shostakovich's symphony no 14 is also what kind of form
Jan 12 2021 4:42 AM

("Symphony No. There’s even constant momentum and interest even in the slower sections. Symphony, a lengthy form of musical composition for orchestra, normally consisting of several large sections, or movements, at least one of which usually employs sonata form (also called first-movement form). Another fine example of a piece which is pretty inherently depressing, yet still something I’d find some form of satisfaction in listening to. Dmitri Shostakovich’s First Symphony may be the greatest graduation project of all time. Dating a Former Employee Why did the rest of the Eastern Bloc not invade Yugoslavia? The symphony was premiered on 21 January 1930, to coincide with the anniversary of Lenin's death. Leonard Bernstein – New York Philharmonic Sony Classical 61841 Yakov Kreizberg – Russian National Orchestra 2 (1957) – a brief intermezzo between the autobiographical Tenth and programme Eleventh Symphonies – to his son Maxim Shostakovich, then a pupil at the Central School of Music of the Moscow Conservatoire. 13, what’s really going on here is a depiction of the strains and terrors of life in Stalinist Russia, designed to resonate with ordinary people (and it certainly did, earning a standing ovation of 30 minutes at its premier). Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator] / 25. 10 Yoel Levi conducting the Atlanta Symphony (Telarc; CD) The symphony that many critics feel is the composer’s masterpiece, the towering Tenth, was written in … This is actually a really amazing piece, and it feels really quite mean to have it at number 12 - but I guess that’s testament to how much I enjoyed the others more than anything. As several of its predecessors, No. The resulting Symphony No.5, with its universal message of triumph achieved out of adversity, was exactly what was needed. Now, fresh on the heels of his new immersion into the world of darkness and despair, Rattle brings star-studded soloists Karita Mattila and Thomas Quasthoff into a performance of Shostakovich's morbid and depressing Symphony No. Fear gripped the composer: his next work, the Symphony No.5, would simply have to meet with approval. But blimey, it’s over fast - and at the end I was not really sure what to make of it. It is a brilliant aspect of this work that Shostakovich is able to use such limited orchestral colours to create such huge contrasts. Beyonce then comes along and does a little dance to the second movement, which is actually incredibly jarring (a friend once described it to me as ‘headache music’) but also sort of a bit rock-and-roll. Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No. I didn't know about that. We are instantly transported from the barren planes of Andalusia to the sweaty, dirty, and passionate smoke-filled rooms of a local Spanish bar, and yet the ever economical Shostakovich doesn’t even bring in the obvious touch of the castanets until the movement is almost over. 14 in that it is essentially a collection of five orchestrated songs, although arguably in this one there’s more of a symphonic structure and feel here. Contact Us. The Fourteenth Symphony is a landmark piece for me. symphony would be "Shostakovich's Eroica". It would be kind to describe the words of the concluding ... having experienced the funeral march we perhaps understand the significance of the quotation form the Eleventh. “What does it mean?” You may find yourself asking this question as you listen to Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. I was pretty tortured by these ideas.’ Nor did he relax once the work was completed. In French, the title of Lorca’s Le Suicide makes it clear that it is a man that has killed himself, but the Russian does not make this specific and that allows Shostakovich to imply that the suicide is Loreley’s. 5 in D minor, Op. She in turn can be seen as a combination of the death figure of the Malaguena with one of the hundred lovers from the opening movement and these textural links, as well as many musical connections, enable Shostakovich to turn four highly individual songs into what can be heard as a long opening symphonic movement. There are clear similarities between previous works by Shostakovich, especially his fifth and seventh symphonies, and it even starts pretty much identically to No. Death is in store for all of us and I for one do not see any good in the end of our lives. The end of this song is the first time in the work that anyone gets a chance to draw their breath. 1. It’s short, and brutally sarcastic. Well, the content is just so dark, so depressing and so brutal that the music fails to be anything I’d really want to listen to. Its momentum does, at times, totally cease to exist, but when just one or two more elements are introduced its haunting at its quietest and disturbing at its most energetic. Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. Yevgeny Mravinsky premiered many of Shostakovich's symphonies and his readings are still among the greatest, especially the 5th, 8th and 10th, the composer's best symphonies. By changing Rilke’s opening line from ‘He lay’ to ‘The poet lay’, Shostakovich draws a link to the poet of the previous song but, by starting with a direct musical quote from the very opening of the whole symphony, there is a sense in which we are made to feel we have come full circle. 5, Op. 1. If the opening four songs are a complex first movement with many Mahlerian changes of tempo, so the next two are unquestionably the symphony’s scherzo. The Symphony No. I also find myself always second-guessing the final movement - is it joy, or really the opposite? I sometimes think that there is no deeper feeling. Its final two movements are much shorter and completely different in tone, with some really exciting, even fun moments. The first melody of the De Profundis, ironically high in the violin register, makes immediate reference to the notes of the Gregorian Mass for the Dead whose Dies Irae theme has been used by so many composers over the centuries. 