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View Poll Results: Please select your favorite Shostakovich symphony

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  • Symphony #15 in A major

    8 2.73%
  • Symphony #14

    2 0.68%
  • Symphony #13 in B flat minor "Babi Yar"

    11 3.75%
  • Symphony #11 in G minor "The Year 1905"

    22 7.51%
  • Symphony #10 in E minor

    73 24.91%
  • Symphony #9 in E flat major

    7 2.39%
  • Symphony #7 in C major "Leningrad"

    32 10.92%
  • Symphony #5 in D minor

    88 30.03%
  • Symphony #1 in F minor

    7 2.39%
  • Other (Please specify in post)

    43 14.68%
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Thread: The Shostakovich Symphonies poll

  1. #1
    Assistant Administrator Chi_townPhilly's Avatar
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    Default The Shostakovich Symphonies poll

    With mention of Shostakovich on the rise (in various places on this board), the time seems right for the inevitable question "What is your favorite Shostakovich symphony?" As I'm limited to 10 fields, I'll have to resort to some supposition concerning the front-runners. Please bear with me anyway.
    The hardest knife ill us'd doth lose his edge. Shakespeare- Sonnet 95

  2. #2
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    5, and 7, and 10, and....

    dj

  3. #3
    Senior Member Edward Elgar's Avatar
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    No contest really! The 5th is the most consise, musical and emotional. Athough the 1st is very well put together.
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ChamberNut's Avatar
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    Symphony No. 5 for me. Well, that's the only one I've heard so far. And it was live in the concert hall! Enjoyed it alot!

  5. #5
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    As above, except I played it

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  7. #6
    Junior Member music17's Avatar
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    I've only heard the 5th Symphony. My orchestra played it. It is an amazing work!

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by music17 View Post
    I've only heard the 5th Symphony. My orchestra played it. It is an amazing work!
    Exactly the same for me

  9. #8
    Member cato's Avatar
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    This is really amazing. I can't believe that the 5th beat out all the others.

    I voted for the 11th, (The Year 1905). I love ALL his work, but for me, the 11th is the best.

    (Probably having a lot to do with the fact that I love history. )
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  10. #9
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    11, 10, 7, 9, 5, 4 The fifth is good, but not his best in my opinion.

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  12. #10
    Senior Member some guy's Avatar
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    Cato, the fifth didn't really beat out all the others. As people said, the fifth is the ONLY one they've heard.

    Now THAT's incredible.

    Really, folks. Y'all shouldn't vote for favorites unless you have a favorite! Choosing the fifth out of your personal list which consists of only the fifth?

    I've listened to all of them, many times, and that's why I didn't vote for a favorite. Because they're mostly all pretty good in one way or another. I'm not terribly fond of number seven or twelve or fourteen. But who cares? Those three all have their proponents, for sure. Best I can do is say that the fifteenth is probably the best and that the eighth and the fourth are the two I listen to most frequently.

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  14. #11
    Senior Member Frasier's Avatar
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    Voting for 10, where he really started to break from the mould and express himself. No more of that social realism, he said. The scherzo is demonic, the rest desolate until the end of the last movement.

    Edit: I prefer Karajan's version, the most taut of performances

  15. #12
    Assistant Administrator Chi_townPhilly's Avatar
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    Am I surprised that Symphony #5 leads the pack?... No--

    Am I surprised at the margin?... Yes.

    Symphony 5 is the "entry work" for Shostakovich- but then again, sometimes people have reasons for feeling that the entry work is the best (c.f.: my attitude towards Sibelius 2, heh heh heh ).

    Still, I have to echo some's observation and add that for those of you who liked 5, but have heard little else, buy, beg, or borrow (but don't steal) other Shostakovich sypmhonies, and treat yourself a little bit. How do I feel? 11, 13, 5, 10 abide, but the greatest of these is 10
    Last edited by Chi_townPhilly; Sep-23-2007 at 20:20. Reason: case-work

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  17. #13
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    Of course, that doesn't preclude the fact that there are some "gems" to be found before the "entry work." For instance, Sibelius 1 and Shostakovich 4 are notable.

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  19. #14
    Senior Member Lisztfreak's Avatar
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    I have finished listening to my new complete Shostakovich symphonies box, so I feel rightful to vote now.

    Of those listed, I choose the 11th. Very, very dark and powerful.

    However, my real favourite is in fact the 8th. The longest and most profound nocturne I've ever heard, that's how I'd describe it.

    Other highly memorable pieces:
    - No.4 (especially the second half of the last mvt, when the timpani take the ostinato bass and then the quiet ending)
    - No.5, a tour-de-force
    - No.6, with surprising contrasts
    - of course, the Leningrad 7th
    - No.9 was a pleasant surprise
    - I didn't quite manage to get into No.10, but it's genuinely austere - in Shozzy's style
    - No.12 (first, third and the first half of the final mvt)
    - No.14 (very dark, once again)
    - No.15, strange but unforgettable

    P.S. In fact, nearly all are extremely good.

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  21. #15
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    Default 4th

    Perhaps surprisingly I heard the 4th before any other of his symphonies. This was in my early exploring days when I didn't know much about classical music and I used to borrow records from a library. Well, number 4 just happened to be one of the few Shostakovich symphonies they had in. It was Ormandy's pioneering record in the early 60's just after it had been played for the first time having been put in a drawer for 28 years.

    I just think it has just about everything you need in a piece of music. Massive mood changes. Big climaxes. Resourceful use of orchestra. A great ending. Just waiting for that last tinkle on the glockenspiel is amazing. Only a great composer like Shostakovich could make such a simple thing so meaningful.

    OK, structurally it is not brilliant at least in the first movement, but for me that doesn't matter when the music itself is so good.

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