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Shostakovich Film Series

Album Summary

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Alone (All Alone), film score, Op. 26 (part lost)
Conductor Ensemble
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Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Byelorussian Radio Committee Studio, Minsk (11/1995).

With this re-release on the American Delos label of a 1995 Russian Disc recording, there are now three more or less complete performances of Shostakovich's score for the 1931 Soviet silent film Alone. Of the three, this one with Walter Mnatsakanov conducting the Byelorussian Radio and TV Symphony Orchestra is by far the weakest. Better in every way is the 1995 Capriccio recording with Michail Jurowski leading the Berliner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester. Where Mnatsakanov moves dutifully from cue to cue, Jurowski does his best to hold the mood for longer stretches. Where the Minsk musicians dispatch their parts with professionalism, the Berlin players deliver theirs with enthusiasm. And where Delos' minimal remastering hardly improves upon the harsh Russian originals, Capriccio's sound is sharp and vivid. Best of all, though, is the 2006 Naxos recording of the complete score as reconstructed and conducted by Mark Fitz-Gerald, with the permission of the composer's widow. Conducted with wholehearted enthusiasm by Fitz-Gerald, performed with surprising brilliance by the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, and recorded with clarity and lucidity by Naxos, the disc has more of Alone than anyone had heard since the silent film left the silver screen, making it mandatory listening for all fans of the great Soviet composer. This disc, however, is likely to interest only insatiable Shostakovich fanatics.~James Manheim


Shostakovich's music from the film Alone (1931) suffers from the same shortcomings many film scores suffer - that being inadequate time to fully develop themes and continuity. Few composers seem able to overcome the film format that requires pieces to be short and numerous without becoming either repetetive or forgettable. Success stories that come to mind are Bernard Herrmann and John Williams. Unfortunately, while the playing is strong and nuanced, Shostakovich's score falls into the forgettable category for this reviewer.
Submitted on 07/17/10 by DanL 
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Works Details

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Alone (All Alone), film score, Op. 26 (part lost)
  • Conductor: Walter Mnatsakanov
  • Notes: Composition written: 1932.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1932