WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Shostakovich: Girlfriends, Salute To Spain, Rule Britannia / Fitz-Gerald, Polish National Radio SO


Release Date: 05/26/2009 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8572138   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Celia SheenKamil Barczewski
Conductor:  Mark Fitz-Gerald
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Silesia SingersPolish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews


This disc may be aimed more at the Shostakovich completist, but it's no less wonderful for that. The Girlfriends is a major film score dating from the same time in the 1930s as the scandal surrounding Stalin's denunciation of the opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District. Scored lightly, for string quartet, piano, trumpet, and larger forces only in a couple of numbers, the music is mostly lyrical, attractive, and (given the composer and the period) remarkably sensitive. Some of it had to be reconstructed from the actual film soundtrack, but conductor Mark Fitz-Gerald has done his job excellently, and he leads a sensitive and cogent performance of the 23 brief movements that comprise the complete
Read more score.

Rule, Britannia! and Salute to Spain both fall into the composer's Socialist Realist hackwork, but I have to confess that the music is fun: brash, often militant, noisy, and unashamedly populist. The former strongly recalls the musical language of the Third Symphony, only it's less garish and more tuneful. There seems to be some confusion concerning one of the songs in Salute to Spain, "Miy Idyom", which means "We are going [on foot]" but that the note-writer translates for some strange reason as "My Idiom". In any case, no one knows what song was actually intended for the stage production, so an anti-Fascist Spanish Civil War song makes an appropriate substitute. Fitz-Gerald's conducting is really exciting in these two suites, and the orchestral playing is excellent as well.

Potentially the most interesting item here is the six-and-one-half-minute incomplete movement of what Shostakovich originally planned as his Ninth Symphony. Fans of the composer will recognize one of the themes as a loud version of the Tenth Symphony's first-movement second subject (the limping waltz for clarinet). As for the rest, it's clear why Shostakovich abandoned his initial effort: the remaining ideas (or should I say "idea", as there's only one) are uninteresting, the music uniformly loud and heavily scored. Still, as I said, this is a disc for connoisseurs, and you can only admire the composer's self-discipline in scrapping this effort in favor of the delightful Ninth Symphony we all know and love. Go for it.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Girl Friends, Op. 41a by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Celia Sheen (Theremin)
Conductor:  Mark Fitz-Gerald
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Silesia Singers,  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1934-1935; USSR 
Notes: Arranger: Mark Fitz-Gerald.
Composition written: Russia (1934 - 1935). 
2. Rule, Britannia, Op. 28 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Conductor:  Mark Fitz-Gerald
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Silesia Singers,  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931; USSR 
3. Hail, Spain, Op. 44 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Kamil Barczewski (Bass)
Conductor:  Mark Fitz-Gerald
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Silesia Singers,  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; USSR 
4. Symphonic movement [Fragment] by Dmitri Shostakovich
Conductor:  Mark Fitz-Gerald
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; Russia 

Sound Samples

Podrugi (Girl Friends), Op. 41a (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald): Introduction (opening credits)
Podrugi (Girl Friends), Op. 41a (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald): The Year 1914: The workers' residential block and factory gates
Podrugi (Girl Friends), Op. 41a (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald): The families wait for the strikers to return
Podrugi (Girl Friends), Op. 41a (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald): The Inn of the Keys to Happiness
Podrugi (Girl Friends), Op. 41a (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald): The children attempt to sing their poppy song (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald)
Podrugi (Girl Friends), Op. 41a (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald): By the river: Revolutionary song Zamuchen tiazheloi nevolei (Tormented by a Lack of Freedom) (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald)
Podrugi (Girl Friends), Op. 41a (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald): Fanfare (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald)
Podrugi (Girl Friends), Op. 41a (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald): The story of Silych's son, Ivan
Podrugi (Girl Friends), Op. 41a (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald): Zamuchen tiazheloi nevolei (Tormented by a Lack of Freedom) (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald)
Podrugi (Girl Friends), Op. 41a (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald): The Year 1919, Russian Civil War - Fanfare and Organ Voluntary (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald)
Podrugi (Girl Friends), Op. 41a (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald): Internationale: The girls leave for war (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald)
Podrugi (Girl Friends), Op. 41a (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald): The girls attend to the wounded soldiers on the battlefield (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald)
Podrugi (Girl Friends), Op. 41a (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald): Alla Marcia: The town of Pushkin has been taken by the enemy (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald)
Podrugi (Girl Friends), Op. 41a (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald): Internationale: The girls and the wounded soldiers retreat by train
Podrugi (Girl Friends), Op. 41a (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald): Zoya in the snowy forest (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald)
Podrugi (Girl Friends), Op. 41a (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald): The Forester's Hut
Podrugi (Girl Friends), Op. 41a (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald): Fanfare: Andrei arrives with news from the front (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald)
Podrugi (Girl Friends), Op. 41a (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald): Fanfare (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald)
Podrugi (Girl Friends), Op. 41a (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald): The girls find a chicken
Podrugi (Girl Friends), Op. 41a (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald): Natasha and Zoya sing a nostalgic song, Gde eti tyoplie nochi (Where are those warm nights?) (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald)
Podrugi (Girl Friends), Op. 41a (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald): Natasha and Zoya are rescued (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald)
Podrugi (Girl Friends), Op. 41a (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald): Fanfare: Andrei and Senka arrive (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald)
Podrugi (Girl Friends), Op. 41a (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald): Andrei's closing words
Prav', Britaniya (Rule, Britannia), Op. 28: Internationale
Prav', Britaniya (Rule, Britannia), Op. 28: Infantry March
Prav', Britaniya (Rule, Britannia), Op. 28: Along the Soviet Route
Prav', Britaniya (Rule, Britannia), Op. 28: Protest (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald)
Prav', Britaniya (Rule, Britannia), Op. 28: Raising the Banner
Prav', Britaniya (Rule, Britannia), Op. 28: The Banners Flap in the Wind
Salyut, Ispaniya (Salute to Spain), Op. 44: Fanfare I
Salyut, Ispaniya (Salute to Spain), Op. 44: March of the Officers
Salyut, Ispaniya (Salute to Spain), Op. 44: Fanfare II
Salyut, Ispaniya (Salute to Spain), Op. 44: Anon.: A las barricadas! (To the Barricades!) (arranged by M. Fitz-Gerald)
Salyut, Ispaniya (Salute to Spain), Op. 44: Song of Rosita
Salyut, Ispaniya (Salute to Spain), Op. 44: Fanfare III
Salyut, Ispaniya (Salute to Spain), Op. 44: attrib. I. S. Aturov: Po dolinam i po vzgor'yam (Along the valleys and over the hills) (arranged by M. Fitz-Gerald)
Salyut, Ispaniya (Salute to Spain), Op. 44: Reminiscence of the Song of Rosita
Salyut, Ispaniya (Salute to Spain), Op. 44: Lucia's Funeral March
Symphonic Movement (1st version of Symphony no. 9): Symphonic Fragment (1st version of Symphony no. 9)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review this title
Review This Title
Review This Title Share on Facebook