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  • Symphony No. 5: Excerpts From The Gadfly
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Symphony No. 5: Excerpts From The Gadfly


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Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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£7.31 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Product details

  • Audio CD (4 Jan. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alto
  • ASIN: B0031P6XRU
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 182,926 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Symphony No. 5 - London Symphony Orchestra
2. Excerpts from the Gadfly - London Symphony Orchestra

Product Description

ALTO 1067; ALTO - Inghilterra; Classica Orchestrale

Customer Reviews

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By DMH on 27 Dec. 2010
Format: Audio CD
I guess I need to start by saying that this is my favourite recording of Shostakovich 5th Symphony. I wouldn't claim it's the only way the work can be played, but it has always worked for me. It's essentially a serious-minded performance, one that in no way tries to play down the emotional links with the 4th Symphony, and you come away pretty drained as a result. It was originally issued by Collins and despite the authenticity of the performance and excellent playing from the LSO and a very truthful recording, it was rather over-looked. If you believe, rightly or wrongly, that this is essentially an optimistic work then you are unlikely to respond well to Maxim Shostakovich's performance. If you prefer a fast pace for the finale and a comfortable sense of easy triumph in the coda, look elsewhere. To me, Maxim's performance suggests that if there is a victory by the end of the work, it is one born of great pain, and the closing pages are by no means triumphal. At the very modest cost of the new release on Alto, this performance is well worth hearing, as a foil to those conductors who play the work too fast or who choose to underplay the turbulent emotions implicit in much of the music.

Added 6 August 2014: worth mentioning that there is now a 6 CD box on Alto containing the 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, 10th & 15th symphonies, of which the 5th and 10th are conducted by Maxim Shostakovich. The 4th is by Barshai, the 7th Ivanov, the 8th Mravinsky, and the 15th Kondrashin.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By ceebee on 6 Nov. 2010
Format: MP3 Download
Good performance, bought this after hearing inspiring live performance by West of Scotland Schools Orchestra
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Excellent conducting by the composer's son 13 Feb. 2014
By Robert S. Lai - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this because I felt that there would be no better interpreter of Shostakovich's music than his own son. This is largely true. The music is lively, and memorable. The tunes are even hummable. Of course, the famous Romance is there also.

