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Shostakovich: Prologue to 'Orango: Symphony No. 4 / Salonen

Audio Samples

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Orango, opera prologue (sketches)
>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Symphony no 4 in C minor, Op. 43

Album Summary

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Orango, opera prologue (sketches)
>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Symphony no 4 in C minor, Op. 43
Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Commissioned to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the October Revolution in 1932, Orango tells the fantastical story of a human-apehybrid, who, through a combination of sleazy journalism, stock-exchanges swindles and blackmail, rises to become a ruthless newspaper baron.

Because of its explosive political and musical content, Shostakovich left Orango unfinished. The score remained forgotten until 2004, when a 13 page piano score was found in Moscow.

At the request of the composer's widow, Geral McBurney orchestrated the Prolouge to Shostakovich's lost opera. Its World Premiere took place at Walt Disney Hall on December 2nd, 2011, with the Los Angeles Phiharmonic conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Ona Mahlerian scale and ranging from the darkest tragedy to dreamlike sequences of music-hall and silent-film music, Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony is one of his most dramatic and revolutionary symphonic works. Forced by austere Soviet authorities to withdraw the radical symphony shortly before its premiere, the work was first heard in public over twenty five years later, when the composer is reported to have said, "I think in many ways the Fourth is greater than my later symphonic effort".

The booklet contains essays by orchestrator Geral McBurney, who tells the story of Orango's rediscovery, and by renowned iconoclast director, Peter Sellars, who staged the work at its long-awaited Los Angeles premiere.

Esa-Pekka Salonen and the LA Phil release an exclusive world premiere recording: Shostakovich's Prologue to 'Orango'. Because of its explosive political and musical content, Shostakovich left Orango unfinished and the score remained forgotten until 2004, when a 13 page piano score was found in Moscow. The album will also include Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony, one of his most dramatic and revolutionary symphonic works.

The Independent, July 2012
The piano score of the prologue to Shostakovich's abandoned opera Orango blazes with colour in Gerard McBurney's orchestration.

The Times, June 2012
Salonen's forces throw themselves into the affray with plenty of pep. Ryan McKinny acquits himself well as the Entertainer, master of ceremonies at a big Soviet rally... the [Symphony] cackles and grimaces with more vigour than Orango... there's a bright heat and clarity here.

HMV.co.jp
On a Mahlerian scale and ranging from the darkest tragedy to dreamlike sequences of music-hall and silent-film music, Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony is one of his most dramatic and revolutionary symphonic works. Forced by austere Soviet authorities to withdraw the radical symphony shortly before its premiere, the work was first heard in public over twenty five years later, when the composer is reported to have said, 'I think in many ways the Fourth is greater than my later symphonic efforts'.

The Guardian, July 2012
[Orango's] trenchant wit and seriousness of satirical purpose leave you wishing more of it had survived...Salonen conducts [the Fourth] with cool lucidity and a sense of remorseless logic...The immense climax of the finale isn't as shattering as it could be, but elsewhere Salonen's fondness for clear textures is very much in evidence, and often admirable.

BBC Music Magazine, October 2012
The Prologue makes a curious yet first-rate companion to the mighty Shostakovich Four. Salonen's approach to this half-human, half-monster Symphony is well-calculated...the LA recording adds much to our understanding of an extraordinarily complex giant.

Gramophone Magazine, October 2012
[The Prologue] comes rip-roaringly off the surviving piano score in Gerard McBurney's spookily authentic orchestration...It's a composerly account [of the Fourth] in which every thematic connection, however oblique, has something to say. Clarity is forensic, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic achieving levels of precision that can...totally suspend disbelief.

International Record Review, September 2012
McKinny is a Master of Ceremonies of tangible malevolence...Salonen gets a lively response from his choral and orchestral forces, pointing up the music's humour to the audible enjoyment of the audience...this occasion may well be the first time [Salonen] has tackled one of the symphonies. The Fourth is the right choice in that its combining wilfully disparate material with an essentially pluarlistic idiom plays to this conductor's interpretative strengths.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles (12/2011).



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Works Details

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Orango, opera prologue (sketches)
  • Conductor: Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • Ensemble: Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • Running Time: 4 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1932
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Symphony no 4 in C minor, Op. 43
  • Conductor: Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • Notes: Composition written: 1935-36.
  • Running Time: 64 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1935-1936
  • Studio/Live: Live