Likes Likes:  0
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: The Execution of Stepan Razin

  1. #1
    Member cato's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Severance Hall
    Posts
    76
    Post Thanks / Like

    Thumbs up The Execution of Stepan Razin

    Not only is Shostakovich one of my favorate composers, but this piece is one of the best works of classical music in Western Culture.

    I have 2 recordings of this wonderful work. The first, I bought a few years ago with the Russian State Symphony Orchestra, w/ Symphonic Cappella, conducted by Valeri Polyansky. This is a great recording, and has his 6th symphony on the cd as well. (The Symphony Number 6, composed at the hight of the "Great Terror" in 1937, is one of my favorate Shostakovich works as well.)

    The other recording I bought a few months ago, and is a Naxos cd, with the Seattle Symphony and Chorale, under Gerard Schwarz. This cd, in addition to the Execution of Stepan Razin, has "October, OP. 131", and "Five Fragments, Op.42".

    I'm not sure which version I like the best. The Russian State Sym. version is a bit faster, but it seems as if the Seattle Sym. version (Naxos cd) has a richer, fuller sound.

    But whichever version I pick to listen to on any given day, I am always rewarded with some of the most moving, thrilling music ever recorded. The Bass-baritone forms the core of this historic work about a 17th Centary Russian "freedom-fighter".

    I love it! Tell me what you think. Do you enjoy this work also?

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    40
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Stenka Razin...

    Hi Cato,

    Stenka Razin was one of the first works of Shostakovich I had ever heard and it got me hooked onto Shostakovich as a composer. I have performed it as bass soloist and it never ceases to thrill me. The recoding that is the standard by which the others are judged is Kirill Kondrashin conducting and Vitaly Gromadsky as bass soloist. Vitaly has this *volcanic* power and projection which few can muster - probably only Paata Burchuladze woud be Vitaly's equal.

    The orchestral accompaniment and the drama provided by the choir to the soloist's declamatory flourishes make the piece a sensation. Hearing Maestro Gromadsky's interpretation for the first time can be a very scary experience - you feel almost as if you're there in Russia when the Imperial Army was trying to root out the Cossacks. It was a very bloody time in Russia's history and Stenka was a very colorful character.


    Regards!


    Giovanni

  3. #3
    Member cato's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Severance Hall
    Posts
    76
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Hi Giovannimusica,
    Thanks for the reply!

    (I was begining to think I was the only one on this site that loves this work by Shostakovich. )

    Yes, Stenka was a very "colorful" chap, and Russia's history is bloody and sad.

    However, I think that is one of the things that makes Russian composers stand out from the rest. Without the sorrow and blood in Russia's history, I doubt Tolstoy or Shostakovich could have produced the great works that they did.

    Of course, there are others who would dispute that.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    40
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Hi Cato,

    Being the Slavophile that I am, permit me to encourage you to read e.g. Pushkin's *the Bronze Horseman* and Dostoyevsky's *The Brothers Karamazov*. Also, Berdyaev's *The Russian Idea*.

    Regards,


    Giovanni

  5. #5
    Member cato's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Severance Hall
    Posts
    76
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Wow! it is so nice to meet another Slavophile!

    I LOVE all things Russian!

    ( I think in another life I was a Russian, probably murdered by Stalin in the 1930's, and my soul just wandered through time until being born an American in 1959. )

    I can't think of a Russian composer that I don't like: I love all of them.

    As for Dostoyevsky, I love him along with Tolstoy.

    As for Pushkin, I haven't got around to reading him yet, but since reading your post, I am putting down "The Bronze Horseman" on my "to do" reading list.

    As for Berdyaev..... I have never heard of him until now.

    But believe me, after your tip, I am going to look him up, and try to find his book, "The Russian Idea". Just the title alone really makes me want to read it.

    Thank you ever so much Giovannimusica for the book tips!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •