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Thread: Favourite Shostakovich symphonic cycles

  1. #1
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    Default Favourite Shostakovich symphonic cycles

    I have two that I am exploring at the moment the Haitink and the Kondrashin

    Any other forum members enjoy his symphonies?

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    Still listening carefully to these at the moment both have their merits so not decided which I prefer overall my favourite 7 though is still the Paavo Berglund reading form the early /mid 70s

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    Hello Darkmatter,

    I first listened to Shostakovich early last year (which clearly makes me a Shostakovich novice). It was Symphony No.5 conducted by Semyon Bychkov with the Berlin Philharmonic and is a Philips recording made in 1986. Though I don't know if it's part of a complete cycle, Bychkov / Berlin also recorded No.8 and No.11 with the same label.

    I have listened to further recordings of No. 5 by L. Bernstein / New York Philharmonic, Yakov Kreizberg / Russian National Orchestra. I have not heard the Haitink or Kondrashin interpretations so I can't comment. The Bychkov reading is my favorite of the trio. It's dark, edgy, complex and beautiful and if it's not too expensive to find, highly recommended.

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    Hello tmokbel,
    Thank you for your comments, will be interested to hear the versions you mention particularly the Bychlov :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by darkmatter View Post
    Hello tmokbel,
    Thank you for your comments, will be interested to hear the versions you mention particularly the Bychlov :)
    As a follow-up I tried the Bychlov and excellent reading :)

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    Default Russian masters

    Quote Originally Posted by darkmatter View Post
    As a follow-up I tried the Bychlov and excellent reading :)
    Hello darkmatter,

    Glad you like Semyon Bychkov's 80's Philips recordings. On a side note, if you are able to find any Shostakovich performances by the great Russian music conductor, Yevgeny Mravinsky, get it. His are considered benchmarks for Shostakovich. Bernstein and New York are also remarkable.

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    Default Shostakovich - Russian Masters continued - and not only.

    Yevgeniy Mravinsky's historical recordings with Leningrad Symphony for Melodiya are really great, although seem to be a little "old manner" readings, I have some '80s reeditions from Melodiya on vinyls. Nevertheless great conducting.


    Try to get and to listen to also:

    1. Shostakovich: Complete Symphonies [Box Set] from Teldec - National Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Russian Academic Orchestra (symphony no. 14) - Mstislav Rostropovich as a conductor, great rendition of Composer's work by one of His most sincere and closest friends. Famous Teldec natural sound of recordings.

    2. Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 1-15 [Box Set] from Melodiya Label (before also from Olympia Records UK) recorded digitally in 80's- Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra, Gennady Rozhdestvensky - conductor - internationally acclaimed set of recordings from one of the greatest Russian conductors (toghether with Kondrashin , Svetlanov or Termikanov amongst others) in the second half of XX century. Very impressive and true reading Shostakovich's score.

    3. Brand new Shostakovich symphonic series from Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under baton of Vasily Petrenko from Naxos - I remember his rendition of "1905 Year" Symphony (11th) made me stuck to an armchair for couple of hours while first listening, also very good digital recording. I really could not believe it was conducting one of the darkest and most demanding Shostakovich's symphonies from then only 32 years old guy!

    Don't forget also about great Shostakovich's 10th symphony (unfortunately this one only) reading from Herbert von Karajan. For me, in this specific case, congenial score conducted by musical giant who elevated this music to another, Olympian level.
    The easiest to buy is Maestro's digital recording of '80s with Berliners from Deutsche Grammophon, more difficult to find is His and Berliners' live performance of 29/05/1969 in Moscow (Karajan in Moscow, vol.2, Melodiya Label) - the witnesses recounted Shostakovich, present at that concert, sat still like petrified in his seat between enthusiastic standing ovation after last notes of his music had reverberated in concert hall. The remaining photographs of composer and conductor bowing to the audience from the stage seem to confirm Dmitri Dmitriyevich's great emotions that evening. But the most magical and otherworldly is the live perfomance of the 10th by von Karajan and Staatskapelle Dresden recorded at Salzburger Festspiele in 1976 (Metrognome Records).

    Enjoy!

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    Default Russian performers

    Quote Originally Posted by tmokbel View Post
    Hello darkmatter,

    Glad you like Semyon Bychkov's 80's Philips recordings. On a side note, if you are able to find any Shostakovich performances by the great Russian music conductor, Yevgeny Mravinsky, get it. His are considered benchmarks for Shostakovich. Bernstein and New York are also remarkable.
    Thanks again for this I will look these out :)

  9. #9
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    Default Rough but suits

    Quote Originally Posted by tmokbel View Post
    Hello darkmatter,

    Glad you like Semyon Bychkov's 80's Philips recordings. On a side note, if you are able to find any Shostakovich performances by the great Russian music conductor, Yevgeny Mravinsky, get it. His are considered benchmarks for Shostakovich. Bernstein and New York are also remarkable.
    The Mravinsky 5th from 1984 (live recording) is rough-edged in both sound and performance, but in a way that seems to
    fit this piece as an alternative to some of the more refined renditions.

    -Mark

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