Shostakovich- Symphony No 8 (2013)

Shostakovich

Mariinsky Orchestra

Valery Gergiev

Witnessing the traumatic impact of Leningrad’s devastation at the hand of the Nazis in 1941 was a seminal and scarring experience for Shostakovich. Not only did it impact on the Seventh Symphony, composed during this period and designed to bolster the morale of the city’s starving inhabitants, but it also formed a significant part of the emotional background for the Eighth. Ironically the successful reception of the Seventh proved to be a double-edged sword for the composer. On the plus side it demonstrated the potential for symphonic music to be utilised as a potent weapon in the war effort, even encouraging one Soviet propagandist in 1942 to suggest ‘its significance extends beyond the bounds of merely a musical event’.
Whilst remarks of this nature certainly enhanced Shostakovich’s status as a war hero, the work’s popularity risked placing any subsequent symphony he was to write under much greater critical scrutiny. This was certainly the case with the Eighth. By the time he began work on the score in July 1943 a series of victories by the Red Army had turned the fortunes of the war much more in the favour of the Allies. So there was a weight of expectation that this new composition would reflect the renewed optimism that the conflict could soon be over, a feeling incidentally also matched in the United States where a bidding war between two rival radio stations resulted in CBS purchasing the broadcasting rights for the symphony’s American premiere for the enormous sum of $10,000.

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Valery Gergiev

Valery Gergiev is Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Stars of the White Nights Festival (St Petersburg), the Moscow Easter Festival, the Gergiev Rotterdam Festival, the Mikkeli International Festival, and the Red Sea Festival in Eilat, Israel. His inspired leadership as Artistic and General Director of the Mariinsky Theatre since 1988 has brought universal acclaim to this legendary institution. Born in Moscow, he studied conducting with Ilya Musin at the Leningrad Conservatory, won the Herbert von Karajan Conductors’ Competition aged 24, and made his Mariinsky Opera debut one year later conducting Prokofiev’s War and Peace. In 2003 he led St Petersburg’s 300th anniversary celebrations, and opened the Carnegie Hall season with the Mariinsky Orchestra,the first Russian conductor to do so since Tchaikovsky conducted the Hall’s inaugural concert in 1891. Valery Gergiev’s many awards include a Grammy, the Dmitri Shostakovich Award, the Golden Mask Award, People’s Artist of Russia Award, and France’s Royal Order of the Legion of Honour. His vast discography includes Russian operas, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and Tchaikovsky Symphonies, and numerous discs on the LSO Live and Mariinsky labels, including a Mahler Symphony cycle, Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle, Wagner’s Parsifal, Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, and a disc of Debussy’s music.

Mariinsky Orchestra

The Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra or the Kirov Orchestra is located in the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia. The orchestra was founded in 1783 during the reign of Catherine the Great, it was known before the revolution as the Russian Imperial Opera Orchestra. The orchestra is one of the oldest musical institutions in Russia.

In 1935 Joseph Stalin changed its name (and that of the Ballet) to the Kirov, after Sergei Kirov, the first secretary of the Communist Party in Leningrad, whose 1934 murder by his regime Stalin was attempting to whitewash. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the name was changed back to the Mariinsky in 1992.

The current artistic and general director of the Mariinsky Theatre is the conductor Valery Gergiev and the principal guest conductor is Nikolaj Znaider. Under Gergiev, the Mariinsky Orchestra has become one of the leading symphony orchestras in Russia.

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Shostakovich- Symphony No 8 (2013)

Shostakovich

Mariinsky Orchestra

Mastering Engineer: Vladimir Ryabenko, and Jonathan Stokes & Neil Hutchinson
Producer: Vladimir Ryabenko
Recording Engineer: Vladimir Ryabenko
Recording location: Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, Russia
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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MAR0525: Shostakovich- Symphony No 8
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Tracks.
1.
Symphony No 8- i. Adagio - Allegro non troppo
Shostakovich
00:28:04   Select quality & channels above
2.
Symphony No 8- ii. Allegretto
Shostakovich
00:06:03   Select quality & channels above
3.
Symphony No 8- iii. Allegro non troppo
Shostakovich
00:06:14   Select quality & channels above
4.
Symphony No 8- iv. Largo
Shostakovich
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5.
Symphony No 8- v. Allegretto
Shostakovich
00:15:20   Select quality & channels above

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