Shostakovich - Symphony No. 8 Op. 65 (2006)

Shostakovich

Russian National Orchestra

Paavo Berglund

Not until later on, in his posthumously published memoirs, did Shostakovich provide a personal insight into his Symphony No. 8 in C minor, Op. 65, which he completed on September 9, 1943 in only two months’ time, following a short, yet agonisingly dry creative period: “The Seventh and the Eighth are my ‘Requiem’.” At the time, his first comments on the new work were very different, and (as was usual during Stalin’s regime, one should add) meaningless: “This work mirrors my thoughts and feelings following the joyous reports on the first victories of the Red Army.” For sure ... After all, it would be hard to come up with another 20th-century symphony that soundsas inscrutable and sadly fateful as Shostakovich’s Eighth.
Following his triumphant Leningrad Symphony, the composer had deeply disappointed the expectations of the Apparatschik with this work, as a great part of the Eighth is pensive and melancholy, and does not announce the victory of the Red Army at Stalingrad. Quite the opposite, instead of producing emotional and enduring symphonic music, Shostakovich the man not only expresses his deep mourning of the dreadful tragedy of the Second World War and its countless victims, he also announces in the most deeply pessimistic tone the individual suffering of the people in the Soviet Union, who (also before the war) suffered and died under Stalin’s reign of terror. Shostakovich’s hope that the authorities would interpret the resignative tone of the work as a consequence of the German aggression, was rapidly dashed, and thus the Eighth was censured in1948, after Shostakovich, Prokofiev and other leading composers had been accused of “formalistic tendencies”. The symphony was banned from the concert podium, and numerous radio recordings of the work were destroyed.

 

 

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Russian National Orchestra

The Russian National Orchestra was founded in 1990 by pianist and conductor Mikhail Pletnev and is today recognized as one of the world’s top orchestras.  Maintaining an active international tour schedule, the RNO appears throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas, and is a frequent visitor to major festivals such as Edinburgh, Shanghai and the BBC Proms.  The orchestra presents its own RNO Grand Festival each September to open the Moscow season, and is founding orchestra of Festival del Sole, held every July in California’s Napa Valley.

RNO concerts are regularly aired on National Public Radio in the United States, the European Broadcasting Union, and Russia's Kultura channel.  The orchestra's critically acclaimed discography, launched with a 1991 CD cited as the best recording of Tchaikovsky’s Pathéthiquein history, now numbers more than 80 recordings, with conductors that include Founder and Music Director Mikhail Pletnev, Vladimir Jurowski, Kent Nagano, Vasily Petrenko and Carlo Ponti. 

Paavo Berglund

For many years, Paavo Berglund conducted the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra as well as the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra in his native Finland. From 1987 to 1991, he was chief conductor of the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, and from 1993 to 1996 he held the same position with the Royal Orchestra in Copenhagen. In England, where he was chief conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra from 1972 until 1979, he has also worked closely with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Furthermore, he has toured Europe with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

He has conducted many major European orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the RSO Berlin, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestre National de France. He is regularly invited to guest-conduct the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

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Shostakovich - Symphony No. 8 Op. 65 (2006)

Shostakovich

Russian National Orchestra

Cables:Van den Hul
Microphones:Neumann KM 130, DPA 4006,4011
Producer:Job Maarse
Recording Engineer:Erdo Groot,Roger de Schot
Recording location:DZZ Studio 5 Moscow

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PTC5186084: Shostakovich - Symphony No. 8 Op. 65
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Adagio - Symphony No. 8 Op. 65
Shostakovich
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Allegretto - Symphony No. 8 Op. 65
Shostakovich
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Allegro non troppo - Symphony No. 8 Op. 65
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Largo - Symphony No. 8 Op. 65
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Allegretto - Symphony No. 8 Op. 65
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