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Shostakovich: Symphony No.11 CD

5.0 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Shostakovich: Symphony No.11
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  • Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13 Babi Yar [Vasily Petrenko, RLPO] [Naxos: 8.573218]
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  • Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7, 'Leningrad' [Vasily Petrenko | RLPO] [Naxos: 8.573057]
Total price: £17.97
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Product details

  • Orchestra: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Vassily Petrenko
  • Composer: Shostakovich
  • Audio CD (2 Mar. 2009)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B001QUL73W
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,074 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Product Description

Symphonie n°11 en sol mineur "1905" op.103 / Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra - Vasily Petrenko, direction

About the Artist

Vasily Petrenko has been awarded the prize of best male artist at the Classical Brits 2010

Customer Reviews

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Format: Audio CD
Shostakovich symphony cycles are appearing in increasing numbers in response to continued public interest in a composer who, like Mahler, can be said to have summed up the human experience in the last century. This commencement to a new series with Petrenko and the RLPO makes a worthy addition to the catalogue, and I hope successors to it - the 8th was done live recently and the 10th is scheduled for next season - will not be far behind.

Of all what might be called his 'political' Symphonies, the 11th is the one describing events - the 1905 Revolution - that arguably were closest to the composer's heart. Revolutions that fail have an expectation, an innocence, that those which succeed - 1789, 1917 - tend to lose as the men of violence take the helm. The massacre of peaceful demonstrators outside the Winter Palace which triggered the abortive revolt of an oppressed people thus remained a pure expression of the popular will, untainted by later excesses. The 11th Symphony, with its revolutionary songs, is a tribute to the victims of Tsarist tyranny: in the second movement, the massacre is described; in the third - a heart-rending threnody, they are commemorated; and the last looks forward to a better future.

The present recording avoids some of the slow pacing that can make the work rather too long for the listener: at 57:37 it is at the faster side overall (Mravinsky is shorter still) and benefits as a result. The dynamic range is, if anything, extreme, and unless one has undemanding neighbours, volume adjustment will be necessary from time to time - but that is the way the symphonmy is written anyway.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful symphony.
Since Stokowski released this onto the 'western' scene in the late 1950s (with the Houston Symphony Orchestra on the Everest label?) it has been beset by charges of agitprop. Such critics did not know their Shostakovich. He is Everyman's composer: compliant and critical. Cajoling and condemnatory.

The best performances of this symphony in the past have been from Mravinsky and Kondrashin. Their apparent attention to the party line caused a certain amount of disdain amongst the critics who were jealously guarding 'The Symphony' from an invasion of pictorialism (Did they know their Berlioz?). Those of us who always loved the theatricality of this symphony and also spotted a strength of line and intellectual argument in this music are absolutely thrilled by the amount of performances of this work that have been committed to disc. I just can't stop accumulating them.

Some performances seem either too plush, or they drag us through nearly seventy minutes of highly concentrated and sustained tension; without yielding a satisfactory denouement. Rostropovich's LSO Live performance has, perhaps, an even finer recording but is dogged by a metronomic efficiency of the percussive sections. This is not supposed to be measured or comfortable music. This is not for Classic fM's Smooth Classics Hour. It needs a touch of hysteria about it. This is for the radical philosopher amongst us and within us all.

Now Vasily Petrenko and Naxos have given us an even more modern candidate for a straight line to the heart of the piece in a lean but not hurried traversal of 57 minutes. The Liverpool players give this their best shot and sound absolutely convinced that this is the begining of a revolution against oppression.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The recent release of a fascinating Thirteenth Symphony marked the conclusion of the Shostakovich Symphony cycle which is destined to become memorable.

I look back to the propitious beginning of the cycle with the release of the 11th Symphony 'The Year 1905'in 2009; my Amazon webpage for the disc reads that I had purchased it on 10th August 2010. Many - and this includes me - believe that the 11th is Shostakovich's best Symphony. It depicts a fraught 'Bloody Sunday' massacre of two hundred peaceful demonstrators by Czarist soldiers outside the Winter Palace in St Peters burg in 1905.

The characteristics of this rendition became the hallmark of the cycle as a whole; the charisma, prowess, and on this specific instance passion of the young Russian conductor, Vasily Petrenko, an inspired Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and a crystalline clear sound by the supposedly humble Naxos label.

The excerpt that follows from the note on the cover of the disc provides a superb description of the character and characteristics of orchestra and Symphony:

'Scored for a sizable orchestra of triple woodwind, four horns, three each of trumpets and trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion, celesta, harps and strings, the Symphony makes extensive use of revolutionary songs as thematic elements, as it progresses, without pause, from the glacial opening movement, 'Palace Square', to the terrifying massacre and its aftermath, 'The Ninth of January', the funeral third movement, 'Eternal Memory', and the final movement, 'The Tocsin', which culminates with cataclysmic bell strokes.'
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