Shostakovich- Symphony No. 5 (2005)

Shostakovich

London Symphony Orchestra

Mstislav Rostropovich

Political and artistic pressures coincided many times inthe course of Shostakovich’s career, but never more than in the year 1937, when the Fifth Symphony was composed. Early in 1936 his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and the ballet The Limpid Stream had been officially condemned, and in consequence he felt obliged to withdraw his Fourth Symphony before its scheduled premiere. These works, which are full of a wayward, dissonant genius, made no concession to the official doctrine of Socialist Realism, and the bleak endings of both Opera and Symphony directly contradicted the optimism then expected from Soviet artists.
The crisis he faced was far more than a question of musical style, it was quite literally a matter of life or death. By 1936 the mechanism of Stalin’s Great Terror was lurching into motion, with show trials, denunciations and disappearances. Few Russians remained untouched, particularly in the composer’s own city of Leningrad. Shostakovich himself lost relatives, friends and colleagues. A particularly serious blow was the arrest and execution in June 1937 of his highly-placed protector Marshal Tukhachevsky; association with such an ’enemy of the people’ put Shostakovich in a highly dangerous position.

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London Symphony Orchestra

The LSO was formed in 1904 as London’s first self-governing orchestra and has been resident orchestra at the Barbican since 1982. Valery Gergiev became Principal Conductor in 2007 following in the footsteps of Hans Richter, Sir Edward Elgar, Sir Thomas Beecham, André Previn, Claudio Abbado and Michael Tilson Thomas, among others. Sir Colin Davis had previously held the position since 1995 and from 2007 became the LSO’s first President since Leonard Bernstein. The Orchestra gives numerous concerts around the world each year, plus more performances in London than any other orchestra. It is the world’s most recorded symphony orchestra and has appeared on some of the greatest classical recordings and film soundtracks. The LSO also runs LSO Discovery, its ground-breaking education programme that is dedicated to introducing the finest music to young and old alike and lets everyone learn more from the Orchestra’s players. For more information visit lso.co.uk

Mstislav Rostropovich

Mstislav Rostropovich was a Russian cellist, pianist, conductor, pedagogue and political figure whose international performances and public appearances symbolized the struggle of intellectuals against the rigid Soviet Communism. Rostropovich was born in Baku, Azerbaijan in 1927. At the age of four he started piano lessons with his mother and shortly afterwards began to study the cello with his father. He continued under his father's tuition at the Central Music School in Moscow and then went on to the Moscow Conservatoire, where in addition to his cello and piano studies he began to conduct. He made his public debut as a cellist in 1942 at the age of 15 and was immediately recognized as a potentially great artist. When the war ended his reputation soon spread outside the USSR, principally through his recordings, and when he began touring in the West it was soon apparent that in Rostropovich the world had a natural successor to the great Pablo Casals, who had reigned as the supreme cellist for more than half a century. He has given countless memorable performances and has inspired the world's leading composers to enlarge and enrich the standard cello repertoire with works specially composed for and dedicated to him. These include works by Britten, Bliss, Khachaturian, Lutoslawski, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. Rostropovich was soloist in the premieres of Prokofiev's second Cello Concerto in 1952, Shostakovich's two Cello Concertos in 1959 and 1966, Britten's Cello Symphony in 1964 and Bliss's Cello Concerto in 1970. Many other works have been written for him and today his repertoire includes more than 50 concertos, ranging from the baroque, through the classical and romantic periods, to the avant-garde. As a cellist, Rostropovich is noted for his commanding technique and intense, visionary playing.

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Shostakovich- Symphony No. 5 (2005)

Shostakovich

London Symphony Orchestra

    The Scotsman -

Rostropovich captures the stark ambivalence of the music - its gut-wrenching menace on the one hand, and stark attractiveness on the other. The playing is top-notch, and quite terrifying at all the right moments.

    Classic FM Magazine

His strength is in his ability to inspire players. There's nothing routine about this performance: Rostropovich generates a fierce intensity ... The LSO's response is consitantly impressive

    BBC Music Magazine

This is the sort of thing at which Rostropovich excels; the frozen wastes, the seas of desolation that cover this carefully proportioned symphony have never been more atmospherically charted.

    The Observer

In this towering performance by the LSO under the composer's friend and colleague Mstislav Rostropovich ... Shostakovich comes across as a thoroughgoing modernist, agonised about the issues of the day, but pouring his angst into a huge, multifaceted work which flows with the heat of volcanic lava. One of the last remaining links with this titanic composer, the great cellist-conductor can lay rightful claim to being his outstanding living interpreter.

    The Independent -

5*

    BBC Radio 3 CD Review

Rostropovich breathes this music as if it were oxygen ... he brings it chillingly to life.

Shostakovich- Symphony No. 5 (2005)

Shostakovich

London Symphony Orchestra

Producer: James Mallinson
Recording Engineer: Johnathan Stokes - Classic Sound LTd
Recording location: Barbican London
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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LSO0550: Shostakovich- Symphony No. 5
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Tracks.
1.
Shostakovich- Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47- I. Moderato
Shostakovich
00:15:09   Select quality & channels above
2.
Shostakovich- Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47- II. Allegretto
Shostakovich
00:05:47   Select quality & channels above
3.
Shostakovich- Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47- III. Largo
Shostakovich
00:12:39   Select quality & channels above
4.
Shostakovich- Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47- IV. Allegro non troppo
Shostakovich
00:12:52   Select quality & channels above

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