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Shostakovich & Rachmaninov Songs
We shall rest, Op.26, No. 3
Christ is risen, Op.26 No. 6
The ring, Op.26, No.14
I await you, Op.14 No. 1
Thoughts, reflections, Op. 8 No. 3
O niet molyu ni ukhodi, Op.4 No.1
Oh, do not grieve, Op.14 No. 8
Prokhodit vse, Op.26 No.15
How pained I am, Op. 21 No.12
In my soul, Op.14 No.10
Morning, Op. 4 No. 2
A dream, Op. 8 No. 5
V molchanii nochi taynoy, Op. 4 No. 3
Six Spanish Songs Op. 100
Five Songs to lyrics by E Dolmatovsky Op. 98
“This is a distinctly beautiful voice, with some power but no undue showiness, an often crystalline top, good diction and expressive intelligence.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2009 ****
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Shostakovich: From Jewish Folk Poetry & Songs of Our Days
Zara Dolukhanova (contralto), Nina Dorliak (soprano), Aleksei Maslennikov (tenor), Dmitry Shostakovich (piano), Lev Ostrin (piano), Boris Gmyria (bass)
Shostakovich: Complete Songs Volume 1
Victoria Evtodieva (soprano), Natalia Biryukova (mezzo-soprano), Fyodor Kuznetsov (bass), Mikhail Lukonin (baritone), Yuri Serov (piano)
“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.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
(also available to download from $10.50)
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Shostakovich: Vocal Cycles for Bass, Vol. 1
Fyodor Kuznetsov (bass), Yuri Serov (piano)
(also available to download from $10.50)
Usually despatched in 8 - 10 working days. (Available now to download.)