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Mravinsky Conducts The Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra

Mravinsky / Lgn
Release Date: 07/26/2011 
Label:  Erato   Catalog #: 698905   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Dmitri ShostakovichMikhail GlinkaAlexander GlazunovRichard Wagner,   ... 
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 12 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 9 Hours 56 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

[T]he quality of the string playing is the stuff of legend. It is marked out not just by virtuosity and weight of tone (there was a time when the Leningrad Philharmonic could have supplied frontdesk players to virtually every other top-class orchestra in the world) but also by an astonishing unity of expressive purpose. Always the sound is superbly focused, the inflexion unanimous; it may be lean, but it's never thin... [T]he personality of the man who was the Leningraders' 'permanent director' from 1938 until his death 50 years later...can already be guessed at from the demonic intensity of his most famous recordings, and it is confirmed by first-hand reports. "A dreadful tyrant" is the verdict of Lev Markiz, founder-conductor of Read more the Moscow Soloists—"the whole orchestra began to tune their instruments an hour before the rehearsal was due to start, and 30 minutes later they sat there with instruments tuned, ready to begin". Those were the days.

At its best the combination is uniquely potent—a controlled conflagration which almost scorches the ear, a sense of communicative intensity not as an optional extra, or even as something to be striven for, but as a constant presence, only waiting to be channelled in the right direction.

Mravinsky is the only conductor I have ever heard make Shostakovich's Twelfth Symphony remotely convincing. The orchestra swarms over the first movement like killer bees, and the fierceness of the finale redeems it from suspicions of empty triumphalism. It's not so much a question of pushing the music as finding the way to let it pull the listener through...

As before, Mravinsky's Tchaikovsky Fifth is utterly compelling in its desperate urgency and irresistible momentum; like the 1963 Olympia version it is a fraction less fanatical, more humane than the famous DG issues... Again, a slightly less extreme view of the Pathetique than before, but one of blazing integrity, a feeling of impossible-to-be-otherwise. Hear the first movement at 9'55" for one of the most shocking outbursts of emotional agony captured on record. Apart from anything else Mravinsky emphasizes the forward-looking aspect of Tchaikovsky's music at the end of his life—without this, no Mahler Sixth, no "Danse de la terre" from Stravinsky's Rite (never mind the obvious influence of the second movement trio section on Sibelius's First Symphony).

More lacerating intensity in Francesca da Rimini, where no one can deny its appropriateness—it's the kind of performance which makes you feel that nobody is entitled to express an opinion of the music until they have heard it. A beautifully atmospheric Khovanshchina Prelude, a predictably turbo-charged Ruslan and Ludmila Overture, and a sleek Raymonda Suite complete an attractive compilation.

...A voracious Beethoven Fifth, with an element of aggression that comes entirely from within and which would probably be absurd if anyone tried to re-create it. Mravinsky's attitude to dynamics seems to be on the lines of 'no gradual inflexion unless explicit instructions are given to the contrary'. The result is a curious reminder of the old-fashioned 'terraced dynamics' approach to baroque music, which some may find offputting. For me this is a mighty rendition of the score and all the more inspiring for the impression that its power is tapped from within. The Seventh, however, is reined back to the point of stodginess, at least until the white-hot finale and even there one of the trumpets forgets himself in the last three bars.

Perhaps against expectations the Pastoral receives a performance of radiant, vernal openheartedness. It is a straight-down-the-middle view of the work, and given the number of rough edges I have to wonder whether it has anything more to offer than a dozen more successfully recorded alternatives...

