Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Reiner, Mitropoulos, New York Philharmonic|
Chostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6
Grand Repertoire Series.
Grand Repertoire Series.
For the memories....
Howard G Brown | Port St. Lucie, FL USA | 03/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I give this five stars based on my memories of the lp -- the first Shostakovich album I ever owned; the first recording of the 5th I ever heard. I found a copy in a record store near my home town; the recording had already been replaced in the Columbia catalog by the Bernstein recording in both mono and stereo (new lps came in 2 flavors by then, eventually the companies stopped pressing mono versions; only the stereo version are re-issued as CDs). I had heard this recording at the home of an Indiana University professor during the summer of 1960, and when I returned home, outside Chicago, I went looking for a copy for myself. I had to have this version; the music seemed to be a picture in time of our century. It didn't matter that the music was composed in 1936, it was clearly the voice of our century, of where we have been, of where we were going -- the voice of tragedy.
I have ordered the CD; with the state of my ears today, a less than perfect transfer is of no matter to me or my hearing aids.
I have a CD of Reiner conducting the NY Philharmonic in the Shostakovich 6th, from a 1943 concert in Carneige Hall. Reiner was a Bartok/Stravinsky man, but this symphony appealed to him and the performance is dark, yet radiant and coupled with excerpts from Boris Godunov in the Shostakovich orchestration (1942, NY Phil and Boris Christoff, I believe)and the Copland Clarinet Concerto with the NBC Symphony with Benny Goodman! The last a radio broadcast from the early 50s.
Reiner was a fine conductor, open to all good music, and so was Mitropoulos -- different men, but the same in their dedication to music. There is a story of Reiner rehearsing the NY Phil during a guest stint in the 50s. He noticed Mitropoulos seated in the rear near the basses.
Politely, quietly, Reiner asked why he was there. Mitropoulos answered, "To learn, my dear. To learn."
I don't think the story is apocryphal.
The pittsburg recording will make an interesting comparison between first and second tier orchestras in the mid 40s."
Great Performances, OK Remastering
Timothy Dougal | Madison, Wi United States | 04/24/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This disc contains a 1953 studio performance of Shostakovich's 5th by Dmitri Mitropoulos and the NY Philharmonic, and a 1945 performance by Fritz Reiner and the Pittsburgh symphony of the 6th symphony. They are both really powerful performances, but the remastering on each leaves a little to be desired. There is occasional break-up at the loud parts of the 5th, and the 6th is occasionally a little noisy, as well a being louder than the 5th (do remastering engineers not have volume control?). This is still a very good CD, but it suffers by comparison to vintage recordings, particularly from Dutton, but Naxos as well."
DEVASTATING 5th !!
RAMZI CHAPTINI | 10/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Shostakovich's 5th symphony by Mitropoulos is perhaps the most dark and moving interpretation of this work that one might ever hear.
Mitropoulos somehow injects his own personal & deepest experiences in this work. And somehow this symphony acts as a reflection of Mitropoulos's own sufferings during his life. The similarities between Mitropoulos's life and Shostakovich's 5th are very identical... The symphony although ends in triumph, but is a forced and fake triumph, forced happiness after a long life of misery... Much like Mitropoulos had to suffer due to many factors; his homosexuality leading him into a monkish and recluse life although he was at the helm of glory in the New York Philharmonic. And yet treason and deceit was awaiting him, from the same people he aided and helped all his life.... As much as Mitropoulos gave to music, and as much as he gave to others, from his own money and happiness, he was thanked by total humiliation and the end of his career at New York... such bitterness that greatly affected his health and lead to an early death some few years later.
Throughout all the stages of this symphony, Mitropoulos expresses with such drama, presenting the work in its true and unmasked nakedness... not a passage, not a note passed by without being filtered and interpreted by Mitropoulos's incredible brain...
The first movement by Mitropoulos, is one of the best, perfectly setting the austere mood, and immersing the listener directly, and keeping him on the edge at all time.
The sarcastic ballet-like Allegretto is again intensely beautiful.
The largo, is one of he most moving and touching pieces of music that Shostakovich wrote. And Mitropoulos simply just breaks through our hearts with such pathos, than one can barely hold the tears in the eyes, and keep from shaking. One feels as if he has literally "hit bottom". Mitropoulos's orchestra handling in these delicate passages is simply unsurpassed, maintaining perfect control and in total fusion with his players, to be able to express with incredible sensibility.
The last movement, on the surface was meant to express the triumph over misery, while in reality, Shostakovich's genius presents this masked triumph, by his manipulation of layers of music. As he says, music should always contain 2 layers. And Mitropoulos, is one of few who mange to deliver this message, by letting us feel at all times a certain threat, an embedded layer of fear, even during the most glorious moments of the finale. All this talk about the 5th must not shade the very good work of Reiner on the 6th symphony. A solid, robust and convincing interpretation, but not my favourite. But it is not to be heard directly after the 5th under no circumstance !! Perhaps on another day !!This magnificent 5th symphony is found also on another production by Sony, a far more interesting item in my opinion; a double CD entitled the art of Mitropoulos, containing this same 5th, the 5th symphony by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev's Lieutenant Kije, and Mitropoulos's Warhorse; Prokofiev's 3rd piano concerto directed and played on the piano by Mitropoulos; a dazzling and incredible performance that the author himself (Prokofiev) had to write another concerto, because Mitropoulos just stole the lights away from him !
This CD is marvelous in all aspects, a great informative booklet, very well presentation, and unsurpassed and unrepeatable performances. But unfortunately this CD was not released in all countries and is now fading out of print. So for those who would like to get to know better the works of one of the greatest conductors of all time (and the greatest underrated!!), if you find this CD anywhere, just get, it, if not, This current single CD is enough to shed much light on this great person."