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Shostakovich: Complete Symphonies
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Audio CD, Box set, 31 July 2020
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- Product Dimensions : 13.21 x 13.11 x 3.3 cm; 341.9 Grams
- Manufacturer : WARNER CLASSICS
- Item Model Number : WCL546076.2
- Original Release Date : 2020
- Run time : 11 hours and 43 minutes
- Label : WARNER CLASSICS
- ASIN : B07T1J6KDT
- Number of discs : 12
- Customer Reviews:
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Composed over a period of nearly 50 years, Dmitri Shostakovich's 15 symphonies are astonishingly diverse in conception and expression, reflecting the composer's personal experiences, the history of the 20th century and the tensions and struggles of an artist under the Soviet regime. These recordings fulfil a promise that Mstislav Rostropovich made to the composer, a close and long-standing friend, before he left Russia as an exile in 1974. 'These symphonies mark fifteen stages in our lives,' he said. 'The emotional history of our country, my history, his history, our history.'
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This new Warner release includes the original Jackson Pollock-style artwork, and the sound quality is excellent. Given the current Amazon asking price, the set is an absolute bargain. If the prospective purchaser happens to be a newcomer to the wonderful world of Shostakovich's symphonies, then this Rostropovich/Shostakovich cycle is the best place to start that musical journey, in my opinion. As for the Soviet regime and the music's "political agenda", that's a matter for debate elsewhere... the music is glorious, highly inventive, and is positively crackling with energy. Rostropovich's energetic and enthusiastic approach to music-making is infectious and the set will not disappoint. Recommended.
My favourite performance is the number 12 , the first piece of Shostakovitch I ever heard , and have loved ever since . He takes the last movement at a slightly slower pace than I had heard before , and it is all the better for it , sheer power and majesty . Perfect .
All in all a definately 5 star performance .
1. None of the symphonies were split over two CD's (a particular pet hate of mine!)
2. Rostropvich was a friend of the composer and should know his works well.
3. It was ridiculously cheap!
Overall this is a very good set, well recorded although in a couple of cases the recording level is a little low. Otherwise highly recommended