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Vultures. Tell me what & how to think about Shostakovich's 5th. The famous anti-Soviet one

2 replies

Bink · 04/10/2007 10:31

Played very excitingly (and excitedly) last night by the London Philharmonic. A slightly odd bill, as the first half was Pollini dancing exquisitely over Beethoven's Emperor - and then we had this great big Just How Many Different Effects Can We Do thing.

And I can't decide whether it is all fabulous (it's a piece I know inside out & have always loved the listening experience if that makes sense) or whether it is almost nearly crude. And, if the latter, whether that's because it is doing a message and not being abstract.

What do you think? Is there a famous essay or anything I should read about it?

OP posts:
Issy · 04/10/2007 10:44

Bink: Radio 3 The Making of Music at 4pm today is covering this, although the programme is only an hour long with a fairly wide brief so may not give you the detail you're looking for.

I've got a lot of drafting etc. to do today so I was just planning my listening for the day!

Performances of the music James Naughtie mentions in his Radio 4 series, which connects historical events and their effect on the course of classical music.

1 hour


49/60. Stalin

When Stalin came to power, he wanted music that expressed socialist realism. How did composers like Shostakovich and Prokofiev fare under the Stalinist regime?

Shostakovich: Symphony No 10 - Scherzo
London Symphony Orchestra
Maxim Shostakovich
Collins Classics 11062 Track 2

Prokofiev: Zdravitsa (Hail to Starlin)
Russian State Symphonic Cappella
Russian State Symphony Orchestra
Valeri Polyansky (conductor)
Chandos CHAN10056 Track 1

Shostakovich: Lady Macbeth of Mtensk (Extract)
Maria Ewing (soprano)
Sergei Larin (tenor)
Orchestra and Chorus of the Opera Bastille
Myung-Whun Chung (conductor)
DG 437 511-2 CD1 Track 10

Shostakovich: 'Katerina Ismailova
Scottish National Orchestra
Neeme Jarvi (conductor)
CHAN X10088(2) CD2 Track 12 - 16

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 - Allegro non troppo
National Symphony Orchestra
Mstislav Rostropovich (conductor)
Teldec 4509945572 Track 4

MrsJohnCusack · 04/10/2007 10:56

no it's FABULOUS
end of

I would ask DH your question (music geek) but he's asleep. I may ask him tomorrow. But I'm not aware of a famous essay on it. Just his famous comment that it is 'a Soviet Artist's response to my critics'

also that it's not quite clear whether he was being supremely ironic (and therefore overblown with all the OTT patriotism) or whether he was genuinely trying to show his love for his homeland/comrades etc.

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