking about getting that CD.

Haven't heard this Noseda recording but I haven't heard much feedback about it either. Anyway, I'm curious which performances do you own of Shostakovich's VCs?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on July 10, 2012, 09:05:23 AM
Haven't heard this Noseda recording but I haven't heard much feedback about it either. Anyway, I'm curious which performances do you own of Shostakovich's VCs?
Venegrov/Rostropovich/LSO (Both), Oistrakh/NYPO/Mitropolous for #1, Oistrakh/Kondrashin/MPSO for #2, Hope/Maxim Shostakovich/BBC Symphony Orchestra, Khachatryan/Masur/ONF
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 10, 2012, 09:15:40 AM
Venegrov/Rostropovich/LSO (Both), Oistrakh/NYPO/Mitropolous for #1, Oistrakh/Kondrashin/MPSO for #2, Hope/Maxim Shostakovich/BBC Symphony Orchestra, Khachatryan/Masur/ONF

Everybody talks about how great Oistrakh's performance was and honestly I don't think much of it. I'm beginning to dislike Vengerov's approach altogether to the violin. I haven't heard Hope/M. Shostakovich yet, but I didn't like Hope's recording of Berg/Britten concerti. His tone just isn't there. Khachatryan is one of my favorites. Outstanding performance IMHO. Josefowicz/Oramo was awful. I'm beginning to dislike Mullova/Previn. Steinbacher/Nelsons, aside from the Khachatryan/Masur, is another top choice of mine. I also just listened to Batiashvili/Salonen and was incredibly impressed with it. I'll be listening to this one a lot as well.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on July 10, 2012, 09:17:47 AM
Everybody talks about how great Oistrakh's performance was and honestly I don't think much of it. I'm beginning to dislike Vengerov's approach altogether to the violin. I haven't heard Hope/M. Shostakovich yet, but I didn't like Hope's recording of Berg/Britten concerti. His tone just isn't there. Khachatryan is one of my favorites. Outstanding performance IMHO. Josefowicz/Oramo was awful. I'm beginning to dislike Mullova/Previn. Steinbacher/Nelsons, aside from the Khachatryan/Masur, is another top choice of mine. I also just listened to Batiashvili/Salonen and was incredibly impressed with it. I'll be listening to this one a lot as well.
You're hard to please :P
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 10, 2012, 09:56:38 AM
You're hard to please :P

Well, you're probably right. I am pretty hard to please, but let's bear in mind that all of the violinists who are well-known who tackle Shosty's VCs are top-notch musicians. I may disagree with his/her interpretation, but this doesn't change my opinion of them as great musicians. They wouldn't be where they are today had they not put in the necessary work to be recognized. Like, for example, Josefowicz is a good musician, but I don't care for her style, especially in Shosty's VC No. 1. I think she's too edgy and I don't care for her tone on violin at all. The same with Mordkovitch, which is another performance I listened to recently and found distasteful. It all comes down to what you admire most in a performance. I look for 1. a collaborative effort from the soloist/conductor (i. e. both are on the same page interpretatively), 2. a warm tone from the violinist, 3. all the technical demands of the concerto to be met, and 4. both the soloist's and conductor's attention to the subtleties and details of the music.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on July 10, 2012, 09:59:12 AM
Well, you're probably right. I am pretty hard to please, but let's bear in mind that all of the violinists who are well-known who tackle Shosty's VCs are top-notch musicians. I may disagree with his/her interpretation, but this doesn't change my opinion of them as great musicians. They wouldn't be where they are today had they not put in the necessary work to be recognized. Like, for example, Josefowicz is a good musician, but I don't care for her style, especially in Shosty's VC No. 1. I think she's too edgy and I don't care for her tone on violin at all. The same with Mordkovitch, which is another performance I listened to recently and found distasteful. It all comes down to what you admire most in a performance. I look for 1. a collaborative effort from the soloist/conductor (i. e. both are on the same page interpretatively), 2. a warm tone from the violinist, 3. all the technical demands of the concerto to be met, and 4. both the soloist's and conductor's attention to the subtleties and details of the music.
I'm currently listening to the Khachatryan/Masur, enjoying his playing, but I am not totally convinced of Masur leading the orchestra. 

EDIT:  Not sure I care for the opening of the Passacaglia.  Seems far too quiet, far too polished to my ears.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 10, 2012, 10:05:24 AM
I'm currently listening to the Khachatryan/Masur, enjoying his playing, but I am not totally convinced of Masur leading the orchestra.

I understand this as I feel this way as well. I thought more energy from Masur from the podium could have been beneficial to the performance, but I suppose we have to take what we get. I do find it a bit strange Khachatryan picked Masur as his collaborator, but I do think both of them saw eye-to-eye. What Masur may lack in energy, he makes up for in providing an eerie backdrop. I like the way Masur let Khachatryan shine and be heard. I admire that kind of egoless generosity.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 10, 2012, 10:07:54 AM
EDIT:  Not sure I care for the opening of the Passacaglia.  Seems far too quiet, far too polished to my ears.

I thought this Passacaglia was handled beautifully. It's not as heart-wrenching as say Vengerov/Rostropovich, but I just don't like Vengerov's tone and approach to the violin, which, for me, is a deal-breaker.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on July 10, 2012, 10:10:43 AM
I understand this as I feel this way as well. I thought more energy from Masur from the podium could have been beneficial to the performance, but I suppose we have to take what we get. I do find it a bit strange Khachatryan picked Masur as his collaborator, but I do think both of them saw eye-to-eye. What Masur may lack in energy, he makes up for in providing an eerie backdrop. I like the way Masur let Khachatryan shine and be heard. I admire that kind of egoless generosity.
It seems to me that Masur takes this up as a typical violin concerto, with bursts of energy when the Khachatryan isn't doing much, but, as I said in the WAYLT thread, I find this to be more of a symphonic concerto than usual in how it is constructed, and Masur makes too much of an effort to lo let Khachatryan shine that hinders the performance.   
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on July 10, 2012, 10:12:29 AM
I thought this Passacaglia was handled beautifully. It's not as heart-wrenching as say Vengerov/Rostropovich, but I just don't like Vengerov's tone and approach to the violin, which, for me, is a deal-breaker.
I was merely talking about the opening of the movement, I loved Rostropovich's handling of the opening.

EDIT:  He makes up for the opening of the Passacaglia with a superb opening of the Burlesca, with a great ending.  I still prefer Venegrov/Rostropovich/LSO, though, as I like Venegrov's tone for this piece. 
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 10, 2012, 10:15:40 AM
Well, you're probably right. I am pretty hard to please, but let's bear in mind that all of the violinists who are well-known who tackle Shosty's VCs are top-notch musicians. I may disagree with his/her interpretation, but this doesn't change my opinion of them as great musicians. They wouldn't be where they are today had they not put in the necessary work to be recognized. Like, for example, Josefowicz is a good musician, but I don't care for her style, especially in Shosty's VC No. 1. I think she's too edgy and I don't care for her tone on violin at all. The same with Mordkovitch, which is another performance I listened to recently and found distasteful. It all comes down to what you admire most in a performance. I look for 1. a collaborative effort from the soloist/conductor (i. e. both are on the same page interpretatively), 2. a warm tone from the violinist, 3. all the technical demands of the concerto to be met, and 4. both the soloist's and conductor's attention to the subtleties and details of the music.

Then you're obviously not a fan of Gould/Berstein's version of Brahms piano concerto.

Here's an interesting article on concerto conducting...

http://www.nytimes.com/1988/01/10/arts/music-view-special-gift-of-concerto-conducting.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 10, 2012, 10:21:08 AM
It seems to me that Masur takes this up as a typical violin concerto, with bursts of energy when the Khachatryan isn't doing much, but, as I said in the WAYLT thread, I find this to be more of a symphonic concerto than usual in how it is constructed, and Masur makes too much of an effort to lo let Khachatryan shine that hinders the performance.

I completely disagree. The violin is the voice in this music. It, in my opinion, is supposed to lead the way. Doesn't matter how it's structured, it's still a concerto. The same applies to all of Shosty's concerti. You or I don't know what Masur truly thinks about this work, but his interpretation is to follow Khachatryan who guides the music forward. They're both on the same page and I find this an admirable quality and for this reason it easily is a top choice for me.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 10, 2012, 10:23:14 AM
Then you're obviously not a fan of Gould/Berstein's version of Brahms piano concerto.

Here's an interesting article on concerto conducting...

http://www.nytimes.com/1988/01/10/arts/music-view-special-gift-of-concerto-conducting.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

Not sure what this has to do with Shostakovich's Violin Concerto Nos. 1 & 2, but I haven't heard and don't want to hear the Gould/Bernstein performance of Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 10, 2012, 10:48:39 AM
Not sure what this has to do with Shostakovich's Violin Concerto Nos. 1 & 2, but I haven't heard and don't want to hear the Gould/Bernstein performance of Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1.

The first part was a joke that must have not been understood.

And the link is an interesting article on concerto conducting, which you and PaulR have filled a page here discussing, it doesn't directly reference DSCH's VCs, but it focuses on areas of soloist/conductor.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 10, 2012, 10:59:02 AM
I actually think Masur does very well accompanying the concerti, whether live (he was here in Boston's Symphony Hall) or on the disc with Khatchatryan.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on July 10, 2012, 11:04:32 AM
I actually think Masur does very well accompanying the concerti, whether live (he was here in Boston's Symphony Hall) or on the disc with Khatchatryan.
I don't want to make it seem that I think he doesn't, it  was merely my own thinking of what the first VC is, and some minor quibbles about the interpretation. 
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 10, 2012, 11:10:11 AM
The first part was a joke that must have not been understood.

And the link is an interesting article on concerto conducting, which you and PaulR have filled a page here discussing, it doesn't directly reference DSCH's VCs, but it focuses on areas of soloist/conductor.

I didn't know you were joking and didn't understand or get the joke.

Edit: A smiley face (:)) should always be at the end of a joke, otherwise, how am I or anyone else to know you're joking?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 10, 2012, 11:10:58 AM
I don't want to make it seem that I think he doesn't, it  was merely my own thinking of what the first VC is, and some minor quibbles about the interpretation.

All is well, Paul. No worries. We all like and admire different things in performances. A difference of opinion makes the world turn.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 10, 2012, 02:44:16 PM
I'm own my second listen to Lisa Batishvili's performance of Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1 and I'm still highly impressed with her playing and the accompaniment from Salonen. This is a performance worth getting to know.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on July 11, 2012, 01:24:44 AM
Everybody talks about how great Oistrakh's performance was and honestly I don't think much of it. I'm beginning to dislike Vengerov's approach altogether to the violin. I haven't heard Hope/M. Shostakovich yet, but I didn't like Hope's recording of Berg/Britten concerti. His tone just isn't there. Khachatryan is one of my favorites. Outstanding performance IMHO. Josefowicz/Oramo was awful. I'm beginning to dislike Mullova/Previn. Steinbacher/Nelsons, aside from the Khachatryan/Masur, is another top choice of mine. I also just listened to Batiashvili/Salonen and was incredibly impressed with it. I'll be listening to this one a lot as well.

This is interesting, thanks. I agree about Oistrakh and Vengerov - Oistrakh has a lot of cred but I've never heard him really dig into the music. Vengerov's vibrato and timbre nauseate me - I don't know how anyone else can stand it! The little I've heard of Mullova I didn't like either - too hard-toned and insensitive. I don't know if you have the Sitkovetsky set of Shost and Prok violin concertos - he's okay but too reticent and lacklustre. I do appreciate that he's not trying to overpower the music, but he goes too far the other way.

So I think I will have to look into Khachatryan, Steinbacher, and Batiashvili.