14 is in one extended movement and is scored for large forces, including an expanded percussion section. With what works like a coup de théâtre, the soloists sing together for the first time in the final song. 11 depicts the Bloody Sunday massacre of the 9th January 1905 in Russia, in which unarmed protesters were shot at and killed in large numbers by soldiers at the palace of Tsar Nicholas II. And so ensued my quest to rank each Shostakovich symphony, some of which, I’ll admit, I’d never listened to all the way through before. The third movement might initially seem to be a little meandering before its big climax, but I find it to be evocative of the sorts of feelings one might feel when being attacked by a clown. Everything I’ve written over the last many years has been a preparation for this work.’ My own view is that this symphony is designed to seem more conventional and perhaps even patriotic, but hidden within are strange dissonances, passages that are just way too high to play nicely and a (not so hidden) heart-wrenching largo as a third movement. In Vasily Petrenko's hands, Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony becomes a … 11 in G minor, op. There is nothing beyond it.’ Shostakovich was arguing against the view that death is some glorious beginning to the afterlife. The extreme dissonances of this movement have an obvious effect, but they also serve to point out even more the significance of the rewardingly consonant world of the song that follows. 5 in D minor, Op. We also hear depictions of the fears of being taken away in the night for ‘stepping over the line’, something Shostakovich will have been acutely aware of. It is very easy to listen to this piece without ever realising that there are only twenty-five people involved in the performance and that the vast majority are playing string instruments. It was completed in 1812, and was dedicated to Count Moritz von Fries. du Mercure de France, first published 1913. The fact that one could make a case for it as a song-cycle, a concert opera, a symphony, or perhaps even a piece of chamber music is further proof of what a great and unique work this is. Shostakovich went into hospital on 13th January 1969. He was mostly a neoclassicist, essentially he gravitated to that musical feeling of restraint and balance, but then did new things with those ideas. To quote Testimony again: ‘I don’t protest against death, I protest against those butchers who execute people. SHOSTAKOVICH - Dimitri Shakovich Symphony No. When Alexander Solzhenitsyn discovered that Shostakovich had chosen to set it, he was furious, and wrote to the composer explaining that it was outrageous that he should honour the millions who suffered in the Gulags with a poem by a man who could never have understood the true level of suffering that occurred. September jul. As Sandburg suggested, it was “music written with the heart’s blood.” As part of its Truth to Power three-week festival, the CSO will perform Shostakovich’s Symphony No. It does have some lovely and interesting moments though, and you can really hear his musical voice beginning to find its ground. This pattern recurs throughout the symphony: assertive statem… The two-disc set is coupled with the composer's lighter conservatory graduation piece, his Symphony No. Fifteen symphonies, the same number of quartets, sonatas for violin and viola, two concertos each for piano, violin, and cello… these are all forms that may bring Beethoven to mind, and forms that, aside from an early piano quartet, Mahler seemed uninterested in. Shostakovich’s unique style often makes this question impossible to answer. 78 -- or Maxim's even better recording with the London Symphony Orchestra it its 1993 release on Collins Classics Dmitry Shostakovich: Symphony No. There’s such depth and darkness to the opening of this symphony as it masterfully builds to something emotional and epic. 78 -- or Maxim's even better recording with the London Symphony Orchestra it its 1993 release on Collins Classics Dmitry Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. So here are some brief thoughts on each piece in what I consider to be some sort of ranked order. Dmitry Shostakovich was a Russian composer whose symphonies and quartets, numbering 15 each, are among the greatest examples from the 20th century of these classic forms. The irony lies in the fact that under the influence of that fear people create poetry, prose and music; that is they try to strengthen their ties with the living and increase their influence on them. Shostakovich decided instead to end it with the chilling difference: ‘Death will not leave’. This is also a symphony of ciphers and melodic codes, perhaps most notably the DSCH motif which represents the composer’s name, constantly reappearing among other symbols and ciphers. It covers everything you’d ever want to hear in a symphony and everything is exceptionally executed. This also gives the sense that the first two songs were introductions and that it is in Loreley that the symphony really begins. The irony was not lost on anyone. Some victims in the Soviet Union were not even given the dignity of a gravestone at all, and the idea of crosses being erected ‘so that they will not be forgotten by the people’ would have been of great significance for Shostakovich. The movements depict what happened in the lead-up, the massacre itself, its aftermath and its long-term and emotional repercussions. The siege of Leningrad was an horrific event, where well over a million people died, and that provides the backdrop to this emotionally wrought, extremely powerful piece. The music supplied a soundtrack for … Yet somehow these disparate ideas seem perfectly unified. 