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Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 14, 1992
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93: 1. Moderato
  2. Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93: 2. Allegro
  3. Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93: 3. Allegretto
  4. Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93: 4. Andante - Allegro

Product Details

  • Orchestra: Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: George Solti
  • Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich
  • Audio CD (April 14, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: London / Decca
  • ASIN: B00000E4W1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,935 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bruce Hodges on September 11, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Even though I own at least four other versions of this symphony, I stumbled across a copy of this, despite caveats from friends about Solti's approach to Shostakovich. Yes, it must be said that this is probably not the most subtle interpretation of one of Shostakovich's masterpieces. But if you are in the mood for a harrowing, barreling experience, Solti's electricity will certainly satisfy.
I disagree slightly with those who think the Tenth is Shostakovich's greatest symphony; it is *one* of his greatest, but there are others that are its equal. But it is easy to see why this remains a favorite, since it contains many powerful sequences.
Solti's version of the second "Allegro" is stunning. This four-minute display of orchestral virtuosity almost never fails to impress, and one can almost forgive Sir Georg if one feels a bit bludgeoned afterward; the playing is at such a high level, and the excitement generated is almost palpable. If ultimately Solti does not reveal some of the deeper emotions in the score (such as Karajan, who recorded this piece twice), this is nevertheless a marvelous recording, showing the conductor in peak form during his last years with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Decca's sound is very good, considering that this is a live recording. The bass is a bit over-prominent, but not unlistenable. Those who are fans of Solti or the great orchestra, or those who like their Shostakovich played with maximum steeliness should relish this disc.
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Format: Audio CD
This is one of the most difficult Shostakovich symphonies to perform. It's a sprawling work into which Shostakovich poured all of his angst and renewed triumph after the death of Stalin, who tormented Shostakovich for years and had forbidden him to write any more symphonies. Shostakovich was a broken man, and this performance conveys this in the opening passages of the symphony perfectly--followed by his resurgence a few minutes into the piece. The second movement is a short and brutal indictment of Stalin, and then Shostakovich turns to introspection, working out his angst in the remainder of the piece, with that haunting horn calling for the return to humanity. The piece ends in absolute triumph, with Shostakovich's musical monogram pounded out in the tympani and the whole orchestra in pure joy.

This is a live recording, but don't fret--not too much audience noise and no obvious mistakes from this fantastic orchestra. The energy is palpable and you get a keen sense of Solti's greatest gift--his sense of structure and timing.

I never tire of hearing this performance and found myself addicted to it for months, during which I must have listened to it more than 50 times. This is a Shostakovich 10 to listen to and love. Enjoy.
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Format: Audio CD
10-22-2014 I first heard this mammoth work by Dimitri Shostakovich with the Indianapolis Symphony, while a senior at the Indy Medial Center for Indiana university, from which I graduated in 1990, as a Nuclear Med Tech. Despite my age, about 40, I got a student pass for greatly discounted concerts by the ISO, and enjoyed the entire season. This work was led by a former MD, John Nelson and I was a "Shosty" convert immediately.
Regardless of it's formidable length, it held my attention wonderfully, as my minor in school was History/Political Science, a good contrast to Chemistry, Physics and Physiology. .
This performance is by the CSO/Solti and runs a trim 49:58, but seldom feels rushed.
The CSO plays powerfully and also gently when indicated as Sir George felt that this composer was one of the current century's greatest writer, along side Bartok, and Stravinsky. To me, DS is heads and shoulders above his companions, in every genre I've yet explored. His Symphonies and string quartets are amazingly real, and in depth. If you like, a film, "Testimony,"( 1988, based on memoirs dictated to Solomon Volkov) starring Sir Ben Kingsley is a very effective portrait of the man and his times and with gobs of music, led by Rudolph Barshai, it paints a reasonably accurate picture of this genius and his tribulations against the State. Some critics claim it has too many discrepancies, but I'm not so sure. Either way, the general mood and tenor of those years are nicely captured, but other sources perhaps more exact, likely exist to research.
And, if you love his music, this is no big deal, so please investigate.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have heard several recordings of the Shostakovich Tenth over the years, including a live performance with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gennady Rozhdestvensky. I heard part of the first and the third and fourth movements of the Solti Tenth over the radio without knowing the orchestra or conductor. What I heard was impressive. I was surprised when Solti's name was announced, as I never considered him an important Shostakovich interpreter.

The first movement is dramatic and well paced; the second is taken slower than many recordings but does retain the menacing quality of Shostakovich's portrait of Stalin. Tempo wise, Mravinsky is preferable here with his quick pace, however, speed is only part of the equation in music. The recording made by Maxim Shostakovich with the London Symphony (issued on Collins around the same time as the Solti) was quite a bit slower (at 59 minutes) than most performances of the Tenth. This recording may not work well for everyone but it is a viable alternative reading.

The third movement builds nicely to a dramatic conclusion; the finale is well played and exciting. The Solti recording tends to follow the composer's tempo markings closer. I have read criticism of the recording that the percussion is too loud and the strings sound unfocused. I cannot agree. The performance was recorded at Orchestra Hall, which can produce a dry sound depending on the engineers. The CSO sounds excellent and what I liked about this recording was the attention to phrasing and color. For the sheer drama and relentless drive of the music, I prefer Yevgeny Mravinsky, Kirl Kondrashin and Herbert von Karajan but the Solti performance is a good one and an interesting reading of the score.
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