*Lopes off to Amazon.*
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 11, 2012, 05:52:21 AM
This is interesting, thanks. I agree about Oistrakh and Vengerov - Oistrakh has a lot of cred but I've never heard him really dig into the music. Vengerov's vibrato and timbre nauseate me - I don't know how anyone else can stand it! The little I've heard of Mullova I didn't like either - too hard-toned and insensitive. I don't know if you have the Sitkovetsky set of Shost and Prok violin concertos - he's okay but too reticent and lacklustre. I do appreciate that he's not trying to overpower the music, but he goes too far the other way.

So I think I will have to look into Khachatryan, Steinbacher, and Batiashvili.

*Lopes off to Amazon.*

I have a recording of Sitkovetsky performing Bartok's VCs and I didn't enjoy his playing at all. I've pretty avoided anything recorded by him ever since. Try out Khachatryan, Steinbacher, and Batiashvili. I'm sure you'll enjoy at least one of these performances.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 11, 2012, 06:16:56 AM
Very good ear. Shostakovich's 2nd and 3rd are generally regarded as his weakest symphonies. They're almost nothing in the world but propaganda works. Like of today's radio jingle for example. They're trying to sell something [....]

As to the statement that “Shostakovich's 2nd and 3rd are [...] almost nothing in the world but propaganda works”:  The obvious fact about them is that they conclude with a chorus singing propagandic texts.

Does the fact that a symphony contains an element of propaganda mean that it’s “nothing in the world but propaganda works”?  Obviously not.  It could be argued that Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” is pantheistic, warm-&-fuzzy claptrap propaganda.  (It would be a hostile view of the matter, but it can be argued;  one might alternatively view the poem as not particularly good poetry, and yet regard the content of the poem with some tolerance.)  Certainly the setting of the poem is the driver for the musical structure of the fourth movement.  In framing that argument, is one justified in detracting the entire Op.125 as “almost nothing in the world but propaganda works”? Is that a rhetorical question, or what?

Another obvious fact about the two symphonies is that they were commissions as ‘public works’, and (to be sure) the final choral fooferaw was in both cases the raison d’être for the commission.  Does the fact of the public commission invalidate the entire artistic endeavor?

I do not think it can.  The question of artistic worth has to rest in the resulting work, not in the source of a commission.  There are great works of art which have been commissioned for The Public; and there is piffle which has been thus commissioned.

Of course, it is possible to take distaste for the Communist propaganda texts as a driver for prejudice against the entire piece.  That is neither subtle, nor even fair.

There is the fact that the composer himself had his son promise that he would never conduct those works.  (A promise which Maksim Dmitriyevich has obviously broken, in the interests of keeping deeper artistic faith with his dad.)  On the face of it, this appears like the composer “disowning” the musical objects.  I think the sounder argument is, that long experience had embittered him to the Party, that this experience made all of his (necessary, to at least some reasonable degree) apparent compromises over the years loathsome to him.  He may well have been sharply critical, at that later date, of his apparent naïveté in ‘playing along’ in that earlier epoch;  and if I remember the timing correctly, at the time of that conversation with his son, he may well have rued his apparent ‘cave-in’ in the 60s, when he at last actually joined the Party.

For my ears personally, the flaws of the choral texts (mediocrity of both style and content . . . third-pressing Mayakovsky, if you like) are of less import than the panache of the choral writing.  (I could even consider the texts of a certain type of interest, as historical artifacts, but set that aside at present.) There is a musical élan in the execution of both these symphonies which, on its own merit, I find worthwhile.

Even if we allowed (for argument’s sake) that the lousy texts meant that the choral finales of both symphonies are therefore somehow worthless – how could the instrumental portion of the works be propagandic?  They’re just notes, in a real sense.  If we excised the choral finale, and played the rest of the Second Symphony to a ‘blind’ audience, and told them the name of the piece was Mercury, the Winged Messenger – how many in the group would cry, “No! This is no heavenly body – it is The Spectre of Communism!” –?

The other aspect of the Second and Third Symphonies which my ears treasure are, they are an important part of the limited view we have of the precocious talent to which Shostakovich gave rein before the necessity of self-policing came into force, after the notorious Pravda editorial.

In my opinion (spelled out, no acronym), if anyone tosses these symphonies into the dustbin just by virtue of their compromised origins, he is certainly acting within his own æsthetic rights, but he’s also losing out on some of the century’s genuinely fascinating (and exhilarating) music.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: kishnevi on July 11, 2012, 06:33:01 AM

There is the fact that the composer himself had his son promise that he would never conduct those works.  (A promise which Maksim Dmitriyevich has obviously broken, in the interests of keeping deeper artistic faith with his dad.)  On the face of it, this appears like the composer “disowning” the musical objects.  I think the sounder argument is, that long experience had embittered him to the Party, that this experience made all of his (necessary, to at least some reasonable degree) apparent compromises over the years loathsome to him.  He may well have been sharply critical, at that later date, of his apparent naïveté in ‘playing along’ in that earlier epoch;  and if I remember the timing correctly, at the time of that conversation with his son, he may well have rued his apparent ‘cave-in’ in the 60s, when he at last actually joined the Party.


The other aspect of the Second and Third Symphonies which my ears treasure are, they are an important part of the limited view we have of the precocious talent to which Shostakovich gave rein before the necessity of self-policing came into force, after the notorious Pravda editorial.


I've isolated those two paragraphs to give context to my own speculation.
Perhaps DSCH's apparent dislike was not a musical judgment, but based on psychological/personal circumstance--they may have been too-painful reminders of what he might have otherwise done, and reminders of an era when musical experimentation was not only tolerated, but to some degree encouraged.  And DSCH might have also been reflecting on what was then his political naivete, in willingly providing music for the regime.  (Though aren't there stories of DSCH making fun of the texts and of the scenario for The Bolt?)

Myself, I'm not too enamored of the Second and Third--musically they are not my cup of tea (or, since this is a Russian context, my samovar of tea).    Seemingly disjointed,  too modernistic, etc.    Interesting documents more than interesting music, so to speak.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 11, 2012, 06:36:10 AM
Fine post, Jeffrey; and I certainly respect the "interesting, but not my bag" viewpoint.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 11, 2012, 07:08:02 AM
Karl, you made a good post, but it doesn't change my view of the works too much. I understand you're trying to defend music you like which there's nothing wrong with that. Russia knew Shostakovich was a prodigious talent or else his Symphony No. 1 wouldn't have been so highly acclaimed. That is a fine symphony no question about it. I just feel the 2nd and 3rd fall short musically. The 2nd is a better work IMHO than the 3rd because I can get onboard with the wild orchestration and general manic musical feel that permeates much of the first half of the symphony. I dig that, but when compared with what came after these symphonies I'm left scratching my head. We could take these two symphonies on their own merits perhaps, but even when doing that I feel a bit letdown. Shostakovich wrote a good bit of propaganda music -- some of it good, some of it horrible. I would say the 2nd and the 3rd fall somewhere between. They're not great works, but they're not necessarily terrible either. Anyway, that's my two cents.
Title: Re: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 11, 2012, 07:18:50 AM
Karl, you made a good post, but it doesn't change my view of the works too much. I understand you're trying to defend music you like which there's nothing wrong with that.

Thanks, John. I don't believe that it was so much a matter of defending music I like (on the whole, these two early symphonies do not break into my 30 Favorite Shostakovich Pieces list), as (viz. my early indication in the WAYLT thread) inviting a richer understanding of the pieces. I certainly entertained no dream of convincing you to like them better (is such an external process of conviction even possible?)

So, I am content that my post is reasonably good ; )
Title: Re: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 11, 2012, 07:27:35 AM
Thanks, John. I don't believe that it was so much a matter of defending music I like (on the whole, these two early symphonies do not break into my 30 Favorite Shostakovich Pieces list), as (viz. my early indication in the WAYLT thread) inviting a richer understanding of the pieces. I certainly entertained no dream of convincing you to like them better (is such an external process of conviction even possible?)

So, I am content that my post is reasonably good ; )

Well, it's always a pleasure to read people's thoughts about Shostakovich and you articulated yourself very well. I do wish, however, that people would try and explore more lesser-known Shostakovich music. I mean there are many folks I've spoken with that haven't even heard The Golden Age yet. I need to spin the 2nd and 3rd again and re-evaluate my opinion on them. That's one thing I enjoy about you Karl. You always end making me question my own opinion. :D And in most cases, I wind up being glad I paid the particular works in question a revisit.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 11, 2012, 07:29:50 AM
New Babylon ... someday, I'm going to listen to it!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 11, 2012, 07:34:40 AM
New Babylon ... someday, I'm going to listen to it!

New Babylon is cool, Karl. You'll enjoy it I think. I don't own the new recording of it on Naxos. I own the older James Judd recording.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: North Star on July 11, 2012, 08:27:07 AM
Great post on the 2nd and 3rd, Karl. I haven't listened to them too much, but from what I recall, I didn't find them bad at all, just not of the quality that the others are. Another obvious example of a propaganda piece would be Alexander Nevsky - while it isn't maybe on the same level as Violin Sonata no. 1, or much of the piano music, it's certainly not bad music.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: edward on July 11, 2012, 08:29:11 AM
Personal view: I certainly don't write off the 2nd and 3rd; there are certainly many striking moments in both even if they pale in comparison to the 4th. I'd be interested to know why DSCH told his son that he should not conduct these two--whether it related to the sung texts, perceived musical failings, both, or other things.

I do wonder whether DSCH may have had a particularly negative view of these two symphonies as a result of comparing them to Gavriil Popov's 1st symphony, the first version of which was written around the same time as Shostakovich's 3rd. This symphony shares similar concerns with the instrumental movements of DSCH 2 and 3, but IMO is far more ambitious and effective--and I think it'd be easy to make a case that the massive increase in confidence and musical ambition seen in the 4th (as well as the "Mahlerian" rhetoric in that work) comes from having seen Popov's symphony as pointing out key elements of the way forward that DSCH seems to have been casting about for in the 2nd and 3rd.

Of course, this way forward didn't last long, for either DSCH (who adapted to the changed circumstances) or Popov (who didn't).
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 11, 2012, 11:03:47 AM
And now it's time for a direct question to Karl: have you heard The Golden Age yet? If not, this is the recording to get:

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000IY068O.01.L.jpg)

There are two other performances on CD: one of them with Rozhdestvensky conducting the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and the other with Yuri Simonov conducting the Bolshoi Orchestra, which I haven't heard.

P.S. Sorry if this question is redundant. I wasn't sure if I asked you yet.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 11, 2012, 11:12:15 AM
I still have not, yet.  I mean, not most of it . . . two numbers from it, I think.

That sort of direct question I do not mind; it's relevant
: )
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 11, 2012, 11:15:42 AM
I still have not, yet.  I mean, not most of it . . . two numbers from it, I think.

That sort of direct question I do not mind; it's relevant
: )

Please make time for it, Karl. You'll really enjoy it. Maybe listen to it over the weekend. Also please listen to Schnittke's Peer Gynt. These two ballets make a nice contrast. :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on July 11, 2012, 04:55:42 PM
Another obvious fact about the two symphonies is that they were commissions as ‘public works’, and (to be sure) the final choral fooferaw was in both cases the raison d’être for the commission.  Does the fact of the public commission invalidate the entire artistic endeavor?
...
For my ears personally, the flaws of the choral texts (mediocrity of both style and content . . . third-pressing Mayakovsky, if you like) are of less import than the panache of the choral writing.  (I could even consider the texts of a certain type of interest, as historical artifacts, but set that aside at present.) There is a musical élan in the execution of both these symphonies which, on its own merit, I find worthwhile.
...
The other aspect of the Second and Third Symphonies which my ears treasure are, they are an important part of the limited view we have of the precocious talent to which Shostakovich gave rein before the necessity of self-policing came into force, after the notorious Pravda editorial.

