This title is currently unavailable.
Works on This Recording
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
An Exciting 5th From Van Zaeden May 29, 2014
By Tony Engleton See All My Reviews
"05-29-2014. Shortly before he died, Sir George Solti said in a PBS interview program that Shostakovich was one of three "Great" modern composers, along with Bartok and Stravinsky. I don't know about the last pair, but I wholeheartedly agree on the first. Dimitri Shostakovich's 5th /symphony is a masterpiece of invention and performance. It's rhythms and ideas are bold, fresh, and well developed within the music's framework. After having been lamb lasted by Pravda (Truth) for his opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District in 1936, he responded with this Symphony under the veil of the mocking title "A Soviet composer's response to just criticism." Of course, he would not "know-tow to the authorities over "Lady," Orc any other work and produced a Symphony of resistance and defiance. He steadfastly refused to give them what they wanted----they, who didn't 't have a clue as to what art meant, only political ideology disguised as art. This means, no art at all, but for Shostakovich it was A call to arms inm the defense cof his craft and passion. Whom did they think they were dealing with? These fools actually believed the composer would yield, and tow the party line. Boy, were they wrong! This is not A collection of "red-flag" waving, of cheering masses of deliriously happy socialist workers constantly celebrating the revolution and it's continued triumph for, with the "true-believer", comes the reality that the revolution! presumably dating from 1905, is an ongoing mechanism, consistently fending off opposition, by both the West and the few but ardent "counter-revolutionaries," attempting to poison the waters of social freedom. It 's enough too give me cramps! Shostakovich replied not with words, fruitless and droll like mine, but with music of great eloquence, intense heritage, but also with delicate simplicity. and, always there is power, massive blocks of sound and temperament spewing ok forth from his pages to our ears. A conductor must be able to communicate this clearly and succinctly and By Jaap van Zweden does just that. my wife, Thelma, and I will hear the Chicago symphony play this great 5th Symphony in about three weeks from today and van Zweden will conduct. We are looking forward to this day with much enthusiasm, based in no small part on this present recording he made in 2006 with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, of whom he is Chief conductor," the European equivalent of Music Director, since 2006. This reading runs for a trim 46:51 and, without feeling rushed or abrupt, manages to get everything the maestro had to say, said. It opens less dramatic than many others, but soon establishes itself from the lyrical point of view. Did Shostakovich certainly could be confrontational and defiant when he wished, but this is more of a lament and a nostalgic look back than a gauntlet thrown down at the feet of the authorities. The RFP plays with a generous refinement and tonal quality I enjoyed and was impressed with, ask if the Maestro would accept nothing less, which I suspect WAS the case. A wonderful standard for a young conductor, especially this one, having served as concertmaster for the Concertgebouw Orchestra, for some 16 years before turning to the podium in 1995, a mere 19 years ago. I suppose many other fledgling. Maestros would spend their "incubation time" exploring standard war horses, like Rhapsody Espagnole, the Slavonic Dances, Bolero, Flight of the Bumble Bee, etc., etc. he may have done some of that, but he also tackled Bruckner, Shostakovich and , I 9think, some Mahler as well. Certainly, notable selections, and, from what I read, successful in critical circles, to boot. Well, this is truly a hit recording and one I do recommend to all. The pouncing and sunny Scherzo is particularly fine and the following Largo, though too short, is fulfilling likewise. A solid 4.5 stars and a healthy recommendation for this effort, and I do hope he does more from this "great"composer in the near future. Until then, happy listening and best wishes to all. god bless you all, as well, Tony."