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Shostakovich - Chamber Symphony; Schnittke - Concerto for Piano & Strings CD

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Composer: Alfred Schnittke^Dmitry Shostakovich
  • Audio CD (5 Oct. 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Delos
  • ASIN: B00004U2ZJ
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 540,808 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

DELOS 3259; DELOS - Stati Uniti; Classica Orchestrale

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Format: Audio CD
Shostakovich's 8th String Quartet, Opus 110, is an almost symphonic piece, which, using an atmosphere you can cut with a knife, describes the experience of living under a totalitarian regime. It's dedicated to the "Victims of War and Fascism" though it seems equally applicable (almost certainly intentionally) to the victims of Stalinist oppression.
After the 8th was released, it was turned into a symphony by Rudolf Barshai, the director of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, and Shostakovich liked the result enough to add it to his list of works, as Opus 110a. It is this that is the "Chamber Symphony" on this CD set. Be aware that I've seen CD sets that describe Symphony 10 as the Chamber Symphony too, these are not the same thing.
Schnittke is relatively little known, but is considered by many classical music scholars to be Shostakovich's natural successor. His work is very experimental, very different to the norm, and he makes Shostakovich's string quartets look positively mainstream. The Concerto for Piano and Strings, however, is certainly a relatively accessible piece. It's scary, really scary, dark and moody and fearful and giving a sense of a lack of control, and yet unusually beautiful considering, describing a world at piece being violated by the system of war.
The impetus behind these two works appearing on this CD in this performance appears to be the conductor, Constantine Orbelian, who dedicates these works to the victims of war and terror. This is a good choice, and the performances are excellent - brilliantly capturing the darkness of the two works.
If you're looking for something just a little bit unusual, this is definitely a CD set to consider, and I strongly recommend it.
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