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Triumph and Tragedy: Dmitry Shostakovich

John Ferngrove
 
Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 6
Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 6
"1 - brilliant but polite, pre-revolutionary Russian fairy-tale work, 6 - relatively brief, dark and enigmatic statement from the period of the terror."
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 43
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 43
"4 - Last burst of exuberance from the artistically liberal early revolutionary period.  Then came Stalin and the crackdown.  Hidden in a draw for decades until Stalin's death."
Shostakovich: Lady Macbeth
Shostakovich: Lady Macbeth
"Strange opera with great music but no endearing characters.  This one drew down the wrath of Stalin. Dmitry lived in fear from this time on."
Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos 5 & 9
Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos 5 & 9
"5 - monumental testament to the endurance of the human spirit under unbearable oppression.  9 - A joke at Stalin's expense."
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7 "Leningrad"
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7 "Leningrad"
"7 - The mighty Leningrad, written during the siege of 41."
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8 in C minor, Op. 65
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8 in C minor, Op. 65
"8 - The second great war symphony.  Torment, anguish, violence, death and a tiny voice of hope at the end."
Shostakovich - Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op.93
Shostakovich - Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op.93
"10 - Arguably THE definitive Shostakovich symphony.  Arguably THE definitive symphony of the tragic 20th Century."
Shostakovich: Symphony 11, 1905
Shostakovich: Symphony 11, 1905
"11 - 'A film score in search of a film'.  Scenes from the revolution."
Shostakovich: Symphonies No. 12 'The Year 1917' and No. 2 'To October'
Shostakovich: Symphonies No. 12 'The Year 1917' and No. 2 'To October'
"12 - Is Dmitry trying to be a good party man? 2 - highly experimental but a dead end."
Shostakovich: Symphony No.13
Shostakovich: Symphony No.13
"13 - Babi Yar - Profoundly moving choral symphony, commemorating victims of Nazi, but also tacitly soviet, atrocities."
Shostakovich: Symphony No.14
Shostakovich: Symphony No.14
"14 - Really an extended song cycle on poems about death.  Notable for its strong Britten references.  Very beautiful."
Shostakovich: Symphony 15, From Jewish Folk Poetry
Shostakovich: Symphony 15, From Jewish Folk Poetry
"15 - Quirky but fiendishly clever and ironic statement on death and old-age.  The songs from Jewish folk poetry are also wonderful."
Shostakovich: The String Quartets
Shostakovich: The String Quartets
"Chilling descent into the icy depths of the Russian soul."
Shostakovich: 24 Preludes & Fugues
Shostakovich: 24 Preludes & Fugues
"Dmitry's tribute to Bach.  One senses that these come from a secret place not scarred by the horrors."
Shostakovich: Violin Concertos No. 1, Op. 99 & No. 2, Op. 129
Shostakovich: Violin Concertos No. 1, Op. 99 & No. 2, Op. 129
"Outstanding performances here.  No.1 is heart breakingly beautiful.  No.2 is tougher but has incredible depth."
Shostakovich: Cello Concertos
Shostakovich: Cello Concertos
"Good performances of these masterpieces."
Violin Sonatas
Violin Sonatas
"Tragedy and triumph - at the end of the journey."
Testimony: The Memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich as related to and edited by  Solomon Volkov
Testimony: The Memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich as related to and edited by Solomon Volkov
"Get to know the man, in reputedly his own words, some controversy."
Shostakovich: A Life Remembered
Shostakovich: A Life Remembered
"Superb and extremely well researched biography."
Europe Central
Europe Central
"Literary masterpiece giving fictional accounts of true lives of people placed in extraordinary moral dilemmas in WWII.  Includes highly credible depictions of scene's from Shostakovich's life."
Testimony - The Story Of Shostakovich [1987] [DVD]
Testimony - The Story Of Shostakovich [1987] [DVD]
"Strange, slightly surreal depiction of Shostakovich's 'struggles' with Stalin.  Surprised to get to the end and find I did want to watch it again."