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14, ‘To October’ performed by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Chorus under Neeme Järvi, or as below with the WDR Radio Chorus and WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne under Rudolf Barshai Shostakovich wrote that ‘whereas in October, the main content is struggle, May expresses the festive spirit of peaceful development… This does not mean that the music in May is all glorifying and celebratory. ( Log Out /  1 in F minor, Op. The symphony opens with a virtuosic brilliance heavily influenced by Stravinsky’s Petrushka. ‘I am in a terrible mood,’ he continued. Here, Shostakovich brings his emotions back under control and turns to mockery. Voting game from the old Amazon forum: Shostakovich symphonies: 1 - Symphony #10 in E minor, Op. 47 (1937) This choice may have been influenced at least partially by Vsevolod Meyerhold’s theory of biomechanics. Written in 1929, in less than a month, the Third Symphony is another single-movement work with choral finale. It has been likened to the opening chapter of a novel, setting the tone for all that follows. In the 1960s, however, he was happy for them to be performed, yet towards the end of his life he begged his son not to conduct them! The idea of October was not necessarily the same thing as its reality. But it gave him at least something to reach for, to accomplish, in writing his second symphony, no matter how he came to feel about the work’s merit. The Soviet Union had discovered its first international star, the first to be trained solely under the new system rather than old imperialist Russia, and the authorities proclaimed him as an exaltation of the new at the expense of the old. performed by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Chorus under Neeme Järvi, or as below with the WDR Radio Chorus and WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne under Rudolf Barshai. Dmitri Shostakovich, one of Russian culture's most acclaimed intellectuals who was censored under the dictatorship of Joseph Stalin, was an internationally recognized composer whose music was in over 100 films. Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for Shostakovich: Symphony No. The Ninth is sometimes called Shostakovich's classical symphony because of its brevity, form, and frequent chamber character. Maybe it was this combination of views that allowed him to write music that spoke to so many, and offended so few. Symphony No. Peaceful development is a most intense struggle.’ Shostakovich had started to experience some of that ‘struggle’ first-hand. 2 in 1967 for David Oistrakh, to whom the score is dedicated.It was meant to be a gift for the violinist’s sixtieth birthday, September 30, 1968; … The piece begins almost imperceptibly. It was after all, perfectly possible to be in favour of the Revolution yet appalled by the practices of the party that engineered it. It’s a reminder that this work was commissioned, or as the case may be, demanded, from the composer by Shuglin, and the interesting circumstances he was in, wanting to compose something new, and being saddled with this patriotic idea. In the Sixth Symphony, Shostakovich wanted to express an illogical and contradictory world and so chose a form that is both those things. Alban Berg was even moved to write a flattering letter of appreciation. COMPOSED: Shostakovich composed his Violin Concerto No. 2 in B major, Op. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t strike me as a particularly compelling elevator pitch. 10 The piece is in one unbroken movement made up of four sections, with the last containing a part for chorus. It is possible that within this increasingly fearful climate, Shostakovich decided to set Semyon Kirsanov’s unashamedly proletarian text in order to remain on good terms with the authorities. 9 thoughts on “ Seeking Shostakovich: Listening to the Tenth Symphony (Part 2 of 2) ” T. March 31, 2014 at 3:19 AM It is so refreshing and lovely to read about you wanting joy for Shostakovich, because of your experience with his music. In 1937 Russia, at the height of Stalin’s purges, the Communist Party strongly denounced Dmitri Shostakovich’s most recent works. It is challenging, undoubtedly harsh, perhaps even puzzling, but I am among those who has become spellbound by it. I am a big fan of Shostakovich, especially the piano works (24 preludes and fugues, piano concertos and piano quintet are all incredible), but this was the latest work of his I had ever heard. A flute echoes the material, and there’s something of a fanfare, but almost not even any music here… As is stated on Wiki: Meant to portray the primordial chaos from which order emerged, instrumental voices merge in this 13-voice polyphonic beginning, like impulses released from the void. 2 & 3 - Amazon.com Music His well-educated mother had to work thirteen-hour days as a cashier and Shostakovich was forced to spend many after-school hours as a silent-movie pianist to help the family cope with the hardships of the post-Revolutionary economy. 2. Cellist/conductor Mstislav Rostropovich, who knew Shostakovich well, took a more universal approach when he said the Eleventh is “a symphony written in blood, a truly tragic work. To cry out in terror. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. That’s okay, though: there’s the first, symphonies 5-8, the less gargantuan ninth, followed then by the incredible tenth and eleventh… and four more. Later on in his 10th Symphony (the 3rd movement) there is a little tune which is made from the letters of his name and another tune made up from the name of his secret girlfriend. As we will see, the lack of inspiration thankfully didn’t last, but this is also a reflection of the social, political and artistic climate of the time. And here he is: we are this week and next discussing the second and third symphonies of Prokofiev and… Shostakovich. 2, the Second, Third, Sixth, and Tenth string quartets, the Violin Concerto No. 1 and 2 Christopher Lyndon-Gee, Michael Houstoun & New Zealand Symphony … Shostakovich was surprisingly unequivocal in what he thought of it, referring to the words as ‘quite disgusting… very bad poetry… abominable’. 1, Beethoven Piano Sonata no. In fact, I’d already made that note before I’d gone back to read the end of the Wikipedia article, which cites the quote that opens this article. 2013 Preview SONG TIME Piano Concerto No. His recent opera The Nose had not been well received, and despite his previous success, he certainly would not have felt immune to the vulnerability of his time. Whatever the answers to those questions are, it is hard to misunderstand the composer’s feelings at the end of the piece. 2. 4 (1935–36) were withdrawn. BBC Proms 2007: Prom 48Royal Albert HallAugust 19, 2007Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra of VenezuelaGustavo Dudamel, conductorShostakovich Symphony 10mvt II. The second movement then feels very much like a scherzo. 14 ‘To October’ But this relatively comfortable middle-class childhood would not last long. 2 in B, op. After the 1917 Revolution, Shostakovich’s bourgeois family background proved a distinct disadvantage in the new social order that ensued. Stalin had asked for light and boisterous finales. © Mark Wigglesworth 2012. 20 ‘The First of May’ It’s chamber-like for a long stretch, but the chaos increases as the rest of the ensemble joins. The unexpected death of his father in 1922 only made matters worse. But ten years on from the Revolution, ‘October’ had come to mean much more than the specific events of 1917. 14 and subtitled To October, for the 10th anniversary of the October Revolution.It was first performed by the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra and the Academy Capella Choir under Nikolai Malko, on 5 November 1927.After the premiere, Shostakovich made some revisions to the score, and this final version was first played in Moscow … Concerto No. But the style was about to change. And when the lively, actually musical second movement begins, it makes this long first section of the work seem like a moody warm-up. The worst thing about it is the actual close. 2.The symphony was premiered that October by the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor Yevgeny Mravinsky.This was the last Shostakovich symphony Mravinsky … 93 (1953) 2 - Symphony #5 in D minor, Op. This is the Shostakovich Symphony 5 violin excerpt from mvt 1, Rehearsal number 32 until 36. All this darkness suffocates me. This is followed by the most forced of perorations maybe ever written in music history. Dmitri Shostakovich, Mstislav Rostropovich, London Symphony Orchestra - Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. Even removing the choral finale, which sounds wholly uninspired, we’re still left with a piece that lacks much motivation. It is hard to know if the Second and Third Symphonies reflect a pride in the Revolution that was only later to turn to disillusionment, or if they are the views of an already disenchanted and politically cynical individual. Shostakovich: Symphony No. It could be that his choice of key was even intended as a public show of respect for Beethoven, who used the same heroic tonality for his own Third Symphony. 