This page lists all recordings of Four Verses of Captain Lebyadkin, Op. 146, by Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-75) on CD & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.
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Evgeny Nesterenko sings Shostakovich
These two artists were friends for many years, a wonderful alliance of two genuine musicians. They gave the first performances of many works by composers of the Soviet period, including Michelangleo Buonarrotti’s Sonnets.
“The young Nesterenko's dark bass captures these sombre Michelangelo and Shakespeare settings far more idiomatically than non-Russians, and no less effectively the satirical Krokodil poems and grotesque Dostoevesky songs.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2009
“A welcome reissue that is sure to please Shostakovich aficionados.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2009
In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.
Song Cycles for Bass and Piano
Peter Gluboky (bass) & Natalia Rassudova (piano)
A fascinating programme of song cycles for bass and piano by the great Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich.
Although the title “Romances” suggest idyllic meandering melodies, Shostakovich constructs several layers of emotions as expressed by the poetry, from innocent beauty to irony and deep despair.
Performed with profound understanding by Russian forces.
Famed today as one of the 20th century’s great symphonists, and the composer of one of the greatest cycles of string quartets, the songs of Shostakovich have been somewhat overshadowed. However he was a prolific composer of songs, setting not only Russian texts but poems by British and Japanese poets. His songs spanned his entire creative life from his op4 of 1922 to the op146 cycle of 1975 included on this disc.
The earliest songs here date from 1936, and show how the young composer has abandoned his highly energetic and satirical style in favour of a more profound and lyrical one, which he would develop and perfect in works such as the 5th Symphony of 1937.
Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days.
Shostakovich - Krokodil
“The two Russian singers deliver very expressive accounts of the vocal works, Nadja Smirnov in particular effecting a beautiful lyricism in the Blok cycle. Of the two extended instrumental works, the performance of the Violin Sonata by Graf Mourja and Schoonderwoerd is especially convincing. The Second Piano Trio also receives a thoughtful rendition, with a surprising lightness of touch in the scherzo and a strongly delineated Passacaglia...” BBC Music Magazine, September 2004 ****
(also available to download from $21.25)
Usually despatched in 4 - 5 working days. (Available now to download.)
Shostakovich Complete Songs - The Last Years Volume 2
“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)
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)
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.)