Shostakovich: New Babylon (Complete Score)

Naxos: 8572824-25

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Shostakovich: New Babylon (Complete Score)



Catalogue No:




Release date:

31st Oct 2011




91 minutes


CD (download also available)
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Shostakovich: New Babylon (Complete Score)

World Première Recording of the Complete Score

Basel Sinfonietta, Mark Fitz-Gerald

CD - 2 discs


(also available to download from $14.00)

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This recording of New Babylon, one of Shostakovich’s most inventive and truly symphonic film scores, is the first complete recording of all the surviving music from the original ‘lost’ manuscript full score and the first to use five solo string players only, as conceived by the composer. A remarkable collage of marches, can-cans, carnival music, tumultuous rhythms and musical quotations, New Babylon bristles with witty dissonance and brassy ebullience, emphasising the film’s content rather than its visual surface. Mark Fitz-Gerald’s two previous Naxos world première recordings of Shostakovich’s film scores for Alone (8570316) and The Girlfriends (8572138) have been highly acclaimed.

Dmitry Shostakovich: Noviy Vavilon (New Babylon), Op. 18 (original manuscript version)

Reel 1, General Sale: War - Death to the Prussians

Reel 2, Head over Heels: Paris

Reel 3, The Siege of Paris

Reel 4, 18th March 1871: On the morning of 18th March the workers still guarded their guns

Reel 5, Versailles against Paris: Paris has stood for centuries

Reel 6, The Barricade: The 49th day of defence

Reel 7, To the Firing Squad: There is peace and order in Paris

Reel 8, Death: The trial

Reel 8 (continued), Original ending

The Times

17th December 2011


“[The New Babylon] was the last gasp of this anything-goes era, and boasted a blistering score by the 22-year-old Shostakovich. So blistering, in fact, that nobody could perform it, and it was “lost” for is sardonic, brittle and laden with saucy Offenbach quotes. But two discs’ worth of dazzling freneticism is too much.”

International Record Review

January 2012

“this superbly performed rendition...enhanced by vividly realistic sound and extensive booklet notes from four Shostakovich specialists, makes the strongest case for a score that, in terms of the film medium, its composer equalled only rarely and which he arguably never surpassed.”

BBC Music Magazine

March 2012


“Curdled can-cans; minced marches; wobbly waltzes; acrid quotes from Offenbach and the French Revolution: Shostakovich presses them together in a collage alternately dizzy and desolate, spiritedly performed by Mark Fitz-Gerald and the Basel Sinfonietta. Fitz-Gerald uses his own edition of the score, prepared after careful research. The joy of it lies in the light instrumentation for 18 players”

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