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Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10

Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: £10.37 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Composer: Dmitry Shostakovich
  • Audio CD (9 Aug 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B00000E4HH
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 149,537 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No.10 In E Minor, Op.93 - 1. Moderato22:07Album Only
Listen  2. Symphony No.10 In E Minor, Op.93 - 2. Allegro 4:12£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Symphony No.10 In E Minor, Op.93 - 3. Allegretto11:22Album Only
Listen  4. Symphony No.10 In E Minor, Op.93 - 4. Andante - Allegro13:42Album Only

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MILESTONE 18 Aug 2003
Format:Audio CD
The 10th symphony is probably my favourite piece of Shostakovich. It is not unique - far from it - among his works in possessing power, anguished emotion and nobility of expression, but it has a coherence and unity of style that I don't always find in him. The construction is less episodic and more 'durchkomponiert' than he often is, and the long first movement in particular rises to great heights through its sustained symphonic logic, of the kind I associate more with Beethoven and Brahms. As often, the influence of Mahler can be felt strongly, this time in the third movement; and the ostensibly 'positive' conclusion is no triumph at all but a piece of noble and bitter irony. Stalin was not long dead when this symphony received its first performance, and I expect his monstrous incubus still lay over Soviet art of every kind during the period of its composition. Whether this led the composer to trim his artistic sails I don't know, nor do I really much care. The musical idiom is not especially radical, but I can well imagine that Shostakovich might have had some explaining to do to the cultural commissars when they heard that fierce and outraged second movement. I can rarely hear Shostakovich as 'absolute' music - it is nearly always telling us something - but in the great first movement of this symphony his inspiration transcends his circumstances, much as Beethoven's did when he composed the Emperor concerto with pillows over his ears to protect the remnants of his hearing while his fallen idol Napoleon bombarded Vienna.
The performance strikes me as flawless. I am not in general an enthusiast for Karajan, and even here I don't catch the special individuality that made Toscanini, Beecham and Furtwaengler who and what they were as interpreters.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, complex masterpiece 6 Aug 2005
Format:Audio CD
Well, Shostakovich 10, generally regarded as one of the finest 20th Century symphonies, receives here a truly wonderful rendition from the Berlin Phil.
As someone who until a few months ago regarded 20th Century classical music as awful, incoherent, discordant rubbish to be avoided at all cost, Shostakovich has come as a complete revelation to me. This is the second of his symphonies I have heard (the first being No. 7) and it has quickly become one of my favourites of any period, rubbing shoulders with Beethoven 6, Mendelssohn 3, Rachmaninov 2 etc. This symphony absolutely bowls me over, in so many ways.
Firstly, the intricacy of it. It isn't an exaggeration to say you notice something new every time you listen to it. Just recently, I noticed a theme from the first movement cropping up in the third, which had escaped me on the previous umpteen hearings. Not to mention the enigmatic symbols (the DSCH and Elemira motifs), and form (why do three bleak movements lead to a supposedly joyous one?).
Second, meaning. Look at the time it was written (around the time of Stalin's death). Solomon Volkov maintains that Shostakovich intended the symphony to be about the Stalin Era, and the second movement to be a portrait of Stalin himself. I don't care if that's true or not, to be honest, because it describes it very well! Just listen to the desolate twisting of the first movement, and the terrifying intensity of the second and think of what Shostakovich as a person and his country as a whole went through under Stalin. This is without a doubt music from a deeply troubled mind, that is trying to express something beyond words.
Thirdly, and most importantly, the writing itself is endlessly captivating.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shostakovich via Berlin... 25 Mar 2012
Format:Audio CD
Shostakovich's Tenth Symphony - his "optimistic tragedy" - is an explosive cocktail of emotions and pent-up frustrations; unleashed after the death of - "Uncle Joe" - Stalin it reflects on an era of gross injustice and grim hardship for the Russian people. Censorship was rife and artistic freedom an alien concept under the Communist regime! In March of 1953 the dictator passed away and in December of that year Shostakovich's response to the Stalin years had its premiere - the Tenth emerged into a "brave new world" and the shackles were off - well, almost!

Herbert von Karajan conducts a First movement of staggering intensity; slow, dark, brooding and menacing with an ominous sense of foreboding generated by the violins' repeated main theme in the extended climax - the Berlin Philharmonic's articulation, precision and incisiveness is all one would expect of a virtuoso orchestra. The Second movement - savage and brutal - is a veritable outpouring of implacable, relentless rage and defiance - a "blitzkrieg" of anger and emotion, if you will. Some believe it to be a "portrait" of Stalin - I wouldn't disagree! Karajan coaxes some wonderful playing from the orchestra - incredible woodwind articulation, suitably clattering percussion, stellar brass playing and virtuosic strings. All are combined in an energetic display of controlled mayhem! Karajan keeps a tight rein on the orchestra in the Third movement which alternates between quiet contemplation and bursts of manic energy. Karajan presents dynamic contrasts with deft precision and the music's insistent rhythms are sprung with authority! The many Mahlerian moments - horn calls, delicate, bird song-like woodwind, etc - are atmospheric and well-judged by Karajan.
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