Regarding the commissions, as I recall from the Wilson book, one of the remarkable things about the 3rd is that it was NOT commissioned but written "on spec". In late 20s Russia it was still possible for a young Shostakovich to buy into the potential of communism for positive social change.

Musically the two symphonies contain some of the most avant garde stuff he ever wrote. The choral finales aren't great but I don't think they invalidate what comes before. The real problem for me with these works is that they don't hang together structurally. If Shosty wasn't such a giant, I could almost imagine someone taking the best bits of 2 and 3 and rearranging them into a "proper" symphonic work (or a ballet?).


I have a recording of Sitkovetsky performing Bartok's VCs and I didn't enjoy his playing at all. I've pretty avoided anything recorded by him ever since. Try out Khachatryan, Steinbacher, and Batiashvili. I'm sure you'll enjoy at least one of these performances.

Also added Kaler/Wit and Mordkovitch/Jarvi to this list. Can you recall exactly what you disliked about the Mordkovitch?


Another obvious example of a propaganda piece would be Alexander Nevsky
I think you'll find yourself in a small minority with that opinion! Nevsky is more an example of a work which wasn't troubled too much by the censors because it was on a patriotic subject.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on July 11, 2012, 05:25:06 PM
Also added Kaler/Wit and Mordkovitch/Jarvi to this list. Can you recall exactly what you disliked about the Mordkovitch?

I really disliked Mordkovitch's tone and just her interpretation. She ruined the Passacaglia movement with her rough-and-ready approach to violin. Reminds of me of why I dislike Vengerov.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: North Star on July 12, 2012, 02:40:53 AM
I think you'll find yourself in a small minority with that opinion! Nevsky is more an example of a work which wasn't troubled too much by the censors because it was on a patriotic subject.

But how does this differ from Shosty's 2nd and 3rd?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 12, 2012, 02:53:08 AM
Regarding the commissions, as I recall from the Wilson book, one of the remarkable things about the 3rd is that it was NOT commissioned but written "on spec". In late 20s Russia it was still possible for a young Shostakovich to buy into the potential of communism for positive social change.

Thanks for reminding me to go back to sources! Meanwhile . . . his having written it "on spec" is a point which, of itself, does not indicate what the composer may or may not "buy into";  I seem to remember it being a matter of plying the network, so to say.  Need to scare up the Fay!

Quote from: eyeresist
Musically the two symphonies contain some of the most avant garde stuff he ever wrote. The choral finales aren't great but I don't think they invalidate what comes before. The real problem for me with these works is that they don't hang together structurally. If Shosty wasn't such a giant, I could almost imagine someone taking the best bits of 2 and 3 and rearranging them into a "proper" symphonic work (or a ballet?).

I should agree that they don't hang together structurally (and that the Fourth, for all its Grandiosomania, is held together soundly by marvelous, steely motivic cables running through, and therefore represents a marvelous leap forward) . . . but (a) in their scale, I don't find that any grave fault, and (b) as formal experiments, again, I find them a fascinating snapshot of the composer at the time — and, for all their musical profligacy, I find them a show of rare musical strength.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on July 12, 2012, 04:35:04 PM
But how does this differ from Shosty's 2nd and 3rd?

Wha...?

2 and 3 supposedly symbolise the revolutionary struggle through music, and conclude with texts praising the Bolshevik revolution.
Nevsky tells the exciting story of a Russian hero of medieval times. No point trying to conflate these just to try to make a point.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: kishnevi on July 12, 2012, 05:42:18 PM
Finished the Decca box of song cycles this morning. 


 I found the orchestral cycles superior to the piano cycles, although I think they should have gone with someone other than DFD to sing the Captain Lebyadkin songs (or maybe DSCH wanted something that abrasive and hateful sounding....)
Musically, they sound rather like you would expect DSCH to sound, with vocal soloist added.....Since it's my first listen to most of the songs, and not just to the performances, I'd rather not say too much more than that.  (Two of the cycles, conducted by Haitink with the Concertgebouw and different singers, are included in the Haitink set of the symphonies. )  The performances in this set feature N. Jarvi conducting the Gothenburg SO.   Both the orchestral and piano versions of the Michelangelo songs are included.  On the piano songs,  Vladimir Ashkenazy is on duty at the keyboard.
It's a 5 CD set;  the fourth and fifth CDs are taken up by Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk in the Chung/Bastille Opera recording.  I found myself more interested and more emotionally involved by the Rostropovich recording on EMI.

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on July 12, 2012, 08:17:46 PM
It's a 5 CD set;  the fourth and fifth CDs are taken up by Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk in the Chung/Bastille Opera recording.  I found myself more interested and more emotionally involved by the Rostropovich recording on EMI.
Perhaps the high estimation of the Rostro is yet another example of reality not matching received wisdom?

I already have the Chung recording, so now there is the pained question of duplication to consider....
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: kishnevi on July 13, 2012, 07:23:56 AM
Perhaps the high estimation of the Rostro is yet another example of reality not matching received wisdom?

I already have the Chung recording, so now there is the pained question of duplication to consider....

No, no, I like the Rostropovich better! 
As for this box, since you already have 40% of it--I'd suggest looking for the first two CDs as individual items, and alternate versions of the songs with piano--although the 7 Romances on Poems of A. Blok (which has a vocalist and chamber ensemble) has a good performance on that CD.   It's the DFD that's the main stumbling block.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 13, 2012, 07:29:11 AM
Perhaps the high estimation of the Rostro is yet another example of reality not matching received wisdom?

I already have the Chung recording, so now there is the pained question of duplication to consider....

Jeffrey has already interposed . . . but Slava is the classic account.

. . .  It's the DFD that's the main stumbling block.

Yes . . . I had that disc already as a Decca cut-out via BRO, so I knew that all the rest would be uphill : )

I don't think DF-D would have committed that offense upon the Capt. Lebyadkin Verses if he had actually read the Dostoyevsky.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 13, 2012, 07:30:46 AM
The Blok Romances for soprano and piano trio are obligatory Shostakovich! Top-shelf music plus a Silver Age Russian poet.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: kishnevi on July 13, 2012, 08:00:56 AM

I don't think DF-D would have committed that offense upon the Capt. Lebyadkin Verses if he had actually read the Dostoyevsky.

I've read most of the rest of Fyodor, but never really liked him, and finally gave up after a couple of chapters into The Possessed (or the Demons, or whatever the correct translation of the title is....I've seen several different renditions).  The Idiot is the only one I actually liked,and I had to read it all the way through before I realized I liked it.   It was The Gamblers on which DSCH made the beginnings of an opera, wasn't it?

But in regards to the Lebyadkin poems,  the little I've read suggests that a harsh, blustery approach might well have been in character for the Captain, so perhaps that's what DFD was trying to do.

Among my purchases yesterday in the used LP/CD store was Slatkin's account of DSCH 4, which I though was good, but not good enough to replace any of my current favorites (Gergiev, Janssons)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on July 15, 2012, 04:44:17 PM
No, no, I like the Rostropovich better! 
As for this box, since you already have 40% of it--I'd suggest looking for the first two CDs as individual items, and alternate versions of the songs with piano--although the 7 Romances on Poems of A. Blok (which has a vocalist and chamber ensemble) has a good performance on that CD.   It's the DFD that's the main stumbling block.

Whoops, I misread  :-[

Thanks for the buying advice.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 20, 2012, 02:52:44 AM
This (http://ir.canterbury.ac.nz/bitstream/10092/5342/1/ShostakovichThesis.pdf) is four years old already, but I found it a most high-value read yesterday, when I chanced upon it.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: eyeresist on July 22, 2012, 04:25:38 PM
This (http://ir.canterbury.ac.nz/bitstream/10092/5342/1/ShostakovichThesis.pdf) is four years old already, but I found it a most high-value read yesterday, when I chanced upon it.

Thanks for this link, Karl! I have downloaded, and will read it when I find the time (it's 167pp.). I did "skip to the end" to see the author's verdict on Volkov - nice and sensible :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 22, 2012, 04:40:07 PM
Glad that you find it of interest, too!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 22, 2012, 05:01:28 PM
Wonder if any of the Shostaposse here have heard this disc. I've heard Calefax Reed Quintet's Rameau disc and just recently discovered their Goldberg Variations, along with this DSCH disc of preludes and fugues (one of my favorites from DSCH) looks interesting but haven't found any samples or write ups.
Also, might be my favorite DSCH photo/cover art.


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51rn0KJywpL._SL500_AA500_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/518-kUu%2BFmL._AA500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on July 23, 2012, 12:54:54 AM
Wonder if any of the Shostaposse here have heard this disc. I've heard Calefax Reed Quintet's Rameau disc and just recently discovered their Goldberg Variations, along with this DSCH disc of preludes and fugues (one of my favorites from DSCH) looks interesting but haven't found any samples or write ups.
Also, might be my favorite DSCH photo/cover art.


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51rn0KJywpL._SL500_AA500_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/518-kUu%2BFmL._AA500_.jpg)

Very cool. No... have not heard that. But I'll think I'll shoot a mail off to MDG right now.  ;D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: The new erato on July 23, 2012, 04:22:14 AM
Just ordered this:



These performances have never been issued before on CD. The performance of Shostakovich s Symphony No.10 was given on the very night that Soviet tanks invaded Czechoslovakia in a concentrated effort to halt The Prague Spring , the liberal political reforms initiated by Alexander Dubcek. The atmosphere in the Royal Albert Hall, as can be heard from the shouts of protest, was electric and very tense. It is likely that the USSR State Symphony Orchestra had not heard the news, but after the first few bars, the disruption was finally drowned out by other members of the audience and from various accounts, Svetlanov, as can be heard here, then went on to give the performance of his life. Svetlanov's widow, on hearing the test pressings of this CD, said that the performance brought tears to her eyes and the emotion of that evening came across very strongly.

According to IRR one of the most blistering accounts of no 10 ever.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on July 23, 2012, 05:36:03 AM
Wonder if any of the Shostaposse here have heard this disc. I've heard Calefax Reed Quintet's Rameau disc and just recently discovered their Goldberg Variations, along with this DSCH disc of preludes and fugues (one of my favorites from DSCH) looks interesting but haven't found any samples or write ups.
Also, might be my favorite DSCH photo/cover art.


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51rn0KJywpL._SL500_AA500_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/518-kUu%2BFmL._AA500_.jpg)
They have samples of it on iTunes, not sure what to think about it.  Judging only by the samples that they give, I think it is a mixed bag.  Some work well with the wind quintet, one example of this would be #3.  But some others (such as #2), do not work well with the scoring.  But these are my own opinions only based off of short samples.

I may investigate further in the future. 
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 23, 2012, 06:02:36 AM
They have samples of it on iTunes, not sure what to think about it.  Judging only by the samples that they give, I think it is a mixed bag.  Some work well with the wind quintet, one example of this would be #3.  But some others (such as #2), do not work well with the scoring.  But these are my own opinions only based off of short samples.

I may investigate further in the future.

Man, I've been so bad about locating samples lately. Thanks Paul.
And thank you for your comments. I will add my own once I listen. I have an infatuation with wind ensembles or pieces for winds so I'm anxious for hearing it
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 23, 2012, 06:09:59 AM
Greg, do you perchance know the two Scarlatti transcriptions Shostakovich did for wind ensemble?  (I should have guessed that they would be right up your street.)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: TheGSMoeller on July 23, 2012, 06:19:07 AM
Greg, do you perchance know the two Scarlatti transcriptions Shostakovich did for wind ensemble?  (I should have guessed that they would be right up your street.)

