7/4

Dmitri Shostakovich

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looking for recommendations on his symphonies.

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...also open to discussion. All I have are the Emerson String Qts. and the Naxos & ECM Preludes and Fugues.

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If I would have nothing of the symphonies here's a recommendation:

mid-priced: Haitink with the RCO and LPO orchestras on DECCA/LONDON

or Ashkenazy with the RPO and St.Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra's also on DECCA/LONDON (this set is about to be reissued, or did recently).

mid to bargain priced: Jansons with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Pittsburgh Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Wiener & Berliner Philharmoniker's on EMI.

bargain priced: Barshai with the WDR Sinfonierchester Köln on Brilliant Classics.

Edited by Bluerein

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You've caught me in the midst of a Shostakovich frenzy!

For the symphonies, you can't do much worse than the Barshai cycle on Brilliant records. It's cheap, the sound is great and the performances quite brittle and not as soft as the Haitinks.

However, I've just purchased the Kirill Kondrashin cycle which is madly frenetic, edgy and totally Russian from my POV! Absolutely superb and given that some of the performances date back to the sixties, the sound ain't bad either. That's on the Melodoya label.

Obviously if you're going for seperate discs then you have a bit of freedom but personally at the moment I'm very happy with the above two.

Have fun. :)

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Hmm. Not Haitink. Jansons too uneven. Barshai well conducted but orchestral playing not first rate. Gergiev for me is essential but you can only get a set of nos 4-9. I don't know what 10 to recommend and I am not fussed as regards versions of 2 or 3, or even 1. 12 is unnecessary, it is lousy. I'd go for the Jarvi 13 and 14 (which come as a twofer with his 15 in a set that includes text and translation) and for 11 either wait for the Mravinsky to re-emerge (poor sound) or go for the Rostropovich/LSO on LSO live which is fiiiine. Of course a *cheap* copy of Barshai or Jansons would work well as a reference and you could pursue other versions (believe me, you would) as the urge took you.

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Hmm. Not Haitink. Jansons too uneven. Barshai well conducted but orchestral playing not first rate. Gergiev for me is essential but you can only get a set of nos 4-9. I don't know what 10 to recommend and I am not fussed as regards versions of 2 or 3, or even 1. 12 is unnecessary, it is lousy. I'd go for the Jarvi 13 and 14 (which come as a twofer with his 15 in a set that includes text and translation) and for 11 either wait for the Mravinsky to re-emerge (poor sound) or go for the Rostropovich/LSO on LSO live which is fiiiine. Of course a *cheap* copy of Barshai or Jansons would work well as a reference and you could pursue other versions (believe me, you would) as the urge took you.

The symphonies are a mixed bag in my opinion. I don't care for the early ones and the later ones are not all good.

I have a lot of Haitink and I sometimes enjoy his interpretations, but he's indeed too soft, too sophisticated for Shostakovich. Kondrashin is fine and so is Mravinsky, though I'm talking from memory here, I haven't heard their interpretations in a long time. Gergiev is a bit "too much" for me (as is his Tchaikovsky) and I haven't heard Barshai. Jansons doesn't convince me - actually, he almost never does, don't know why... Neither does Rostropovich, by the way. Karajan in No.10 is pretty good, surprisingly, and Ashkenazy is not bad in No.5.

Many Russian recordings (Melodiya!) don't sound good, they're sometimes outright awful.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help...

Edited by J.A.W.

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(...) you can't do much worse than the Barshai cycle on Brilliant records. It's cheap, the sound is great and the performances quite brittle and not as soft as the Haitinks.

Sorry, but I take it you mean you can't do much better than the Barshai cycle :)

Edited by J.A.W.

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The Fitzwilliams' string quartet cycle is cheap and deserves consideration. Tough to argue with Borodins, of course, but there might be a price gap... I personally don't care for the Emersons at all.

For P&Fs, Scherbakov on Naxos is good (and I'm generally not a big Naxos fan, to say the least). I also own Nikolayeva, who often gets ranked on, but it's not a bad set IMO.

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The Fitzwilliams' string quartet cycle is cheap and deserves consideration. Tough to argue with Borodins, of course, but there might be a price gap... I personally don't care for the Emersons at all.

I agree on all counts.

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(...) you can't do much worse than the Barshai cycle on Brilliant records. It's cheap, the sound is great and the performances quite brittle and not as soft as the Haitinks.

Sorry, but I take it you mean you can't do much better than the Barshai cycle :)

yes....oops! :P

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...also open to discussion. All I have are the Emerson String Qts. and the Naxos & ECM Preludes and Fugues.

Personally, for the Peludes and Fugues, I would recommend Ashkenazy : fluid playing and very natural sound quality.

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The Fitzwilliams' string quartet cycle is cheap and deserves consideration. Tough to argue with Borodins, of course, but there might be a price gap... I personally don't care for the Emersons at all.

AFAIK the Fitzwilliams were in personal contact with the composer, so this bears the stamp of authenticity.

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The Fitzwilliams' string quartet cycle is cheap and deserves consideration. Tough to argue with Borodins, of course, but there might be a price gap... I personally don't care for the Emersons at all.

AFAIK the Fitzwilliams were in personal contact with the composer, so this bears the stamp of authenticity.

When I bought the Borodin's it was of course, pointed out to me that they aren't complete as Shostakovich hadn't yet composed the last two string quartets. For this reason I bought the Emerson's too and I'm very happy to have both although it's never a bad thing to have multiple interpretations.

