This recording of New Babylon, one of Shostakovich s most inventive and truly symphonic film scores, is the first complete recording of all the surviving music from the original lost manuscript full score and the first to use five solo string players only, as conceived by the composer. A remarkable collage of marches, can-cans, carnival music, tumultuous rhythms and musical quotations, New Babylon bristles with witty dissonance and brassy ebullience, emphasising the films content rather than its visual surface. Mark Fitz-Geralds two previous Naxos world première recordings of Shostakovichs film scores for Alone (8.570316) and The Girlfriends (8.572138) have been highly acclaimed. Described as one of the indispensable Shostakovich interpreters of our time, Mark Fitz-Gerald has performed the Trauberg/Shostakovich classic New Babylon (1929) to great critical acclaim, in particular at the Japanese première of the work (opening concert of the Tokyo Summer Festival in 2000) and the Rotterdam Gergiev Festival 2001.
Fitz-Gerald uses his own edition of the score, prepared after careful research. The joy of it lies in the light instrumentation for 18 players,mostly one to a part, which adds new clarity to a varied score offering plenty of signposts to the Shostakovich to come. Performance**** Recording**** --BBC Music Magazine,Mar'12