The reason for only 3 stars is that the recording quality is frankly disappointing. Is sounds so distant, as if the mikes were put at the back of the auditorium. The violin solo from the Romance, for example is almost inaudible. If you turn the volume up to hear it, the forte passages blast your ears off. There should have been a better balance during the recording. The poor recording quality makes this a very frustrating thing to listen to.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Film Music From Shostakovich 5 Feb. 2014
By TONY L. ENGLETON C.N.M.T. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
02-04-2014 I have a fair amout of Shostakovich, at least one recording of each Symphony, one of the , #15, omly on LP. But, this Gadfly scaore on a couple of CDs. Here is his son, Maxim, a good conductor, mainly of his father's music, leading the London Symphony in a 1990 Abbey Road sessions, containingf the film scaore, with six of the original dozen or so pieces. The Overture, only 3:09 long is dramatic and harfd ghitting. The other selecxtions vart from lyrical to dreamy, to clownish. The composer was a master at sarcasim, as we hear in his symphonies, particularly the Scherzo of #10, his best and in the charming and inven tive ballet suites. He could produce intensely romantic materiaL asnd deeply tragic music as well. Refer to both thw 2wnd Piano Concerto and the Symphony #11, to illustrated thewsae points. The 5th track on this Alto CD is the most popular piece. This Romance, for solo violin over a soft and murmerring orchestra has a simlicity one finds irresistable, as I always do. The 1955film, The "Gadfly, is based on the Irish woman's novel of the same name, written in 1897. It takes place in Italy in the 1840s and tells the tale of the revolutionary Arthur Burton, and his ad ventures in resisting the fascisst authorities in Italy, plus his lover Gemma and a priest friend. I do not knowanything else about the film or book. These 6 parts are a good slice of the entire score. This score is widely varied in mood and technique, some of it rather suprising. Son, maxim, does a splendid job with the harshest moments, and the LSO play with their usual finess and skill. It makes anexcellent filler. And learnewd it quickly and have enjoyed it ever since.
The Symphony in d-minor, #5, As the story goes, the com,poser ws touring around Arcangel near the Arctic circle when he spotted a scathing critique in Pravda, slamming his opera of the prevvious year, Lady MacBeth of the Mtsensk District'. Titled, "Muddle instead of Music," it was undoubtedly inspired, if not partly written by Stalin, although the opera was a success with the public. ( In order to aoid "typist cramp" I shall refere to son Maxim as MS and dad as DS. )
The 5ht Symphony has 4 movements and runs, in this recording, for an epic 53:40, probably ther longest of any of my DS recordings of this great Russian Symphony. The introduction lasts a drawn out and then as the main body begins MS quickens the tempo to a brisk pace. Marked Moderato--Allegro non troppo, it runs along nicely with a good Russian style, though slower, I imagine than Mrainsky, whom I also own a copy of. This music has phrases that need the proper time to fully express themselvesand MS obliges quite well. I also suspect he knmpows this music better than anyone alive at the time, his father ha ving died when I was a greehnorn m usic student of my priest Uncle Tom. He had listened to and studied the great men of music on 78s while in the Seminary at Notre Dame. Ordained in 1947, he earned his PhD. in American History and taught at Notre Dame untill the later 1960s when he retired. the great University was becoming too liberal for my Uncle who was being pressured to go easy on players of the football team, in his classes. He would have none of it. His younger brother,, my father, confirmed these stories several times , so for me, Uncle Tom became one of my heroes . My other hero was Mickey Mantle, ah youth! When we hadn't a care in the world.
Dimitri Shostakovich, on the other hand, had many things to care about in the world of the 1930s in the Soviet Union. One of them is this. he took, in the later 30s and middle 40s to moving out of his living room and setting up a makeshift office on his fire escape in the high rise apartment in Moscow so that, when, not so much as IF the KGB came for him, it wouldn't arouse his wife or children in the middle of the night. He was that scared, and yet he continued to write, and write he did! The 5th Symphony was completed on July20, 1937. Yvgenny Mrainsky gave the premiere on November21st of the same year. It is scored for pairs of winds, including piccolo, bass clainet, and contrabassoon. also 4 horns 3 each trumpets and trombones, tuba timpani and strings. The expanded percussion, as is the case of virtually eey one osf his Symphonies includes bass drum, triangle, cymbals, tam-tam 2 harps , piano and celeste. As is also the case, virtually all the percussion pieces are heard in the rouchous finale. The first movement however is typical DS, as it builds to a predictable climax of shattering tension, only to fall back and calmly recover on the other side of the mountain. We KNOW it's coming, and yet, it still seems so fresh, and in the hands of son, MS, it gets skillful and respectful treatment.
The "skater's waltz" scherzo is his best early piece and it stands up well over his entire output. Perhaps his best overall scherzo is trhe one in the 10th Symphony, as a gripping, violent picture of the beast himself, Stalin. But, for now, the mood is lighter, and this jesting movement acts as a brief ressipte in the tension of the work in progress.
Generally, DS's slow movements are dark and brooding, dripping with sadness, regret and dispair, they nearly crush us under their own weightr, as they are so opressie and smothering. This Largo feels more soothing and contemplative. It has a soothing nature I'nm not sure is accurate, as I can't recall anyone else approaching this music in such a manner as this. the Largo lasts a nice and long 17:06 as compared to Petrenko's and Mravinsky's _______. Still, IO feel puzzled as who should have the answer? Here is the composer's own son, who conducted this music often while DS was still alive, so he should know, shouldn't he? The beauty of this movement lies in it's subtleties, like small groups of vviolins, scattered winds and that unsurpassable use of the piano, harps and celeste. Attention top detail runs high in this digital recording, with the great LSO giving son, Max, everything he requests
Now for the Finale, and what a finale it is! Our conductor takes a full and generous 12:15 to make his point and the snarling and growling brass of the LSO blaze out this music with gusto. .Until only 10-12 years ago, i thought, like most of us, that this music spoke of the triumpgh of the people, but at least sine Gasnost, it has become clear that this is really about the victory of Leninism, Marxcism, Stalinism, and ultimately Communism. For us, as for the somposer, this spells disaster, but Shostakovich cleverly allowed the charade to continue, without public comment. If believing that this celebration ws about socialism, then perhaps the authorities might leave him alone, and that is all he every really wanted, form a pragmatic point of view, that is. But, when you live in a state where artists and intellectuals are routinely dragged off to prison, held for unendling interogations or simply murdered as "spies," being pragmatic is quiote an achievement. Neccessary for the life of a composer. Still, as we observe the many black and white photos of the composer from these years, he wears a face of twisted countenabnce, clearly demonstrating the effecxt upon him by his tormentors. As evident during the 1948 Zhandov Decrees , DS could of lived an easier life, less stressful and more financially rewarding, as did Prokofiev, almost living daily in Paris, the hub of elegance and m ythical reality, but not DS. his standards were too high for his own comfort and general health, and how he avoided a serious health consequence, I'll neer know. he cared so deeply about music and beauty and the truth of modern life, all arounfdd him, struggling for breath, he couldn't allow himself to be come a comfortable composer of "nice" and "pleasant" music. No, he HAD to stand in the winds that blew. Or was it more like a gale? Yes, it had all the rage of Der Fleigende Hollander's Overture, of which Karl Muck said, "the wind blows right out of the pages and into your face." He added, thatthis only happened IF you conducted it well.
After the 5th Symphony, things only got worse for DS, as he composed the greatest Violin Concerto of the 20th Century, the s-minor of 1947, which he promptly hid in a draswer, awaiting a better time for it's hearing. That would not come untill 1953 after Stalin dies. And, even after this very small and brief "thaw", he continued to write hard hitting music, refusing to back down. As you can probably tell these are reasons why I admire this man so much.
I recommend this Symphony preimarily because it is conducted by the composer's son, so there should be an undeniable tinge of legitimacy to it's reading. Wheter or not you agree with this or that tempo, accent, cresendo or diminuendo, youy should find this musioc interesting, so please keep an open mind, buy it and enjoy it. With my best wishes, Godbless you all, Tony.
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