I'm eager to try out his sonatas for violin etc. but the last few purchases have been the Mishca Maisky Cello Concertos on DG, the Neem Jarvi Chandos Violin Concertos and the Alexeev Piano Concertos on EMI. All very highly recommended from various circles and rightly so, the performances and sound are amazing.

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the Alexeev Piano Concertos on EMI. All very highly recommended from various circles and rightly so, the performances and sound are amazing.

Hmmmmm. I find the sound on this recording pretty disappointing...

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Not nearly as classical-savvy as others in this new forum (many thanks, Jim), but I'll cast my vote for the Borodin String Quartets as well. I bought them a few years back when I was working at Borders, and they were ridiculously cheap--$43 list or something for a 6-CD set, and the performances are (to my crudely-trained classical ears, anyway) outstanding.

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To start, I'd advise Barshai/WDR for the complete symphonies (on Brilliant Records), and Fitzwilliam Quartet for the complete string quartets (London label, I think?). Both of these sets are cheap; sound is great and performances are great, though as with all "complete" sets, there are better individual performances/recordings of certain symphonies/quartets out there. These are excellent reference sets, though, and as others have said, you can explore other recordings of individual works from here quite nicely.

Have fun!

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i just cannot imagine a better version of string quartet #8 than this one by the emersons.

i just may listen to it all night.

curently at 3 times and counting.

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aloc-- you are definitely selling yr imagination short here. there are at least a dozen (i.e. too many) versions of Shosty SQ 8 that destroy the Emersons. in some cases you might-- might-- lose a little glare but oh baby... you fucking gain soooooo much more. i don't have time now (sorry) but i did i'd up either Sorrel or Borodin (I) & send you the link via pm... if you find yourself digging this shit a lot & don't have access to a good public library collection, at least pick up the Rubio on Brilliant Classics for cheap. there's way too much the Emerson's miss for you to settle (sez edc)

thanks, clem. i would appreciate that. sincere thanks for the insight.

Edited by alocispepraluger102

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Where to look for the piano trios?

I've heard a recording with Argerich many years ago, if memory doesn't play tricks on me (I think it was just one of Shostakovich's trios, paired with a trio by some other composer, but again I'm not sure). Might have been this one, but the cover doesn't ring a bell:

51pu3WTT4mL._SS500_.jpg

Nothing quite pulls me there (well, Kremer a tiny bit, maybe, but ...) - where else to look?

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Where to look for the piano trios?

I've heard a recording with Argerich many years ago, if memory doesn't play tricks on me (I think it was just one of Shostakovich's trios, paired with a trio by some other composer, but again I'm not sure). Might have been this one, but the cover doesn't ring a bell:

Nothing quite pulls me there (well, Kremer a tiny bit, maybe, but ...) - where else to look?

I share your caution regarding Kremer-Maisky-Argerich, alhtough I have not heard this CD.

How about Dmitri Dmitrievich himself (with one Milos Sadlo and one David Oistrakh)? Here is his 1947 recording I have (the sound quality is good, and the performance is electrifying): http://www.amazon.co...erto+piano+trio ? it might have been issued in different guises since.

Hear it on youtube: http://www.youtube.c...&feature=relmfu and so on.

Edited by Д.Д.

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I'd like to recommend this CD for the second trio, plus Seven Romances as a great bonus, sang by a native Russian (well, actually Ukrainian).

BIG.JPG.

Though unrelated to this thread, also check out Plamena Mangova's Beethoven recital on the same label.

mangova_beethoven.jpg

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Mandrill how are you pulling out these Euro label references are you a reader of Classica (OK, not as good as Repertoire was) or Diapason or________

the reason junk like Starker Bach (or Perahia Mozart etc etc) has such misguided respect is marketing and public ignorance; great to see some other Americans are still looking; used to be easier in cities with large Tower Records but Fanfare is both ridiculous and very spotty so unless one reads Euro mags or relentlessly scours MDT or U.S. distributor release lists they'll have no idea what's available.

I'm mostly sick of DSCH except for some soundtracks, "The Golden Age" ballet, "Lady Macbeth" ballet and the 24 p&f (Roger Woodward, Jenny Lin) but I'll keep this in mind.

Ubu, skip the first piano trio unless you have some reason not to; listen to the second to say you did and move on. Once upon a time I rated the Borodin coupled with the 5-tet...

http://www.amazon.com/Shostakovich-Piano-Quintet-Trio-No/dp/B000000ACI

now see little reason to bother. MANY folks would be better advised to explore the byways of Prokofiev instead.

I'd like to recommend this CD for the second trio, plus Seven Romances as a great bonus, sang by a native Russian (well, actually Ukrainian).

BIG.JPG.

Though unrelated to this thread, also check out Plamena Mangova's Beethoven recital on the same label.

mangova_beethoven.jpg

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I'm mostly sick of DSCH except for some soundtracks, "The Golden Age" ballet, "Lady Macbeth" ballet and the 24 p&f (Roger Woodward, Jenny Lin) but I'll keep this in mind.

Ubu, skip the first piano trio unless you have some reason not to; listen to the second to say you did and move on.

I would probably agree. Prompted by this thread I listened to trio #2 a few times now, and it is nothing special (although not horrible, either). Admittedly, I am not a Shostakovich fan in general. There are less that 10 of his works that really excite me - string quartet #15, violin & piano sonata, viola & piano sonata, preludes & fugues op. 87, symphony 14... symphony 6, perhaps a few more. Piano concertos are fun. The rest I consider rather mediocre. Have not heard either "Golden Age" or "Lady Macbeth".

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