Have not, Karl. But I'm intrigued, will start looking for them. Are you familiar with them?  Thanks!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on July 23, 2012, 06:22:55 AM
Man, I've been so bad about locating samples lately. Thanks Paul.
And thank you for your comments. I will add my own once I listen. I have an infatuation with wind ensembles or pieces for winds so I'm anxious for hearing it
It is no problem.  I'm not great at locating samples, I basically only have 3 sources for samples--arkiv, amazon, and iTunes. 

My assessment of it is not really fair to the performance, as iTunes gives about 1M-1:30 sample size.  It is impossible to get a full, good impression using just samples.  Would be great if these magically turn up on NML......
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 23, 2012, 06:28:22 AM
Have not, Karl. But I'm intrigued, will start looking for them. Are you familiar with them?  Thanks!

They are a pre-“Muddle” jeu d'esprit, Op.17: K.9 (L.413) (“Pastorale”) & K.20 (L.375) (“Capriccio”).

The “Pastorale” has some nice understated timpani thumps.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Est.1965 on August 03, 2012, 08:18:18 AM
Couple of months ago or so I ventured forth to Amazon and bought a set of Shostakovich symphonies on recommendation.  Not knowing too much and not having much Stravinsky, I was quickly happy with my set, Haitink with the RCO.  Yesterday, whilst gawklily browsing tunes on Youtube, there was plenty to sample of from Barshai's Shostakovich set.  In fact, the whole set is there to listen to.  So I dutifully sampled, and sampled some more.  I soon sampled myself daft with the Barshai Shostakovich, discovering it to be something better (for me) than the one I already bought, AND it was considerably less expensive.
Haaarrrumph!   :-[  :'(
I sense much more depth of understanding in what I have heard of the Barshai set, things seem much bigger and graver without being played as such.  The sound (albeit from online source and listened to through headphones from my laptop) also seems to be better.   The silly tunes Shostakovich opened some of his symphonies with are somehow more transparent.  I am uber impressed by what I have heard (Barshai) although unfortunately this will mean Haitinks little red set can sit well away for a while as I investigate and pound the table with Rudolph and the West German Radio Symphony Orchestra... :D
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jwinter on August 03, 2012, 08:36:03 AM
I am definitely still on the early learning curve on Shostakovich's symphonies, whichis why I seldom mention them in these parts, but I agree that I have, generally, found the Barshai to be more involving than Haitink.  I have 3 sets -- Kondrashin, Barshai, and Haitink, and both of the Russians get more play that Haitink. 

That said, I'm keeping the Haitink, because if my experience with him in other repetoire holds, he has a tendency to bring out subtleties that others sometimes miss.  The Russian conductors are more exciting and immediately interesting; I suspect that I may come to like Haitink better once I am more fully acquainted with the symphonies.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: kishnevi on August 03, 2012, 10:10:30 AM
Couple of months ago or so I ventured forth to Amazon and bought a set of Shostakovich symphonies on recommendation.  Not knowing too much and not having much Stravinsky, I was quickly happy with my set, Haitink with the RCO.  Yesterday, whilst gawklily browsing tunes on Youtube, there was plenty to sample of from Barshai's Shostakovich set.  In fact, the whole set is there to listen to.  So I dutifully sampled, and sampled some more.  I soon sampled myself daft with the Barshai Shostakovich, discovering it to be something better (for me) than the one I already bought, AND it was considerably less expensive.
Haaarrrumph!   :-[  :'(
I sense much more depth of understanding in what I have heard of the Barshai set, things seem much bigger and graver without being played as such.  The sound (albeit from online source and listened to through headphones from my laptop) also seems to be better.   The silly tunes Shostakovich opened some of his symphonies with are somehow more transparent.  I am uber impressed by what I have heard (Barshai) although unfortunately this will mean Haitinks little red set can sit well away for a while as I investigate and pound the table with Rudolph and the West German Radio Symphony Orchestra... :D

Do be aware that the Barshai is included as part of Brilliant's 100 CD Symphonies box--so if you have any interest at all in some of the other sets included there--it's sort of a super set of Brilliant sets, including their Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Mahler, etc--it may be worth getting that way.  (I got if as a bargain, for less than what I would have paid for the Haydn and Shostakovich cycles I was principally interested in.)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Opus106 on August 03, 2012, 11:36:47 PM
Do be aware that the Barshai is included as part of Brilliant's 100 CD Symphonies box--so if you have any interest at all in some of the other sets included there--it's sort of a super set of Brilliant sets, including their Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Mahler, etc--it may be worth getting that way.  (I got if as a bargain, for less than what I would have paid for the Haydn and Shostakovich cycles I was principally interested in.)

I wish they would re-release their Shostakovich Edition again.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on September 25, 2012, 08:11:15 AM
Man, this was buried back at the bottom of page 5. People, you are letting the side down! ; )

The birthday boy plays his own Prelude & Fugue in C, Op.87 № 1

http://www.youtube.com/v/Uuj5uzgmB5A
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on September 25, 2012, 09:03:39 AM
Man, this was buried back at the bottom of page 5. People, you are letting the side down! ; )

The birthday boy plays his own Prelude & Fugue in C, Op.87 № 1

http://www.youtube.com/v/Uuj5uzgmB5A

Beautiful playing and composition.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on September 27, 2012, 12:28:02 AM
The birthday boy plays his own Prelude & Fugue in C, Op.87 № 1
Not in Germany, but that's not unusual.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: The new erato on September 30, 2012, 12:03:19 AM
The 51 CS Dmitri collection is preannounced at 60 Euro (less Vat outside the EU) here:

http://www.abeillemusique.com/CD/Classique/BRIL9245/5029365924528/Brilliant-Classics/Dimitri-Chostakovitch/edition-Chostakovitch/cleart-65057.html (http://www.abeillemusique.com/CD/Classique/BRIL9245/5029365924528/Brilliant-Classics/Dimitri-Chostakovitch/edition-Chostakovitch/cleart-65057.html)

(http://www.abeillemusique.com/images/references/bril9245.jpg)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on September 30, 2012, 05:41:33 AM
The 51 CS Dmitri collection is preannounced at 60 Euro (less Vat outside the EU) here:

http://www.abeillemusique.com/CD/Classique/BRIL9245/5029365924528/Brilliant-Classics/Dimitri-Chostakovitch/edition-Chostakovitch/cleart-65057.html (http://www.abeillemusique.com/CD/Classique/BRIL9245/5029365924528/Brilliant-Classics/Dimitri-Chostakovitch/edition-Chostakovitch/cleart-65057.html)

(http://www.abeillemusique.com/images/references/bril9245.jpg)

If I didn't own so much of that box set already, I would definitely pick it up, but for somebody who really is new to Shostakovich and has loved what they heard so far, this set would be a great deal.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on November 20, 2012, 09:46:32 PM
Bought these two 7th recordings yesterday:

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B003ARIA7U.01.L.jpg) (http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B009NEP3II.01.L.jpg)

I had the buy the Nelsons as an import as it's not available in the US for some f***** up reason. The 7th is a symphony that I have only recently, in the past three/four months, come to fully appreciate. A lot of it I owe to Bernstein's classic CSO performance on DG. I've never quite warmed up to this symphony until I listened to Bernstein's performance several times. Now, I can tackle other performances with no problem. I liked Masur's on Teldec with the NY Philharmonic a lot. Haitink's was a pretty strong account on Decca. Never liked Jansons or Ashkenazy recordings of Shostakovich. Anyway, I eagerly await these two newer recordings of the 7th
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on November 24, 2012, 05:09:24 PM
For the third time, I saw the Violin Concerto #1 in A Minor op. 77 live.  This time with the NYPO under Andrey Boreyko conducting with Frank Peter Zimmerman as the soloist.  It was really well done, I thought.  Perhaps the best experience I have had with that piece in a live setting.

One thing I want to mention about the piece, the tutti pizzicato with the timpani is such a cool effect and fits that piece very well.  I've known it was there, but was the first time I heard it and thought it was a wonderful moment.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on November 24, 2012, 07:15:26 PM
For the third time, I saw the Violin Concerto #1 in A Minor op. 77 live.  This time with the NYPO under Andrey Boreyko conducting with Frank Peter Zimmerman as the soloist.  It was really well done, I thought.  Perhaps the best experience I have had with that piece in a live setting.

One thing I want to mention about the piece, the tutti pizzicato with the timpani is such a cool effect and fits that piece very well.  I've known it was there, but was the first time I heard it and thought it was a wonderful moment.

Nice, Paul! I bet it was a great performance. Boreyko is becoming quite the Shostakovian having recorded Symphonies Nos. 4, 9, & 15 already. Zimmerman is also an awesome violinist. I'm jealous! How was the Passacaglia?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on November 24, 2012, 07:50:01 PM
Nice, Paul! I bet it was a great performance. Boreyko is becoming quite the Shostakovian having recorded Symphonies Nos. 4, 9, & 15 already. Zimmerman is also an awesome violinist. I'm jealous! How was the Passacaglia?
Extremely well done, but a little too fast of a tempo for my taste. 
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on November 25, 2012, 07:35:39 AM
Extremely well done, but a little too fast of a tempo for my taste.

Yeah, I like a slower tempo in the Passacaglia.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brewski on November 25, 2012, 02:55:18 PM
For the third time, I saw the Violin Concerto #1 in A Minor op. 77 live.  This time with the NYPO under Andrey Boreyko conducting with Frank Peter Zimmerman as the soloist.  It was really well done, I thought.  Perhaps the best experience I have had with that piece in a live setting.

One thing I want to mention about the piece, the tutti pizzicato with the timpani is such a cool effect and fits that piece very well.  I've known it was there, but was the first time I heard it and thought it was a wonderful moment.

I was at that performance, too, and thought it was excellent. Zimmermann took a few moments to warm up, and I agree that the Passacaglia was just a bit too fast, but overall it was an excellent performance. Boreyko did a beautiful job with the orchestra, too, and kept it from overpowering the solo part.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on November 27, 2012, 06:02:26 PM
Does anyone know Shostakovich's opinion of Schnittke? I can't seem to find anything online where Shostakovich talks about Schnittke. Thanks.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 28, 2012, 06:00:27 AM
Does anyone know Shostakovich's opinion of Schnittke? I can't seem to find anything online where Shostakovich talks about Schnittke. Thanks.

I know of none. I am doubtful that he expressed any; he was, as you know, tight-lipped as a rule.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on November 28, 2012, 09:41:59 AM
I know of none. I am doubtful that he expressed any; he was, as you know, tight-lipped as a rule.

Yes, I suppose expressing a positive opinion of Schnittke could get him into some trouble with the Soviet authorities. :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 11, 2012, 04:39:54 PM
I've discovered something rather interesting today: Shostakovich makes a quotation from Bartok's The Wooden Prince in opening of the first movement of his famous Symphony No. 5. The movement from Bartok's The Wooden Prince I'm referring to is the Fourth Dance. Obviously, Shostakvoich resolved it in a completely different way, but it's still very similar.

Let's see what I can dig up for comparison:

http://www.youtube.com/v/QLyOg6xqEXU

Listen around the 7:54 mark. Again, Shostakovich resolves this motif in a completely different way.

