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Thread: Shostakovich symphonies

  1. #16
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    The Fifth is the only Shostakovich symphony that I listen to on a regular basis. I do like the Eighth and the Tenth as well, but I don't have enough experience with the others to say whether I like them a lot or not.

  2. #17
    Senior Member MacLeod's Avatar
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    11th, 5th, 9th, 7th, 10th, 15th...I'm still working on the others (Haitink boxed set).
    "I left TC for a hiatus, but since no-one noticed my absence, I came back again."

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Voting game from the old Amazon forum:

    Shostakovich symphonies:
    1 - Symphony #10 in E minor, Op. 93 (1953)
    2 - Symphony #5 in D minor, Op. 47 (1937)
    3 - Symphony #4 in C minor, Op. 43 (1935-1936)
    4 - Symphony #8 in C minor, Op. 65 (1943)
    5 - Symphony #15 in A major, Op. 141 (1971)
    6 - Symphony #6 in B minor, Op. 54 (1939)
    7 - Symphony #13 in Bb minor, Op. 113 'Babi-Yar' (1962)
    8 - Symphony #1 in F minor, Op. 10 (1924-1925)
    9 - Symphony #11 in G minor, Op. 103 'The Year 1905' (1957)
    10 - Symphony #7 in C major, Op. 60 'Leningrad' (1941)
    11 - Symphony #9 in Eb major, Op. 70 (1945)
    12 - Symphony #14, Op. 135 (1969)
    13 - Symphony #12 in D minor, Op. 112 'The Year 1917' (1961)
    14 - Symphony #2 in B major, Op. 14 'To October' (1927)
    15 - Symphony #3 in Eb major, Op. 20 'The First of May '(1929)


  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davila View Post
    Which ones are overrated in your opinion?
    all of them.
    I have tried many times along the years and with different conductors and except for the occasional thrill or some single movement they leave me cold or bored or anguished.

  5. #20
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    I have only really spent time with the 4th. It's the first modern symphony I've tried to get my head around. At first I had trouble with it: it seemed over long and didn't make a coherent whole. However, I then saw it live paired with the 1st violin concerto. I went for the concerto and decided to just take or leave the symphony, yet I was surprised how much I liked it. It kept my attention pretty much throughout despite being an hour long and I found the end genuinely horrifying.

    I've listened to the 5th and the 10th a couple of times each but so far they've not clicked as much for me. I'm not sure which to try next. I found this short summary of the symphonies which has given me some ideas. Maybe the 1st, 8th, or 9th. I also bought a copy of Hurwitz's book, which seems like a good introduction for my purposes.

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    The 11th hasn’t gotten a lot of love in this thread. It took me a few different recordings to really appreciate, and yes, it does sound like a film score for an Eisenstein movie, but in the right hand it can be utterly enthralling.

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  8. #22
    Senior Member Eva Yojimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenOC View Post
    Voting game from the old Amazon forum:

    Shostakovich symphonies:
    1 - Symphony #10 in E minor, Op. 93 (1953)
    2 - Symphony #5 in D minor, Op. 47 (1937)
    3 - Symphony #4 in C minor, Op. 43 (1935-1936)
    4 - Symphony #8 in C minor, Op. 65 (1943)
    5 - Symphony #15 in A major, Op. 141 (1971)
    6 - Symphony #6 in B minor, Op. 54 (1939)
    7 - Symphony #13 in Bb minor, Op. 113 'Babi-Yar' (1962)
    8 - Symphony #1 in F minor, Op. 10 (1924-1925)
    9 - Symphony #11 in G minor, Op. 103 'The Year 1905' (1957)
    10 - Symphony #7 in C major, Op. 60 'Leningrad' (1941)
    11 - Symphony #9 in Eb major, Op. 70 (1945)
    12 - Symphony #14, Op. 135 (1969)
    13 - Symphony #12 in D minor, Op. 112 'The Year 1917' (1961)
    14 - Symphony #2 in B major, Op. 14 'To October' (1927)
    15 - Symphony #3 in Eb major, Op. 20 'The First of May '(1929)
    Pleasantly surprised 4 was so high and 7 was so low!

  9. #23
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    No. 4. There's something about the closing pages that haunts the memory. And even after all the modern recordings, I still go back to Ormandy/Philadelphia.

    Then on to: 9, 1, 5, 10, 8. The rest I don't listen to that much. Can't take 2 or 3. I don't get the 15th at all. No. 7 is another that I am indifferent to. It doesn't do much for me.

  10. #24
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    Most are good in one way or another but the ones that stick in my mind as distinctive in their various ways are 1, 4, 5, 6, 10, 13 and 14. There is nothing wrong with the others but I would be happy enough if those were the only ones I had. I would be quite fussy about which recordings I had of them, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KenOC View Post
    My all-time favorite Leningrad is Bernstein/Chicago. Very long, very massive. This one never lets up.

    Yup - great recording...one of Bernstein's very best, one of the greatest recordings of ANY symphony...would have loved to hear the live performances!!

  12. #26
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    Love them all, generally - 2 and 3 are weak, IMO...3 is actually quite interesting....unfortunately, DS had to add those party-pleasing tub-thumping choral finales onto both of them..#12 seems unfocused, as if DS somehow lost his way on this one..

    #1 is amazing - a great first symphony..already we see the genius to come...

    I like #11 - excellent work...
    the rest are all superb, great works...

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  14. #27
    Senior Member MacLeod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triplets View Post
    yes, it does sound like a film score for an Eisenstein movie,
    I don't see this as a problem, but I'm not sure if it's "true" anyway.
    "I left TC for a hiatus, but since no-one noticed my absence, I came back again."

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod View Post
    I don't see this as a problem, but I'm not sure if it's "true" anyway.
    There is a version of ‘The Battleship Potemkin’ available that uses substantial parts of the 11th as it’s soundtrack. Works perfectly

  16. #29
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    I don't really like 12, 2, 3, and the opening movement of 7. Otherwise I like them all, with 8, 10, 6, 4 and 15 being favorites.

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    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
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    Beyond Nos. 2&3, which are ephemeral communist propagandist claptrap, and No.12 which is also rubbish, and the over-long and rather dated No.7, there isn't a weak work among them. I myself find No.14 hard to enjoy, it's debatable if it's a symphony or not, and for me he wrote better song cycles. It's relentlessly depressing to be honest. Then again, so is the last quartet, and that is a major masterpiece.

    Of the others, I'd put No10 down as the finest, but I think Nos. 6, 8, 13 run it close. The most underrated is probably No.15, especially as most of us don't fancy facing Death square in the face. And No.11 is a far better piece than some credit it as. No disrespect to the Symphonies, but his out and out masterpiece has to be the 1st Violin Concerto.

    IMHO , of course.....
    Last edited by CnC Bartok; May-27-2018 at 19:46.

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