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Domenico Scarlatti: Complete Keyboard Sonatas, Vol. 15 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Powerful vocal work from Shostakovich, strongly interpreted by Vasily Petrenko This Symphony, written in 1962 for bass soloist, male chorus, and orchestra is predominately concerned with the relationship between society and the individual (it is Shostakovich, after all) with a focus on the plight of Jews in Soviet society. The first movement is powerful, telling in song and sound of the atrocities of Babi Yar during the time of the Nazis, as well as the strong feeling of anti-Semitism present in parts of Russia at the time. The music is dark, downward striking, with powerful work bursting forth from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir. This is dark music making on a grand scale, and it is captivating. The second movement, “Humour”, concerns itself with the resilience of humor even when it is attempting to be squashed or is declared passing. Yet again and again, it reappears, unstoppable. The music from the orchestra is joyously dance-like at first, but huge and energetic in places, thundering forth to drive home the message of the text. The third movement, “In the Store”, is dark and oppressive, invokes the daily existence of Russian women during that time as the go about their day doing the things that need to be done whether there is joy in the doing or not. Lots of low bass rumbles forth from the orchestra, and the chorus is suitably muted throughout most of the movement. The fourth movement, “Fears”, is dark and tomb-like with lots of low string work from the orchestra in the beginning. The middle section of the movement features some rather dirge-like output from the chorus that leads into frenetic energy from the string section as a whole, conveying the underlying fear that still remains. The fifth movement, “A Career”, begins with melodic work from the flutes that is slightly brighter, but then the music becomes somewhat sardonic and the text speaks of Galileo and others that were ridiculed and scorned, although near the end of the text is this: “They’re forgotten, those who hurled curses, but we remember the ones who were cursed.”. The movement ends with the statement, “I’ll follow my career in such a way that I’m not following it!”, much as Shostakovich did himself at times due to the circumstances in which he found himself. The liner notes are well written and informative, providing historical background as well as the text of the performance. The biographical material on Alexander Vinogradov (bass) is typical, but I cannot stress enough that his precise bass work on this recording is *excellent*. The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Vasily Petrenko, is similarly outstanding. While the music of Shostakovich is certainly not for everyone, this performance has texture, depth, and meaning, and is a wonderful achievement for the soloist, chorus, orchestra, and conductor. Highly recommended for the Shostakovich enthusiast.