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Thursday, October 12, 2006

CD REVIEW - The Film Music of Dmitri Shostakovich Volume 3

The Film Music of Dmitri Shostakovich Volume 3
Chandos Records CHAN 10361 (U.K.)
16 Tracks 79:47 mins

Chandos Records' third generous volume of film music from the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich commences with the familiar score for 1964's Hamlet, in this instance featuring 7 tracks from the score, including the dramatic and powerful "Introduction;" "Ball at the Palace", all eager anticipation; the suitably mysterious "The Ghost;" "Arrival and Scene of the Players," with its opening fanfare and boisterous music that follows; and the exciting and dramatic "Duel and Death of Hamlet."
The second and most appealing selection on the album is the composer's mini-piano concerto, composed for "The Assault on Krasnaya Gorka" from 1951's The Unforgetttable Year 1919, featuring Martin Roscoe on piano. This is followed by five cues from 1960's Five Days and Five Nights, which is largely quite downbeat, save for one or two powerful moments. Even the march theme that appears a couple of times is a subdued affair.
The final score in this collection is for 1947's The Young Guard, which commences with the largely pastoral "By the River," which is followed by "Turbulent Night," which is as it suggests, and "Song of the Young Guardsmen," a splendid victory march, and the other highlight of this album.
The music is performed by the BBC Philharmonic, under the baton of Vassily Sinaisky, with the accompanying booklet featuring stills from the chosen films, together with John Riley's guide to the composer and scores presented in three languages.


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