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Shostakovich: Symphony no 11 / Bychkov, WDR SO Köln

Album Summary

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Symphony no 11 in G minor, Op. 103 "Year 1905"
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The Sunday Times
Bychkov's harrowing account ... vividly evokes the 'frozen paralysis' - the conductor's words - of the Palace Square movement, the horror of the massacre, the deeply moving In Memoriam for the victims and the hollow despair of the Tocsin.

BBC Music Magazine
The performance from the WDR Symphony Orchestra is compelling at both ends of the dynamic spectrum, from the heart-rending funereal tread of the opening paragraph of 'In Memoriam' to the savage fugue of the '9th January'.

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Half a century on from its composition and a full century from the events it ostensibly commemorates, the Eleventh Symphony remains a problematic work for conductors, not least because very few of them or their players have direct memories to draw on. Whatever view they take, nothing is going to come across unless the balance between atmosphere and flow is convincingly struck, and in this respect Bychkov has sure instincts.

Now that he has been principal conductor in Cologne for nearly 10 years, it seems that matters of texture, colour and line in Shostakovich have become second nature for his players: Bychkov gives onward momentum its due, and urgency and inevitability are his reward.

Quibbles could be entered. In the second movement, from 12'45" (the scene of the attack of the Tsarist police), the trombone glissandi may disappoint those who have heard them given full power. At the heart of the following 'In memoriam' more poignancy would not have gone amiss. But then the climax of that movement is magnificently denunciatory, and the WDR cor anglais laments with eloquence and depth but not a trace of sentimentality.

The attacca into the finale is ideal in its sudden spit of venom.


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Works Details

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Symphony no 11 in G minor, Op. 103 "Year 1905"
  • Conductor: Semyon Bychkov
  • Ensemble: Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Köllner Philharmonie (11/19/2001-11/23/2001)
  • Running Time: 58 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1957