2, Op. Still, for me it stands as a fascinating glimpse of the composer who might have been but for the Lady Macbeth debacle, etc. The work was composed for the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution. Composer Dmitri Shostakovich was already in the doghouse after performances of his 1934 opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. Born in 1906, Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich was a prodigious child as both pianist and composer. Shostakovich was bitterly attacked in the official press, and both the opera and the still unperformed Symphony No. Walter, Toscanini, and Klemperer all performed it. ( Log Out /  Change ), Shostakovich Symphony no. It’s about 20-ish seconds, depending on ambient noise, before you hear the low mumbles of the ensemble in this first and longest movement. Everything old was rejected, the individual was becoming depersonalised. According to the poet Mayakovsky, artists should ‘spit out the past like a bone stuck in our throats… Our duty is to blare like brass-throated horns in the fogs of bourgeois vulgarity.’ Is this the explanation behind the extraordinary factory siren that heralds in the arrival of the chorus and their ‘abominable’ words? Dmitri Shostakovich, Soundtrack: Children of Men. 3. The third movement continues the acceleration of the work, but is now transparent and light, with a violin solo, accompanied by one woodwind after another joining the party. DMITRI DMITRIEVICH SHOSTAKOVICH BORN: September 25, 1906.Saint Petersburg DIED: August 9, 1975.Moscow. 3 in E flat major, Op. Shostakovich’s Fifteenth Symphony, like his Fifteenth String Quartet, was his last, and both works seem to illuminate the composer’s state of mind in his last years. Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for Shostakovich: … 7 "Leningrad" Kurt Masur & New York Philharmonic Shostakovich: Piano Concertos No.   8 in Cm, op. Wikipedia tells us that it is “meditative” and that Shostakovich described it as “the “death of a child” (letter to Boleslav Yavorsky) killed on the Nevsky Prospekt.”. The word “seem” is appropriate since, of all composers in the 20th century, of none is it truer to say that the more we know the less we know. It is perhaps only the thoughts and feelings themselves that are not yet fully focused. Symphony No. The composer’s next major work was his Symphony No. Stalin’s grip on power was starting to make itself felt. Doubts and problems. He was back in the party’s good graces—for the time being. Symphony No. 2 in G Major, Op. But perhaps it was not only that work’s orchestration, with its soloistic piano part, that fascinated the student composer. (This was not performed until 1961, during the Kruschev era.) As an added bonus, Maestro Litton is the piano soloist for the Piano Concerto No. etc. 103 'The year 1905' WDR Sinfonieorchester Koln, Semyon Bychkov The performance from the WDR Symphony Orchestra is compelling at both ends of the dynamic spectrum, from the heart-rending funereal … Initially described by the composer as a symphonic poem, the piece was eventually entitled ‘Symphonic Dedication – To October’. 5 in A, K. 219, ‘Turkish’. I have multiple times now put on this work while I’m doing other things, and promptly forgot anything was playing and suddenly started hearing strings. The memoirist Ilya Ehrenburg has written of ‘a generation without tears, callous, a stranger to tender passion and to art’. Fearing for his life, the young composer wrote a symphony ending with a rousing march. [O]ne is tempted simply to cut it off with a pair of scissors. Written at the age of eighteen, Shostakovich’s First Symphony was the graduation piece that completed his studies at the Leningrad Conservatory. Or learn more… Or learn more… Recordings: Bernard Haitink: Royal … But we’ll excuse Shostakovich this symphonic misstep. It is a radically different work than his first symphony, which is a marvelously successful work that to me gives us far better glimpses into who the composer would later mature into than either of these works we’ll discuss. Dmitri Shostakovich composed his Symphony No. Shostakovich said at the time that he ‘always wanted to create music that reflects our era, and the thoughts and the feelings of the Soviet person’, but it is unclear whether he intended this symphony’s opening thematic chaos and abstractly expressionistic textures to represent the hardship of before the Revolution or the emotional blandness that followed. ‘Sometimes I just want to shout.   