Shostakovich's famous 5th:

http://www.youtube.com/v/hFJvUwl8lcw

I wonder if Shostakovich was a fan of Bartok's music? Anybody? Maybe I'm just clutching at straws here. They just happen to use similar musical phrasings, but that comparison ends there.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: ChamberNut on December 11, 2012, 05:12:57 PM
I've discovered something rather interesting today: Shostakovich makes a quotation from Bartok's The Wooden Prince in opening of the first movement of his famous Symphony No. 5. The movement from Bartok's The Wooden Prince I'm referring to is the Fourth Dance. Obviously, Shostakvoich resolved it in a completely different way, but it's still very similar.

I wonder if Shostakovich was a fan of Bartok's music? Anybody? Maybe I'm just clutching at straws here. They just happen to use similar musical phrasings, but that comparison ends there.

John, I come across this scenario several times over my course of music listening.  Whenever I try and bring it up, it inevitably gets shot down, or not commented on.  Perhaps, it is a situation where "I'm clutching at straws".

I tried to pick out the comparison in your case, and I could not catch it.   :(  I will try again later on though.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 11, 2012, 05:47:20 PM
John, I come across this scenario several times over my course of music listening.  Whenever I try and bring it up, it inevitably gets shot down, or not commented on.  Perhaps, it is a situation where "I'm clutching at straws".

I tried to pick out the comparison in your case, and I could not catch it.   :(  I will try again later on though.

Perhaps comparison was the wrong word to use. Right at the start of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 is similar to a musical passage in this Bartok's The Wooden Prince. As I mentioned, listen to the Bartok video at the 7:54 mark and then listen to the very beginning of Shostakovich's 5th, which I also posted here. There are similar musical patterns used but both composers obviously resolve them in completely different ways. I'm just inquiring to see if by chance Shostakovich picked up on this little motif and incorporated it into the first movement of his 5th? The way Bartok used the motif was quite subdued and he basically repeated it over and over again whereas Shostakovich took part of it and did something different with the idea.

But there are a lot of composers who have done this kind of thing, I don't know why I've made such a big deal about it. It's just an observation more than anything.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: North Star on December 11, 2012, 05:49:10 PM
Perhaps comparison was the wrong word to use. Right at the start of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 is similar to a musical passage in this Bartok's The Wooden Prince. As I mentioned, listen to the Bartok video at the 7:54 mark and then listen to the very beginning of Shostakovich's 5th, which I also posted here. There are similar musical patterns used but both composers obviously resolve them in completely different ways. I'm just inquiring to see if by chance Shostakovich picked up on this little motif and incorporated it into the first movement of his 5th? The way Bartok used the motif was quite subdued and he basically repeated it over and over again whereas Shostakovich took part of it and did something different with the idea.
So.. this would be like the Leningrad & Intermezzo interrotto in reverse?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 11, 2012, 05:50:52 PM
So.. this would be like the Leningrad & Intermezzo interrotto in reverse?

I don't know, Karlo. Did you hear the phrase I'm talking about?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: North Star on December 11, 2012, 05:52:21 PM
I don't know, Karlo. Did you hear the phrase I'm talking about?
No, I'll check it in the morning.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on December 11, 2012, 06:46:42 PM
But there are a lot of composers who have done this kind of thing, I don't know why I've made such a big deal about it. It's just an observation more than anything.

I'm inclined to chalk it up to coincidence. When I was a teenager and just joined GMG I would post all sorts of stuff accusing composers of outright theft and everyone sort of laughed at me. Great ideas come to people separately sometimes, I guess.

But there are still things that make me wonder...

Compare 1:32/1:44 here

http://www.youtube.com/v/vsy5ec40cNY

to 00:32 here

http://www.youtube.com/v/UskC4VILUeg


or

0:08

http://www.youtube.com/v/5O2VHdVnnps

to this famous horn call

http://www.youtube.com/v/DB_lKSNwZZM
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 11, 2012, 06:57:46 PM
I'm inclined to chalk it up to coincidence. When I was a teenager and just joined GMG I would post all sorts of stuff accusing composers of outright theft and everyone sort of laughed at me. Great ideas come to people separately sometimes, I guess.

I didn't accuse anyone of theft, not saying you did such a thing towards me, and I think it's like you said just a coincidence. Shostakovich certainly did a lot more with the idea and it became one of the most recognized themes of the 20th Century. This little Bartok phrase wasn't a big tune and I certainly don't hear it being treated as one. In The Wooden Prince, it's merely a musical means to get to a greater idea, whereas with Shostakovich this little phrase yielded a much more substantial idea.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: ChamberNut on December 11, 2012, 06:58:52 PM
I'm inclined to chalk it up to coincidence. When I was a teenager and just joined GMG I would post all sorts of stuff accusing composers of outright theft and everyone sort of laughed at me. Great ideas come to people separately sometimes, I guess.


I've learned that, unless you have a Masters degree in Musicology or are a 'so called' expert in Classical Music, bringing up musical themes/ideas that bear similarities (unless it's already been written about), it's better to not even mention it.

They'll just say 'no, you are wrong'.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 11, 2012, 07:07:32 PM
I've learned that, unless you have a Masters degree in Musicology or are a 'so called' expert in Classical Music, bringing up musical themes/ideas that bear similarities (unless it's already been written about), it's better to not even mention it.

They'll just say 'no, you are wrong'.

It doesn't really matter to me what someone who has a masters degree in musicology says to me about this, I hear strong similarities in the usage of this little motif, but as I said already, Bartok repeats the phrase over and over again whereas Shostakovich resolves it to something completely different. Shostakovich merely uses a fragment from it and it had more of a ballsy sound to it because of the way he used it, but, like Brian, said it's merely coincidental and nobody stole anything from each other. I was just curious if Shostakovich was familiar or admired Bartok's music?

By the way, if I wanted a musical analysis on this I would just call up my uncle who's a retired composer who lives in Chicago. He holds a masters in music composition. He mainly works as a copyist now.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: edward on December 11, 2012, 07:17:12 PM
Yes, I suppose expressing a positive opinion of Schnittke could get him into some trouble with the Soviet authorities. :)
I don't think Shostakovich was ever close to Schnittke: apparently--to paraphrase Ivashkin on the subject--they did spend some time together at a near-compulsory holiday retreat organized by Khrennikov in the '60s; neither spoke much, Schnittke being too overawed and Shostakovich disinclined to say anything to anyone. I think Schnittke's musical closeness to Shostakovich (at least after the mid-'60s) has often been overstated: I hear his musical language as more coming from Mahler, Berg, B. A. Zimmermann and even late Nono than from DSCH (Mahler and Berg were of course key influences on both composers).

Shostakovich certainly publicly praised the music of two of the other prominent figures of Schnittke's generation--however, both Denisov and Gubaidulina were students of his, and DSCH seems to have taken his responsibility to his students seriously (I'm not aware of what, if any, opinions of these composers DSCH is supposed to have expressed privately*). I'm inclined to take his praise for Denisov seriously if only because I think the last movement of the 14th symphony refers to--without directly quoting--the last movement of the younger composer's cantata The Sun of the Incas.


*It'd be interesting to collect some of DSCH's private comments from sources like Richter's conversation books, since those I've seen tend to suggest a man with considerably more wide-ranging tastes than his comparatively conservative musical language might lead one to expect: if I remember correctly he expressed clear interest (not uncritical, it has to be said) in Xenakis and the earlier works of Stockhausen and Boulez.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 11, 2012, 07:21:29 PM
I don't think Shostakovich was ever close to Schnittke: apparently--to paraphrase Ivashkin on the subject--they did spend some time together at a near-compulsory holiday retreat organized by Khrennikov in the '60s; neither spoke much, Schnittke being too overawed and Shostakovich disinclined to say anything to anyone. I think Schnittke's musical closeness to Shostakovich (at least after the mid-'60s) has often been overstated: I hear his musical language as more coming from Mahler, Berg, B. A. Zimmermann and even late Nono than from DSCH (Mahler and Berg were of course key influences on both composers).

Shostakovich certainly publicly praised the music of two of the other prominent figures of Schnittke's generation--however, both Denisov and Gubaidulina were students of his, and DSCH seems to have taken his responsibility to his students seriously (I'm not aware of what, if any, opinions of these composers DSCH is supposed to have expressed privately*). I'm inclined to take his praise for Denisov seriously if only because I think the last movement of the 14th symphony refers to--without directly quoting--the last movement of the younger composer's cantata The Sun of the Incas.


*It'd be interesting to collect some of DSCH's private comments from sources like Richter's conversation books, since those I've seen tend to suggest a man with considerably more wide-ranging tastes than his comparatively conservative musical language might lead one to expect: if I remember correctly he expressed clear interest (not uncritical, it has to be said) in Xenakis and the earlier works of Stockhausen and Boulez.

Interesting post, Edward. I could see Shostakovich digging some Xenakis since it's so violent and turbulent. :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on December 12, 2012, 03:44:21 AM
Bought these two 7th recordings yesterday:

(http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B009NEP3II.01.L.jpg)

I'm very interested in Nelsons Shostakovich output; I have seen him conducting the 8th in Lucerne (on Television) and it was great. Do you already have an opinion about the 7th, MI?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 12, 2012, 09:03:13 AM
I'm very interested in Nelsons Shostakovich output; I have seen him conducting the 8th in Lucerne (on Television) and it was great. Do you already have an opinion about the 7th, MI?

Yes, Tapio. Madaboutmahler (Daniel) had been inquiring to me about this recording so here's what I wrote to him about the performance: I thought the performance was quite good, but it didn't really shake my bones like Bernstein's DG performance. I would rank it much below that performance and Masur's for that matter. Interpretatively, Nelsons used some swifter tempi, which seemed to rob some of the more lyrical moments of their beauty. Nelsons is a good conductor, but I don't find this performance very distinctive. Well performed certainly but that's just not enough for me.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 27, 2012, 07:14:21 AM
Yesterday, I spent perhaps forty minutes leafing through David Hurwitz's Shostakovich Symphonies and Concertos - An Owner's Manual at the School Street Borders.  As the spirit of the title promises (and, to be sure, as one expects from Hurwitz), this is a book oriented not to experienced musicians, but to the amateur trying to make sense of It All.  It really isn't bad, all in all;  though there is the odd attitude, and the occasional trotting out of an idée reçue which prompts one, not to want to strangle Hurwitz (which would be distastefully extreme), but to leisurely bung some rotten fruit at him.  Against that, he's made some earnest attempt at illustrating the form and musical content of many of the works, which is a matter entirely different to the shallow rantage customary in many of his recordings reviews.  In some respects, really an interesting read, though from this senator's standpoint, a book I might browse at the bookstore, but not one I need on the shelf at home.

Completely forgot that I had posted this . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 27, 2012, 07:28:07 AM
On Re-hearing the Tenth after 365 Days

I've just finished listening to Shostakovich's Tenth Symphony. The last time I heard it was on June 30, 2009, on my iPod, in the car on my family's return from a road trip out to Utah and the Grand Canyon. Location: somewhere on Interstate 10 in rural west Texas. Over the course of the road trip I had heard the Tenth twice (the other time was in Albuquerque), the Fifth several times in different performances, and Khachaturian's Cello Concerto on six (!) occasions. I was all Russianed out.

Then for a while I just didn't listen to the Tenth. It wasn't intentional; it just slipped the mind. I went to college in the fall and planned to give it a play to celebrate going back, but didn't have the time. Eventually I decided to save it for a special occasion. By December I decided to just wait until June 30 rolled around again. June 30 came. I listened to a CD for MusicWeb and went to bed early. Finally carved out an hour for the Tenth tonight, starring Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

I should note that my familiarity with the symphony is purely from listening; I have never seen a score.

Impressions

First of all, how'd I go this long without listening to one of my favorite pieces? I just wanted to curl up in every minute of it ... thought a few times that I could just as easily have listened to it every day for a year. (This is, of course, not actually true.) This felt like Hemingway on his first day back from a year of shaving. Or something.