-- Gramophone [6/1992]
reviewing The Art of Evgeny Mravinsky box set, Erato 45752
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 5 in D minor, Op. 47 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; USSR 
Date of Recording: 04/04/1984 
Venue:  Live  Leningrad Philharmonic Large Hall 
Length: 44 Minutes 20 Secs. 
2.
Symphony no 10 in E minor, Op. 93 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953; USSR 
Date of Recording: 03/03/1976 
Venue:  Live  Leningrad Philharmonic Large Hall 
Length: 48 Minutes 21 Secs. 
3.
Symphony no 12 in D minor, Op. 112 "To the Memory of Lenin - 1917" by Dmitri Shostakovich
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1961; USSR 
Date of Recording: 04/30/1984 
Venue:  Live  Leningrad Philharmonic Large Hall 
Length: 38 Minutes 30 Secs. 
4.
Russlan and Ludmilla: Overture by Mikhail Glinka
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837-1842; Russia 
Venue:  Live  Leningrad Philharmonic Large Hall 
Length: 5 Minutes 12 Secs. 
5.
Raymonda Suite, Op. 57a by Alexander Glazunov
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898; Russia 
Date of Recording: 12/28/1969 
Venue:  Live  Leningrad Philharmonic Large Hall 
Length: 8 Minutes 21 Secs. 
6.
Tristan und Isolde: Prelude and Liebestod by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/31/1978 
Venue:  Live  Leningrad Philharmonic Large Hall 
Length: 17 Minutes 3 Secs. 
7.
Die Walküre: Ride of the Valkyries by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1856; Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/31/1978 
Venue:  Live  Leningrad Philharmonic Large Hall 
Length: 4 Minutes 18 Secs. 
8.
Tannhäuser: Overture by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845/1861; Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/11/1973 
Venue:  Live  Leningrad Philharmonic Large Hall 
Length: 13 Minutes 54 Secs. 
9.
Lohengrin: Act 1 Prelude by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847; Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/11/1973 
Venue:  Live  Leningrad Philharmonic Large Hall 
Length: 8 Minutes 9 Secs. 
10.
Evgeny Mravinsky tells his stories about nature and talks about life by Spoken Word
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
Length: 5 Minutes 22 Secs. 
11.
Khovanshchina: Act 1 Prelude "Dawn on the Moscow River" by Modest Mussorgsky
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1872-1880; Russia 
Date of Recording: 11/29/1981 
Venue:  Live  Leningrad Philharmonic Large Hall 
Length: 5 Minutes 26 Secs. 
12.
Götterdämmerung: Siegfried's Funeral Music by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1874; Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/31/1978 
Venue:  Live  Leningrad Philharmonic Large Hall 
Length: 7 Minutes 49 Secs. 
13.
Lohengrin: Act 3 Prelude by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847; Germany 
Date of Recording: 03/11/1973 
Venue:  Live  Leningrad Philharmonic Large Hall 
Length: 2 Minutes 38 Secs. 
14.
Tannhäuser: Overture by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845/1861; Germany 
Length: 19 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Notes: Rehearsal. 
15.
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Act 1 Prelude by Richard Wagner
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867; Germany 
Length: 9 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Notes: Rehearsal. 
16.
Symphony no 5 in E minor, Op. 64 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1888; Russia 
Date of Recording: 03/19/1983 
Venue:  Live  Leningrad Philharmonic Large Hall 
Length: 42 Minutes 9 Secs. 
17.
Symphony no 6 in B minor, Op. 74 "Pathétique" by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; Russia 
Date of Recording: 10/17/1982 
Venue:  Live  Leningrad Philharmonic Large Hall 
Length: 44 Minutes 13 Secs. 
18.
Francesca da Rimini, Op. 32 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Russia 
Date of Recording: 11/29/1981 
Venue:  Live  Leningrad Philharmonic Large Hall 
Length: 24 Minutes 12 Secs. 
19.
Symphony no 33 in B flat major, K 319 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Period: Classical 
Written: 1779; Salzburg, Austria 
Date of Recording: 12/24/1983 
Venue:  Live  Leningrad Philharmonic Large Hall 
Length: 22 Minutes 29 Secs. 
20.
Symphony no 39 in E flat major, K 543 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Period: Classical 
Written: 1788; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 05/06/1972 
Venue:  Live  Leningrad Philharmonic Large Hall 
Length: 25 Minutes 11 Secs. 
21.
Symphony no 1 in C major, Op. 21 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Period: Classical 
Written: 1800; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 01/28/1982 
Venue:  Live  Leningrad Philharmonic Large Hall 
Length: 26 Minutes 1 Secs. 
22.
Symphony no 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 "Eroica" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Period: Classical 
Written: 1803; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/31/1968 
Venue:  Live  Leningrad Philharmonic Large Hall 
Length: 45 Minutes 11 Secs. 
23.
Symphony no 5 in C minor, Op. 67 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Period: Classical 
Written: 1807-1808; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/15/1974 
Venue:  Live  Leningrad Philharmonic Large Hall 
Length: 30 Minutes 2 Secs. 
24.
Symphony no 7 in A major, Op. 92 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Period: Classical 
Written: 1811-1812; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 09/19/1964 
Venue:  Live  Leningrad Philharmonic Large Hall 
Length: 36 Minutes 17 Secs. 
25.
Symphony no 6 in F major, Op. 68 "Pastoral" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
Period: Classical 
Written: 1808; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 10/17/1982 
Venue:  Live  Leningrad Philharmonic Large Hall 
Length: 39 Minutes 16 Secs. 

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