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Symphony 5 / Festive Overture

Price: £17.95
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£17.95 Only 1 left in stock. Dispatched from and sold by EliteDigital UK.

Product details

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Moderato
  2. Allegretto
  3. Largo
  4. Allegro Non Troppo
  5. Festive Overture, Op.96 - Mikhail Pletnev
  6. Polka (allegretto) - Neeme Jarvi
  7. Waltz II - Riccardo Chailly
  8. Tahiti Trot - Riccardo Chailly

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x971ab450) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9758bdec) out of 5 stars Excellent Lesser-Known Shostakovich Fifth 9 Aug. 2004
By goodmusicman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This CD features a recording of Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony by Vladmir Ashkenazy and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra that should go down as one of the greats. Throughout, Ashkenazy employs the most perfect tempos imaginable, which is what makes this recording stand out above the rest. The first movement march has never sounded this well-integrated into the rest of the movement, creating an exciting and menacing effect. Ashkenazy doesn't rush through it like Bernstein did in his famous 1959 recording.The scherzo has just the right tempo, again surpassing Bernstein's rush-job. The largo is dramatic, without being overblown, like Bernstein's recording. Most satisfying, the finale comes in at just the right tempo (10:57), sounding triumphant, without removing the edge of irony behind it. The sound quality is solid, but not great for a digital recording, but this shouldn't bother most people. This recording--previously out of print--was given very high praise by Gramophone magazine ([...]) and was specifically pointed out as an antidote to Bernstein's overrated performance in their review of the latter.

The remaining short orchestral works are given stunning performances in even better digital sound, proving that Shostakovich knew how to write light, fun music as much as serious symphonies and concertos. Ultimately, this CD is worth it just for the outstanding Fifth Symphony
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97b5d18c) out of 5 stars Favorite Fifth 5 Dec. 2009
By R. Kopp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I wish I could comment on Ashkenazy's entire cycle, but unfortunately I've only heard his 5th. It's my favorite version of this symphony, by a considerable margin. (I've heard Gergiev, Mravinsky, Haitink and both Bernsteins, as well as Rozhdestevensky, Jarvi, Rahbari, Stokowski, Jansons, Maxim Shostakovich, Kondrashin, Ormandy, Barshai and Temirkanov.) Ashkenazy finds more menace in the opening bars than any other conductor I know. I'm particularly fond of his pointing of the grotesque dance rhythms of the Allegretto, very reminiscent of the best of Mahler's scherzos. It is anything but "foursquare" (to disagree explicitly, once again, with Sante Fe listener's review of the cycle). The largo is searching and haunting. In the finale, to my ears Ashkenazy finds just the right balance between intensity and irony, bombast and subtlety, pace and pause, power and tenderness.

For what it's worth, the 1992 Penguin Guide gave this recording their top recommendation. "One of [Ashkenazy's] finest recordings yet as a conductor, [t]his is an exceptionally searching and intense reading, biting and dramatic, yet finding an element of wry humor in the second and fourth movement to outshine any rival. [D]emonstration sound quality." They ranked it ahead of Previn, Jansons, Mravinsky, Rahbari, Jarvi, Rozdestvensky and Maxim Shostakovich. For whatever reason--perhaps because it went of print in the UK?--this review has been dropped from other editions of the guide, but it still deserves top billing.

The fillers by Jarvi, Chailly and Pletnev are all quite lovely.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97595ac8) out of 5 stars With So Many Recordings Of The 5th, You Probably Can Do Better, But... 12 July 2009
By Kevin H. Cushman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm always mentioning that I'm not a musicologist which may turn off some readers from going any further. However, while I like this version, I don't feel the gripping tension that I do in either of Bernard Haitink's versions, especially in the 3rd movement. As far as having "the most perfect tempos imaginable," the lead in to the march in the 1st movement is too fast making it seem as it and the march itself do not belong together, however many recordings of this symphony have that same shortcoming. There is more color in both of Haitink's versions and his entire pace with the Concertgebouw in the 4th movement is perfect leading to a spectacular finale.

The 4th movement of this symphony probably has the most different recorded tempos than any other; from less than 9 minutes with Bernstein's 1959 recording (which has its merits) to almost 13 minutes with Rostropovich and the London Symphony Orchestra and Kreizberg with the Russian National Orchestra. This is a decent version with digital recording but after it went out of print, it should have been tweaked with a crisper and louder sound before it was redistributed.

The four side pieces, while totaling only 15 minutes, make this a worthwhile recording to purchase, especially at this price.
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