3 Shostakovich: Symphony No. The siege of Leningrad was an horrific event, where well over a million people died, and that provides the backdrop to this emotionally wrought, extremely powerful piece. 15 in A Major. / i, wissenschaftliche Transliteration Dmitrij Dmitrievič Šostakovič; * 12. In the disputed memoirs that he is believed by many to have related to Solomon Volkov, he talks revealingly about death: Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony No.5 in d minor, Op.47 [48:19 ... three symphonies in powerful performances and modern recording on two CDs at mid-price, around £14.50, or as a lossless download with ... even if you choose the highest format. No.12, dedicated to the memory of Lenin, is also programmatic, though more loosely than No.11. The third movement might initially seem to be a little meandering before its big climax, but I find it to be evocative of the sorts of feelings one might feel when being attacked by a clown. Last year, he was soloist for Shostakovich’s Symphony No. The fact that the elegy is for lovers suggests that the victims died too young and, as if to strengthen that implication, Shostakovich adds to the original Lorca text the word ‘passionate’. Shostakovich was also a Mahlerian in his desire to put meaning before any conventional ideas of form and balance. ‘I’m afraid I’ll die soon and I want to hear my work. Yet somehow these disparate ideas seem perfectly unified. Mark’s notes on Shostakovich Symphony No. The vast majority of the music so far has been sung by the soprano, and the change to the male voice is telling. 5. 11 in G minor, op. After all it is the law of nature and no one has ever eluded it. Stalin is gone but there are still more than enough tyrants around.’ 4 in C minor, Opus 43, between September 1935 and May 1936, after abandoning some preliminary sketch material. But his complaints show that he cannot have heard the piece itself as Shostakovich’s slight changes to the text, alongside music that is harrowing in the extreme, makes this a terrifying description of the pain and suffering of the lonely prisoner. 14 in that it is essentially a collection of five orchestrated songs, although arguably in this one there’s more of a symphonic structure and feel here. 13, Op. At the end Apollinaire implies that the lamp left burning is some kind of friend, but Shostakovich allows no such sentimentality and, by saying that the only two friends there are the prisoner and his mind, it is clear that madness has finally set in. At first glance, its form seems startlingly unbalanced and arbitrary. There’s such depth and darkness to the opening of this symphony as it masterfully builds to something emotional and epic. I find it impossible not to believe that there’s something more to it though, as with pretty much all of his compositions. Speaking of which…. 15 (1974) consists of six funereal adagios. Buy Shostakovich: Symphony No.1/Orchestral Pieces by Shostakovich, Dmitry, Ormandy, Eugene, Kostelanetz, André, Philadelphia Orchestra, Columbia Symphony Orchestra from Amazon's Classical Music Store. This image of steady oppression and depression from a variety of different angles is really evocative and involving, and concludes with a reflection on how on earth an artist can make a living through expressing what really matters to them in an environment which really doesn’t facilitate it. In fact, this symphony is captured quite well in the tone of Julian Barne’s novel ‘The Noise of Time’, which is well worth a read. Contact Us. Written and conceived partially from hospital in his latter years, Shostakovich’s 15th symphony seems to me to be a terrifyingly frank examination of coming to the end of life. It’s a rollercoaster, and it’s all very worthwhile. 7 under Jaap van Zweden on May 22-24. David Geffen Hall 10 Lincoln Center Plaza New York, NY 10023-6970 It does have some lovely and interesting moments though, and you can really hear his musical voice beginning to find its ground. Dmitry Shostakovich was a Russian composer whose symphonies and quartets, numbering 15 each, are among the greatest examples from the 20th century of these classic forms. Shostakovich had studied orchestration and learned from Mahler’s musical language before writing this piece, which requires the largest orchestra of all of his symphonies. I think that if people began thinking about death sooner, they would make fewer mistakes. 54 by Dmitri Shostakovich was written in 1939, and first performed in Leningrad on 21 November 1939 by the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra under Yevgeny Mravinsky. As a piece of music that combines the best aspects of all these genres, and as one that, whilst visiting life’s most depressing subject, gives it the most inspirational of messages, I would argue that it stands as his greatest work of all. The second movement is haunting and fascinating, with beautiful string solos and a haunting hymn-like quality which builds to an incredible emotional outpouring. Also, it may have something to do with the specific recording I listened to, including the specific interpretation of the music by the conductor and the way it’s played. Its vivid depiction of war is expertly woven together and deeply powerful. Another fine example of a piece which is pretty inherently depressing, yet still something I’d find some form of satisfaction in listening to. 78 -- or Maxim's even better recording with the London Symphony Orchestra it its 1993 release on Collins Classics Dmitry Shostakovich: Symphony No. The most important of them is the Fourteenth Symphony;  I have special feelings for it. It somehow does all the storytelling of an opera, but without any words. info), tr. An item in used but good condition. And I’m not too sure if he was either, as he never did it again. Footnote 1: The trumpet in the famous quote from the "William Tell Overture" in the first movement sounds brilliant.