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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

CD REVIEW - Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9 etc.

Symphony No. 9 etc.
Music by Dmitri Shostakovich
Russian State Symphony Chappella, Russian State Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Valeri Polyansky
Chandos CHAN 10378
16 Tracks 66:28 mins

The majority of this disc is given over to Shostakovich's concert work, but the composer wrote some fine film scores during his career and here we have a brief taster of his music for the 1940 comedy The Adventures of Korzinkina. The suite only runs for 9 minutes and 7 seconds, and has been assembled from all that remains of the score in the family archives.
The film charts the adventures of a Don Quixote-like female character and made use of circus stylisations, which is very evident in the music, which begins with a brief, jaunty trumpet-lead "Overture." This is followed by a fine military march, and then a fast-flowing piano solo for "The Chase." The following "Music at the Restaurant" is indeed circusy and has that slapstick style so familiar from silent comedies. The suite ends with a choral song 'Yanya' for its "Finale." A brief, but very enjoyable listen then, which leaves one longing for more.
The other works on this disc, which I am not qualified to comment on, are the title piece, 1945's Symphony No.9; Two Choruses after A. Davidenko from 1963; and the Piano Concerto No.1 (for piano, trumpet and string orchestra).
The accompanying booklet features notes by Eric Roseberry in three languages.


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