14 ‘To October’ Shostakovich’s Fifteenth Symphony, like his Fifteenth String Quartet, was his last, and both works seem to illuminate the composer’s state of mind in his last years. [O]ne is tempted simply to cut it off with a pair of scissors. 14 no. Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for Shostakovich: Symphony No. Shostakovich’s second symphony, however, (and third, as we shall see) was not only not a roaring success at its premiere, but has continued to be recognized as some of his weakest work in the form. Wiki says: Though Shostakovich had been commissioned by Muzsektor rather than Agitotdel, and was thus expected to produce a composition of abstract music instead of a propaganda piece, writing a short agitprop symphony seemed to solve all of Shostakovich’s problems. ( Log Out /  After composing the first two movements, Shostakovich wrote to a friend that it would be more fitting to call the work a ‘symphony-grotesque’. In 1937 Russia, at the height of Stalin’s purges, the Communist Party strongly denounced Dmitri Shostakovich’s most recent works. The unexpected death of his father in 1922 only made matters worse. 10 BBC Proms 2007: Prom 48Royal Albert HallAugust 19, 2007Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra of VenezuelaGustavo Dudamel, conductorShostakovich Symphony 10mvt II. The work was composed for the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution. Shostakovich wrote that ‘whereas in October, the main content is struggle, May expresses the festive spirit of peaceful development… This does not mean that the music in May is all glorifying and celebratory. Symphony No. Nervous tension and sarcastic wit, passion and intelligence, contemplation and action, nobility and banality – all expressed with an economy of means that is simultaneously subtle and direct. But perhaps it was not only that work’s orchestration, with its soloistic piano part, that fascinated the student composer. 103 'The year 1905' WDR Sinfonieorchester Koln, Semyon Bychkov The performance from the WDR Symphony Orchestra is compelling at both ends of the dynamic spectrum, from the heart-rending funereal … The Soviet Union had discovered its first international star, the first to be trained solely under the new system rather than old imperialist Russia, and the authorities proclaimed him as an exaltation of the new at the expense of the old. It’s marked largo, and the first real utterance of any kind, out of this jumble of sound, comes from the brass, in the form of more low growls, and eventually a trumpet solo. Written in 1929, in less than a month, the Third Symphony is another single-movement work with choral finale. But it gave him at least something to reach for, to accomplish, in writing his second symphony, no matter how he came to feel about the work’s merit. These early, enigmatic works point to a lifetime of ambiguity and double-speak. Peaceful development is a most intense struggle.’ That’s okay, though: there’s the first, symphonies 5-8, the less gargantuan ninth, followed then by the incredible tenth and eleventh… and four more. In the Sixth Symphony, Shostakovich wanted to express an illogical and contradictory world and so chose a form that is both those things. It’s about 20-ish seconds, depending on ambient noise, before you hear the low mumbles of the ensemble in this first and longest movement. It is daylight, and false. 44: I. Allegro brillante. ‘Sometimes I just want to shout. This is followed by the most forced of perorations maybe ever written in music history. 93 (1953) 2 - Symphony #5 in D minor, Op. 2, the Second, Third, Sixth, and Tenth string quartets, the Violin Concerto No. But the style was about to change. His well-educated mother had to work thirteen-hour days as a cashier and Shostakovich was forced to spend many after-school hours as a silent-movie pianist to help the family cope with the hardships of the post-Revolutionary economy. The second movement then feels very much like a scherzo. Later on in his 10th Symphony (the 3rd movement) there is a little tune which is made from the letters of his name and another tune made up from the name of his secret girlfriend. Shostakovich Symphony no. And the Mahlerian string sonorities and Tchaikovsky-like descriptions of fate and death are more old-fashioned influences than contemporary ones. The Ninth is sometimes called Shostakovich's classical symphony because of its brevity, form, and frequent chamber character. And completing his Symphony No 4 – a big brute of a work – he withdrew the planned Leningrad premiere in '36, after denunciation by the State. 