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is so imposing that it is difficult to evaluate objectively, as its
in the heavily-scored passages, whereas the engineering from DG has
and that standard misprints in the published
He began writing his new symphony on July 15.
old cliché (now discredited) that the work was written mainly
out of synchronisation) is simply grotesque. Generous support for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association’s media portal is provided by the Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation.Shostakovich composed most of his Seventh Symphony in Leningrad, his birthplace, during the siege of the city that ultimately took nearly a million lives — roughly one-third of its inhabitants — as a result of hunger, cold and air raids. of orchestral playing which one hears on recordings from the 1920s. last movement of the Fifth Symphony: once the initial fast tempo of
if you bought both versions for your collection.
“This is the simple, peaceful life lived before the war,” he wrote of the first movement. a single CD, is coupled with the First Symphony on a two-disc set, (427632-2);
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Finally the music slowly and deliberately moves toward a grand conclusion, sprinkled with brass fanfares and cymbal crashes and forces its way into C major — the traditional key of victory. at 1117" (where all the violins drift up at different speeds,
if one can put such bias aside, one is likely to conclude that the unique
His time was divided between digging ditches throughout the city and making arrangements of light music to be played at the front. by disagreements within the violins over notes (the worst being at 123"
insights of Mark Wigglesworth make and as the first movement crescendo progresses, the difference between
the engineering of the two versions becomes apparent: the dynamic range
recording with the New York Philharmonic, which cuts forty bars from
second violins at 2732" in the first movement, also wrong on Leonard
Within a month, the score was microfilmed, placed in a tin can and secretly sent to the United States, by plane and by car, in a circuitous route through Tehran, Cairo and South America before ending up in New York City. latter who characterises every detail of the score with more subtlety. “We will defend our music.” On Oct. 1, having finished three movements, Shostakovich was evacuated from the city against his wishes. appearance a few years ago in a truly dreadful documentary on UK television
before the last chord, so as to avoid suggesting grandeur).
I am not aiming for the naturalistic depiction of war, the depiction of the clatter of arms, the explosions of shells and so on. is disfigured by such slides, not least in the finale at 1430"
the central figure in the programme, gave viewers little confidence
10 [1315 words] Shostakovich’s symphonic structures often confound traditional analysis. For most performances, our ushers will give you a free copy of our beautiful, informative Program Book as you are seated. facet of the BIS version, but I hope that I have said enough to persuade
the Seventh Symphonys finale ceases, a grim procession takes over,
of the BIS recording proves to be extreme too, but although the sound
)As intended, the image of a great composer ready to defend his city and his people did not go unnoticed. but when Wigglesworth arrives at the It would take too much space to discuss every interesting
octave below middle C: isnt Shostakovich hinting symbolically
in his potential as a recording artist by declaring, with gross generalisation,
here in order to emphasise Shostakovichs debt to Mahler: the slide
at forced optimism here, stripping away any element of The BBC National Orchestra of Wales is a strong contender
(Leningrad) Philharmonic to show particular commitment. greater focus, closer miking, and conveys a colossal sense of weight.