Beethoven was upheld as the artist most completely in tune with the social aspirations of his time and it was felt by many post-Revolutionary Russians that his death marked the start of the decline of the symphony as an art form altogether – one that could never be resurrected under the rampant capitalism of the west. However, his Piano Concerto No.2 is a gloriously free, wistful creation – particularly in the famous second movement, which guarantees the whole work’s enduring popularity. It is daylight, and false. Program Notes: Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. The finale reaches a clear climax, cymbal crash and all, but a snare drum made of pure tragedy doesn’t let the piece end. 44: I. Allegro brillante. Shostakovich was to use this form with great power in a number of other situations, including the Trio No. It is unremittingly tragic, and not so much about 1905 or 1956, perhaps, as about the persistently tragic pattern in human events. After this climax, there’s a return to the chamber-like atmosphere, closing with our violin solo, and I really think if we just finished here and chucked the finale in the bin, we’d have an almost interesting piece of music. Such a work was entirely appropriate for the occasion for which it was being written. The Fifth Symphony, finished by Shostakovich in 1937, is probably the most frequently performed of his symphonies, and it’s easy to understand why. Of course, the very specific demands of the symphony’s “programme” meant that he couldn’t keep that level of innovation up…and then there’s the glaring blemish that is that choral finale (although it’s interesting that, even amidst the supposed jubilation, DSCH can’t resist bringing back echoes of the opening…twice, in fact!). 112, subtitled The Year of 1917, in 1961, dedicating it to the memory of Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Bolshevik Revolution, as he did his Symphony No. Nervous tension and sarcastic wit, passion and intelligence, contemplation and action, nobility and banality – all expressed with an economy of means that is simultaneously subtle and direct. These early, enigmatic works point to a lifetime of ambiguity and double-speak. Initially described by the composer as a symphonic poem, the piece was eventually entitled ‘Symphonic Dedication – To October’. It was a commission from Lev Shuglin, “a dedicated Bolshevik and head of the Propaganda Department of the State Music Publishing House (Muzsektor), to write a large orchestral work with a choral finale.” Shostakovich wanted to move away from the style of his first symphony, and had other projects he wanted to work on. This apparent contradiction was a personality trait that would stay with him his whole life, and the sometimes juddering juxtaposition of the lighted-hearted with the profound marked his compositions from the very beginning. 2, Op. Dmitri Shostakovich wrote his Symphony No. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Shostakovich had given them their forced happy ending, a secret testament to the horrors of life under Stalin. 9 in E, op. The directors of the conservatory were excited by the genius they felt they had nurtured and arranged for the symphony to be performed by Nikolai Malko and the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra. If we think about it more like a Strauss tone poem than a Shostakovich symphony, maybe it’ll seem more convincing. Wiki says: Though Shostakovich had been commissioned by Muzsektor rather than Agitotdel, and was thus expected to produce a composition of abstract music instead of a propaganda piece, writing a short agitprop symphony seemed to solve all of Shostakovich’s problems. I agree with you utterly about the merits of no.3 (although I hope I’m not pre-empting what you yourself were going to say about it) – if ever there was a case of giving the authorities exactly what they wanted, in the form of a here-today-gone-tomorrow Socialist Realist musical slogan (albeit giving it voluntarily, which is savagely ironic given how they damn near broke him over the course of later life for daring to write anything other)! And yet, despite suffering from malnutrition and tuberculosis, there are also stories of him losing his job for laughing too much at the Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin films he was employed to accompany. In time, this much repeated role would become as much a burden to him as it was a saving grace. It’s marked largo, and the first real utterance of any kind, out of this jumble of sound, comes from the brass, in the form of more low growls, and eventually a trumpet solo. Some revisions to this score were made, and the final version was played a few weeks later in Moscow. 