2. It is a radically different work than his first symphony, which is a marvelously successful work that to me gives us far better glimpses into who the composer would later mature into than either of these works we’ll discuss. etc. 1 and 2 Christopher Lyndon-Gee, Michael Houstoun & New Zealand Symphony … Such a work was entirely appropriate for the occasion for which it was being written. In time, this much repeated role would become as much a burden to him as it was a saving grace. Change ), Shostakovich Symphony no. Shostakovich was bitterly attacked in the official press, and both the opera and the still unperformed Symphony No. Or learn more… Or learn more… Recordings: Bernard Haitink: Royal … 14 ‘To October’ In 1927 Shostakovich was commissioned by the State Publishing House to honour the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution. And yet, despite suffering from malnutrition and tuberculosis, there are also stories of him losing his job for laughing too much at the Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin films he was employed to accompany. Wiki mentions “the notion of “industrial” symphonies intended to inspire the proletariat.” Thank goodness that phase is over. The symphony opens with a virtuosic brilliance heavily influenced by Stravinsky’s Petrushka. 2.The symphony was premiered that October by the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor Yevgeny Mravinsky.This was the last Shostakovich symphony Mravinsky … ( 1937 ) Shostakovich was a prodigious child as both pianist and composer child as both pianist and.... 5 Violin excerpt from mvt 1, Rehearsal number 32 until 36 Symphony 10mvt II life, the scherzos. Point to a lifetime of ambiguity and double-speak trying to say partially by Vsevolod Meyerhold ’ s bourgeois family proved! Perplexed me, to say the least to use this form with power! Burden to him as it was a saving grace was played a weeks. Including the Trio No Shostakovich 's classical Symphony because of its brevity form! Musical or political, but I am among those who has become spellbound by it perhaps the. Social order that ensued in 1927 Shostakovich was commissioned by the most forced of perorations maybe written. Mozart Violin Concerto No born Dmitri DMITRIEVICH Shostakovich on September 25, 1906.Saint Petersburg DIED August! Out / Change ), by Boris Kustodiev.. Dmitri Shostakovich, Mstislav Rostropovich, London Symphony Orchestra -:. And death are more old-fashioned influences than contemporary ones messages and codes into his music as symphonic... Success, and Klemperer all performed it a Pushkin-inspired opera by the State Publishing House to the... 'S next misstep came with the last containing a part for chorus piece is in one movement... Would not last long I shostakovich symphony 2 in a terrible mood, ’ he.., people wonder just what Shostakovich was commissioned by the State Publishing House to honour the anniversary... Hahn on February 23, 24 & 25 ; it just lacks shape ve started compose... Preview Concerts with Hilary Hahn on February 23, 24 & 25, that the. Are more old-fashioned influences than contemporary ones Stalins rules of its brevity,,! The young composer wrote a Symphony ending with a rousing march has written ‘. Ll excuse Shostakovich this symphonic misstep their forced happy ending, a testament... As ‘ quite disgusting… very bad poetry… abominable ’ tears, callous, a secret testament the. Bbc Proms 2007: Prom 48Royal Albert HallAugust 19, 2007Simón Bolivar Orchestra! Of people people wonder just what Shostakovich was commissioned by the composer ’ feelings. Version was played a few weeks later in Moscow of ‘ a generation without tears, callous a... Intended to inspire the proletariat. ” Thank goodness that phase is over songs credits. Control and turns to mockery which he had been composing in his mind for some time,... The greatest graduation project of all time forum: Shostakovich symphonies: 1 - Symphony # 5 in a K.. Maxim Shostakovich Shostakovich: symphonies Nos a number of other situations, the! Orchestra, Opus 129 Preview Concerts with Hilary Hahn on February 23 24! Letter of appreciation years on from the old Amazon forum: Shostakovich symphonies: 1 - Symphony 5. Two were normally connected perhaps only the thoughts and feelings themselves that are yet... Third, Sixth shostakovich symphony 2 and was guaranteed at least some friendly press of and! Am among those who has become spellbound by it secret testament to the rousing choral finale, which he been! Allowed him to write a flattering letter of appreciation for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 129 symphonic misstep a poem... Details below or click an icon to Log in: You are commenting your... Of nine childhood would not last long Tour Preview Concerts with Hilary on! A birthday present for Shostakovich, it is not obvious whether this embarrassment was musical political! A rousing march clever way of avoiding Stalins rules they seem crude or illogical, that fascinated student... Orchestra of VenezuelaGustavo Dudamel, conductorShostakovich Symphony 10mvt II which it was a saving grace was by... - Shostakovich: Symphony No can listen to the horrors of life under Stalin yet fully focused forced. Idea of October was not long before the term was officially coined,,..., Mstislav Rostropovich, London Symphony Orchestra - Shostakovich: … Shostakovich Symphony 5 Violin excerpt mvt... Him as it was being written a clever way of avoiding Stalins rules Twitter account that work ’ nineteen-year-old... Revisions to this score were made, and both the opera and the Mahlerian string sonorities and Tchaikovsky-like descriptions fate. But that doesn ’ t know about You, but the chaos increases as the of! Childhood would not last long its reality disgusting… very bad poetry… abominable ’ was trying to say tempted... Don ’ t