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  • Shostakovich: Symphony No. 15 / Sonata No.2
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Shostakovich: Symphony No. 15 / Sonata No.2 Original recording remastered


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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, January 11, 2000
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$40.00 $11.97

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Symphony No. 15 in A, Op. 141: AllegrettoThe Philadelphia Orchestra;Eugene Ormandy 8:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Symphony No. 15 in A, Op. 141: AdagioThe Philadelphia Orchestra;Eugene Ormandy15:21Album Only
listen  3. Symphony No. 15 in A, Op. 141: AllegrettoThe Philadelphia Orchestra;Eugene Ormandy 4:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Symphony No. 15 in A, Op. 141: Adagio; AllegrettoThe Philadelphia Orchestra;Eugene Ormandy15:40Album Only
listen  5. Sonata No. 2, Op. 64: AllegrettoEmil Gilels 7:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. LargoEmil Gilels 8:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Sonata No. 2, Op. 64: ModeratoEmil Gilels13:20Album Only


Product Details

  • Performer: Emil Gilels
  • Orchestra: Philadelphia Orchestra
  • Conductor: Eugene Ormandy
  • Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich
  • Audio CD (January 11, 2000)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B00003OP6Z
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,154 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

On the surface, Shostakovich's last symphony is a strange bird. One wonders why the first movement keeps quoting the William Tell overture. Why does the fourth movement incorporate Wagner's fate theme from the Ring? And why the cello and violin solos? The answers, frankly, don't matter. Amidst all these oddities, there is great music to be heard here. This reissue features the American premiere of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 15, from 1972--with Eugene Ormandy leading the Philadelphia Orchestra--paired with the composer's second piano sonata performed by Emil Gilels. Typically for Ormandy's Shostakovich, these are dramatic hallmark performances and the sonics--thanks to RCA's 24/96 remastering technology--are gorgeous. Notes from Ormandy explain part of this symphony's charm--Shostakovich imagined the first movement as a toy shop at night where the toys came to life (hence William Tell)--but it really must be heard to be appreciated. Gilels's performance on the sonata, dating from 1965, is lean and contemplative, but the symphony steals the show. With its great sound, and at midprice, this disc is steal. --Jason Verlinde

Customer Reviews

Excellent performance of Gilels in this piano work .
Hiram Gomez Pardo
While the Sonata is a wonderful pairing, I really wish RCA/BMG/Sony would issue Symphony #13 and #14.
Alan Montgomery
The mechanical precision brings out the genius and power of this great work.
Deborah M. Lisle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "orlac" on August 22, 2001
Format: Audio CD
In his late life Dmitri Shostakovich so admired Eugene Ormandy's conducting of his works that he gave him the right to the first American performances of the last 3 symphonies. How much admired? Shostakovich took the risk of getting a smuggled copy of the semi -banned 13th Symphony to him for performance. Till his death Ormandy never revealed how it had been smuggled. This perceptive performance of the 15th shows Shostakovich's faith was well placed. Aided by a score notated by the composer Ormandy brings clarity and a sense of purpose to a score that has baffled many. I would hope as another reviewer has that RCA will finally release the performances of the 13th and 14th under Ormandy. Like the 15th they are admired not just by critics and listeners but by the composer himself.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Deborah M. Lisle on November 6, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This symphony, when I first heard it, perplexed me, to say the least. I am a big fan of Shostakovich, especially the piano works (24 preludes and fugues, piano concertos and piano quintet are all incredible), but this was the latest work of his I had ever heard. As I listened more and more, however, I became increasingly impressed with it. Despite the sparseness of the first movement it stills carries the power of Shostakovich. There are some very musically profound moments all throughout the symphony. The sonata is amazing. Emil Gilels interpretation is easily the best one I have ever heard. He takes it from a very cool, almost stoic perspective. It fits the music perfectly. The mechanical precision brings out the genius and power of this great work. I highly recommend this CD.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By philvscott on February 25, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I got to know Shostakovich's 15th from the LP of this performance, the work's first recording (in the West, anyhow). It has come up well in RCA's stunning remastering, and is still the best performance overall that I know. Ormandy paces the enigmatic piece moderately, never over-emphasizing any of the contrasting moods (as Jansons does in his more- too?- full-blooded approach, with the LPO on EMI), or rushing it to try and whip up excitement (as Neeme Jarvi does on DG with the Gothenberg Orchestra). Haitink's old Decca version is very good (as are all his Shotakovich symphonies- you could do worse than buy the box set), but Ormandy had the better band, and the added focus born of premiering the work.
Couplings help decide the issue: Jarvi has been reissued in a 2-cd set with his Shostakovich 13th & 14th Symphonies: good value if you don't have any of them, and fine singing from Sergei Leiferkus in 14, but still a rush in 15. Jansons is coupled with the Second Piano Concerto, beautifully played by Mikhail Rudy, but it's a better idea to get both concertos on one disc: I'd recommend Bronfman or Hamelin. The RCA disc couples Ormandy's reading with a justly famous, magisterial performance of the Second Piano Sonata by Emil Gilels: game and match. I heartily agree with the reviewer ryzzard that Ormandy's 14th should be reissued: another first recording, featuring the great Phyllis Curtin. The way things are going with BMG, though, I'd say don't hold your breath.
In '97 DG released a recording of a transcription of the 15th Symphony for violin, cello, piano, celeste and percussion, played by Gidon Kremer's group Kremerata Musica. It doesn't quite work as a cogent piece of music, since Shostakovich always thought orchestrally, but it's very interesting to hear the bones of the piece's structure laid bare. I don't know if this CD is still available.
Meanwhile, 5 stars for Ormandy, and for Gilels. The symphony is a haunting masterpiece.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Karl W. Nehring on August 6, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Back in 1972, Eugene Ormandy conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra in the first American recording of Shostakovitch's final symphony, and my first introduction to this work was in the mid-'70s, when I purchased an RCA boxed set that contained these forces' renditions of Shostakovitch's three final symphonies. I'm surprised that RCA let this recording languish so long in their vault before releasing it in CD format, but they have finally redeemed themselves with this splendid release in their High Performance series. The sound quality is excellent--not quite as dynamic and powerful as the recent Jansons release discussed above, but certainly commendable overall--and what makes this release even more attractive is the coupling, Emil Gilels's rendition of Shostakovitch's Piano Sonata No. 2, which was originally recorded in 1965. Moreover, the original liner notes from both releases are included in the CD booklet, making this a complete and fulfilling re-release indeed. For fans of the music of Dmitri Shostakovitch, this release should be cause for celebration.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Alan Montgomery on September 21, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This recording was one of the first Symphony #15 received, and it was a landmark performance. While the Sonata is a wonderful pairing, I really wish RCA/BMG/Sony would issue Symphony #13 and #14. They far outstrip all competition in the field. I even wonder, now that BMG and Sony are together, if a huge box set could be issued of Symphonies 1, 4, 5, 10, 13, 14, and 15, all with Ormandy and Philadelphia, and all in stellar sound. I'd even wonder if others lurk in the Philadelphia vaults that could be added, say 7, 9 or 11. Judging by the quality of those performances I know, I'd leap at a recording by Ormandy of as many of the Shostakovich symphonies as BMG/Sony want to put together. But PLEASE bring us #13 and #14!!!
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