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Karel Ancerl Gold Edition Vol.23. Shostakovich - Symphony No 7 'Leningrad'

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Conductor: Karel Ancerl
  • Composer: Shostakovich
  • Audio CD (9 Jun. 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Supraphon
  • ASIN: B00008UEF6
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 251,006 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Dimitri Chostakovitch : Symphonie n° 7 "Leningrad" en ut majeur, Op.60 / Orchestre Philharmonique Tchèque, dir. Karel Ancerl

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Format: Audio CD
I have loved this version since buying the LP in 1962 on Parliament (I think it is the same or equal to this version). The playing is first rate and the conducting is fabulous. I also have the Svetlanov version which is also worth having. But this one is the one I would have if I only wanted one. The symphony is epic and there are so many beautiful sections. I was ecstatic when I found that it had been released on CD. Eventually, I will purchase all his CDs as he was one of the greatest conductors of his era.
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Format: Audio CD
Forget the latest Petrenko on Naxos and opt for this stunning performance in "dated" analogue mono sound. It is really outstanding and demonstrates just how gifted a conductor Ancerl was. One soon realises that no allowance has to be made for the mono sound as this is forgotten in light of the wonderfully dramatic impact of the music making. No doubt Petrenko's version will have its followers and I do admire much of what he does and his contribution to the international reputation the Liverpool orchestra has BUT Ancerl demonstrates just how this monumental symphony should be interpreted.
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Format: MP3 Download
If ever a performance deserved six stars, this is one of them. There are lots of good performances of the 7th, but this one stands head & shoulders above most of them. Ancerl makes every second count, and is totally involving all the way through. However many other 7ths you listen to, make sur this is one of them - it will not disappoint.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x93c7c54c) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9574ccc0) out of 5 stars Essential Ancerl, essential Shostakovich 23 Jan. 2011
By L. Johan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
There is a handful stunning Shostakovich symphony recordings in Karel Ancerl's discography:

Symphony 1 & 5: Ancerl Gold Edition 39: SHOSTAKOVICH Symphonies Nos. 1 & 5
Symphony 10: Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10, Stravinsky: Concerto in D for Violin and Orchestra
Symphony 7: the current disc.

This performance was recorded in mono in 1956 by Supraphon, one year after Ancerl's remarkable DG recording of the 10th (in Munich, 1955). Sonics are of course dated, but the performance is top-notch.

In fact, this is probably the best performance of the 7th on disc. In contrast to all other interpretations of this work that I have heard, this sounds completely natural and devoid of mannerisms (to which this work may invite).
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9574cd20) out of 5 stars Surprisingly, a light, jaunty reading that little hints at wartime 25 Nov. 2011
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Anyone of a certain age can only marvel at the rehabilitation job done on Shostakovich's once scorned "Leningrad" symphony. In its original review of this Ancerl performance in 1960, the Gramophone reviewer echoed a general sentiment when he described the long march of the Nazis in the first movement as a "parody, being empty, tasteless, blatant and monumentally boring." The review begins with a strong, strange sentiment: "One of the lesser crimes of the Nazis was that they caused Shostakovich to spoil his Seventh Symphony." I'm still half of the same mind, and it's to Ancerl's credit that he gets the march section over as quickly as possible, with no attempt to inflate its importance.

Now the Shostakovich Seventh is belatedly loved, in part because of two famous recordings by Leonard Bernstein (Sony and DG) but mostly because of the influx of post-soviet conductors like Valery Gergiev for whom this is all bu sacred music, since it centers on their country's most desperate struggle to repel foreign invasion. I was also intrigued that the Gramophone reviewer placed emphasis on the programmatic nature of each movement:

"The "war" section climaxes in a genuinely tragic recapitulation; the second movement ("memories of pre-war days") is an attractively jogging scherzo, full of plaintive charm ; the big Adagio ("ecstatic love of life and nature") is one of Shostakovich's finest, and the finale ("approaching victory") fulfils its expressive intention without triteness or bombast."

Interestingly, this reviewer was none other than Deryck Cooke, who would go on to fame as the editor of the first completion of the Mahler Tenth. Cooke liked Ancerl's reading, which comes in clear mono sound and captures the tangy tone of the Czech woodwinds nicely. I'd say this is the recording to have if you are still suspicious of the worth of the "Leningrad" Sym., because it exudes a light, jaunty air quite at odds with any remembrance of wartime. Only the shrieks from massed winds and then strings that erupt at the beginning of the third movement stir troubled feelings. Avoiding all rhetoric might be the best way to salvage this score from its checkered past.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9438cc60) out of 5 stars Supraphon's continued success in digital remastering..... 5 Oct. 2015
By Timothy Mikolay - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I have been an advocate at times for vinyl/analog recordings over digital for good reasons, but, Supraphon has benefited extensively from digital reissues of their analog work.

During my first visit to Prague in 1986, I asked our tour guide what she thought about Supraphon records and she spared no negative commentary, and for good reason. For most of Supraphon's work before the Iron Curtain/Wall fell, it's as if their inept production engineers showed up and hit the "on" switch. Capturing the magnificent acoustic of Praha's Hall of Artists was not something they were remotely good at, or, the equipment used for pressing the vinyl was simply junk and any decent acoustic captured was lost. The spirit of the amazing performances too is lost to really poor analog engineering.

This digital recording like so many of Supraphon's reissues is amazing. Ancerl and the Czechs combine to communicate an unceasing inertia of this work's musical complexities and the remastered sound makes this listening experience all the more pleasurable.
I've heard other Shosty 7's like Haitink's (a real sleeper) and Bernstein's (good but a bit overboard) but this one stands out to me because of the Czech Philharmonic's style. It's a propulsive, thoughtful, and exciting experience.

Another winner from the Supraphon team worthy of you time and money!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Stephen - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I'm not an expert on classical music, but enjoy listening to it. I have listened to about a half dozen performances of this symphony and this is my favorite.
HASH(0x9574ceb8) out of 5 stars Five Stars 17 Mar. 2015
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Amazing re-mastering mono recording, extreme high-quality!
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