5 at our European Tour Preview Concerts with Hilary Hahn on February 23, 24 & 25. Like Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, another piece he admired, the disconcerting idea of human beings as puppets, with their actions manipulated by unseen string-pullers from on high, was one that stayed with the composer right the way through to his final symphony, written almost fifty years later. Or is Shostakovich simply trying to draw a clearly defined line between the music he wanted to write and the music he had to write? After a deceptively light opening, the music hurls itself helter-skelter into a series of episodes that seem to collide up against each other with little meaning or purpose, sometimes breathlessly agitated, other times disconcertingly empty.   He came to grow tired of, if not entirely resent, composing the work, and thought very little of the text, but it was eventually completed. ( Log Out /  ( Log Out /  But we have to end on a choral finale which “sets a text by Alexander Bezymensky praising Lenin and the revolution.” You can read the text of the finale here. It’s turning out pretty gloomy.’ The second half of the piece is certainly much more tragic in vein. 14 no. The classicism is most apparent in the first movement, which follows 18th-century sonata form right down to repeating the exposition (the only Shostakovich Symphony that does). Did the masterpieces that followed need the conflict, tension, and suffering of his time before they could flower from the composer’s pen? From sheer misery, I’ve started to compose the finale of the symphony. So he’s got plenty to enjoy. But if they seem crude or illogical, that reflects the brutality and ideologically confused spirit of the age. There’s a brassy moment of triumph in this movement, one that would put a pretty nice cap on this work if it were just an overture-like tone poem along the lines of Stravinsky’s Feu d’artifice, but the thing has to continue, doesn’t it? It received its premiere on November 5, 1927 with the Leningrad Philharmonic under Nikolai Malko.   Shostakovich’s second symphony, however, (and third, as we shall see) was not only not a roaring success at its premiere, but has continued to be recognized as some of his weakest work in the form. And completing his Symphony No 4 – a big brute of a work – he withdrew the planned Leningrad premiere in '36, after denunciation by the State. He was born Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich on September 25, 1906, in St. Petersburg, Russia. Only those with the shortest of musical memories can listen to the rousing choral finale with a sense of triumph and joy. Initially proud of these works, Shostakovich proclaimed them to be failures in the 1950s. 1, and the Symphony … I was touched by that. But for Shostakovich, it need not have been a question of one or the other. Symphony No. In 1927 Shostakovich was commissioned by the State Publishing House to honour the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution. 11 in G minor, Op. 2 in B major, Op. 2 Seattle Symphony Judith Fong Conductor Emeritus Ludovic Morlot conducts the Seattle Symphony in music by Caroline Shaw, Shostakovich and Beethoven featuring cellist Alisa Weilerstein on Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 7:30pm on Seattle Symphony Live . Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. 2; Prokofiev: Cantata - Mark Elder, BBC Symphony Orchestra on AllMusic - 1996 While Prokofiev’s second symphony was a head scratcher not only for the audience but the composer himself, it has gained recognition in more recent times as a blisteringly intense, genius work, at least by some. Mozart’s expressive 29th symphony was penned by the 18-year-old wunderkind after his visit to Vienna. Shostakovich Symphony No.5 London Symphony Orchestra & Maxim Shostakovich Shostakovich: Symphony No. Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada conducts Shostakovich’s Symphony No. Wiki mentions “the notion of “industrial” symphonies intended to inspire the proletariat.” Thank goodness that phase is over. Starting piano lessons with his mother when he was eight, he was writing a Pushkin-inspired opera by the age of nine. Composed at the age of 18, Shostakovich’s First Symphony was written to fulfill the graduation requirements of the Leningrad Conservatory (earning him the equivalent of a college music degree), and would take the international music world by storm the following year. Bolshevik (1920), by Boris Kustodiev.. Dmitri Shostakovich wrote his Symphony No. For Shostakovich: Piano Concertos No the Ninth is sometimes called Shostakovich 's classical Symphony because of its,. 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