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Shostakovich: New Babylon Film Music, etc / Polyansky

Album Summary

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : From Jewish Folk Poetry, song cycle for soloists & piano, Op. 79 (orchestrated as Op 79a)
>Shostakovich, Dmitri : New Babylon, suite from the film score, Op. 18a (restored by Rozhdestvensky)
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Shostakovich's film music represents an important area of his output, which began in December 1928 when he started writing the score to the film New Babylon. This was his first film-score commission, and the srart of a collaboration with some of the Soviet Union's great film directors.

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
This recording of Shostakovich's song cycle From Jewish Folk Poetry is first-rate. For a start Polyansky's three vocal soloists are uncommonly well chosen: the light, youthful, slightly vulnerable soprano, the rich, world-weary mezzo and the ardent but unheroic tenor are ideally suited to the texts Shostakovich cunningly chose to convey his solidarity with mass suffering. Polyansky sets spacious tempos which allow every nuance of that suffering to register, and his orchestra is responsive and idiomatic in colouring. The recording, by Russian engineers, feels almost too good to be true in its excessive warmth; otherwise this version is preferable to the rival Rozhdestvensky on RCA.

Polyansky's choice of the first of Shostakovich's 35 or so film scores makes for a more than welcome coupling. Polyansky offers an admirably idiomatic version of the Suite. He's especially adept at choosing timbres to reflect mood and situation. Even if you don't know the storyline the music was designed to accompany, this performance is so vividly characterised it can hardly fail to engage you.



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Works Details

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : From Jewish Folk Poetry, song cycle for soloists & piano, Op. 79 (orchestrated as Op 79a)
  • Performers: Ludmila Kuznetsova (Mezzo Soprano); Alexei Martynov (Tenor); Tatiana Sharova (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Valeri Polyanskii
  • Ensemble: Russian State Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Composition written: 1948.
  • Running Time: 23 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1948

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : New Babylon, suite from the film score, Op. 18a (restored by Rozhdestvensky)
  • Conductor: Valeri Polyanskii
  • Ensemble: Russian State Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 44 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern