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Thread: Shostakovich Symphony #5

  1. #31
    Senior Member apricissimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegro Con Brio View Post
    I think Bernstein's tempo in the finale actually conveys the "stupid, sarcastic" nature of Shostakovich's intentions better than the deadly-slow ones - it truly sounds empty, vapid, and bombastic like a sardonic mockery of Soviet propaganda. The slow versions actually give me more of a "hard-earned victory" sensation, which is not how I see it.
    I must be a rube because I never picked up on the sarcastic nature of the last movement until I had read it was intended to be by the composer.

  2. #32
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by apricissimus View Post
    I must be a rube because I never picked up on the sarcastic nature of the last movement until I had read it was intended to be by the composer.
    Certainly the original audience didn’t hear any of that “your business is rejoicing” stuff. The applause went on and on, while the conductor held the score over his head to the cheers of the audience.

    Critic Alexei Tolstoy wrote that in the first movement, the composer-hero suffers a psychological crisis giving rise to a burst of energy. The second movement provides respite. In the third movement, the personality begins to form: "Here the personality submerges itself in the great epoch that surrounds it, and begins to resonate with the epoch." With the finale, Tolstoy wrote, came victory, "an enormous optimistic lift." As for the ecstatic reaction of the audience to the work, Tolstoy claimed it showed Shostakovich's perestroyka to be sincere. (from Wiki)

    The more cynical view of the finale came much later, from a single source of disputed authenticity – Volkov’s book Testimony. For myself, I suspect Dmitri simply heard it as music, and its shape and emotional charge came to him like most of his music, that is, naturally.
    Last edited by KenOC; Mar-28-2020 at 01:25.


  3. #33
    Junior Member DaddyGeorge's Avatar
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    I'm not sure it should be the number one choice but I really like Nelsons with Boston...

    nelsons.jpg

  4. #34
    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    I just listened to the Petrenko/RLPO recording of the 5th today. I liked the slow ending. First time I've heard it like that. I'll have to return to the Bernstein/NYP. I remember the finale of that one reminding me of the Mahler 7th finale, big and kind of bombastic.

  5. #35
    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
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    ^

    The thing about Vasily Petrenko's Shostakovich for me is that he seems to understand the emotions in the music very well so everything I hear seems to make sense. Some critics believe that the ending of No. 5 is a “forced rejoicing”. Honestly I could never see it as a plain “good defeating evil”. It’s more like a sarcastic but very much refrained mockery of his pathetic situation in which he has to conform to survive. IMO V. Petrenko has brought that out rather successfully.

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