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Shostakovich: Symphony No. 6 and Symphony No. 12 CD

4.6 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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  • Shostakovich: Symphony No. 6 and Symphony No. 12
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  • Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7, 'Leningrad' [Vasily Petrenko | RLPO] [Naxos: 8.573057]
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  • Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13 Babi Yar [Vasily Petrenko, RLPO] [Naxos: 8.573218]
Total price: £21.54
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Product details

  • Performer: Vasily Petrenko
  • Orchestra: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Vasily Petrenko
  • Composer: Dmitry Shostakovich
  • Audio CD (26 Sept. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B005KNOE3G
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,176 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Shostakovich's Sixth and Twelfth Symphonies both had their origins in large-scale projects about Lenin, though the Sixth was eventually to emerge as one of the composer's most abstract and idiosyncratic symphonies. The long, intensely lyrical and meditative slow movement that opens the work is one of the composer's most striking. The Twelfth, one of the least played of Shostakovich's symphonies in the West, became less a celebration of Lenin's legacy than a chronological depiction of events during the Bolshevik Revolution. The playing is fabulously crisp and committed, while the interpretations combine atmosphere and a sense of proportion to the benefit of the youthful First, which receives an eerily effective performance, free of exaggeration. (Financial Times on Naxos 8.572396 / Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3) Born in 1976 in St Petersburg, Vasily Petrenko was appointed Principal Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in 2006 and in 2009 became Chief Conductor until 2015. He was the Classical BRIT Awards Male Artist of the Year 2010. In 2009 he was awarded Honorary Doctorates by the University of Liverpool and Liverpool Hope University. The award-winning Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is the UK's oldest surviving professional symphony orchestra and has been at the heart of Liverpool's cultural life since 1840. The Orchestra tours regularly throughout the UK and worldwide and has an extensive discography featuring many critically acclaimed recordings.

Review

Shostakovich's Sixth and Twelfth Symphonies both had their origins in large-scale projects about Lenin, though the Sixth was eventually to emerge as one of the composer's most abstract and idiosyncratic symphonies. The long, intensely lyrical and meditative slow movement that opens the work is one of the composer's most striking. The Twelfth, one of the least played of Shostakovich's symphonies in the West, became less a celebration of Lenin's legacy than a chronological depiction of events during the Bolshevik Revolution. The playing is fabulously crisp and committed, while the interpretations combine atmosphere and a sense of proportion to the benefit of the youthful First, which receives an eerily effective performance, free of exaggeration. (Financial Times on Naxos 8.572396 / Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3) Born in 1976 in St Petersburg, Vasily Petrenko was appointed Principal Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in 2006 and in 2009 became Chief Conductor until 2015. He was the Classical BRIT Awards Male Artist of the Year 2010. In 2009 he was awarded Honorary Doctorates by the University of Liverpool and Liverpool Hope University. The award-winning Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is the UK's oldest surviving professional symphony orchestra and has been at the heart of Liverpool's cultural life since 1840. The Orchestra tours regularly throughout the UK and worldwide and has an extensive discography featuring many critically acclaimed recordings.CD OF THE WEEK --Sunday Times,09/10/11

The orchestra plays magnificently on both symphonies ,and Naxos's sound is on a par with that on previous instalments.All in all,a distginuished addition to a superlative series. --IRR,Nov'11

Petrenko is determined to emphasise high musical values. Performance ***** Recording ***** BBC MUSIC ORCHESTRAL CHOICE --BBC Music Magazine,Dec'11

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Two shorter symphonies that conveniently make up a CD, though musically they are very different in quality. The vast first movement of the Sixth, played with a burnished intensity here, is one of the composer's greatest utterances. Notable for his usually quick tempi so far, Petrenko gives the movement even greater weight with his slower pace. Then follows the catharsis of circus music in the Allegro, and the Haydnesque flourishes launching the finale only to drift into uncertainty, until they are whipped forward to a triumphal conclusion.

Unlike its immediate predecessor, the Twelth awaits rehabilitation. It is so obviously a propaganda work in its title, its association with Lenin, 'film music' references to the storming of the Winter Palace, and the concluding 'Dawn of Humanity 'movement. Wisely, Petrenko decides not to linger over the first movement, which can sound too reverential taken at a slower pace, skips through 'Aurora',the weakest of the four movements, at a lightening pace, and sets
a quick Allegro for the finale, tempering the bombast that can make this movement a tiresome experience. Wisely again, he gives a spacious reading of the Adagio, most satisfactory movement of the four, best heard when putting to one side the image of Lenin awaiting his moment at Razliv.

