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An incredible bargain. (Try getting a seat for that price)!
Shostakovich's 11th Symphony is a rather long, and very brooding, work. Ostensibly written to commemorate the 1905 Russian Revolution, its date of writing also suggests that it might contain one of his frequent "hidden messages," this one as a personal response to the Hungarian uprising and subsequent Soviet invasion of 1956. But perhaps it's best to ignore this highly-specific subtext, and simply accept the work as a more universal "commemoration to the victims of oppression everywhere."
Some Shostakovich symphonies (certainly the 1st, 5th, 8th and 10th, and perhaps the 6th and 9th) are heard in the concert hall much more frequently than this work, or for that matter, his other "war" symphony, the 7th ("Leningrad") Symphony. It follows – largely, anyway – that this work is not nearly as frequently recorded.
But, unless you are one who needs multiple versions of everything, this Rostropovich/LSO recording is likely to be the only one you'll ever need. Recorded live, it is, in a word, stunning.Read more ›
The performance vividly brings to life the bleak nature of the work and on the whole is a perfectly judged reading which never breaks the spell created by the darkly subtle opening. The musicians shine through the average sound quality and the CD partly recreate what must have an incredible live experience, ( what CD has ever come close to the thrill of being in the same room as a full orchestra?).
Fantastic...I would have happily paid a few pounds more.