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Vissarion Shebalin Symphonies 1+3 - Soviet Symphonies, Vol. 1 (Olympia)
Vissarion Yakovlevich Shebalin, Mark Ermler, Valery Gergiev
Vissarion Shebalin Symphonies 1+3 - Soviet Symphonies, Vol. 1 (Olympia)
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #1


      

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CD Reviews

The Symphonies of yet Another Neglected Important Soviet.
David A. Hollingsworth | Washington, DC USA | 05/22/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Vissarion Yakovlevich Shebalin (1902-1963) was credited, and rightfully so, as being an instrumental force in Soviet music, not only as a prolific and a successful composer, but also as a highly influential pedagogue (and from 1942 to 1948, director) of the Moscow Conservatory of Music.Shebalin, a student of the Moscow Conservatory, completed his graduation piece, the First Symphony, in 1925. At the same time, Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich, a student of the Leningrad Conservatory, composed his graduation piece, the First Symphony. A coincidence? Perhaps, since music history is known for its coincidences. Nevertheless, Shebalin's work premiered in November of 1926 whereas Shostakovich's work premiered on May 12th, 1926. Both premieres scored great and longlasting successes. It's quite easy to compare the First symphonies of Shebalin & Shostakovich, who were friends & compatriots. Shebalin's First Symphony is that of maturity, poetry, a kind of modern romaticism not too far from the Russian romanticism of Tchaikovsky, Glazunov, and the rest. Traces of Myaskovsky's (Shebalin's former professor of composition) influences are detectable. However the symphony is bold, engaging, and served as the first step of Shebalin's individuality. Shostakovich's First Symphony is witty, youthful, somewhat more daring, but also represents a trend of individualism composers (like Knipper, Mosolov, Stankovsky, etc) enjoyed until after 1930, when Socialist Realism under Stalin became a force towards conformity upon artists, musicians, writers, & the people. Shebalin's Third Symphony of 1935 (dedicated to Shostakovich) retains the boldness of the composer. The first movement is highly energetic & restless as well as passionate. The second movement, Andante, is beautifully written & serene, with noble themes stated effectively by the clarinet, harp, bassoon, and later the strings. The third movement is short, joyous, and boisterous whereas the Finale is reflective, optimistic yet laid back. The symphony is not as passionate as his First symphony. However, the symphony is individualistic & impressive enough. The performances of the USSR Radio & Television Symphony under Mark Ermler (in Shebalin's First) & under Valery Gergiev (in Shebalin's Third) performed with every sense of conviction, passion, excitement, & discipline. The recording, although slightly dullish, is more than enjoyable.Enthusiastically recommended!"