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Shostakovich: The Complete Symphonies Box set
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WEA 0094636530024; WEA ITALIANA - Italia; Classica Orchestrale
Top Customer Reviews
So all in all, still recommended with qualifications - certainly great value for money.
Conducted by Mariss Jansons with 8 different orchestras between 1988 and 2005, there is little noticeable difference in the sumptuous EMI sound quality throughout this impressive set.
With a good booklet and a competitive price tag, this set is highly recommended.
He was beyond question the last major figure writing in the symphonic form, but the very idea of Shostakovich arouses divided passions even before we get to the music!
This is of course because he lived and worked in the Soviet Union, a regime to which he seemingly gave his support and which he glorified in many of his compositions-or not, as there has sprung up a whole industry of apologists even before the appearance of the discredited Volkov Testament which has sought to portray him as a subversive counter-revolutionary whose works were either ironic or cleverly disguised musical exposure and condemnation of the repressive Soviet Regime.
The truth of course lies somewhere in between-he was a Russian patriot who grew up in the Soviet Union and accepted the rules as best he could- and the plaudits and favours heaped on him and his family-and like most composers his style and content was inevitably shaped by his environment.
He nearly came to grief twice-in the 1930s when he overstepped the mark in experimentation and was forced to withdraw the Fourth Symphony and abandon his plan to complete Mahler’s Tenth Symphony, and at the end of the war when his jaunty 9th Symphony did not meet the expectations of Stalin and his cronies who expected a bombastic paean of praise for The Great Leader who had won the war by sheer force of will!
Ultimately it is the music that counts, and though the various concerti and chamber works are magnificent achievements, the 15 symphonies encapsulate better than any the musical genius that was Shostakovich.Read more ›
The booklet in the box has a very interesting interview with the conductor alongside some key contextual points in DS's symphonic career. The box is well presented and the music is simply awe inspiring.
Id reccomend this to anyone who wants an introduction to Shostakovich.
I was so disappointed, Shostakovich being my favourite composer by a mile/ 1,609.344 metres. Janssons is good, but Kondrashin is supreme, apart from the flimsy box, and Russian. Russian conductor, Russian orchestra, Russian interpretations, even produced in Russia with a flimsy Russian box. Nowhere less than interesting and thoughtful, very exciting where it needs to be, everywhere Russian, wonderful, sharply amazing, and better than Barshai and even Mravinsky, brilliant though he is.
But beware Symphony Seven in this set.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent recordings at an incredible price - and delivered quickly.Published 5 months ago by Ray Walker
Shostakovich is fabulous lifting you into a different existance with every item!Published 21 months ago by Mr. S. Bilton