The Tenth Symphony is the culmination of the "Russian Romantic" symphonic tradition; it is the apotheosis of same. Had Rachmaninov, Lyapunov, Glazunov and Bortkiewicz seen it to its grave? No, they'd merely set up this fearsome volley. This symphony is, like Tchaikovsky's Fifth or Rachmaninov's Second (much more like the latter), based entirely on a simple motif stated at the outset. The first movement is built entirely on that motif, and I was really impressed at how much of the first seven to eight minutes of the symphony Shostakovich was able to repeat at and after the climax. Except for the interjection of the flute tune at 6:00, which serves as a catalyst for the huge central upheaval and provides just a tiny bit of contrast, this movement is really just one huge arc repeated, the second statement different enough from the first to make the double-arc combine for one.

A joke I'd been repeating during my Year of No Tenth was, "There oughta be a law of orchestration stating that the piccolo is expressly prohibited unless you are Shostakovich." It grew out of my frustration at how lesser composers fail to understand how to use the instrument: an unnecessary piccolo line, only about four seconds long, tarnishes the otherwise glorious opening movement Atterberg's Eighth; Johann Strauss' piccolos drive me up the wall just as much as his gift for melodies makes me sigh with pleasure; the piccolo at the end of Dvorak's Second has a great musical idea but is just too lightweight to penetrate the texture.

There are, of course, good uses of the piccolo. The two-note part in the storm of Beethoven's Sixth. Schulhoff's Concertino. Dorman's Piccolo Concerto. And all the other examples I can think of, all of them, are in Shostakovich. The Fifth. The Ninth. Others I am forgetting at the moment. And then there's the end of the first movement here. I Googled "best piccolo solo" and all the results said, "Stars and Stripes Forever." Undoubtedly a contender. I GMG-searched for "best piccolo solo" and there weren't any results. Now the Tenth is the first. Except, of course, that it's a piccolo duo, isn't it? And it is so darn good!

I was surprised by the third movement. Basically, it has three themes, the opening string tune (which is exactly the same theme as that of the second movement, which is in turn just the opening motif of the first movement extended a bit - this is one of the most tightly argued symphonies since Beethoven's Fifth, despite its length), the DSCH theme, and that weird foreign horn call. What surprised me about this movement, coming back after a year, is that it basically just alternates between the three in whatever order it pleases, and there's basically nothing else to it. It just bounces from motif to motif the whole time and yet rather than sounding senseless or academic or hopelessly confused, it's remarkably cohesive. I was also surprised and impressed to hear the first minute of the symphony replayed almost verbatim and as originally orchestrated, providing the base line to stuff which is easier to notice. Wow!

In Rachmaninov's Symphony No 2, the finale is the first movement to feature a melody that's not based on stair-step ascending intervals: that huge sweeping romantic Hollywood tune that breaks the symphony's mold and carries it over the threshold to a happy ending. Shostakovich's Tenth pre-empts this somewhat by introducing DSCH and the horn call into the third movement - but DSCH is the real challenger to the symphony's motto, and of course it wins. He's dancing on Stalin's grave, isn't he? Emphasis on dancing; this might be the most conventional of the movements, even down to the Return of the Scary Opening Motif right before the final coda (think Tchaikovsky Four). But the Scary Opening Motif has already been defeated: it is in that melancholy, wistful sigh of the (muted?) violins which serves as centerpiece to the introduction's reprise. And then, having laid the opening motif to rest once and for all, DSCH gets up and dances on the grave.

Conclusion

I chose Karajan because the final bars on his recording sound rich and full and gloriously final; on Barshai, they seem to just taper up into the bright acoustic. The flip side of the coin is that Barshai's clarinet solo in mvt. I is much more darkly brooding. I've got Skrowaczewski, too, but don't remember it very well.

All in all, as glorious an experience as it ever was, and I'm glad this symphony is back in my listening. I would not hesitate to rank it one of the great symphonies of all time, alongside contenders like Beethoven 5 and Brahms 4. It is, to my mind, surely not just a great symphony by a Russian, but the great triumph of the fate-obsessed, heart-on-sleeve Russian symphonic tradition which began with Rubinstein and Balakirev, achieved concert-hall popularity with Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov, and reached its raison d'être in 1953, when a composer turned to this seemingly burnt-out form to create some of his most personal music - and some of his most explicitly Russian outrage against the climate in which he was trapped.

I don't particularly find it useful to see Shostakovich's symphonies as reactions to, or depictions of, or portraits of, Communism; when I first began to get "into" the Tenth, it was cool to imagine the scherzo as "Stalin himself," or the third movement as "Shostakovich versus the oppressors." Now that interpretation is not as interesting as it had been. The only serious interest it has for me is its implications for the argument that this was the inevitable product of a flexible and tortured artistic genius, and for the hope, maybe the delusion, that had Shostakovich been given free rein to write whatever he wanted wherever he wanted, such a masterwork as this would not have been lost.

(http://www.classicalmusicclubtoronto.org/shostakovich_1975_1.jpg)

Lots of fun to revisit this post.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 27, 2012, 08:51:26 AM
. . . I can't post a top ten yet because I have yet to hear many of the quartets, half the symphonies (still to go: 2-4, 8, 12-15), and Lady Macbeth, though I saw a scene of Lady on YouTube and thought it was astonishing.

Incidentally, Brian . . . hast yet heard the Fourth?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 28, 2012, 06:19:05 AM
I just went for a very long run (it is finally 60 degrees in Wisconsin!!) and listened to the 4th Symphony.  Oh wow.  That is all I can say.

How did I miss this when it was first posted?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 28, 2012, 06:25:23 AM
I seldom listen to Shostakovich. Not out of personal dislike or anything, because he composed some very good music, but I just don't find myself connecting to his music as much as I do other composers.

Shostakovich = brilliant composer. My absolute favorite of the whole lot.

Before and After . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 28, 2012, 06:34:38 AM
November on Naxos (http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.572824-25):

(http://cdn.naxos.com/SharedFiles/images/cds/others/8.572824-25.gif)

"This recording of New Babylon, one of Shostakovich’s most inventive and truly symphonic film scores, is the first complete recording of all the surviving music from the original ‘lost’ manuscript full score and the first to use five solo string players only, as conceived by the composer. A remarkable collage of marches, can-cans, carnival music, tumultuous rhythms and musical quotations, New Babylon bristles with witty dissonance and brassy ebullience, emphasizing the film’s content rather than its visual surface. Mark Fitz-Gerald’s two previous Naxos world première recordings of Shostakovich’s film scores for Alone (8.570316) and The Girlfriends (8.572138) have been highly acclaimed."

Finally pulled the trigger on this.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 28, 2012, 07:44:25 AM
Before and After . . . .

Yeah, it's always fascinating how opinions can change...
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on December 28, 2012, 11:30:09 AM
Finally pulled the trigger on this.
I'll be interested to hear your reaction. I listened to the full New Babylon last year, but apparently didn't post about it here. :(
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 28, 2012, 11:32:29 AM
Say, Brian, do we know when Petrenko will do the Opus 43?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 28, 2012, 11:34:45 AM
Say, Brian, do we know when Petrenko will do the Opus 43?

OTOH, do I need another recording of the Opus 43? I've got twelve already . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on December 28, 2012, 11:40:24 AM
Say, Brian, do we know when Petrenko will do the Opus 43?

18 months ago, when I was in England, Richard Whitehouse (the liner-note writer) bought me a pint and told me that Petrenko was in the middle of negotiations with EMI to be an exclusive EMI artist. Naxos was uncertain if the cycle would be finished before negotiations completed, or not, but the Fourth Symphony was planned as the final volume. I've just looked at the recording dates for Symphonies 2 and 15, and it appears as though No. 2 had just been recorded when we spoke (June 2011). I really haven't heard any news since, so whether they rushed the orchestra into the studio to record 4, 7, 13 and 14, or whether EMI granted a reprieve, or whether the cycle is kaput, I don't know.  :(

EDIT: I just asked the Liverpool Phil on Twitter, we'll see if they reply! They follow me so I could even send a DM...
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: ChamberNut on December 28, 2012, 04:39:43 PM
Say, Brian, do we know when Petrenko will do the Opus 43?

Ditto, and the remaining DSCH symphonies.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on December 29, 2012, 08:46:55 AM
[DSCH 7/Nelsons]
Well performed certainly but that's just not enough for me.

Thanks MI, appreciate your opinion.

Guys, is:


technically the same recording as original release:



I wanted to download as FLAC first, but well, EUR 20 for a digital download :( So I'm thinking about buying an available physical release.
EDIT: The first one is available as FLAC for ~EUR 10, which is alright for me.

Hopefully its not a crappy remaster with terrible dynamics compression or something like that, but exactly the same release as the old one.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 29, 2012, 09:36:12 AM
[DSCH 7/Nelsons]
Thanks MI, appreciate your opinion.

Guys, is:


technically the same recording as original release:



I wanted to download as FLAC first, but well, EUR 20 for a digital download :( So I'm thinking about buying an available physical release.
EDIT: The first one is available as FLAC for ~EUR 10, which is alright for me.

Hopefully its not a crappy remaster with terrible dynamics compression or something like that, but exactly the same release as the old one.

I own the Grand Prix reissue of the this Bernstein Shostakovich 7th and it sounds great to my ears. An essential acquisition IHMO. The best 7th I've heard.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on December 30, 2012, 05:11:19 AM
I tried to buy the FLAC at DGG shop (they link to Universal Music download shop) and the result is, they do not want my money. I'll have to find other ways.

Quote
There are items in your basket that are currently not available in your country. For more information on product availability and country restrictions, please visit our help section.

http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/cat/single?sort=newest_rec&PRODUCT_NR=4777587
->
FLAC files don't reach the German interwebbs.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Opus106 on December 30, 2012, 05:28:46 AM
I tried to buy the FLAC at DGG shop (they link to Universal Music download shop) and the result is, they do not want my money. I'll have to find other ways.

http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/cat/single?sort=newest_rec&PRODUCT_NR=4777587
->
FLAC files don't reach the German interwebbs.

Rather, they don't reach interwebs anywhere outside of a tiny island north of France. (http://store.universal-music.co.uk/restofworld/Customer-Services/Digital-Product-Terms-and-Conditions-of-Sale/page/terms_digital#3)

Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 30, 2012, 08:03:57 AM
To close out the year (and inspired by the ongoing String Quartet Gala) I've pulled the trigger at last on The Nose (Rozhdestvensky, Leningrad Phil & al. — also included is The Gamblers, which I think I may already have, though not sure that I've listened to it), The Song of the Forests (Misha Jurowski, the Cologne Radio Symphony & al. — disc also includes a suite from The Nose), vol. 2 of Olli Mustonen's interesting JS Bach/Op.87 interleaving.  Oh, and New Babylon, which I had already mentioned, I think.  Quite a serious effort at eradicating some lacunae.
 
I know John will wonder what's keeping me from The Bolt, and there will be some general dismay perhaps at how I'm neglecting some of the (many) film scores.  But I've longed, somehow, for New Babylon in a way which for whatever reason The Bolt has not attracted me; and with the wonderful Naxos issues of The Fall of Berlin, Girlfriends, and Alone (in addition to my already well-documented enthusiasm for the music for Hamlet and King Lear), I find myself quite sated w/r/t the film scores.
 
