Shostakovich Symphony No. 8

London Symphony Orchestra

US$24.99US$38.99
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Original Recording Format: DSD 64

 

The Eighth Symphony is a dark, epic work standing at the very centre of Shostakovich’s output. Composed in a mere ten weeks between July and September 1943, it was first performed in Moscow on 4 November under Evgeny Mravinsky. Expectations were high, for Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony, associated with the siege of Leningrad, had been adopted both in Russia and the West as a symbol of resistance to the Nazis. It was hoped that the Eighth would follow in its patriotic footsteps, but with the difference that the tide of war had now turned. Earlier that year the German Sixth army had been annihilated at Stalingrad, the siege of Leningrad had been lifted, and the Nazis were in retreat.
What should have been a symphony of heroism and victory turned out to be nothing of the sort. At a time when optimism and glorification of the Motherland under Stalin’s inspired leadership were the order of the day, anything more complex – let alone the questioning ambiguities of Shostakovich’s new symphony – was bound to be received with suspicion. One representative comment after the first performance was that ‘It sees only the dark side of life. Its composer must be a poor-spirited sort not to share the joy of his people.’ After the Leningrad premiere in 1944 the work virtually disappeared from the repertory, and at the notorious 1948 conference that condemned the finest composers in Russia it was singled out for its ‘unhealthy individualism’ and pessimism.

The Eighth Symphony is a dark, epic work standing at the very centre of Shostakovich’s output. Composed in a mere ten weeks between July and September 1943, it was first performed in Moscow on 4 November under Evgeny Mravinsky. Expectations were high, for Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony, associated with the siege of Leningrad, had been adopted both in Russia and the West as a symbol of resistance to the Nazis. It was hoped that the Eighth would follow in its patriotic footsteps, but with the difference that the tide of war had now turned. Earlier that year the German Sixth army had been annihilated at Stalingrad, the siege of Leningrad had been lifted, and the Nazis were in retreat
What should have been a symphony of heroism and victory turned out to be nothing of the sort. At a time when optimism and glorification of the Motherland under Stalin’s inspired leadership were the order of the day, anything more complex – let alone the questioning ambiguities of Shostakovich’s new symphony – was bound to be received with suspicion. One representative comment after the first performance was that ‘It sees only the dark side of life. Its composer must be a poor-spirited sort not to share the joy of his people.’ After the Leningrad premiere in 1944 the work virtually disappeared from the repertory, and at the notorious 1948 conference that condemned the finest composers in Russia it was singled out for its ‘unhealthy individualism’ and pessimism.

 

 

Tracklist

1.
Symphony No 8 in C Minor - I. Adagio - Allegro non troppo
26:34
2.
Symphony No 8 in C Minor - II. Allegretto
06:46
3.
Symphony No 8 in C Minor - III. Allegro non troppo
07:07
4.
Symphony No 8 in C Minor - IV. Largo
12:01
5.
Symphony No 8 in C Minor - V. Allegretto
16:16

Total time: 01:08:44

Additional information

Label

SKU

LSO0527

Qualities

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Channels

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Artists

Composers

Genres

,

Mastering Engineer

Neil Hutchinson – Classic Sound

Conductors

Original Recording Format

Producer

James Malinson

Recording Engineer

Neil Hutchinson – Classic Sound

Recording location

Barbican Hall london

Recording Software

Merging

Recording Type & Bit Rate

DSD 64

Release Date July 14, 2017

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