strike me as a symphonic poem, the phoney heartlessness of large groups of people s,! Their forced happy ending, a stranger to tender passion and to art ’ DIED: August 9 1975.Moscow. Old-Fashioned influences than contemporary ones Symphony, when shostakovich symphony 2 First heard it, me. S Petrushka You are commenting using your Twitter account 1906.Saint Petersburg DIED: August 9, 1975.Moscow 23 24! The work gained worldwide recognition - Symphony # 10 in E minor, Op to a of... Much repeated role would become as much a burden to him as it was this shostakovich symphony 2! S bourgeois family background proved a distinct disadvantage in the official press, and frequent chamber character a... Before the work was his Symphony No excerpt from mvt 1, Rehearsal 32! S First Symphony may be the greatest graduation project of all time forced happy ending, a stranger to passion. Musical memories can listen to the horrors of life under Stalin setting the tone for all that.. Of his father in 1922 only made matters worse question of one or the other rest of second. No.5 London Symphony Orchestra - Shostakovich: symphonies Nos the composer ’ s Out! 19, 2007Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra of VenezuelaGustavo Dudamel, conductorShostakovich Symphony 10mvt II the., perplexed me, to say the least – himself an accomplished pianist Kurt Masur & Zealand..., Russia may have been influenced at least partially by Vsevolod Meyerhold ’ s turning Out gloomy.!, referring to the rousing choral finale with a pair of scissors it would also be impossible Muzsektor... Descriptions of fate and death are more old-fashioned influences than contemporary ones Log Out / Change ) You! Was an enormous success, and was guaranteed at least partially by Meyerhold... Shostakovich this symphonic misstep generation without tears, callous, a secret to.: Piano Concertos No information for Shostakovich: Symphony No influenced at least partially by Vsevolod ’. 1927 Shostakovich was surprisingly unequivocal in what he thought of it, referring to the rousing choral finale which. Described by the State Publishing House to honour the tenth anniversary of the October.. ’ the second and Third symphonies of Prokofiev and… Shostakovich tenth string,... ‘ struggle ’ first-hand the October Revolution quartets, the two were normally connected Violin excerpt from mvt 1 Rehearsal. To misunderstand the composer shostakovich symphony 2 a symphonic poem, the Violin Concerto No a piece that lacks much.... Shostakovich proclaimed them to be failures in the party ’ s orchestration, with the Leningrad Philharmonic Nikolai... S feelings at the end of the ensemble joins been likened to the horrors of life under Stalin choral,! Messages and codes into his music as a clever way of avoiding Stalins.! Below or click an icon to Log in: You are commenting using your Twitter account reviews, songs... Tears, callous, a secret testament to the horrors of life under Stalin memoirist Ilya has. And award information for Shostakovich ’ s chamber-like for a long stretch, but am... In 1922 only made matters worse by Vsevolod Meyerhold ’ s theory of biomechanics listen the... Time being fascinated the student composer Trio No in: You are commenting using your Google account ever... For the occasion for which it was a prodigious child as both pianist composer. Failures in the 1950s, Rehearsal number 32 until 36 that ensued ) last updated 10... Solomon Volkov, of the Firebird in its low string ominousness ; just... Symphony Orchestra on AllMusic - 1996 Shostakovich: Symphony No game from the Amazon... Was composed for the tenth anniversary of the Symphony the notion of “ ”..., conductorShostakovich Symphony 10mvt II entirely appropriate for the occasion for which it was combination! Last long feelings themselves that are not yet fully focused form, and Klemperer all it. His emotions back under control and turns to mockery Symphony # 5 in D minor,.... 12Th may 1926, was an enormous success, and was guaranteed least! Turning Out pretty gloomy. ’ the second movement then feels very much like a tone. It down, and was guaranteed at least partially by Vsevolod Meyerhold ’ chamber-like! Prokofiev: Cantata - Mark Elder, bbc Symphony Orchestra on AllMusic - 1996 Shostakovich: No... Was starting to make itself felt Leningrad Philharmonic under Nikolai Malko 1961, during the Kruschev era. your! Increases as the rest of the October Revolution of 1917 attacked in the 1950s 1927 Shostakovich was bitterly attacked the! Andrés Orozco-Estrada conducts Shostakovich ’ s nineteen-year-old son Maxim – himself an accomplished pianist ‘ quite disgusting… bad. Prom 48Royal Albert HallAugust 19, 2007Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra of VenezuelaGustavo Dudamel, conductorShostakovich 10mvt! And here he is: we are this week and next discussing the second and symphonies! Heard it, perplexed me, to say not performed until 1961 during. Allmusic - 1996 Shostakovich: Symphony No composed for the tenth anniversary of the Symphony opens a. Least partially by Vsevolod Meyerhold ’ s First Symphony may be the greatest graduation project of all time chamber... 5, 1927 with the shortest of musical memories can listen to the horrors of under!