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Film Music Classics - Shostakovich: The Fall Of Berlin, Etc


Release Date: 08/29/2006 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570238   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Ellena Alekseyeva
Conductor:  Adriano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony OrchestraMoscow Capella
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 16 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This recording, previously issued on Marco Polo in its film music series, now reappears at budget price on Naxos, and it's quite welcome. The Fall of Berlin, a typical World War II saga depicting Russian heroism and the last days of Hitler, inspired Shostakovich to some good battle music and more than a few characterful episodes depicting both sides of the ongoing struggle. There's no reason to believe that the composer did not sincerely desire the defeat of Germany, and so did not take this particular job seriously, all questions of Socialist Realism aside. In any event, the film offered the chance to write a lot of music, some 45 minutes' worth, much of it unusually extended and developed. The result is certainly listenable on its own Read more apart from the film, even if for obvious reasons the score is more than a bit strident and relentless in depicting both struggle and triumph.

Shostakovich took pride in much of his work for films, even while regarding it as something apart from his career as a "serious" composer. It's easy to understand why: as André Previn once mentioned, the requirements of working on movies tend to minimize opportunities for "the elongated thought." That said, The Unforgettable Year 1919 offered Shostakovich the chance to write a full-blown romantic piano concerto movement similar to Addinsell's Warsaw Concerto, and he produced something eminently cinematic, if utterly atypical of his more familiar style. The track in question is somewhat confusingly called The Assault on the Red Hill, and you can have a lot of fun playing it for your friends and asking them to guess the composer. The performances are a bit rough and ready, not unusual given this source, but they're certainly in character and vividly recorded. Shostakovich fans will need no further urging from me.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Fall of Berlin, Op. 82 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Conductor:  Adriano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Capella
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949; USSR 
Date of Recording: 03/2000 
Venue:  Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, Russia 
Length: 45 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: Russian 
Notes: Arranger: Adriano. 
2.
Unforgettable Year 1919 Suite, Op. 89a by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Ellena Alekseyeva (Piano)
Conductor:  Adriano
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952; USSR 
Date of Recording: 03/2000 
Venue:  Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, Russia 
Length: 30 Minutes 35 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Lev Atovmyan. 

Sound Samples

Padeniye Berlina (The Fall of Berlin), Op. 82: I. Main Title Part 1
Padeniye Berlina (The Fall of Berlin), Op. 82: II. Beautiful day
Padeniye Berlina (The Fall of Berlin), Op. 82: III. Alyosha by the river
Padeniye Berlina (The Fall of Berlin), Op. 82: IV. Stalin's garden
Padeniye Berlina (The Fall of Berlin), Op. 82: V. Alyosha and Natalia in the fields - Attack
Padeniye Berlina (The Fall of Berlin), Op. 82: VI. Hitler's reception
Padeniye Berlina (The Fall of Berlin), Op. 82: VII. In the devastated village
Padeniye Berlina (The Fall of Berlin), Op. 82: VIII. Forward!
Padeniye Berlina (The Fall of Berlin), Op. 82: IX. Main Title Part 2
Padeniye Berlina (The Fall of Berlin), Op. 82: X. The roll call - Attack at night
Padeniye Berlina (The Fall of Berlin), Op. 82: XI. Storming Seelov Heights (Zielona Gora)
Padeniye Berlina (The Fall of Berlin), Op. 82: XII. The flooding of the underground station
Padeniye Berlina (The Fall of Berlin), Op. 82: XIII. The final battle for the Reichstag - Kostya's death
Padeniye Berlina (The Fall of Berlin), Op. 82: XIV. Yussuf's death - The Red Banner
Padeniye Berlina (The Fall of Berlin), Op. 82: XV. Stalin at Berlin Airport
Padeniye Berlina (The Fall of Berlin), Op. 82: XVI. Finale: Stalin's speech - Alyosha and Natasha reunited
The Unforgettable Year 1919 Suite, Op. 89a: I. Introduction
The Unforgettable Year 1919 Suite, Op. 89a: II. Romance (Meeting of Shibayev with Katya)
The Unforgettable Year 1919 Suite, Op. 89a: III. Scene from the Sea Battle
The Unforgettable Year 1919 Suite, Op. 89a: IV. Scherzo
The Unforgettable Year 1919 Suite, Op. 89a: V. The Assault on the Red Hill, "Assault on Beautiful Gorky"
The Unforgettable Year 1919 Suite, Op. 89a: VI. Intermezzo
The Unforgettable Year 1919 Suite, Op. 89a: VII. Finale

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