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Shostakovich: Symphony No.11

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Concertgebouw Orchestra
  • Conductor: Bernard Haitink
  • Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich
  • Audio CD (9 Aug. 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B00000IP3F
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 157,120 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Heard it on the proms, had to buy it.
It is very good.
I don't like all his music, but this one is excellent.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x91b9a240) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94a86d2c) out of 5 stars Encore Shostakovich ! 12 Jan. 2003
By Jeffrey Lee - Published on
Format: Audio CD
More highly commendable Shostakovich presented by Bernard Haitink and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Both the air of sporadic mystery and the sense of foreboding are boldly projected with satisfying clarity. Listen, for example, to the playing of the Concertgebouw in those passages depicting the "Bloody Sunday" massacre, where that typically solid, virtuostic style of this famed orchestra shows through as it has on many other recorded occasions. The third movement's "In memoriam" sings appropriately and purely, without conveying any feeling of over-emphasis or exaggeration. There is also a well represented depiction of both the tragedy and humility surrounding the event. In the final movement, Haitink does a fine job of expressing, through the composer's mind, the sense of concern about what lies ahead for Russia's soul. Well deserved praise for both the musicians and the recording crew.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91c3c03c) out of 5 stars A stunning performance of a masterpiece 16 April 2002
By Bruce Hodges - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This was one of the first Shostakovich symphonies I ever heard after the popular Fifth, and I found it a revelation. It is not easy listening, but the score is one of the composer's best, filled with virtuosic orchestral demands and nightmarish effects. The symphony's four movements are played without pause, and the tension created is almost unbearable.
Haitink plays it a bit cool here; some listeners may want a more typically Russian extroverted approach. But his comparatively laid-back style only makes the horror in the music - an almost casual brutality - stand out more.
The superb playing of the Concertgebouw Orchestra will knock you out (and your neighbors, should you turn up the volume). Many people swear by the classic version of this piece by Stokowski and the Houston Symphony, but this recording is a great achievement, one of the finest in Haitink's renowned Shostakovich cycle from the 1980's.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x921c64bc) out of 5 stars Great interpretation of a convincing symphony! 27 Oct. 2001
By Tim Hawkins - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Shostakovich's eleventh is a work that demands your full attention as you listen. The thematic material on which it is based (the Revolution of 1905) is not something to be taken lightly, and Shostkakovich lets you know that in this symphony. Maestro Haitink's Shostakovich cycle is the best I've heard due to his wondeful interpretaiton and perfect tempos. This symphony is the best that he did in this cycle, with the Concertegobow symphony orchestra brandishing its full potential. The brass is incredible, especially in the powerful second movement and the awesome Tocsin finale. The horror of the time is all that this symphony is about and any listener can actually feel the history pass as they listen. Be prepared for energetic sound and a sure-to-please addition to your Shostakovich collection. A+ is the grade.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91eaf5b8) out of 5 stars 1905 Horror 7 April 2002
By Clement - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The 1905 Horror. This is not a description of the recording. It's a description of the events that the symphony depicts and it is a tribute to Haitink and his orchestra that the experience of listening to the CD was horrifying. I played this symphony about a year ago, and it was a tough play, very long, but very fun. However, fun is not a word I would use to describe this piece. It contains some of the loudest passages in symphonic music and the orchestra under Haitink is technically excellent. He misses slightly on the 4th movement, could be slightly darker in the cor anglais solo towards the end. The 2nd movement produces the most stunning playing and the 1st movement intensity is quite remarkable, so cold and flat that it reflects the atmostphere of January 1905. Top notch performance.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91e01ad4) out of 5 stars The joy of propaganda in a performance that used to be one of the best 20 July 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on
Format: Audio CD
When Haitink committed himself to produce a complete Shostakovich cycle in the mid-Eighties, the Eleventh Sym. was all but unknown in the concret halls of the West. "The Year 1905" wasn't a celebratory date in the non-Communist world, where the massacre of two hundred innocents before the Czar's Winter Palace was barely a historical footnote. The Eleventh had been strikingly done on LP by Stokowski and the Houston Sym., however, a recording no one expected to see bettered.

Haitink bettered it in the superlative playing of the Concertgebouw, although Decca's sonics now seem shrill in this digital transfer and the wide-open reverberation a bit much. Haitink is no match for Stokowski in the temperament department (vanilla ice cream versus Viagra), but the Eleventh beneifts from a sober, atmospheric approach. Only in the finale, makred "Tocsin" or alarm bell, does he let 'er rip with surprising rawness. A lot of this music is joyful propaganda, and making it sound beautiful adds a certain unearned dignity.

It must be said, however, that a Russian audience would want a gutsy, at times hair-raising rendition, and after the fall of the Soviet Union, when this work became more available, one could find real thrills from Bychkov (two outstanding recodings, including one in SACD), the incomparable Mravinsky, and the raw and raucous Rostropovich, live with the London Sym.

O.S. - Since writing this review I've become enthusiastic about any number of post-Soviet conductors, and anyone interested in the Shostakovich Eleventh should hear the versions by Valery Gergiev and, especially, the young firebrand, Vasily Petrenko.
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