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Shostakovich: Symphonies 1-15 Box set

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Audio CD, Box set, April 26, 2011
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Shostakovich: Symphonies 1-15 + Rostropovich Conducts Prokofiev: The Complete Symphonies
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Product Details

  • Performer: Galina Vishnevskaya, Nicola Ghiuselev, Mark Reshetin, London Voices
  • Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Academic Symphony Orchestra Moscow
  • Conductor: Mstislav Rostropovich
  • Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich
  • Audio CD (April 26, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 12
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Warner Classics
  • ASIN: B000NJM1H8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,475 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By kirohe on February 14, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This set of recordings spans a considerable amount of time, yet none of these performances disappoint. Rostropovich is, generally, quite careful with details in these varied works and may be considered reserved when compared to more flashy performances, but I found that reason to listen to these more than once to hear more of, who I consider to be, Shostakovich.
The recording venues vary, yet are all quite listenable. I didn't feel disappointed by any of them, and dynamics were good without any obvious gain-riding or over-engineering.
I highly recommend this set.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Terrance Aldon Shaw on May 28, 2015
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This 12-disc set from 2007 brings together recordings made between 1973 and 1997 with at least three different orchestras for as many labels. The performances run a fairly steep gamut from a lackluster, yawn-inducing 8th (with the LSO from 1992 for TelDec/Erato), to the brilliant, stunning 14th, perhaps the greatest performance of a Shostakovich symphony every committed to disc--and, basically, the reason I bought the set.

Rostrapovich's classic--and still unequaled-- 1973 reading of the 14th with his wife, soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, bass Mark Reshitin, and the Academic Symphony Orchestra of Moscow originally appeared on the old Soviet Melodiya label, subsequently re-issued in the US on a CBS/Melodiya LP (M 34507 (1977)) and on CD first by Melodiya (SUCD 10-00241) in 1991 just before the breakup of the USSR, and later on the obscure Revelation label (RV 10101)--a poor transfer at best. I cannot complain about EMI/Warner's transfer; it is probably as good as it's possible to get, although still vexed by the original recording's odd acoustic quirks and sometimes-jarring spatial perspective, the tape hiss is mostly gone, and the performances are still as unforgettably passionate, fiery, driven, and utterly electrifying as when first committed to tape over forty years ago.

Other high points include what may be the best interpretation of the often-overlooked 12th Symphony from 1960--Rostrapovich's 1997 recording with the LSO goes a long way to convince me that this is more than a thematically-impoverished piece of note-spinning, but a work of genuine drama and substance.
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful By PGK on October 7, 2013
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At the time when Shostakovitch was creating what has been known as a history of the Soviet Union in music (a Rostropovich quote), to my mind there were three outstanding musicologists in the Soviet Union at that special time in musical history. I say three because they stand out so vividly in my interest in the music of that period. The three are Mstislav Rostropovich, Kiril Kondrashin, and David Oistrach. Rostropovich was the last of the three to pass into history. To date he is the most gifted cellist that has every lived in recorded music history. More pieces were written with him in mind that any other musician of that genre.

When he was visiting our local orchestra I tried to get tickets to see and hear him play cello. The tickets were sold out so quickly I had no chance. He was +/- 80 years old at that time. When Rostropovich returned to conduct Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky I bought tickets without hesitation. The performance was both emotional and flawless. He had so much passion for the music I returned for a second concert he conducted the following year. For that concert I sat within yards of the podium to catch every gesture.

Personally I consider every recording of Rostropovich either with cello, piano recital (with his wife), or orchestra a collector's item both as an object and listening experience. Rostropovich with all of his fame in the Soviet Union, gave it up to provide sanctuary for Alexander Solzhenitsyn. He was then exiled and labeled 'a non-citizen' by the Soviet authorities. Therefore most of the recordings were done out of country. There are very few recordings with Russian orchestra during that period of exile. This collection presents a part of music history that needs to be heard.
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42 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Ultrarunner on September 9, 2011
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In 1934 The lady Macbeth of Mtsensk had its premiere and was successful. In 1936 Stalin after seeing the opera condemned it. Pravda wrote an article warning the composer of the errors of his ways. In 1937 he was called into the offices of the KGB, for knowing about a plot against Stalins life. He was sent home to remember what was said. When he returned the next day the investigator had been removed. He survived a certain death. He wrote the fifth Symphony and it was considered a response to just criticism.

I had bought the DVD Shostakovich against Stalin with excerpts from the symphonies conducted by Gergiev,quite a few years ago.I had a number of Naxos recordings of Shostakovich's symphonies. A month ago I obtained Keeping score. A lecture on the 5th Symphony conducted by Tilson Thomas, where he states that the 3rd movement, the largo is a hymn for the dead, possibly for those killed in the purges. This interested me, so I looked at the DVD Shostakovich against Stalin, where friends and family members give an insight into the composer. A friend stated that the 4th movement and parts of the Symphony, is showing how the individual is threatened. You will rejoice and so out of fear that you may end up in the gulag, or disappear,you think I must rejoice. This interested me, so I obtained from Amazon Shostakovich-a life remembered by Elizabeth Wilson and Shostakovich Reconsidered by Ho and Feofanov. This book shows how Testimony by Volkov, who wrote down the composers memoirs, was true, not a hoak, or made up. This idea has been put forward by a few academics,who take up the Soviet line. Having grown up in South Africa, a police state, I know how it works. In 1973, because I was a sportsman,I was simply told to leave the country.
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