Beethoven: Symphony No. 5; Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jeffrey K. Chase
The symphonies on this disc are two-fifths about fate! As reported by Beethoven's friend and biographer Schindler, Beethoven said "Thus Fate knocks at the door" about the opening notes the four rhythmic opening notes of his "Symphony No. 5." It is an example of Beethoven's search for an ever-expanding spiritual content and is characterized by the power of its emotional appeal combined with its force and directness of expression. Shostakovich's "Fifth Symphony" is that composer's carefully crafted response to Stalin's severe criticism of his "Symphony No. 4" and especially of his opera "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk." His fate as a Soviet composer and even of his life was ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jeffrey K. Chase
The symphonies on this disc are two-fifths about fate! As reported by Beethoven's friend and biographer Schindler, Beethoven said "Thus Fate knocks at the door" about the opening notes the four rhythmic opening notes of his "Symphony No. 5." It is an example of Beethoven's search for an ever-expanding spiritual content and is characterized by the power of its emotional appeal combined with its force and directness of expression. Shostakovich's "Fifth Symphony" is that composer's carefully crafted response to Stalin's severe criticism of his "Symphony No. 4" and especially of his opera "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk." His fate as a Soviet composer and even of his life was hanging in the balance. The Soviet authorities were concerned about whether the work was considered to be melodic and, therefore, people music. Fortunately for Shostakovich, they considered that it was. Beethoven's "Fifth" is probably the best-known symphony ever written and Shostakovich's "Fifth" is arguably the best-known symphony written in the twentieth century. Among the significances of Beethoven's "Fifth" is the addition of instruments from the ensembles of military music: piccolo, double bassoon, and trombone the first time the trombone was used in a symphony. This is the composition that made Beethoven known to the general public outside his own country. This 1966 concert recording by Barbirolli and the Hallé Orchestra's reading of Beethoven's "Fifth" is straightforward and faithful to the score, architecturally solid, and appropriately rhythmically driving. In this 1963 studio recording, Barbirolli does not approach Shostakovich's "Fifth" as a work of triumph, but rather as a statement of resigned understatement. Those conductors who view the finale as exultant, perform it contrary to what Shostakovich writes about it in his memoirs: ."..I never thought about any exultant finales, for what exultation could there be?...the rejoicing is forced, created under threat...as if someone were beating you with a stick and saying, 'Your business is rejoicing....'" This is not to say that this reading is not exciting, because it is. This performance is not exciting in a flashy and jublilant manner, but, more in tune with the intent of the composer, is exciting in a more contemplative way.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/17/2006
  • Label: Bbc Legends
  • UPC: 684911419320
  • Catalog Number: 4193
  • Sales rank: 164,535

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–4 Symphony No. 5 in C minor ("Fate"), Op. 67 - Ludwig van Beethoven & John Barbirolli (32:31)
  2. 5–8 Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47 - Dmitry Shostakovich & John Barbirolli (43:28)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Barbirolli Primary Artist
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