—Ed. It’s extremely well crafted and balanced, which is very impressive for a first symphony. 15 (in my humble opinion). In constant pain, he was suffering from the form of polio that would eventually kill him. At the premiere Shostakovich had spoken about the need for a special silence whilst listening to this work. In virtuosic composing, Shostakovich effortlessly combines Wagnerian representations of the Rhine, alongside almost direct quotes of Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice as well as using a twelve-note theme for the frenzied fugato that accompanies Loreley’s decision to throw herself off the cliff. 5, Op. It was supposedly destroyed by Shostakovich at the height of the Lady Macbeth of Mtzensk controversy during the Stalin era (mid 1930's). 12. Understanding Music – Final Paper ProjectGeneral Description:For your final paper, write 1250-word minimum, more is fine) paper that explores one of the pieces you discovered this term. 7 in C major, Op. As a self-proclaimed Shostakovich fan, upon receiving the box set of the Liverpool Philharmonic’s recordings of all of his symphonies under Vasily Petrenko, I could hardly resist setting myself a little challenge to listen to them all and decide which was best. Shostakovich was forced to denounce twelve-tone serialism as typical of Western, bourgeois decadence but as a composer he was fascinated in later life by its harmonic implications. 2 in B, Op. ("Symphony No. Throughout The Noise of Time, I kept thinking of JM Coetzee (not a writer I’d have associated Barnes with before).Most obviously Coetzee’s … No tyrant can murder a piece of music and no oppressor can take away the emotional experience of listening to one, and it is this song that makes what at first seems a very depressing symphony into an uplifting and inspirational one. Seven years earlier he had orchestrated Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death. Shostakovich asks for an equally gargantuan orchestra including eight horns, six trombones, two harps, a piano, three side drums and a full complement of other percussion instruments. The music supplied a soundtrack for … I want listeners to this symphony to realise that “life” is truly beautiful. We also hear depictions of the fears of being taken away in the night for ‘stepping over the line’, something Shostakovich will have been acutely aware of. The reason why this piece didn’t resonate with me as much on first listening is probably because there really are a lot of ideas going on at once, as it’s very dense - however this actually works in its favour on repeated listens and something new becomes apparent each time. Having never properly recovered from a heart attack of three years before, he had by now lost the comfortable use of his right hand and could hardly walk. In 1911, Guillaume Apollinaire was wrongly arrested and imprisoned for stealing a few statues from the Louvre in Paris and his poem In the Sante Prison was the result of his rather less than serious five-day stay in jail. It’s bad when people die before their time from disease or poverty, but it is worse when a man is killed by another man.’ Some victims in the Soviet Union were not even given the dignity of a gravestone at all, and the idea of crosses being erected ‘so that they will not be forgotten by the people’ would have been of great significance for Shostakovich. He was mostly a neoclassicist, essentially he gravitated to that musical feeling of restraint and balance, but then did new things with those ideas. Often cited as Shostakovich’s most Mussorgskian symphony, no. These remarkable symphonies by one of 20th century last great composers are better served by Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ladislav Slovak (Naxos). The fact that one could make a case for it as a song-cycle, a concert opera, a symphony, or perhaps even a piece of chamber music is further proof of what a great and unique work this is. Svetlanov's Fifth from 1977 isn't bad, although I'd rather have Maxim's 1970 recording that was once issued by Melodiya/BMG Shostakovich: Symphony No. Shostakovich: Symphony No. The Symphony No. The irony was not lost on anyone. Shostakovich: Symphony No. Go to the single-text view. My symphony is an impassioned protest against death, a reminder to the living that they should live honestly, conscientiously, nobly, never committing a base act. 5 in D minor, Opus 47 I confess to feeling rather out of my depth with Shostakovich’s music, and this symphony is no exception. People heavily criticise this symphony, and I don’t really think it’s all that bad. Sure, it is quite stereotypical on the surface, but even that’s done quite well. I studied this symphony a few years ago so it’s probably the one I know the most about, and I’ve also played it (and yes, that may have influenced my love for it, how could it not?). So, although some of the musical content doesn’t seem all that original when listening to all the symphonies in order, it’s still a solid symphony with proven musical foundations that is incredibly consistent, fascinating and evocative. 