Just checking a list of works . . . very interesting that he worked on the (unfinished) opera The Gamblers in 1942.  Memory of the Ledi Makbet affair would have been quite green, and one wonders what hopes/plans he had for such an opera after Dostoyevsky.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 30, 2012, 08:27:26 AM
To close out the year (and inspired by the ongoing String Quartet Gala) I've pulled the trigger at last on The Nose (Rozhdestvensky, Leningrad Phil & al. — also included is The Gamblers, which I think I may already have, though not sure that I've listened to it), The Song of the Forests (Misha Jurowski, the Cologne Radio Symphony & al. — disc also includes a suite from The Nose), vol. 2 of Olli Mustonen's interesting JS Bach/Op.87 interleaving.  Oh, and New Babylon, which I had already mentioned, I think.  Quite a serious effort at eradicating some lacunae.
 
I know John will wonder what's keeping me from The Bolt, and there will be some general dismay perhaps at how I'm neglecting some of the (many) film scores.  But I've longed, somehow, for New Babylon in a way which for whatever reason The Bolt has not attracted me; and with the wonderful Naxos issues of The Fall of Berlin, Girlfriends, and Alone (in addition to my already well-documented enthusiasm for the music for Hamlet and King Lear), I find myself quite sated w/r/t the film scores.
 
Just checking a list of works . . . very interesting that he worked on the (unfinished) opera The Gamblers in 1942.  Memory of the Ledi Makbet affair would have been quite green, and one wonders what hopes/plans he had for such an opera after Dostoyevsky.

We're all attracted to different things, but let me say that I believe The Golden Age is a much more substantial work than The Bolt, although the latter contains plenty of good music. My only complaint is that Shostakovich didn't compose enough ballet music! I need to listen to New Babylon myself. I bought the Frank Strobel recording on Hanssler many months ago and have yet to take a crack at it. The Nose is a crazy work, but you will enjoy it I think. I own the Gergiev recording. I need to listen to it again as it's been quite awhile. Haven't heard The Gamblers yet, so you'll have to inform me on that one.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 30, 2012, 09:53:37 AM
The Nose is fabulous, indeed; I saw the first (thus far, only, of course) Boston production a couple of seasons ago. If the Melodiya sonics for this recording prove to be on the lower end of their scale, I shall have to snap up some more recent CD . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Tapio Dimitriyevich Shostakovich on December 30, 2012, 10:59:15 AM
Rather, they don't reach interwebs anywhere outside of a tiny island north of France. (http://store.universal-music.co.uk/restofworld/Customer-Services/Digital-Product-Terms-and-Conditions-of-Sale/page/terms_digital#3)

North-West France :D? I ordered a physical release via Amazon.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: ChamberNut on December 30, 2012, 12:07:48 PM
The Nose is fabulous, indeed; I saw the first (thus far, only, of course) Boston production a couple of seasons ago. If the Melodiya sonics for this recording prove to be on the lower end of their scale, I shall have to snap up some more recent CD . . . .

Hi Karl, I have the DVD of The Nose (Moscow Chamber Opera Theatre/Rozhdestvensky), and enjoyed it, although not nearly as much as I enjoy The Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (Westbroek/Jansons).  That is definitely one of the best opera DVDs I've ever watched!

The sound and video quality of The Nose production isn't exactly the best, but enjoyable nonetheless.  :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on December 30, 2012, 06:47:50 PM
The Nose is fabulous, indeed; I saw the first (thus far, only, of course) Boston production a couple of seasons ago. If the Melodiya sonics for this recording prove to be on the lower end of their scale, I shall have to snap up some more recent CD . . . .

Very cool, Karl. I hope you enjoy the Rozhdestvensky.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: kishnevi on December 30, 2012, 08:47:47 PM
The Nose is fabulous, indeed; I saw the first (thus far, only, of course) Boston production a couple of seasons ago. If the Melodiya sonics for this recording prove to be on the lower end of their scale, I shall have to snap up some more recent CD . . . .

I'd suggest the Gergiev, even if the Rozhdestvensky  is itself top notch.

I must say The Nose is possibly the only opera in which the cast listing is longer than the summary of the action. 
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 31, 2012, 04:37:28 AM
Most Gogolian!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 31, 2012, 08:36:32 AM
To close out the year (and inspired by the ongoing String Quartet Gala) I've pulled the trigger at last on The Nose (Rozhdestvensky, Leningrad Phil & al. — also included is The Gamblers, which I think I may already have, though not sure that I've listened to it) [....]

Turns out that The Gamblers which I've already got is the Bolshoi troupe led by Chistyakov, so at least the Rozhdestvensky recording won't be a duplicate : )
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: PaulR on December 31, 2012, 01:51:00 PM
Speaking of The Nose, I would love it if there comes a new DVD version of the opera in upcoming years....
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on January 01, 2013, 09:23:00 AM
Hey Karl, John, Ray and others, I got a reply from the Liverpool Philharmonic about the continuation of the Shostakovich symphonies with Vasily Petrenko.

"No definite dates but there are more in the pipeline."
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 01, 2013, 09:24:26 AM
Hey Karl, John, Ray and others, I got a reply from the Liverpool Philharmonic about the continuation of the Shostakovich symphonies with Vasily Petrenko.

"No definite dates but there are more in the pipeline."

This is good to hear. Like Karl, I'm anxious to hear Petrenko give the 7th a go. Should be interesting.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: ChamberNut on January 01, 2013, 09:54:41 AM
Hey Karl, John, Ray and others, I got a reply from the Liverpool Philharmonic about the continuation of the Shostakovich symphonies with Vasily Petrenko.

"No definite dates but there are more in the pipeline."

Excellent news, Brian.  Thank you for the update!  :)  I've really enjoyed pretty much all of the Petrenko/RLPO recordings, the only 'lukewarm' recording for me is the too slow 5th symphony.  However, I still enjoy it.

The others recordings for me, I think, are all fantastic, especially the 10th and 9th.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 01, 2013, 10:11:13 AM
Well done, Brian!

Separately . . . why do I suddenly have a hankerin' for The Bedbug? . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 01, 2013, 10:14:20 AM
Excellent news, Brian.  Thank you for the update!  :)  I've really enjoyed pretty much all of the Petrenko/RLPO recordings, the only 'lukewarm' recording for me is the too slow 5th symphony.  However, I still enjoy it.

The others recordings for me, I think, are all fantastic, especially the 10th and 9th.

I definitely wasn't impressed with Petrenko's 5th, but I didn't like his performance of the 15th either especially after listening to Kondrashin's Dresden performance. :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on January 04, 2013, 09:22:02 AM
It will not be a true first listen, but I am going to crank The Song of the Forests this afternoon!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on January 04, 2013, 09:25:24 AM
It will not be a true first listen, but I am going to crank The Song of the Forests this afternoon!

It's been quite some time since I've heard this work. I see you bought the Michail Jurowski. Please let me know your thoughts on this performances once you've heard it.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 04, 2013, 11:15:28 AM
Lenny's Wiener Philharmoniker recording of the Sixth & Ninth: CD or DVD?  What is the consensus?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on February 04, 2013, 12:44:47 PM
Lenny's Wiener Philharmoniker recording of the Sixth & Ninth: CD or DVD?  What is the consensus?

There's a short interview with him on the DVD... but other than that, those recordings aren't a pleasure (for me) to look at... with that seedy red of the Konzertverein and those bad 80s haircut and visibly self-important players...

Might as well grab the box with all the Lennie-DSCH... Stravinsky free! (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/12/best-recordings-of-2005.html)


(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2j9Rc9V-Y7E/UOad47-wHII/AAAAAAAAFdU/2PgfySiBx34/s1600/Best_Recordings_of_2005_laurson_600.jpg)
http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/12/best-recordings-of-2005.html]http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/12/best-recordings-of-2005.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2005/12/best-recordings-of-2005.html)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 04, 2013, 01:21:28 PM
Hm, very much of their time, are they? . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: ChamberNut on February 05, 2013, 12:33:13 PM
I can now safely determine, that after Beethoven & Brahms, Shostakovich is my next favourite composer.

 :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on February 07, 2013, 05:19:13 AM
Ray, John, etc.: The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Vasily Petrenko are rehearsing for a live performance of the Fourth Symphony, and will subsequently be recording it.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 07, 2013, 05:20:37 AM
You meant et al., and great news, Brian!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 07, 2013, 05:22:39 AM
I've lent my buddy Marc at the MFA shop the second volume of Olli Mustonen's mash-up of the Bach WTC Book I and the Opus 87 . . . and while he is enjoying the Bach, he reports that the Shostakovich is just blowin JSB out of the water.  Wonderful that the music can have that sort of impact on a fresh listener!
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Fafner on February 07, 2013, 05:45:45 AM
Ray, John, etc.: The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Vasily Petrenko are rehearsing for a live performance of the Fourth Symphony, and will subsequently be recording it.

That's great news indeed. I have been eagerly awaiting Petrenko's account of the Fourth.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 07, 2013, 05:48:18 AM
It's got to be better than Gergiev's!

(* ducks on hurried way out *)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: ChamberNut on February 07, 2013, 06:21:16 AM
Ray, John, etc.: The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Vasily Petrenko are rehearsing for a live performance of the Fourth Symphony, and will subsequently be recording it.

Wonderful news, Brian!  Really looking forward to it!!  :)  Thank you for the update.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 07, 2013, 07:39:13 AM
Ray, John, etc.: The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Vasily Petrenko are rehearsing for a live performance of the Fourth Symphony, and will subsequently be recording it.

This is good news. He's up against some stiff competition: Previn, Kondrashin, Barshai, Salonen, and, my personal favorite, Rattle.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 07, 2013, 07:47:36 AM
It's not a competition. It is perfectly right that a piece be continually performed. We don't retire the jersey just because there's been a signally good recording. Music is a performing art, not a bloody museum piece!
 
Nobody says, Gosh, there's just no point in performing Beethoven, since von Karajan did it about as good as anyone could.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 07, 2013, 08:03:15 AM
It's not a competition. It is perfectly right that a piece be continually performed. We don't retire the jersey just because there's been a signally good recording. Music is a performing art, not a bloody museum piece!
 
Nobody says, Gosh, there's just no point in performing Beethoven, since von Karajan did it about as good as anyone could.

Forgot your medication today, Karl? :-\ I'm all for new performances, but as a listener I can't help to compare them with past performances. Petrenko is good conductor, no doubt, but I've already got many favorites in the 4th. So with this in mind, we'll see how his performance goes. I hope it's not another dud like his 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 15th.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on February 07, 2013, 08:16:02 AM
but as a listener I can't help to compare them with past performances.

That's your style as a listener. I write ~80 reviews for MusicWeb every year, but I'm perfectly able to turn off the compare switch. With an inferior recording it's easy to say "this is no Karajan/whomever," but all great recordings are great in their own way. That explains why for a lot of works I love, I have 3-4 favorites that are all opposites.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: jlaurson on February 07, 2013, 08:22:00 AM
Forgot your medication today, Karl? :-\ I'm all for new performances, but as a listener I can't help to compare them with past performances. Petrenko is good conductor, no doubt, but I've already got many favorites in the 4th. So with this in mind, we'll see how his performance goes. I hope it's not another dud like his 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 15th.

it seems to me you are talking about the recording of the performance, while karl is talking about the performance itself. a performance isn't judged by recordings... it's judged by the moment (and judged in light of other performances... with, possibly, being further informed by recordings.

you infer, understandably, that this performance (or a studio run-through that is part of that particular run of performances) will be turned into a recording. then it will stand next to the aforementioned. and even then, each generation needs their DSCH, just as each generation needs their LvB.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 07, 2013, 08:22:41 AM
Forgot your medication today, Karl?

Between this and your Holmboe rant last night, you're really making an effort to be likeable, right?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 07, 2013, 08:26:09 AM

Between this and your Holmboe rant last night, you're really making an effort to be likeable, right?