Once again, a very clear and truthful recording that highlights the technical skill of the Phil soloists and the sheer quality of the RLPO strings - if in doubt on the latter, just sample the first minute of the Sixth Symphony on this CD.

Shortly after this latest instalment in the Petrenko/RLPO Shostakovich cycle came out, the team won yet another award, this time for their Tenth. The present issue in no way falls short of this standard and can be highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
Unfortunately, I never quite been able to shake off the idea of Naxos as a bit cheap and nasty (despite owning several of their CDs); this recording will hopefully dispel that misconception once and for all.

Shostakovich's 6th has always been my favourite of his symphonies and Petrenko's interpretation is arguably the best I've heard with an authentically Russian sound; too often I find recordings are `westernised'. Here the music combines playfulness with menace and melancholy but with an aching subtly. The string section is especially good in the lengthy first movement. Equally satisfying is how the conducting balances the languid opening with the two fast movements. I loved the high jinx of the circus music!

The 12th, which I know less well, is all pomp and power with a dramatic urgency emphasised by the brass and percussion.

As others have noted the quality of the playback is perfect: crisp and vibrant.
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Two of Shostakovich's more neglected symphonies are coupled here in yet another fine recording in the Naxos series by Vasily Petrenko and the RLPO where once again the sound engineering is of a very high standard too.

Of the two works it's fair to say that one is an unjustly neglected masterpiece whilst the other needs all the help it can get. This latter work, ironically, first attracted me to this recording. There had been some excellent reviews suggesting the previously ill thought of Twelfth had been brought back to life and had received a riveting performance. Previously, I'd heard the work a few times more than I would wish - in other words "a few times" so was intrigued to find out more.

Shostakovich composed several symphonies setting communist revolution themes. These had redeeming features in that the choruses were often simply added onto what the composer had genuinely wanted to write - often divorced from the overtly revolutionary theme or, in the case of the Eleventh, where there was a real engagement with the subject matter, which held a subversive and angry subtext.

Rumour has it the Twelfth was slapped together in just three days, cobbling existing material together in an ill thought out way though even here there are defiant quotes from earlier works, including the then banned Second. Since World War II Shostakovich had been promising a Lenin Symphony and this looked like a hasty attempt to appease the Party. It was written at time when Shostakovich had a developed vast armoury of techniques and methods that he could pull a work together almost with his eyes shut.
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This whole set of Shostakovich by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra with Vasily Petrenko, has turned out gem after gem after gem and it's still not finished. The orchestra and its conductor have won many awards in recent years and are aiming to be "number one" - Vasily's declared ambition. On the evidence of this record, they will make it.
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My search for the worst symphony ever written by a big-name composer could be likened to the Shirt of Nessus but it's a duty I have to discharge nevertheless as the President of the Australian Knappertsbusch Association. There's always Mendelssohn's First Symphony to consider. A man's gotta know his limitations: having barely survived an encounter with Dudamel's 7th, I lack the wherewithal to tackle Mahler's 8th (and so saith the man who has never been able to finish the Resurrection Symphony).

As I am no fan of lugubrious, maudlin music, attention rightly turns to Shostakovich. In an age where recording budgets have shrunken, I am bamboozled by DG's recent decision to commission a complete cycle of his symphonies with Nelsons and the Boston S/O. Is this going to reverse a dynamic where sales have bottomed out? Good lord! Magnanimously, I make allowances for the phenomenal Fourth Symphony, the Fifth and the first two movements of the Tenth. Beyond that, the gulag awaits.

I don't know how anyone could be inspired by Vladimir Lenin- a Beast and False Prophet rolled into one - but Shostakovich evidently was in the Sixth and infamous Twelfth so all power to him. I daresay there's some appeal in the former symphony in the quirkiness of the Allegro and Presto. They both sound uninspired to me but inoffensively so. True, there's the opening Largo to consider. I suspect it's more sotto voce than profound but at least it's semi-listenable.

With a heavy heart, we turn at last to the Twelfth. Much like a haunted house, our two dogs - Big Oscar and Ice the Sammy - refused to come indoors for its duration. For thirty five minutes or so, you could have likened me to those Filipinos who undergo crucifixion on Good Friday.
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