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View Poll Results: What are Your Favorite Symphonies of Shostakovich?

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  • Symphony No.1, Op.10

    11 15.49%
  • Symphony No.2 in B major, Op.14 - "To October"

    0 0%
  • Symphony No.3, Op.20 - "1st of May"

    1 1.41%
  • Symphony No.4 in C minor, Op.43

    21 29.58%
  • Symphony No.5 in D minor, Op.47

    41 57.75%
  • Symphony No.6 in B minor, Op.54

    8 11.27%
  • Symphony No.7, Op.60 - "Leningrad"

    23 32.39%
  • Symphony No.8 in C minor, Op.65

    18 25.35%
  • Symphony No.9 in E flat, Op.70

    12 16.90%
  • Symphony No.10 in E minor, Op.93

    29 40.85%
  • Symphony No.11 in G minor, Op.103 "The Year of 1905"

    15 21.13%
  • Symphony No.12 in D minor, Op.112 "The Year 1917"

    4 5.63%
  • Symphony No.13, Op.113"Babi Yar"

    12 16.90%
  • Symphony No.14, Op.135

    9 12.68%
  • Symphony No.15, Op.141

    10 14.08%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Favorites of Shostakovich Symphonies

  1. #16
    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drpraetorus View Post
    When you dig below the surface of the symphonies you find alot of protest and anger at the Soviet world and especially at Stahlin. He danced on the edge and almost ended up in the gulags or dead like many of his compatriots.

    I like to think DSCH wouldn't have ended up dead - Stalin seemed to enjoy playing the carrot and stick game with him too much to consider having him done away with or even imprisoned. DSCH had been a bag of nerves since 1936 because of the uncertainty of his relationship with the Soviet hierarchy and I would suggest that for Uncle Joe it was enough just to keep him under surveillance on a regular basis, reward him with the odd Stalin Prize and then browbeat him again at the appropriate juncture. Also, even Uncle Joe might have baulked at sanctioning the execution of someone who by then had earned something of an international standing - it wouldn't have looked that good if the USSR gained a reputation for abruptly bumping off all of their leading cultural figures. A similar principle probably applied to the poet Anna Akhmatova but she was made of sterner stuff and there were times when she may have been in genuine danger - not least because Stalin was enraged when he heard she was in contact with egalitarian intellectuals such as Isaiah Berlin.

  2. #17
    Senior Member Wandering's Avatar
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    I'm not familiar enough with Shostakovich to vote, so I didn't. I do really enjoy the opening of the 9th symphony, the way it surprisingly jumps into the rythmic march theme is extremely clever and lighthearted, impossible to forget.

  3. #18
    Senior Member neoshredder's Avatar
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    Listening to Shostakovich's Symphony 4. Dark and disturbing. Love it. I guess we get the idea how he feels as he didn't release it until 30 years after he wrote it.

  4. #19
    Senior Member drpraetorus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elgars ghost View Post
    I like to think DSCH wouldn't have ended up dead - Stalin seemed to enjoy playing the carrot and stick game with him too much to consider having him done away with or even imprisoned. DSCH had been a bag of nerves since 1936 because of the uncertainty of his relationship with the Soviet hierarchy and I would suggest that for Uncle Joe it was enough just to keep him under surveillance on a regular basis, reward him with the odd Stalin Prize and then browbeat him again at the appropriate juncture. Also, even Uncle Joe might have baulked at sanctioning the execution of someone who by then had earned something of an international standing - it wouldn't have looked that good if the USSR gained a reputation for abruptly bumping off all of their leading cultural figures. A similar principle probably applied to the poet Anna Akhmatova but she was made of sterner stuff and there were times when she may have been in genuine danger - not least because Stalin was enraged when he heard she was in contact with egalitarian intellectuals such as Isaiah Berlin.
    I think Stahlin kept Dimitri around because he could be useful. If Shostakovitch had lost his utility, he would have met with a "tragic accident". I am personnaly convinced that his "Festive Overture" was a reaction to Stahlins death. Being as it was written for the party convention held after Stahlins death. He wrote it out in full score in about two hours. He must have had it in his head for a while before commiting it to paper.

