Shostakovich Symphony No. 11 - The Year 1905 (2002)

Shostakovich

London Symphony Orchestra

Mstislav Rostropovich

 

Shostakovich’s Eleventh Symphony, written in 1957 to mark the 40th anniversary of the October Revolution, had a mixed reception. Soviet officialdom praised it as a fine example of ‘socialist realism’ and awarded the composer a Lenin Prize; dissident Russians found it far too ‘official’; Western critics damned it as glorified film music. In the years since Shostakovich’s death, however, the Eleventh Symphony has come to be considered in a very different light: not as an ‘official’ work written to satisfy the Soviet authorities, but a deeply moving reflection on Russian history.
The Symphony commemorates the events that led up to the first Russian Revolution. While Tsar Nicholas II and his ministers maintained the principle of rigid autocracy, Russian life was increasingly riddled with incompetence, corruption and oppression. On 9 January 1905 a huge demonstration of workers and their families converged on the square in front of the Winter Palace in St Petersburg. They carried a respectfully worded petition, and icons and portraits of the Tsar. Troops opened fire on the defenceless crowd and hundreds were killed
Shostakovich’s reflections on this episode are repor- ted by Solomon Volkov in his controversial memoir, Testimony. ‘I think that it was a turning point – the people stopped believing in the Tsar. The Russian people are always like that – they believe and they believe and then suddenly it comes to an end. And the ones the people no longer believe in come to a bad end. [...] I think that many things repeat themselves in Russian history. [...] The people think and act similarly in many things. This is evident, for example, if you study Mussorgsky or read War and Peace. I wanted to show this recurrence in the Eleventh Symphony. I wrote it in 1957 and it deals with contemporary themes even though it’s called ‘1905’. It’s about the people, who have stopped believing because the cup of evil has run over.

 

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London Symphony Orchestra

The LSO was formed in 1904 as London’s first self-governing orchestra and has been resident orchestra at the Barbican since 1982. Valery Gergiev became Principal Conductor in 2007 following in the footsteps of Hans Richter, Sir Edward Elgar, Sir Thomas Beecham, André Previn, Claudio Abbado and Michael Tilson Thomas, among others. Sir Colin Davis had previously held the position since 1995 and from 2007 became the LSO’s first President since Leonard Bernstein. The Orchestra gives numerous concerts around the world each year, plus more performances in London than any other orchestra. It is the world’s most recorded symphony orchestra and has appeared on some of the greatest classical recordings and film soundtracks. The LSO also runs LSO Discovery, its ground-breaking education programme that is dedicated to introducing the finest music to young and old alike and lets everyone learn more from the Orchestra’s players. For more information visit lso.co.uk

Mstislav Rostropovich

Mstislav Rostropovich was a Russian cellist, pianist, conductor, pedagogue and political figure whose international performances and public appearances symbolized the struggle of intellectuals against the rigid Soviet Communism. Rostropovich was born in Baku, Azerbaijan in 1927. At the age of four he started piano lessons with his mother and shortly afterwards began to study the cello with his father. He continued under his father's tuition at the Central Music School in Moscow and then went on to the Moscow Conservatoire, where in addition to his cello and piano studies he began to conduct. He made his public debut as a cellist in 1942 at the age of 15 and was immediately recognized as a potentially great artist. When the war ended his reputation soon spread outside the USSR, principally through his recordings, and when he began touring in the West it was soon apparent that in Rostropovich the world had a natural successor to the great Pablo Casals, who had reigned as the supreme cellist for more than half a century. He has given countless memorable performances and has inspired the world's leading composers to enlarge and enrich the standard cello repertoire with works specially composed for and dedicated to him. These include works by Britten, Bliss, Khachaturian, Lutoslawski, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. Rostropovich was soloist in the premieres of Prokofiev's second Cello Concerto in 1952, Shostakovich's two Cello Concertos in 1959 and 1966, Britten's Cello Symphony in 1964 and Bliss's Cello Concerto in 1970. Many other works have been written for him and today his repertoire includes more than 50 concertos, ranging from the baroque, through the classical and romantic periods, to the avant-garde. As a cellist, Rostropovich is noted for his commanding technique and intense, visionary playing.

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Shostakovich Symphony No. 11 - The Year 1905 (2002)

Shostakovich

London Symphony Orchestra

Mastering Engineer: Classic Sound LTD
Producer: James Mallinson
Recording Engineer: Tony Faulkner
Recording location: Barbican Hall, London
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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LSO0535: Shostakovich Symphony No. 11 - The Year 1905
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Tracks.
1.
Symphony No. 11 in G Minor, Op. 103, The Year 1905 - I. The Palace Square
Shostakovich
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2.
Symphony No. 11 in G Minor, Op. 103, The Year 1905 - II. The 9th of January
Shostakovich
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3.
Symphony No. 11 in G Minor, Op. 103, The Year 1905 - III. In Memoriam
Shostakovich
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4.
Symphony No. 11 in G Minor, Op. 103, The Year 1905 - IV. The Tocsin
Shostakovich
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