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Sviridov & Shostakovich: From the Movies / Titov, Sondeckis, St. Petersburg Camerata, Lithuanian Chamber Orch

Release Date: 05/26/2017 
Label:  Cugate Classics   Catalog #: 26  
Composer:  Dmitri ShostakovichGyorgy Sviridov
Conductor:  Saulius SondeckisAlexander Titov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lithuanian Chamber OrchestraSt. Petersburg Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Since his studenthood at the Leningrad Conservatory Dmitri Shostakovich had developed a strong connection to cinema. In the twenties of the last century he earned his living as a pianist at silent movie theatres, and the influence of this new media, which became highly important in the young Soviet Union, went along with the composer for a lifetime, testified by an output of nearly 40 film scores. In 1955 Alexander Fainzimmer made a film based on the novel ''The Gadfly'' by the English authoress Ethel Lilian Voynich, which was extremely popular and a bestseller in the Soviet Union. It was about the tragic story of a young freedom fighter in 19th-century Italy nicknamed ''Gadfly'', who, as an illegitimate son of a cardinal ultimately turned Read more into a rebelling dandy, who was finally executed by a firing squad. Shostakovich was intrigued by the plot and the environment where it took place, since this allowed him to play with Mediterranean musical patterns. Shostakovich's associate and friend Levon atovmian condensed the complete score down to a suite, consisting of twewlve movements, which were used for this recording. The single titles already give an idea of what the music is about - pure entertainment, characterising the moving pictures by means of the music. A contredanse recalling the 18th century, an Italian tarantella type characterising a funfair, unusual classical instruments such as saxophone and hurdy-gurdy reminiscences during a humorous waltz, a romance, which recalls the famous ''Meditation'' from Saint-Saëns ''Thaïs'' - this is musical mainstream at the highest level making the listening of this colorful and diverse suite a genuine pleasure. Georgy Sviridov's roots in Russian folk music made his connection to Alexander Pushkin nearly inevitable. So when in 1964 the film director Vladimir Basov planned a filmization of Pushkin's short story Snowstom, he approached Sviridov, who agreed by return. His musical depiction of the film, based on Pushkin's Tales of the Late Ivan Petrovich Belkin, proves his talent and creativeness in folkloristic musical composition, using at teh same time romantic stylistic elemtns, including the large romantic symphony orchestra. The richness of his musical language inspired by the poetic strength of Pushkin's writing creates a scen tof Hollywood flavor, which might not e a coincidence. The last scene from Snowstorm ''Winter Road'' was allegedly plagiarized and used as the main theme for the popular video game series ''Metal Gear Solid''. Read less

Works on This Recording

Gadfly Suite, Op. 97a by Dmitri Shostakovich
Conductor:  Saulius Sondeckis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1955; USSR 
Snow Storm (after Pushkin) by Gyorgy Sviridov
Conductor:  Alexander Titov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1964; USSR 

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