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ClassicsOnline Home » SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: Symphonies Nos. 9 and 15 (Stuttgart Radio Symphony, Boreyko)
Excellent performances of enigmatic works
These two symphonies are the most enigmatic of Shostakovich’s oeuvre. The Ninth was supposed to have been a triumphant celebration of the Soviet victory in the Great Patriotic War, but instead turned out short, neo-classical and very tongue in cheek (how Shostakovich got away with these flagrant examples of political disobedience is hard to fathom). The Fifteenth is his last Symphony, like the Fifteenth String Quartet, a study in slow tempi, but unlike the Quartet, filled with juxtapositions of mood, unexplained musical quotations and whim... the opening movement seems for long stretches to be harking back to the innocence of childhood, only for this mood to be brusquely contradicted.
These are live performances and very good ones. I have heard performances of the Fifteenth which sound a lot more disjointed and eccentric. Boreyko gives an account of this symphony which does not downplay its oddness, but makes the work a whole, and a very moving final statement in symphonic form from a C20 master of the genre.more....
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SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: Symphonies Nos. 9 and 15 (Stuttg...