Dmitry Shostakovich: A Portrait

Dmitry Shostakovich: A Portrait

     
 
Let's say you don't know a thing about Dmitry Shostakovich, but you've heard people say he was the greatest composer of the 20th century and you're curious to find out what all the fuss is about. Where should you start? Should you start with the Fifth Symphony or the Tenth Symphony, with the Eighth Quartet or the Fifteenth Quartet, with Laurel Faye's "Shostakovich: A

Overview

Let's say you don't know a thing about Dmitry Shostakovich, but you've heard people say he was the greatest composer of the 20th century and you're curious to find out what all the fuss is about. Where should you start? Should you start with the Fifth Symphony or the Tenth Symphony, with the Eighth Quartet or the Fifteenth Quartet, with Laurel Faye's "Shostakovich: A Life" or Elizabeth Wilson's "Shostakovich: A Life Remembered?" Or should you start with this package called "Dmitry Shostakovich -- A Portrait." Musically, it's got two discs of excerpts from many of symphonies and string quartets plus several of his ballets, a few of his film scores and a handful of his piano works. Some of the performances are absolutely first-rate -- the Éder Quartet's razor-wire quartets are arguably be the finest non-Russian recordings of the works -- some of the performances are more or less third-rate -- Ladislav Slovák and the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra's lumpy symphonies are more than adequate but less than thrilling -- and some of the performances are just this side of definitive -- Shostakovich's performances of the first and last of his Preludes and Fugues for piano are almost unbearably poignant and overwhelming dramatic. But, as important as the recordings, it's got an excellent 78 page biography of the composer which is fair, balanced and extremely enthusiastic. The book will give you a good idea of what all the fuss is about and the excerpts will give you a good idea of where to go next. Plus, the discs include a minute long radio address from 1941 by Shostakovich himself -- a wonderful bonus even for those who already know the composer's music and his biography.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/21/2006
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0636943818824
catalogNumber:
8558188
Rank:
297604

Tracks

  1. Prelude & Fugue for piano No. 1 in C major, Op. 87/1
  2. Fantastic Dances (3), for piano, Op. 5: Fantastic Dance in C, Op. 5/3
  3. Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op. 10: Movement 1: Allegretto
  4. The Age of Gold, suite from the ballet, Op. 22a: No. 2: Adagio
  5. The Bolt, suite from the ballet, Op. 27a: No. 8: General Dance of Enthusiasm and Apotheosis
  6. Prelude for piano, in E flat minor ("Zoya prelude"), Op. 34/14
  7. Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 43: Movement 2: Moderato con moto
  8. Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47: Movement 4: Allegro non troppo
  9. Quintet for piano & strings in G minor, Op. 57: Movement 3: Scherzo
  10. Symphony No. 8 in C minor, Op. 65 (Stalingrad): Movement 3: Allegro non troppo
  11. Trio for piano & strings No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 67: Movement 2: Allegro non troppo
  12. Symphony No. 9 in E flat major, Op. 70: Movement 1: Allegro
  13. Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 77 (published as Op. 99): Movement 3: Passacaglia
  14. Excerpt from a radio address by Shostakovich
  15. Prelude & Fugue for piano No. 13 in F sharp major, Op. 87/13: Prelude in F sharp major, Op. 87/13a
  16. Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93: Movement 4: Andante - Allegro
  17. The Gadfly, film score, Op. 97: Movement 3: National Holiday
  18. Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102: Movement 2: Andante
  19. String Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Op. 110: Movement 5: Largo
  20. Symphony No. 13 in B flat minor, Op. 113 (Babi Yar): Movement 2: Humour
  21. Hamlet, film score, Op. 116 (unrelated to incidental music): Movement 4: Largo
  22. String Quartet No. 12 in D flat major, Op. 133: Movement 1: Moderato - Allegretto
  23. Symphony No. 14 for soprano, bass, strings & percussion, Op. 135: Movement 9: O Delvig, Delvig!
  24. Symphony No. 15 in A major, Op. 141: Movement 1: Allegretto
  25. Sonata for viola & piano in C major, Op. 147: Movement 1: Moderato
  26. Prelude & Fugue for piano No. 24 in D minor, Op. 87/24: Fugue in D minor, Op. 87/24b

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