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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Versions by a non-Russian Orchestra
These are beautifully played and recorded. It is probably true that some of the other versions recorded by Russian Orchestras sound more authentic and are closer to Shostakovich's intentions, but it is marginal, and these versions benefit from the best recorded sound. The CDs are very nicely packaged in a cardboard box with individual paper/polythene sleeves with a decent...
Published 16 months ago by essexbookworm

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4 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Incorrect Discs
I was looking forward to owning all the symphonies but unfortunately disc 2 was completely wrong.
It was Piano concertos by Schubert / Haydn!
I sent it back and it was replaced with yet another incomplete set with the same wrong disc 2.
Shame as it could have been so good.
DECCA you need to sort your packaging.
I would give zero stars if...
Published 18 months ago by FB Studios


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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Versions by a non-Russian Orchestra, 17 July 2013
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This review is from: Shostakovich: The Symphonies (Audio CD)
These are beautifully played and recorded. It is probably true that some of the other versions recorded by Russian Orchestras sound more authentic and are closer to Shostakovich's intentions, but it is marginal, and these versions benefit from the best recorded sound. The CDs are very nicely packaged in a cardboard box with individual paper/polythene sleeves with a decent booklet including full translations of the lyrics, just as LPs used to be. Exemplary! All boxed sets should be produced like this instead of those fragile, bulky jewel cases.
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17 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential. Simple as that..., 2 Sep 2007
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John David Charles Hilton "Creative spark...." (Redcliffe, Bristol United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shostakovich: The Symphonies (Audio CD)
Given the scope and complexities of many of these symphonies, not to mention their variety and various, perceived agendas that may or may not be present, it's no surprise that there's so little agreement as to which recordings are 'best'. The influence of Stravinsky and Stockhausen can be heard, and the ghosts of Mahler and Beethoven are never far away, but Shostakovich moved in a sphere all of his own. No collection of 20th Century classical music can be called complete without this cycle, and his 'other 15', the almost incomparable string quartets.

There isn't, and probably never will be, a truly 'definitive' cycle of these symphonies. Haitink, however, provides a useful benchmark, and is arguably the most consistently brilliant currently available. All but Nos 4, 5, 7 & 10 are among the finest versions available, with only No.4 being in any way a disappointing account, lacking as it does the fiery abandon of the finest versions. It's difficult to see how anybody could better the versions of Nos 10 and 15 herein.

The two additional works are no make-weights. Both are vital parts of Shostakovich's vocal output.

The recording quality is excellent throughout, with all but the 4th, 10th & 15th symphonies being good digital, the exceptions being very good, late analogue recordings.

All but essential to Shostakovich lovers, especially those looking for a basis to build their Shostakovich symphony collections around, but equally highly recommended for lovers of grand symphonies.
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13 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who?, 4 Sep 2007
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This review is from: Shostakovich: The Symphonies (Audio CD)
Stockhausen an influence on Shostakovich???
Now that is a challenging new interpretation!
Great performances though,hardcore serialism notwithstanding!
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4 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Incorrect Discs, 17 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Shostakovich: The Symphonies (Audio CD)
I was looking forward to owning all the symphonies but unfortunately disc 2 was completely wrong.
It was Piano concertos by Schubert / Haydn!
I sent it back and it was replaced with yet another incomplete set with the same wrong disc 2.
Shame as it could have been so good.
DECCA you need to sort your packaging.
I would give zero stars if allowed.
Don't buy.
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Shostakovich: The Symphonies
Shostakovich: The Symphonies by Bernard Haitink (Audio CD - 2006)
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