DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH · SYMPHONIES, VOL.10

Shostakovich began writing his Symphony No. 1 as his graduation piece at the Petrograd Conservatory. It was premiered on 12 May 1926 with the Leningrad Philharmonic conducted by Nikolai Malko, who wrote in his diary after its great success: "I have the feeling that I have come upon a new page in the history of symphonic music, a new great composer." A year later, Shostakovich's work was a real sensation in Europe and the United States, interpreted by famous conductors such as Bruno Walter, Leopold Stokowski, Arthur Rodzinski, Robert Heger, Arturo Toscanini.From his very first attempt to compose in this genre, the composer displays the ideas that he will further masterfully develop in his symphonies: the subtle intuition of a dramatist, the skilful work with themes and their witty and unexpected transformations.

His last Symphony No. 15 was written in one breath. "I could not get rid of it… It captivated me right away, I saw it clearly from the first to the last note, I just needed the time to write it down." – the Master shared. Severely ill, he finished the parts and scores in a month in the composers creative house in Repino in June-August 1971. The premiere was on 8 January 1972, a spectacular event in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory with the Symphony Orchestra of the All-Union Radio and Television under the baton of Maxim Shostakovich. The music is permeated by collage-interwoven musical and verbal messages. We are reminded of the famous theme in Rossini’s William Tell, there are auto-quotes from other works by Shostakovich together with the musical monogram of the composer DSCH. In parallel, we can hear Wagner’s "leitmotif of fate" from the Ring of the Nibelung and the Tristan motif, as well as thematic grains by Glinka, Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Joseph Haydn. This is an intimate, personal, long farewell of the spirit that wants to express everything he has gone through.

 

• This is the last CD in our integral release of all symphonies of Dmitri Shostakovich.

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH · SYMPHONIES, VOL.10

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