Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


 REVIEW
 RECORDING OF THE MONTH


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Mahler symphony 6 Nott


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

alternatively
CD: Crotchet AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline


Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Symphony No.11 in G minor, The Year 1905, op.103 (1956/1957) [57:37]
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vasily Petrenko
rec. Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, 22-23 April 2008. DDD
NAXOS 8.572082 [57:37]
Experience Classicsonline

Written to commemorate the abortive 1905 revolution Shostakovich’s 11th Symphony, like the 12th which commemorates the 1917 revolution, lacks the weight or distinction of musical thought and logic which so characterizes the 10th and 13th Symphonies. What we forget, I think, is that the composer is writing in a popular idiom so as to reach as many people as he can. There is nothing wrong in being popular – for too long this has been seen as weak work and not a desire to communicate. As he was writing with regard to important events in Russian history I can well imagine that Shostakovich wanted to reach as many members of the public as he could with his music.
 
But make no mistake – the 11th Symphony is in no way an easy listen; you can’t sit back and bask in the colourful orchestration and good tunes. Playing for nearly an hour, in four big movements, which run together and share material, some of them revolutionary songs, there is something cinematic about the way the piece is constructed – but this is because of the way Shostakovich cuts between ideas and creates quite vivid visual images; indeed there is one section in the second movement (at 10:58) which always reminds me, for reasons I cannot explain, of the Odessa Steps sequence from Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin – perhaps Naxos could be persuaded to record Edmund Meisel’s fine score for this film, for it warrants further hearings.
 
The first movement – Palace Square – is the calm before the storm. All is quiet, the music is restrained and delicate, soft string chords, quite beautiful in themselves, are interrupted by menacing fanfares from muted trumpets. There’s a disturbed climax but the peace continues as if the insistent brass calls didn’t exist. Fury is unleashed in The Ninth of January, the date (old style, Julian calendar) is significant for on that Sunday, subsequently known as Bloody Sunday, the Orthodox Priest George Gapon led a workers’ procession to the Winter Palace (the square of the first movement) to deliver a petition to Tsar Nicholas II. However, the troops guarding the Winter Palace opened fire on the crowd, causing over 100 deaths. This is considered to be the start of the revolution. Shostakovich depicts the slaughter with music of vehemence, interspersed with reminiscences of the music of the first movement but transformed into icy sounds, long gone are the reassuring string sonorities. Hence my feelings about the Odessa Steps sequence. This is thrilling music and its forward momentum is irresistible. The third movement – Eternal Memory – is an elegy for the dead, deeply felt and with a passionate and yearning climax. The final movement, for it doesn’t feel like a finale in the conventional sense – The Tocsin (which is a signal or alarm sounded on a bell) – is a wild march, grotesque and misformed, the workers rising, I presume. A slower section towards the end sings of grief before the final onslaught of bells and workers songs. It’s a very fine piece.
 
And this is a very fine performance. With the Liverpool Phil on top form, responding to every one of Petrenko’s demands, it is a resounding success. It is electrifying in the way that a concert performance is – indeed, it’s hard to believe that this was recorded over two days, so immediate is the impact of the playing. The recording has an astonishingly huge wide dynamic range, the opening chords are so quiet that are, when played at a normal volume setting, almost inaudible. Turn the colume control up and the recording is as clear and bright as one could wish for. Every department of the orchestra is exceptionally well balanced, not an easy job in some of the fuller parts - and there are some very full tuttis - and, best of all, at the very end where the bells describe major and minor thirds in G the clangour is left to reverberate after the music has ended – absolutely thrilling. Whatever you do don’t be without Stokowski’s quite magnificent 1958 recording with the Houston Symphony Orchestra (EMI 6520622) and don’t be without this new release – I couldn’t be without either! This is an essential disk for all collections.
 
Bob Briggs
 

 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.