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Thread: Which complete Shostakovich symphony cycle would you buy?

  1. #16
    Member MrMeatScience's Avatar
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    I'm pretty partial to Ashkenazy and Petrenko, but the former seems little discussed which leads me to believe that it's something of an unpopular opinion perhaps? The Petrenko is very well-done but I'm left wanting for a little more raw power on occasion.

  2. #17
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Petrenko has been a favorite of mine, but I’m thinking that Nelsons, when complete, will be the best cycle in truly modern sound.


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    Quote Originally Posted by KenOC View Post
    Petrenko has been a favorite of mine, but I’m thinking that Nelsons, when complete, will be the best cycle in truly modern sound.
    It sure seems to be heading that way. One could nit pick some interpretive details, but it's not that important. What IS important in DSCH is the highest virtuosity from the orchestra and first-rate sound. Nelsons has both. But it will be some time before the cycle is complete and even then, DG isn't known for reissuing sets in budget form. So - Barshai is excellent in conducting, sound, playing. And so is Kitajenko. There is one other set too often passed over, but I happen to find it excellent: Rostropovich. He knew the composer, knows the style, and even if he wasn't a world-class conductor, there's something quite compelling about his performances. And the price (under $25) is a bargain. Kondrashin - too expensive, the sound not great, even if the conducting is fine.
    813U0tP1B3L._SX522_.jpg

  4. #19
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMeatScience View Post
    I'm pretty partial to Ashkenazy and Petrenko, but the former seems little discussed which leads me to believe that it's something of an unpopular opinion perhaps?
    I'm not sure. I suspect that most people haven't heard many of his recordings as a conductor. As I've written before, I think that he's a much better conductor than he is a pianist.

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  6. #20
    Senior Member Enthusiast's Avatar
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    The Kondrashin is good but not 100s of dollars good! I'm sure it will get issued again at a sensible price and I suggest that those who missed it the last time round focus their attention on a different goal - either different music or, if you must have a Shostakovich box now, why not the very cheap Liverpool Petrenko (I've heard some of them and they seem very good).

  7. #21
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
    The Kondrashin is good but not 100s of dollars good! I'm sure it will get issued again at a sensible price and I suggest that those who missed it the last time round focus their attention on a different goal - either different music or, if you must have a Shostakovich box now, why not the very cheap Liverpool Petrenko (I've heard some of them and they seem very good).
    Or listen to Kondrashin via Spotify.

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  9. #22
    Senior Member Kjetil Heggelund's Avatar
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    I usually buy things that are not on spotify, if I really want it. I will listen to Kondrashin and wait on buying anything since I have no money now...Pay day soon...

  10. #23
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
    The Kondrashin is good but not 100s of dollars good! I'm sure it will get issued again at a sensible price and I suggest that those who missed it the last time round focus their attention on a different goal - either different music or, if you must have a Shostakovich box now, why not the very cheap Liverpool Petrenko (I've heard some of them and they seem very good).
    Are you that opposed to downloads?

    https://store.tidal.com/us/

    and search for kondrashin shostakovich
    Last edited by jegreenwood; Dec-07-2019 at 00:29.

  11. #24
    Senior Member Kiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkasimer View Post
    I'm not sure. I suspect that most people haven't heard many of his recordings as a conductor. As I've written before, I think that he's a much better conductor than he is a pianist.
    I've always liked Ashkenazy the conductor (and yes, more than Ashkenazy the pianist). His Sibelius and Rachmaninov symphonies are excellent IMO. Haven't listened to his Shostakovich for a while, as I often go to V. Petrenko these days, but his refreshing No. 9 pops up in mind immediately.

    But this is my treasure box! Fantastic commitment from Kondrashin.


    Plus the numerous individual releases from Mravinsky, which is a collector's hell........

    Don't have Barshai. Heard too many good words about his set, but I I still find 30 USD asked by Amazon a bit expensive.

    And I'm probably the only person around here who positively dislikes Andris Nelsons' Shostakovich "spectacle". Seldom does any recording draw such a negative emotion out of me.

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  13. #25
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    Only one for me. V Petrenko and RLPO.
    They have such a wonderful full sound.
    Have never let me down

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  15. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiki View Post

    I'm a big fan of Kondrashin, but with a cover like that, dang, I can see why it went out of print.

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  17. #27
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    I'm not qualified or knowledgeable enough about Shostakovich symphony cycles to recommend one cycle over others, but I have explored a fair number of recordings in recent years, and the three Shostakovich conductors that have most stood out to me are Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Evgeny Mravinsky, & Kyril Kondrashin--all three of whom knew and worked with the composer. So, I'd like to see both the Rozhdestvensky and Kondrashin cycles remastered & reissued in box sets.

    One Shostakovich cycle that hasn't been mentioned so far is Oleg Caetani's with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, on hybrid SACD (very good sonics). Caetani is the son of the famed Russian conductor, Igor Markevitch, and he studied conducting at the Moscow Conservatory with Kondrashin--so he has the right pedigree for this music (even though he may not have an absolutely top tier orchestra in Milan, nor an orchestra that one would normally associate with Shostakovich).

    Caetani--Shostakovich Symphony No. 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBBH...0VbJdBTQXZVVsH
    Caetani--Shostakovich Symphony No. 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rD6K...6qTfrPDn_xip7g
    Caetani--Shostakovich Symphony No. 8:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWcn...7S5wM-bcStQUYI

    Here's David Hurwitz's review of Caetani's cycle at ClassicsToday: https://www.classicstoday.com/review/review-13568/.

    I've also liked Bernard Haitink in these symphonies; as well as Kurt Masur live in the Symphony no. 1 (with the Philadelphia Orchestra), and on recordings with the London Philharmonic: https://www.amazon.com/Digital-Bookl...sr=1-4-catcorr. While others have told me that Maris Jansons EMI cycle is very good, but I haven't heard it.

    Individually--other than Mravinsky's recordings--I've most liked Paavo Berglund's Shostakovich 6th, 7th, 10th, & 11th in Bournemouth, on EMI (which also come in the Berglund Icon box set), as well as Berglund's 8th on Penatone, with the Russian National Orchestra.

    Here's the final movement of Berglund's BSO performance of the 11th, which I think is exceptional: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqvQd1QKmyM.

    & Berglund's 8th, on hybrid SACD:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bTs...vE0kLPPZauu_FA
    https://www.allmusic.com/album/shost...8-mw0001945335
    Last edited by Josquin13; Dec-07-2019 at 21:01.

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  19. #28
    Senior Member Malx's Avatar
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    I agree with Josquin regarding Berglunds Shostakovich recordings in the Icon box, they are excellent performances even if the Bournemouth SO is not the equal of some of the more illustrious orchestras available elsewhere. What they have done is bought into what Berglund wants and give total commitment to the cause.
    I do accept it is not a boxed set as requested in the OP.

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  21. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kjetil Heggelund View Post
    I'm surfing the net for a complete box. Right now Kitajenko/Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne is 46% off. I thought I would get Petrenko/RLPO but who nose
    Does anyone have any favorites?
    I bought the Kitaenko set when it was new, in SACD. It sounds stupendous. The weakest of the set is the Fifth, but you have a lot of choices in that work. Barshai is also excellent. The Petrenko is outstanding, although I haven’t heard it completely. Ditto for Nelson’s/Boston, not yet complete

  22. #30
    Senior Member realdealblues's Avatar
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    For complete cycles, I have Petrenko, Jansons, Haitink, Rostropovich, Barshai and Kondrashin. The one I return to most is Barshai. Yes, there is something special about Kondrashin, but Barshai is still my top pick for overall sound, performance and consistency when it comes to a complete cycle.

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