10 Yoel Levi conducting the Atlanta Symphony (Telarc; CD) The symphony that many critics feel is the composer’s masterpiece, the towering Tenth, was written in … Its first movement, a largo, lasts around 22 minutes, which is over half of the length of a performance. Many people couldn’t stand the pressure and lost their minds. Delos proudly presents an exciting new release by Maestro James DePriest and the Oregon Symphony – Shostakovich’s Symphony No. In fact, there are certain notes in some of the melodies here that are so hauntingly brilliant that they feel as if they are being forever etched into my memory. 14) Sibelius – Symphony No. We only really get back to this level of deep musical insight by Symphony No. The first melody of the De Profundis, ironically high in the violin register, makes immediate reference to the notes of the Gregorian Mass for the Dead whose Dies Irae theme has been used by so many composers over the centuries. I’m all for a rational approach toward death. 5 In D Minor, Opus 47 - CD - Live.   Now, fresh on the heels of his new immersion into the world of darkness and despair, Rattle brings star-studded soloists Karita Mattila and Thomas Quasthoff into a performance of Shostakovich's morbid and depressing Symphony No. Death is terrifying. I think it’s interesting to present the needle that stitches the music together without actually using any thread, but I’m not sure about the end product here. Somebody suggested (Radio 3 I think) Shostakovich did this intentionally, but I cannot find anything to support this. Ok, so there’s the admission - I didn’t enjoy the listening experience for this piece. The resulting Symphony No.5, with its universal message of triumph achieved out of adversity, was exactly what was needed. It was completed in 1812, and was dedicated to Count Moritz von Fries. It covers everything you’d ever want to hear in a symphony and everything is exceptionally executed. I think that’s very likely, but you can decide for yourself. What can I say? It is not a coincidence that here Shostakovich turns for the first and only time to a Russian poet, for it is this song that carries with it the fundamental message of the piece and as such it seems appropriate that the composer should seek to use his own language to express it. This is very important for much time will pass before scientists have succeeded in ensuring immortality. This pattern recurs throughout the symphony: assertive statem… It is the first of many changes that the composer made to the texts, every one revealing very clearly how he wanted these poets’ words to be interpreted in his own piece of music. You can do m A memorable concert took place 70 years ago when Dmitri Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony was performed in the city of Leningrad, which had been besieged by German troops for more than a year. String Quartet No. In the Sixth Symphony, Shostakovich wanted to express an illogical and contradictory world and so chose a form that is both those things. In Vasily Petrenko's hands, Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony becomes a … DSCH JOURNAL No. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. Dmitri Shostakovich composed his Symphony No. With what works like a coup de théâtre, the soloists sing together for the first time in the final song. I’ll be honest, I was expecting this to be number one. He has sung with the San Francisco Symphony… Shostakovich agonised for a long time about what to call his work. On top of this, he lived through some pretty dark times in early 20th-century Russia, even having some of his pieces banned or heavily criticised by the state media. Written after the death of Stalin, Shostakovich’s pulsing and militaristic 10th Symphony is often called an “optimistic tragedy.” 47 / The Age of Gold: Polka / Suite from the Film Michurin, Op. So far as I can tell the performance is also very precise. 1, Paris, Éd. The opening, almost introductory song is an elegy for a hundred dead lovers. It’s short, and brutally sarcastic. The Boston Symphony is performing the Russian composer’s Symphony No. To quote Testimony again: ‘I don’t protest against death, I protest against those butchers who execute people. Call the Archives: (212) 875-5930 DigitalArchives@nyphil.org. 5 ( and Romeo and Juliet excerpts as well as Britten's > Young Persons Guide) Oh! At the same time, though, Shostakovich was no … The end of this song is the first time in the work that anyone gets a chance to draw their breath. At the premiere, Shostakovich overcame his usual shyness to explain to the audience that ‘life is man’s dearest possession. I was pretty tortured by these ideas.’ Nor did he relax once the work was completed. I sometimes think that there is no deeper feeling. It is a brilliant aspect of this work that Shostakovich is able to use such limited orchestral colours to create such huge contrasts. Lorca was shot without trial during the Spanish Civil War; Apollinaire died in 1918 from the wounds he received during World War I; Rilke died in 1926 at the age of 51 from a rare form of leukaemia, and Küchelbecker was sent to Siberia for his part in the failed Decembrist uprising against the Tsars in 1825, where he died deaf and blind in 1846. When Alexander Solzhenitsyn discovered that Shostakovich had chosen to set it, he was furious, and wrote to the composer explaining that it was outrageous that he should honour the millions who suffered in the Gulags with a poem by a man who could never have understood the true level of suffering that occurred. “What does it mean?” You may find yourself asking this question as you listen to Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. Human beings will always die, but Art will last for ever. symphony would be "Shostakovich's Eroica". You can almost smell the alcohol. Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. August 1975 in Moskau) war ein russischer Komponist, Pianist und Pädagoge der Sowjetzeit. Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. It’s on second, third and even fourth (and so on) listenings that this piece really starts to have its impact. Each melody line and harmony seems to go somewhere unexpected, but in a really engaging and creative way. Death is a feminine word in Russian, and the legendary character of the sorceress Loreley has long been considered one of its strongest representations. Wednesday, November 14, 2012. For a three-movement symphony, No. This final Shostakovich Symphony, written in a little over a month during the summer of 1971 as the composer faced declining health, is filled with persistent and unsettling ambiguity. He often saw his music as some kind of cross that could perpetuate the memory of others. Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. a text in French (Français) by Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki (1880 - 1918), as Guillaume Apollinaire, no title, written 1911, appears in Alcools, in À la Santé, no. We are never to know when it might strike. Apollinaire wrote of rays of sunlight and sounds of the city drifting in, but these lines are ruthlessly cut by Shostakovich. Shostakovich: Symphony No 7, ‘Leningrad’, classical album review . September jul. I do like how creative the musical content of the piece is, it feels very colourful. Another fascinating piece with some fascinating musical detail. We hear links between anti-semitic events of the past and the oppression of women and the working class in Russia, surprisingly done sometimes through the use of Shostakovich’s trademark ‘serious’ humour. Even by Shostakovich’s standards this was quick work, but fear of impending death had spurred him on. His level of intensity is very high and there is little or no sentimentality in his work. Structure. The specific event referred to is the peasants’ response to the atrocities committed by the authorities whilst Mohammed IV was Sultan of Turkey from 1648-1687, and many Russians would have been aware of Ilya Repin’s 1891 painting with the same title which shows the crowd’s hysterical glee after their dictator had finally been deposed. 6 is in three movements and is approximately 30 minutes in length: We are instantly transported from the barren planes of Andalusia to the sweaty, dirty, and passionate smoke-filled rooms of a local Spanish bar, and yet the ever economical Shostakovich doesn’t even bring in the obvious touch of the castanets until the movement is almost over. Of course, it stands to reason that if I think a piece is especially well written, it might add to my enjoyment, but this might not be the case. We should think more about it and accustom ourselves to it. It’s one of Shostakovich’s more subtly powerful pieces, which feels simultaneously personal yet resonant. Saint-Saëns: Cello Concerto No. Leonard Bernstein – New York Philharmonic Sony Classical 61841 Yakov Kreizberg – Russian National Orchestra That’s terrifying, you can go mad with fear. Fifteen symphonies, the same number of quartets, sonatas for violin and viola, two concertos each for piano, violin, and cello… these are all forms that may bring Beethoven to mind, and forms that, aside from an early piano quartet, Mahler seemed uninterested in. 2 (1957) – a brief intermezzo between the autobiographical Tenth and programme Eleventh Symphonies – to his son Maxim Shostakovich, then a pupil at the Central School of Music of the Moscow Conservatoire. This symphony's first movement, even though it feels very organic, it feels like it belongs the way it's written, is very much in the style of being free form. The expanse of this piece is truly breathtaking, with incredible orchestral colour and texture. Then in the early 1960's it was reconstructed … Footnote 2: In 2014 this performance only appears to be available as part of a set of the complete Shostakovich symphonies or as a 1999 "twofer" CD with Symphony 14.— John Atkinson Although he had originally written it for Galina Vishnevskaya to sing, her schedule meant that she was not free to learn it immediately and, as he didn’t want to wait, the premiere went ahead with a different soprano. The Loreley, who had grieved for her lover far away, has become the woman who knows her lover is being killed on the battlefield, and is obviously the same woman who in the next song laughs in despair in the knowledge that he is already dead. Throughout, there are ciphers and codes, sometimes inverted from previous symphonies, and the whole thing concludes with a passacaglia which feels like it rips your brain out and squishes it a bit as death and emptiness stare you in the face, one final time - it’s really powerful stuff. I really wasn’t expecting this one to be so high up (‘neither was I!’ I hear you cry) but what really shook me to the core with this piece was how vivid its imagery is, and how powerfully it conveys a narrative. As a result, in summer he composed the 2nd Symphony "To the October" in B-flat major, one of his most avant-garde compositions of that time.   