Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Dmitry Shostakovich, Ladislav Slovak, Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava)|
Shostakovich: Symphonies 2 & 15
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The sounds of the memory
Massimo Marullo | Messina, Italy | 11/01/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The fifteenth symphony represents the extreme voice of the symphonic Shostakovich; in this work the author recalls, throug a suggestive game of quotations, the experience of a life devoted to music, such to translate in sensitive way "the sounds of the memory". The last movement involves fully the listener with its simple and seductive melodies and with the impalpable game of percussions that closes the symphony. Of different kind the second symphony, dating back to the years of the first experiences of the author with the symphonic kind, whose commemorative character explains its hypertrophy and its scarce actual success. The interpretation appears enough idiomatic and the inexpensiveness of the recording makes its acquisition warmly advisable."
David Saemann | 05/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Slovak was Mravinsky's Assistant Conductor at the time of the premieres of the 11th and 12th Symphonies. His feeling for Shostakovich's style is second to none. This is the only performance I've ever heard of the 2nd Symphony, and it seems highly effective. The orchestral colorings, showing the influence perhaps of Scriabin, are vivid and exhilarating, and there is a real feeling of tension throughout the performance. Unfortunately, no translation of the chorus's text is included. As for the 15th Symphony, I feel that this is major Shostakovich, on a par with the 5th and 10th Symphonies. I am very fond of Mariss Jansons's recording, and Slovak's orchestra really can't match the polish of Jansons's London Philharmonic. But what this orchestra yields in polish it makes up for in bite and idiomatic sound. The motif of the William Tell Overture in the first movement is beautifully handled by Slovak. I always have thought this was a caricature of the militaristic Soviet authorities. The second movement, with its open meditation on death, brings out committed playing from the orchestra. And the various motifs of the last movement are handled expertly. Indeed I've never heard the famous tune from the 1st movement of the 7th Symphony so brilliantly interwoven with the texture. If you've never heard this Symphony and want to acquire it cheaply, this CD is an obvious choice. If you want to hear an alternate version with a great deal of authenticity to it, this CD would be excellent, too. Sound engineering is excellent in both Symphonies."
Spirited performance of #2.
Anthony Green | Wilmette, Illinois | 03/10/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this to listen to the choral section of the "October" symphony (#2) since the local chorus in which I sing will be performing this work in May 2006. I found it a lively performance and useful too, for those learning the chorus.
Symphony #15 is much easier on the ear and is a good but not spectacular performance."