I could ask you the same question, Karl. Was that outburst of yours above really necessary?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 07, 2013, 08:29:28 AM
it seems to me you are talking about the recording of the performance, while karl is talking about the performance itself. a performance isn't judged by recordings... it's judged by the moment (and judged in light of other performances... with, possibly, being further informed by recordings.

you infer, understandably, that this performance (or a studio run-through that is part of that particular run of performances) will be turned into a recording. then it will stand next to the aforementioned. and even then, each generation needs their DSCH, just as each generation needs their LvB.

Aye.

And nowadays, it is almost the rule rather than the exception that there will be a document of the performance.

And as Brian points out, every recording of a very-good-to-excellent performance will have its own proper interest.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on February 07, 2013, 08:30:22 AM
(or a studio run-through that is part of that particular run of performances)

It's my understanding that this will be the case. The RLPO only tweeted at me, nothing official, but they said that when the recording sessions take place it will appear separately on their website.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 07, 2013, 08:33:05 AM
Very excited that the Op.43 is in the pipeline! (Brian, do I recall aright that this is a symphony you've not yet heard?)

Brian & Jens, what opinions do you hold of the Petrenko account of the Op.103?
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on February 07, 2013, 08:39:25 AM
Very excited that the Op.43 is in the pipeline! (Brian, do I recall aright that this is a symphony you've not yet heard?)

Brian & Jens, what opinions do you hold of the Petrenko account of the Op.103?


1. Yes, it is a symphony I've not yet heard! I own Previn, Barshai, and I think one other recording in some giant box set somewhere; between Previn and Barshai, which for a first listen?

2. Very favorable, wish the sound quality could hold the gigantic climax to the massacre, but not sure any CD yet can. But it compares well with others I've heard. I am somewhat prejudiced against it because I saw V. Petrenko do the "Year 1905" live with the London Philharmonic, a stunning/amazing experience that can't be repeated.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 07, 2013, 08:42:38 AM
My opinion of Petrenko has been hit/miss mostly miss. I liked his 8th, 10th, and 11th, but thought very little of his other performances. There's something missing in his conducting of the others. His 5th was a monstrosity. He must have fallen asleep at the wheel on this one. Where's the guts? That Largo sounds completely comatose. One of the worst performances I've ever heard of this symphony. His 15th lacked any real excitement or at least that I got from listening to his performance and Kondrashin back-to-back. But every cycle has good/bad performances and none of them are going to be 100% without flaws.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 07, 2013, 08:47:31 AM
1. Yes, it is a symphony I've not yet heard! I own Previn, Barshai, and I think one other recording in some giant box set somewhere; between Previn and Barshai, which for a first listen?

2. Very favorable, wish the sound quality could hold the gigantic climax to the massacre, but not sure any CD yet can. But it compares well with others I've heard. I am somewhat prejudiced against it because I saw V. Petrenko do the "Year 1905" live with the London Philharmonic, a stunning/amazing experience that can't be repeated.

What's the third option? ; ) Even though I think it was the Previn through which I became reconciled to the piece, I am not sure I would recommend either Previn or Barshai for an entrée.

And I had a closely corresponding experience with Gergiev & the Leningrad . . . heard him lead the Mariinka band live in Worcester's Mechanics Hall, just a shattering experience, with which listening to no CD could possibly compare.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 07, 2013, 08:48:52 AM
Hm, wonder how Cato is doing with his inaugural survey of the quartets? Maybe he has finished, and I was inattentive . . . .
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on February 07, 2013, 08:52:59 AM
And I had a closely corresponding experience with Gergiev & the Leningrad . . . heard him lead the Mariinka band live in Worcester's Mechanics Hall, just a shattering experience, with which listening to no CD could possibly compare.

Yes, exactly that feeling. Who would you suggest for a starter? Perhaps my mystery performer is one of them  ;D

My opinion of Petrenko has been hit/miss mostly miss. I liked his 8th, 10th, and 11th, but thought very little of his other performances. There's something missing in his conducting of the others. His 5th was a monstrosity. He must have fallen asleep at the wheel on this one. Where's the guts? That Largo sounds completely comatose. One of the worst performances I've ever heard of this symphony. His 15th lacked any real excitement or at least that I got from listening to his performance and Kondrashin back-to-back. But every cycle has good/bad performances and none of them are going to be 100% without flaws.

I'm very favorable on 9 through 11 from Petrenko. The Fifteenth has divided a lot of people, but the general consensus seems to be that it's interesting, but an "alternative" view. The Fifth was a low point for me too, though not nearly as bad as you're saying - for instance, Kreizberg employs nearly identical tempos in the last two movements but is outstanding. And I'd like to plug Petrenko's Ninth for an insight which I find unique to his performance: the way that he stretches and teases the tempo of the finale, and especially its main tune, brings out more than any other performance the idea that this tune contains (in the words of Monty Python) howls of derisive laughter.

Gergiev is more overrated than Petrenko. That guy has always had too many irons in the fire. Not very consistent, so excuse my skepticism when I say that I highly doubt Gergiev's performance was a "shattering experience."
Well... Karl was there for it.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 07, 2013, 08:55:08 AM
Speaking of Kreizberg, have you heard his 11th with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic, Brian? Not too shabby.

(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2013/Jan13/Shostakovich_sy11_OPMC005.jpg)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 07, 2013, 09:01:22 AM
Yes, exactly that feeling. Who would you suggest for a starter? Perhaps my mystery performer is one of them  ;D

Try Caetani's 11th, Brian. I thought it was especially good. The Ninth of January movement was especially enthralling. Caetani employs quite a unique orchestra for his Shosty cycle: the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Fafner on February 07, 2013, 09:02:14 AM
Petrenko's Fifth was a disappointment for me as well, but nowhere near as bad as you make it appear. I did not like Kreizberg very much, but I only listened to it once. I'll have to compare the two.
I rather like Petrenko's Fifteenth and I really like his 6th/12th.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 07, 2013, 09:05:46 AM
Petrenko's Fifth was a disappointment for me as well, but nowhere near as bad as you make it appear. I did not like Kreizberg very much, but I only listened to it once. I'll have to compare the two.
I rather like Petrenko's Fifteenth and I really like his 6th/12th.

I had to use some dramatic effect in commenting on Petrenko's 5th. It's not as bad as I made it out to be, but it's certainly a lackluster performance with not much going for it. His 6th was okay. Nothing special, but then again, I've always found Haitink's to be my preferable performance for the 6th. The 12th I don't like much at all as a piece of music, but Rostropovich on Warner (formally Teldec) turned in a great performance as did Haitink.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on February 07, 2013, 09:06:54 AM
Thanks for the reminder Fafner, I haven't bought Petrenko's 6/12 yet!

Speaking of Kreizberg, have you heard his 11th with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic, Brian? Not too shabby.

(http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2013/Jan13/Shostakovich_sy11_OPMC005.jpg)

Take a look at the URL of that image. That's the cover of my personal copy of the CD!

Quote
This was one of the last recordings Yakov Kreizberg made before passing away at the age 51. He had previously made his mark in Shostakovich with a truly distinctive pairing of the Fifth and Ninth symphonies, conducting the Russian National Orchestra; my colleague Tony Haywood was not as fond of it as I was. This excellent Eleventh makes clear yet again what a loss to the musical world it was when he died in 2011. Kreizberg has the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo sounding perfectly suited to this music, in an interpretation which brings the symphony across with conviction and power.
 
The program, as put forth by Shostakovich - or to him by the authorities? - necessitates an adagio first movement (‘The Palace Square’) of eerie and hushed suspense. It sets out a few motifs which will recur through the whole symphony: the violins’ opening line, the ominously distant drumbeat, the equally disembodied-sounding trumpet tune. The atmosphere in this performance is terrific, although compared to the Liverpool Philharmonic under Vasily Petrenko, the Monte Carlo trumpeter seems a bit too chipper, too forward. Then comes the massive second movement, with its depiction of a bloody massacre by the tsarists. There’s really no way to bring this off on CD due to the movement’s enormous dynamic range: if you can hear it live - as I was lucky enough to do when Petrenko presented it with the London Philharmonic - the sheer bloody violence and loudness of the climax are more or less the most terrifying thing one can hear in a concert hall. On disc it’s hard to get the dynamic range of the piece done right, and this recording is no exception. The playing is superbly bone-chilling and the orchestra sounds possessed, but I yearn for the gut-punch that the massacre really only delivers live.
 
The adagio which follows, a lyrical “In Memoriam,” is another story: here Kreizberg brings a flowing account which briefly even permits beauty and hope to rise to the surface. It’s the highlight of a very good performance. After that, there are passages in the middle of the finale, including a reprise of the first movement, which do, here, feel overlong and outstay their welcome; it’s a minute longer than Petrenko in the same section. Then we get the final “twist,” as Shostakovich’s coda returns to the terrifying horror-music of the tsarist oppressors. Kreizberg paces this perfectly and builds the coda with tremendous power, the orchestra giving him exactly what he wants. Again, the CD medium just can’t contain the full force of this music.
 
Nobody is going to listen to the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo here and think they sound anything but Russian. That alone is a tribute to Kreizberg’s skill as a musician, but throw in the excellence of this account and we have a really worthy tribute. Vasily Petrenko’s accomplishment with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic is similar, though - transforming an unexpected orchestra into a Shostakovich powerhouse - and, among recent recordings by émigrés, his more concise reading may be preferred. Even Naxos is a bit frustrated by how to record the symphony, though.
 
This may not have been his very finest, but I wish Yakov Kreizberg could have given us much, much more.
 
Brian Reinhart

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2013/Jan13/Shostakovich_sy11_OPMC005.htm#ixzz2KEZ9pYk9
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 07, 2013, 09:09:19 AM
I've said this earlier, but on revisiting the Petrenko Fifth, I found it in fact a very strong performance.

. . . Who would you suggest for a starter? Perhaps my mystery performer is one of them  ;D

Maksim Dmitriyevich remains unsurpassed for me.

Also excellent, I find: Haitink/CSO & Jansons/Bavarian Radio Symphony.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 07, 2013, 09:09:39 AM
Silly me, I had forgotten you did some Shostakovich reviews and this was one of the recordings you reviewed.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on February 07, 2013, 09:27:08 AM
Well... Karl was there for it.

Why should that fact prevent John from spouting fatuity? ; )
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Mirror Image on February 07, 2013, 09:36:47 AM
Why should that fact prevent John from spouting fatuity? ; )

Not all experiences are shared, Karl. I was just surprised that Gergiev gave a good performance considering his track record, but he's certainly able to give them. I don't have the opportunity, or luxury, of living in Boston, so I don't get to see any classical concerts. The ASO seem only interested in playing Beethoven these days and so where does that leave me? I've got recordings on my shelf and a stereo system worthy to play them. If this is my only outlet to hear the music that I want to hear, then it's damn fine outlet I think. :)
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: ChamberNut on February 07, 2013, 09:40:52 AM
After re-visiting the Petrenko/RLPO 5th, it is nowhere nearly as I bad as I once thought.  The only (and it's my own personal viewpoint) 'problem' I have is with the coda to the symphony, which I find Petrenko/RLPO take it a little too slow (it is missing that propulsive momentum).

Having said that, I don't think I've heard a better performance of the 9th and 10th symphonies, than Petrenko/RLPO's take on it.

A very close to perfect 10th (for me) is Ormandy/PO (it is paired with the 4th - American premiere) on Sony Classical, but it is unfortunately out of print.
Title: Re: Dmitri's Dacha
Post by: Brian on February 07, 2013, 09:43:14 AM
Ray, I'm hoping Sony doe