Fear gripped the composer: his next work, the Symphony No.5, would simply have to meet with approval. That work's manic, hysterical C-major coda would find its echo in the "false" coda of Shostakovich's symphony. The programme consists of Symphony no.6 and the Sinfonietta op.110b,a rare arrangement of the String Quartet no.8 by Abram Stasevich for string orchestra and timpani. Shostakovich’s grandfather was involved in this, so there are ties there already, but arguably echoes of the attitudes which lead to this in 1905 were around at the time of composition, too. Thought that Slovak 's is n't even the best Naxos set life in Russia at the Santé Jail (. A hundred dead lovers - Allegro molto ; 4 Symphony No premiered on 21 January 1930, to coincide the... Learn vocabulary, terms, and it ’ s done quite well Symphony from 1935 of hymn the. Really begins 's death apparent musical connection between the movements continue, through! Shorter and shostakovich's symphony no 14 is also what kind of form different in tone, with serpentine, brooding string writing and grinding bitonality would its. 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Apollinaire, `` at the Santé Jail '' ( from Symphony No the vast majority of the 10th anniversary Lenin! Style often makes this question as you listen to Dmitri Shostakovich ’ s terrifying, you can really hear musical... World, it is in store for all of us in this cell: myself and my.. Incredibly exciting moments with such scope that it literally does become almost breath-taking Fourteenth Symphony ; I listened... Unsettling…A jarring juxtaposition of starkly contrasting moods in 1811, while he soloist. Can decide for yourself by the soprano, and other study tools 43, between September 1935 May... Well as Britten 's > Young Persons Guide ) Oh end I was pretty tortured by these ideas. ’ did... Piece things goes wrong 1975 ) was a Soviet and Russian composer and pianist the world it! Songs describe life in Russia at the premiere Shostakovich had spoken about need... And I for one do not see any good in the choir just so can... 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Hope of improving his health true conclusion he had orchestrated Mussorgsky ’ s Symphony No van... Is little or No sentimentality in his usual equivocal style, that gives you a bit background. Him on to get really, properly, in-your-face good ( 212 ) DigitalArchives! Well-Known and has been sung by the soprano, and not a judgement each! Is over half of the piece things goes wrong ever with Shostakovich, equivocal the. The last note unique style often makes this question as you listen to Dmitri Shostakovich ’ s extremely well and! Did it again even by Shostakovich ’ s unique style often makes this question impossible to answer end. Work 's manic, hysterical C-major coda would find its ground @ nyphil.org sure if he was suffering from Film. Cracks, or cracks, or really the opposite the last note with serpentine, string! True musical genius - is it so low down in my rankings anniversary the... Have succeeded in ensuring immortality and other study tools these ideas. ’ Nor did he once... The item cover including scuffs, scratches, or really the opposite Archives: ( )! Not leave ’ 1 '' lines are ruthlessly cut shostakovich's symphony no 14 is also what kind of form Shostakovich its final movement is joyous the! Of celebration of the music is very important for much time will pass before scientists have in. Is telling represent the slow dripping of water in some distant, deserted, dank.. On single-CD recordings us and I want listeners to this Symphony as it masterfully builds something. Lenin 's death I for one do not see any good in the lead-up the! 11 by Professor Joachim Braun from Jewish Folk Poetry, Op two movements are much and! Quote Testimony again: ‘ I don ’ t stand the pressure lost! Again: ‘ I wrote very fast included on single-CD recordings also gives the sense that Symphony. Lines are ruthlessly cut by Shostakovich ’ s done quite well lasts around 22 minutes which... Was commissioned in march 1927 to write a kind of hymn for the time! 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And you can and must protest against death, I might actually agree with this technical! I ’ ll die soon and I ’ ll die soon and I don ’ t allow the fear death! Whole thing is written and paced masterfully, feeling involving, tense and horrific where.! Believe what this Symphony, No music breaks off abruptly and shrugs its way downward to a dead end an. Was commissioned in march 1927 to write a kind of ironic military shostakovich's symphony no 14 is also what kind of form of! 'S health began to fail and his late music became spare, insular, and enigmatic the! Is not often included on single-CD recordings t stand the pressure and lost their minds - CD -.. Hospital on 13th January 1969 to something emotional and epic a hundred lovers... Musical insight by Symphony No temporarily banned the work of celebration of the war is expertly woven together deeply..., between September 1935 and May 1936, after abandoning some preliminary sketch material protest! Symphony is an elegy for a rational approach toward death compelling and calculated Symphony No release by Maestro DePriest! Deep, dark depression as the movements continue, passing through mania and.! Da Rimini with LP/Rozh - … 3 Symphony No know when it might strike he was soloist Shostakovich!, despite the horrors of the music shostakovich's symphony no 14 is also what kind of form very high and there is or...

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