  5. #20
    Senior Member Xaltotun's Avatar
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    After some experience with all of them (I recently purchased the Barshai cycle), I think I'll pick 5, 10, 11 and 13. I'd love to love the 7th, but I need some help understanding the crazy ostinato of the 1st movement. I just can't fathom what it means, musicially or otherwise - it just sounds silly.
    Wäre das Faktum wahr, – wäre der außerordentliche Fall wirklich eingetreten, daß die politische Gesetzgebung der Vernunft übertragen, der Mensch als Selbstzweck respektiert und behandelt, das Gesetz auf den Thron erhoben, und wahre Freiheit zur Grundlage des Staatsgebäudes gemacht worden, so wollte ich auf ewig von den Musen Abschied nehmen, und dem herrlichsten aller Kunstwerke, der Monarchie der Vernunft, alle meine Thätigkeit widmen.

  6. #21
    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drpraetorus View Post
    I think Stahlin kept Dimitri around because he could be useful. If Shostakovitch had lost his utility, he would have met with a "tragic accident". I am personnaly convinced that his "Festive Overture" was a reaction to Stahlins death. Being as it was written for the party convention held after Stahlins death. He wrote it out in full score in about two hours. He must have had it in his head for a while before commiting it to paper.

    Although many people may have secretly rejoiced at Stalin's death I think experience taught DSCH to be careful what you wish for - after Stalin's death there was no way of knowing at the time whether or not his successor may have turned out even worse! Interesting that the Festive Overture may have been conceived before then, but I can believe that on this occasion DSCH composed it 'on the spot' as he often had this Mozartian gift for working quickly and spontaneously. One interesting comparison to supplement your idea is Symphony no. 7 - due to the enormity of the work many of DSCH's acquaintances reckon most of it must have mapped out BEFORE the invasion of the USSR by Germany, so it's possible that the premise for writing it was inspired by a brutal manifestation of an altogether different sort.

  7. #22
    Senior Member Arsakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elgars ghost View Post
    Although many people may have secretly rejoiced at Stalin's death I think experience taught DSCH to be careful what you wish for - after Stalin's death there was no way of knowing at the time whether or not his successor may have turned out even worse! Interesting that the Festive Overture may have been conceived before then, but I can believe that on this occasion DSCH composed it 'on the spot' as he often had this Mozartian gift for working quickly and spontaneously. One interesting comparison to supplement your idea is Symphony no. 7 - due to the enormity of the work many of DSCH's acquaintances reckon most of it must have mapped out BEFORE the invasion of the USSR by Germany, so it's possible that the premise for writing it was inspired by a brutal manifestation of an altogether different sort.
    The only aspect Stalin's era could be better than his successor's is not much hostility toward the west... and that's not good enough; and that rebuilding the country after the war efforts which is done by German slaves.
    Last edited by Arsakes; Aug-30-2012 at 05:25.

  8. #23
    Senior Member neoshredder's Avatar
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    Bump for more possible votes.

  9. #24
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Darn, voted for the favorite. Should have voted the 15th.


  10. #25
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sofronitsky View Post
    If you don't vote ten, you don't have a soul.
    Does this mean I can sleep forever when I'm dead?

  11. #26
    Senior Member opus55's Avatar
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    Voted 7 and 10 but several others are excellent as well. Just those two are the most memorable in my mind.

  12. #27
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    I went for 5, 6, 7, 11, 12 and 15. Of these, No. 11 is my favourite.
    "I like to think that oysters transcend national barriers" - Roger Waters

  13. #28
    Assistant Administrator Chi_townPhilly's Avatar
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    Red face I plead extenuating circumstances

    Quote Originally Posted by neoshredder View Post
    I see there was an old poll on here that didn't have all the choices or allow for multiple choices. I'd thought I'd update it to allow for more choices and selections. Since the poll allows 15, why not have them all up there? Preferably 3-7 selections at most.
    At that time that earlier poll was made, there was a limit of ten (10) on the options.

    In accordance with your 3-7 recommendation, I'll pick four-
    1. The Tenth
    2. The Fifth
    3. The Eleventh
    4. The Thirteenth.
    The hardest knife ill us'd doth lose his edge. Shakespeare- Sonnet 95

  14. #29
    Senior Member Allerius's Avatar
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    My five faves at the moment are #5, #7, #9, #11 and #14.
    “To do good whenever one can, to love liberty above all else, never to deny the truth, even though it be before the throne.” - Ludwig van Beethoven.

  15. #30
    Senior Member Enthusiast's Avatar
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    I know the symphonies quite well but it has been quite a while since I wanted to listen to most of them. I sometimes think I do and make a start but find myself abandoning the work and trying something else. But I do still enjoy 1, 5, 10 and (especially) 14 (and invariably in the Currentzis recording).

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