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Reviews: Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10, The Gadfly - RPO/Shipway

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Reviews: 3

Review by raffells January 29, 2006 (6 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
The tenth was Shosty first symphony after Stalins death and was obviously about the late Dictator with enough passing references and thematic material even from earlier works that could not be disguised.He never admitted to its program..
I know a lot of people think this symphony is difficult to appreciate and so did I until I was lucky enough to have a thorough grounding on the background by a Soviet gentleman who was researching Mvrinsky who spent a lot of time with Shosty.That would have made Simonov a perfect candidate as conducter but Shipway is an ideal substitute.
The good news is that this excellent recording probably tones down the violent episodes and angst a tiny amount and plays the serene movements beautifully.(theres plenty of them as well)
Once again the combinatin of playing/interpretation/recording make this an easy decision.As there is not other single disc version available and this is bargain price another No brainer.
Three well played extras from the Gadfly are used as a filler and at 65 minutes sacd length its miserly to state they could have done another excerpt.
This time goodish sleeve notes but...blah blah..gets boring .... the cover

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Review by pchichi May 16, 2006 (2 of 10 found this review helpful)
Sonics:  
I won't give my advice on this masterpeace. I'm disappointed of the surround mix which is a kind of stereo on 5.1.

No immersion to me.

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Review by Luukas August 19, 2014 (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Shostakovich wrote his Tenth Symphony in 1953 after Stalin's death. It is brilliantly orchestrated and there are ironic and neurotic elements, which are typical in Shostakovich's music. The long first movement - about 25 minutes - is very effectively. There are real sorrow, and Shostakovich's style is surprisingly peaceful: strings quietly themes and flutes beautiful melodies are very touching.
Fast scherzo - four or five minutes - is stunning: it seems like protest against Soviet Union. The fast main theme is very attractive. Shipway really knows this score, and he conducts Royal Philharmonic Orchestra powerfully. Bass drum's strikes are satisfying - specially in 5.1 multi-channel mode when your subwoofer is on.
Third movement is nicely performed, and horn's lonely thema sounds warmly. C.T.S. Studios acoustic surrounds the listener, it isn't dry.
Last movement is this disc's the best listening experience: the joyful and playful main theme sounds very good: second violins accents are clear, and Shipway's tempo is moving. Movement's fake happiness comes - at last - reality.
The Gadfly Suite is nice bonus. All in all, marvelous recording in bargain price with natural sound quality. This is true jewel in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's catalogue. Don't hesitate, this is wonderful!

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