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Discussion: Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8 - Kitajenko

Posts: 6

Post by zeus March 5, 2004 (1 of 6)
According to the text below (if I read it correctly) this SACD marks the beginning of a complete cycle of the Shostakovich symphonies to be completed in 2006, the composer's centenary year:

Start für den neuen Schostakowitsch-Zyklus auf Capriccio. Mit der Achten Sinfonie aus dem Kriegsjahr 1943 beginnt die Veröffentlichung aller Schostakowitsch-Sinfonien auf SACD. Das Gürzenich-Orchester Köln spielt unter der Leitung von Dmitrij Kitajenko. Die Aufnahme entstand 2003 bei einem umjubelten Konzert in der Kölner Philharmonie. Kitajenko gilt als einer der führenden russischen Dirigenten unserer Zeit. Er ist wie kaum ein anderer berufen, das sinfonische Werk Schostakowitschs in all seinen Facetten maßstabsetzend zu interpretieren. Mit dem Gürzenich-Orchester Köln steht ihm dabei ein europäisches Spitzenorchester zur Verfügung, das bei Capriccio bereits mit Aufnahmen unter James Conlon aufhorchen ließ. Die atemberaubende Klangperspektive und die räumliche Plastizität der SACD lassen Schostakowitschs Orchestersprache erstmals vollständig Wirklichkeit werden.

Post by Castor March 6, 2004 (2 of 6)
zeus said:

According to the text below (if I read it correctly) this SACD marks the beginning of a complete cycle of the Shostakovich symphonies to be completed in 2006, the composer's centenary year:

Shostakovitch seems to be doing well on SACD at the moment and a symphonies cycle is an enticing prospect. Unfortunately, Kitajenko is a variable conductor with a penchant for re-touching scores, for example, his recording on Chandos of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliette. His Scriabin cycle on BMG also has some idiosyncrasies, such as adding extra percussion parts to the symphonies and even a chorus at the end of The Poem of Ecstasy!
IMO the finest recent Shostakovitch symphony cycle is that by Rudolf Barshai on Brilliant Classics. The 11 disc set, recorded between 1992 and 2000, can be picked up for little more than the price of one SACD. The recording location was the Philharmonie in Cologne which has excellent acoustics and where, I presume, the Kitajenko cycle will be recorded.

Post by Dinko March 6, 2004 (3 of 6)
Weird ain't it?

There is a disproportionate number of SACD & DVDA releases of some music relative to the rest of the classical repertoire.

Holst's The Planets.
Mahler symphonies.
Shostakovich works.
Mendelssohn's more popular violin concerto.

While Barshai's set of Shostakovich symphonies are definitely a Desert Island favourite, I find it rather regrettable that few of these highres Shostakovich releases involve the best orchestras of the world, being as they are, produced by small labels that can't afford the big unionized bands.

Now it can easily be argued that the small orchestras today deliver the goods as well if not better than most of the big orchestras, and that maybe it's time to reevaluate the traditional standings of orchestras.

But placing either the new Yablonsky Shostakovich 7th or the Gergiev back to back with Masur's New York Philharmonic version, and the difference is obvious. Yablosnky's Russian players are exemplary. Masur's New Yorkers are breathtakingly spectacular. As much as I love Barshai's set, placing his recording of the fourth, next to Chung's Fourth (with The Philadelphia Orchestra) simply makes the WDR Köln orchestra sound like a high school band.

Still haven't heard the Caetani version which Classicstoday raved about, but classicalcdreview blasted. I tried ordering the DVDA from Amazon but was sent an email telling the release was delayed from 3-5 days to 3-5 weeks, then a week later the release was listed as "Currently not available".

Post by nickc March 6, 2004 (4 of 6)
Dinko said:

Weird ain't it?

There is a disproportionate number of SACD & DVDA releases of some music relative to the rest of the classical repertoire.

Holst's The Planets.
Mahler symphonies.
Shostakovich works.
Mendelssohn's more popular violin concerto.

While Barshai's set of Shostakovich symphonies are definitely a Desert Island favourite, I find it rather regrettable that few of these highres Shostakovich releases involve the best orchestras of the world, being as they are, produced by small labels that can't afford the big unionized bands.

Now it can easily be argued that the small orchestras today deliver the goods as well if not better than most of the big orchestras, and that maybe it's time to reevaluate the traditional standings of orchestras.

But placing either the new Yablonsky Shostakovich 7th or the Gergiev back to back with Masur's New York Philharmonic version, and the difference is obvious. Yablosnky's Russian players are exemplary. Masur's New Yorkers are breathtakingly spectacular. As much as I love Barshai's set, placing his recording of the fourth, next to Chung's Fourth (with The Philadelphia Orchestra) simply makes the WDR Köln orchestra sound like a high school band.

Still haven't heard the Caetani version which Classicstoday raved about, but classicalcdreview blasted. I tried ordering the DVDA from Amazon but was sent an email telling the release was delayed from 3-5 days to 3-5 weeks, then a week later the release was listed as "Currently not available".

if this is not sacriligeous to admit here i have the dvd-a of the caetani 5/6.
in mc it sounds magnificent and i can't really tell the difference between 96/24 pcm and sacd, they both sound fine to me!!!!!!!!

Post by Dinko March 6, 2004 (5 of 6)
nickc said:

if this is not sacriligeous to admit here i have the dvd-a of the caetani 5/6.
in mc it sounds magnificent and i can't really tell the difference between 96/24 pcm and sacd, they both sound fine to me!!!!!!!!

Interesting. In that case I'll reorder the Caetani elsewhere. How does the Dolby Digital track sound? (I don't have a DVDA player. The few DVDAs (less than ten) I want or have do not warrant purchasing a player so I'm stuck listening to Dolby or DTS tracks on the DVD-Video layer of DVDAs. The Arts Music website says that their DVDAs have Dolby Digital, but don't mention DTS tracks.)

Arts Music say they're going to record a complete Shostakovich/Caetani cycle. I think the Seventh is already out on CD, so I suppose that's coming up next on DVDA.

Post by Dinko March 26, 2004 (6 of 6)

Closed