Shostakovich Complete Songs - The Last Years Volume 2

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Shostakovich Complete Songs - The Last Years Volume 2



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69 minutes


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Shostakovich Complete Songs - The Last Years Volume 2


Five Romances on words from Krokodil magazine, Op. 121

Fyodor Kuznetsov (bass)

Seven Romances on Poems of Alexander Blok, Op. 127

Victoria Evtodieva (soprano), Lidia Kovalenko (violin), Irina Molokina (cello)

Six Poems of Marina Tsvetayeva, Op. 143 (for contralto and piano)

Lyubov Sokolova (mezzo soprano)

Four Verses of Captain Lebyadkin, Op. 146

Fyodor Kuznetsov (bass)



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Dmitry Shostakovich: Preface to the Complete Edition of my Works and a Brief Reflection apropos of this Preface, Op. 123

Preface to the Complete Edition of my Works and a Brief Reflection apropos of this Preface, Op. 123

Dmitry Shostakovich: 5 Romances, Op. 121

No. 1. Autographic testimony

No. 2. A dream difficult to realise

No. 3. Discretion

No. 4. Irinka and the shepherd

No. 5. Exaggerated pleasure

Dmitry Shostakovich: 7 Verses, Op. 127

No. 1. Ophelia's Song

No. 2. Gamayun, Bird of Prophecy

No. 3. We were Together

No. 4. The Town Sleeps

No. 5. The Storm

No. 6. Secret Signs

No. 7. Music

Dmitry Shostakovich: 6 Verses, Op. 143

No. 1. My Verses

No. 2. Whence All This Tenderness?

No. 3. Dialogue between Hamlet and His Conscience

No. 4. The Poet and The Czar

No. 5. No, The Drum Did Beat

No. 6. To Anna Akhmatova

Dmitry Shostakovich: 4 Verses of Captain Lebyadkin, Op. 146

No. 1. The love of Capitaine Lebiadkine

No. 2. The Cockroach

No. 3. The ball for the benefit of Governesses

No. 4. A radiant personality

Gramophone Classical Music Guide


“Here are two CDs dedicated to some of the finest and most under-recorded song repertoire of the 20th century. Yury Serov is the presiding spirit; his sharply characterised piano playing radiating musical and cultural understanding, and his singers are first-rate.
The first volume is dedicated to the 1950s and contains several first recordings; few, if any, of the songs have ever appeared on CD before.
Much of his music from this time is marked by various nuances of cheerfulness (tentative, determined, over-stated, but never as brattish as in his first maturity). Often these seem rather to belie his true nature. Indeed, only the four Pushkin Monologues, with their topics of suffering, sorrow, imprisonment and resistance, are easily recognisable as the voice of Shostakovich, the Chronicler and Conscience of his Times. Fyodor Kuznetsov is slightly unsteady of voice here, but he still manages to convey a quality of wise, noble weariness that rings absolutely true.
It's to the enormous credit of all four singers that most of the remaining songs come across not as mere sops to authority but as genuine attempts to take on new artistic challenges.
Was it still possible to do something worthwhile with the homespun, soft-centred verses of Yevgeny Dolmatovsky? Many of Shostakovich's countrymen certainly thought he had done so, at least in respect of 'The Homeland is Listening' (first of the Op 86 Songs), since this was taken up as a signature tune for All-Union Radio and was actually sung by Yuri Gagarin during the first manned space-flight. Seemingly looking back to the tradition of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Rachmaninov, Shostakovich's two Lermontov Romances are gorgeously atmospheric and tender. By contrast his earthier Greek and Spanish Songs reflect his long-standing interest in poetry from other national traditions. Was his heart in them? Again you wouldn't find it hard to think so after hearing these fine performances.
Volume 2 gathers together the cycles from the last decade of Shostakovich's life, with the exception of his massive Suite on Verses byMichelangelo. While this repertoire isn't quite so rare as that on Volume 1, the performances are just as fine. In the Blok cycle – surely the finest songs on the disc – Evtodieva may not be the last word in subtlety, but she's still far preferable to the crude hectoring of Natalia Gerasimova on Chant du Monde. Given that the Four Verses ofCaptain Lebyadkin are otherwise unavailable, and the extraordinarily elusive Six Marina TsvetayevaPoems can currently be obtained only in the composer's orchestrated version, this disc is again pretty well self-recommending.
Altogether this enterprise is a winner. The recording quality is good, though there's a slight 'pinginess' to the piano sound.”

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