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Shostakovich: Symphony No.7 Original recording reissued
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Top Customer Reviews
I was immediately "blown away"-and it's poor reputation was incomprehensible to me-mind you, there were still doubts about ALL of Mahler, the Alpensinfonie, Rachmaninov 1 and 3 and many more now justly revered works.
Since then it has been rehabilitated and enjoys the reputation it deserves, with many fine recordings currently available- Jarvi, Ashkenazy, Gergiev, Jansons and the stunning new Temirkanov to name but a few-not forgetting the excellent Mark Wigglesworth recording-and the Kondrashin still sounds remarkably fine . The Bernstein is very slow and monumental, and takes a radically different view of the work-either loved or hated. (It's not for me!Read more ›
Probably no purely instrumental symphony by Shostakovich has given rise to so much extra-musical comment, but to my mind it can all be dispensed with. I am not troubled, or even visited, by thoughts of heroic workers, the sufferings of the people of Leningrad or the composer's uneasy relationship with the authorities when I hear it. And while it is certainly not unalloyed 'absolute' music in the sense that Brahms's symphonies are that, the extent of the extra-musical expression imposed on it by its creator is not much more than one normally finds in Beethoven. The influence of Mahler on this work seems to me to be strong, not least on its expansiveness. The adagio alone is as long as many a Haydn symphony, and the first movement takes as long as Beethoven usually takes over all four, so music-lovers new to the work are counselled to listen in a more Mahler-oriented frame of receptivity. The resemblance to Mahler extends, in this symphony, even to the tone of voice that this chameleon among 20th century composers elects to adopt for the occasion, and it comes through most strongly and consistently, for me, in the slow movement.
If the first movement does not give you some problems I can only say it ought to.Read more ›