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Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8 [CD]

Yoel Levi Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (18 Dec 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Telarc Classical
  • ASIN: B000003CY3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 297,034 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I. Adagio
2. II. Allegretto
3. III. Allegro Non Troppo
4. IV. Largo
5. V. Allegretto

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars powerful and moving 25 Dec 2013
Format:Audio CD
I don't have any basis of comparison for this recording, and I don't find that I want to rush out and find a performance to compare. That fact alone tells me that this got to me -- it's harrowing, often in its restraint which at times seems overwhelmed by the big, dissonant climaxes. The Telarc sound is wonderfully clear (1994), and Levi doesn't seem to be imposing himself on the music at all -- it unfolds very naturally in all its moods. As one reviewer says, for all the length of the first movement -- and the basic simplicity of the motivic material -- it doesn't seem too long (unlike the Seventh Symphony in this respect). It seems to teach you to be patient and listen to it. Partly, it's because there's a kind of dance-like feeling to it, as if the whole symphony is a kind of stripped-down terrible ballet. There's no Tchaikovskian orchestral richness here -- it's spare, even though it unfolds like a narrative, and it's interesting that the booklet notes talk of the horrors of the Second World War as the Soviet Union experienced it, so the senses of lament and panic and fear and exhaustion that the music seems at its various stages to embody can be attached to that historical circumstance. But even without knowing that, the listener would be drawn in to the drama within the sound world of this symphony. It's not a piece you want to play often, but it is undeniably powerful.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stupendous 9 May 2009
By David Saemann - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is an extraordinary performance of the 8th Symphony. Tempos are moderate but not really slow. Levi takes 2 minutes more for the whole work than Haitink does, but he is 4 minutes faster than Rostropovich on his second recording. The first movement is beautifully molded and never outstays its welcome, despite lasting 26 minutes. Given all of its emotional content, I felt it ended almost too soon. The Largo, the 4th movement, is touching in its intimacy. Throughout, the Atlanta Symphony play with stunning concentration and ensemble playing that obviously is deeply felt. Shostakovich said that the 7th and 8th Symphonies constituted his "requiem," and indeed in this performance one plumbs depths of despair that Shostakovich had not approached since writing his 4th Symphony. Perhaps the war gave him the limited artistic freedom to expose such a work to the public. One of the amazing aspects of this recording is that it was recorded in one day, a tribute to the marvelous preparation of the ensemble. The recorded sound is superb, with a very wide dynamic range. My favorite recording of this Symphony had been Fedoseyev's, but now I'm not sure.
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well played, but unmoving interpretation 24 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Atlanta always amazes me for their technical brilliance and vibrant sound. Unfortunately these two aspects have become the sole focus of this recording. As perfect as the playing was, it sounded more like robots than people with emotions. I liked Levi's tempo choices but in the end he failed to bring significant emotion into this incredibly violent and sad symphony. Atlanta's sound may in fact be too bright for this symphony, which requires more dark and deep sounds. If you are looking for good Levi Shotakovich, go with his recording of the fifth and ninth symphonies.
4.0 out of 5 stars powerful and moving 25 Dec 2013
By Stanley Crowe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I don't have any basis of comparison for this recording, and I don't find that I want to rush out and find a performance to compare. That fact alone tells me that this got to me -- it's harrowing, often in its restraint which at times seems overwhelmed by the big, dissonant climaxes. The Telarc sound is wonderfully clear (1994), and Levi doesn't seem to be imposing himself on the music at all -- it unfolds very naturally in all its moods. As one reviewer says, for all the length of the first movement -- and the basic simplicity of the motivic material -- it doesn't seem too long (unlike the Seventh Symphony in this respect). It seems to teach you to be patient and listen to it. Partly, it's because there's a kind of dance-like feeling to it, as if the whole symphony is a kind of stripped-down terrible ballet. There's no Tchaikovskian orchestral richness here -- it's spare, even though it unfolds like a narrative, and it's interesting that the booklet notes talk of the horrors of the Second World War as the Soviet Union experienced it, so the senses of lament and panic and fear and exhaustion that the music seems at its various stages to embody can be attached to that historical circumstance. But even without knowing that, the listener would be drawn in to the drama within the sound world of this symphony. It's not a piece you want to play often, but it is undeniably powerful.
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