Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5; Suite from the Golden Age

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5; Suite from the Golden Age

by Gerard Schwarz
     
 

If you view Shostakovich as a Russian composer in the tradition of Tchaikovsky and Borodin, this recording of his "Fifth Symphony" -- with its big gestures, bright colors, cogent developments, and powerful rhythms -- may be very appealing. Under Gerard Schwarz, the Seattle Symphony hasSee more details below

Overview

If you view Shostakovich as a Russian composer in the tradition of Tchaikovsky and Borodin, this recording of his "Fifth Symphony" -- with its big gestures, bright colors, cogent developments, and powerful rhythms -- may be very appealing. Under Gerard Schwarz, the Seattle Symphony has grown into a first-rate American orchestra capable of standing up to the storms and stresses of Shostakovich at his most violent, and there's nothing in the score they can't handle, from the robust opening Moderato to the massive concluding Allegro non troppo. Coupled with a similarly direct performance of the Suite from "The Golden Age" ballet and captured in vivid sound by Artek, this disc will attract listeners who like their Shostakovich straightforward. If, however, you view Shostakovich as a Soviet composer influenced by but not beholden to Mahler and Mussorgsky, this recording may not be as appealing. Because while one cannot fault the Seattle's playing or Schwarz's conducting, one could question whether anything in these scores is as straightforward as it sounds here. The searing brutality of the opening Moderato's development, the bitter irony of the following Allegretto's tone, the nervous intensity of the central Largo's climax, and especially the ambiguous triumph of the closing Allegro non troppo's conclusion all seem muted if not completely missing in Schwarz's interpretation. In short, then, this disc will please some and displease others -- and how one feels about it will depend in large part on how one feels about Shostakovich.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/26/2007
Label:
Artek
UPC:
0661853003725
catalogNumber:
37
Rank:
368028

Tracks

  1. Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47  - Dmitry Shostakovich  - Gerard Schwarz  -  Seattle Symphony Orchestra  - James Manly
  2. The Age of Gold, suite from the ballet, Op. 22a  - Dmitry Shostakovich  - Gerard Schwarz  -  Seattle Symphony Orchestra  - James Manly

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