5. Having never properly recovered from a heart attack of three years before, he had by now lost the comfortable use of his right hand and could hardly walk. Death is terrifying. Speaking of which…. a text in French (Français) by Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki (1880 - 1918), as Guillaume Apollinaire, no title, written 1911, appears in Alcools, in À la Santé, no. 6 in B minor, Op. 14 (1969) is a song cycle with the unifying theme of death; the String Quartet No. On top of this, he lived through some pretty dark times in early 20th-century Russia, even having some of his pieces banned or heavily criticised by the state media. For a three-movement symphony, No. It somehow does all the storytelling of an opera, but without any words. An item in used but good condition. 14) Shostakovich's last three quartets were written in the final four years of his life. I’ll be honest, I was expecting this to be number one. 13, Op. 60, titled Leningrad, was begun in Leningrad and completed in the city of Samara (then known as Kuybyshev) in December 1941 and premiered in that city on March 5, 1942. At the end Apollinaire implies that the lamp left burning is some kind of friend, but Shostakovich allows no such sentimentality and, by saying that the only two friends there are the prisoner and his mind, it is clear that madness has finally set in. 2 in B, Op. But its message is that, despite the horrors of the world, it is Art that can still make lives worthwhile. It is the first of many changes that the composer made to the texts, every one revealing very clearly how he wanted these poets’ words to be interpreted in his own piece of music. Yes, that’s the technical term. 15 in A Major. Its vivid depiction of war is expertly woven together and deeply powerful. The ending floats off into nothingness with little whispers and twitches. From the start, the experience of the symphony has been a traumatic one: massacres, suicides, trench warfare, broken hearts, solitary confinement, madness, and tyrannical oppression. It begins innocently and gradually snowballs into a deep, dark depression as the movements continue, passing through mania and reflection. 5, Op. This piece is also a really good illustrator of how Shostakovich uses conventional, ‘classical’ form, as the first movement is in sonata form (Exposition of the main themes, development of them, and then the recapitulation, where the original themes come back), however he extends the development to create a real sense of musical journey. Wednesday, November 14, 2012. Poco meno mosso - Allegro molto; 4 Symphony no. The music breaks off abruptly and shrugs its way downward to a dead end in an implacable repetition of three notes. There is nothing consoling in his prisoner’s cell and the long pianissimo fugal interlude is an unforgettable depiction of time seeming to have stopped for ever. And I’m not too sure if he was either, as he never did it again. Other times, it was very free form. He often saw his music as some kind of cross that could perpetuate the memory of others. Some years before that, Rachmaninoff dazzled audiences with his spectacular Rhapsody for piano and orchestra. We only really get back to this level of deep musical insight by Symphony No. He disagreed with all the composers who had portrayed death with music that was beautiful, radiant, and ecstatic. I believe what this symphony represents is Shostakovich at his most artistically free. Although he had originally written it for Galina Vishnevskaya to sing, her schedule meant that she was not free to learn it immediately and, as he didn’t want to wait, the premiere went ahead with a different soprano. It’s atmospheric, shocking and thought-provoking by turns. It’s not any higher up because I can’t shake the feeling that at times, it’s not really that expressive of Shostakovich’s style. Shostakovich: Symphony No 7, ‘Leningrad’, classical album review . 112 (1961) Back in 1997, I wrote a programme note for two performances (and cracking performances they were too, I might add) of this symphony given by the Slaithwaite PO under the baton of their redoubtable conductor Adrian Smith. Some things to Composed at the age of 18, Shostakovich’s First Symphony was written to fulfill the graduation requirements of the Leningrad Conservatory (earning him the equivalent of a college music degree), and would take the international music world by storm the following year. Love and Death Also, it may have something to do with the specific recording I listened to, including the specific interpretation of the music by the conductor and the way it’s played. DSCH JOURNAL No. 5. 12 “The Year 1917" op. After he was publicly denounced, Shostakovich rebounded with the compelling and calculated Symphony No. A memorable concert took place 70 years ago when Dmitri Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony was performed in the city of Leningrad, which had been besieged by German troops for more than a year. Mussorgsky had written this song cycle with piano accompaniment in 1875 and though it had later been orchestrated by Glazunov and Rimsky-Korsakov, Shostakovich felt that they had not done justice to the original songs of the man he considered the greatest of Russian composers. Anguish, violence, sadness, happiness, courage, the will to survive... Shostakovich’s wonderful 8th symphony reflects the emotions of Russian men and women during the war. Mussorgsky ’ s such depth and darkness to the opening, almost introductory song is an outlier…a breaker. ( 1962 ), pp to a dead end in an implacable repetition of notes. 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