Dmitri Shostakovich

Biography

Born: Sep 25, 1906; Russia   Died: Aug 9, 1975; Russia   Period: 20th Century
Dmitri Shostakovich was a Russian composer whose symphonies and quartets, numbering 15 each, are among the greatest examples of these classic forms from the twentieth century. His style evolved from the brash humor and experimental character of his first period, exemplified by the operas The Nose and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, into both the more introverted melancholy and nationalistic fervor of his second phase (the Symphonies No. 5 and No. 7, Read more "Leningrad"), and finally into the defiant and bleak mood of his last period (exemplified by the Symphony No. 14 and Quartet No. 15). Early in his career his music showed the influence of Prokofiev and Stravinsky, especially in his prodigious and highly successful First Symphony. He could effectively communicate a melancholic depth and profound sense of anguish, as one hears in many of his symphonies, concertos, and quartets. Solomon Volkov, in his controversial Testimony: The Memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich explains the composer's seeming bombast as deft satire of the pomposity of the Soviet state, pointing to the "forced rejoicing" of Fifth Symphony's ending. Typical traits of Shostakovich's style include short reiterated melodic or rhythmic figures, motifs of one or two pitches or intervals, and lugubrious and manic string writing.
Shostakovich was born in St. Petersburg, in 1906, and educated at the Petrograd Conservatory. The acid style of his early Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk irritated Stalin, and Shostakovich was attacked in the Soviet press. Fearing imprisonment, he withdrew his already rehearsed Fourth Symphony; his Fifth Symphony (1937) carried the subtitle "A Soviet Artist's Reply to Just Criticism." It is more ingenious than most critics have fathomed, for it managed to satisfy both the backward tastes of the party censors and those of more demanding aesthetes in the West.
The 1941 German invasion of Russia inspired the composer's Seventh Symphony, subtitled "Leningrad." Impressed by the symphony's epic-heroic character, Toscanini, Koussevitsky, and Stokowski vied for the Western Hemisphere premiere; the score had to be microfilmed, flown to Teheran, driven to Cairo, and flown out. The work became an enormous success the world over, but eventually fell into obscurity. Still, the composer had for a time become a worldwide celebrity, his picture even appearing on the cover of Time.
Shostakovich ran afoul of the government again in 1948, when an infamous decree was issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party accusing Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and other prominent composers of "formalist perversions." For some time he wrote mostly works glorifying Soviet life or history. Artistic repression diminished in post-Stalinist Russia, but curiously Shostakovich still drew in his modernist horns until the Thirteenth Symphony, "Babi Yar," a 1962 work based on poems by Yevgeny Yevtushenko. The work provoked major controversy because of its first movement's subject: Russian oppression of the Jews.
In 1966 Shostakovich wrote his Second Cello Concerto, a work on an even higher level than his solid First, but one which has yet to capture as much attention from either artists or the public. That year, Shostakovich was diagnosed with a serious heart condition. He continued to compose, his works growing more sparsely scored and darker, the subject of death becoming prominent. His Fourteenth Symphony (1969), really a collection of songs on texts by Lorca, Apollinaire, Küchelbecker, and Rilke, is a death-obsessed work of considerable dissonance and showing little regard for the Socialist Realism still demanded by the state. Shostakovich died on August 9, 1975. Read less
Shostakovich: Symphony No 13
Release Date: 10/14/2014   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 573218   Number of Discs: 1
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Shostakovich: Symphony No 14 / Petrenko
Release Date: 04/29/2014   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573132   Number of Discs: 1
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Shostakovich: Symphonies No 6 & 12 / Petrenko, Royal Liverpool PO
Release Date: 10/25/2011   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8572658   Number of Discs: 1
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Shostakovich: Symphony No 4 / Petrenko
Release Date: 10/29/2013   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573188   Number of Discs: 1
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Shostakovich: Symphony No 8 / Petrenko, Royal Liverpool PO
Release Date: 05/25/2010   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8572392   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for Violin no 1 in A minor, Op. 77

Browse 1-25 of 68 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Shostakovich: Violin Concertos 1 & 2 / Tetzlaff, Storgards, Helsinki Philharmonic
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1239 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Christian Tetzlaff
    Conductor:  John Storgĺrds
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Claudio Abbado - The Complete RCA & Sony Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 304505 Release Date: 08/05/2014   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Claudio Abbado,  Murray Perahia,  Anatoly Kotcherga,  Midori  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
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  • 3.
    Complete Vengerov: Recordings 1991-2007 [19 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 631514 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Itamar Golan,  Maxim Vengerov,  Alexander Markovich,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Kurt Masur,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1; Rihm: Gesungene Zeit  / Jaap Van Zweden
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8573271 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Wolfgang Rihm
    Performer:  Jaap Van Zweden
    Conductor:  Edo De Waart,  Zoltán Peskó
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Sarah Chang: 5 Classic Albums
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 844172 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Sergei Prokofiev,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Sarah Chang,  Lars Vogt,  Wolfram Christ,  Georg Faust  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Sir Colin Davis,  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Britten & Shostakovich: Violin Concertos / Ehnes, Karabits, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Onyx   Catalog: 4113 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten,  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  James Ehnes
    Conductor:  Kirill Karabits
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Ashkenazy - 50 Years on Decca
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001820202 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Boris Belkin,  Daniel Barenboim,  Fou Ts'ong  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Lorin Maazel,  Uri Segal  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Wind Soloists  ... 
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  • 8.
    Shostakovich Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9245 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Benjamin Fleischmann
    Performer:  Sergei Aleksashkin,  Vladimir Vaneev,  Alla Simoni,  Cristina Ortiz  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Barshai,  Paavo Berglund,  Yevgeny Mravinsky,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wdr Sinfonieorchester,  Wdr Sinfonieorchester Rundfunkchor,  Wdr Sinfonieorchester Choral Academy Moscow  ... 
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  • 9.
    Daniel Hope - Complete Warner Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564660542 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Alban Berg,  Benjamin Britten,  Maurice Ravel,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel Hope,  Sebastian Knauer,  Gaurav Mazumdar,  Asok Chakraborty  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Watkins,  Maxim Shostakovich,  Roger Norrington
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Camerata Salzburg
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  • 10.
    Shostakovich: Three Concertos
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350059 Release Date: 09/12/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Mason [French Horn] Jones,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Leonard Bernstein,  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Leonard Bernstein,  Yevgeny Mravinsky
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  • 11.
    Steven Staryk: A Retrospective, Vol. 1 - Violin Concertos
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 3186 Release Date: 06/19/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Niccolň Paganini,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Steven Staryk
    Conductor:  Herman Michael,  Bernard Haitink,  John Avision,  Douglas Gamley  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norddutscher Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Cbc Vancouver Chamber Orchstra  ... 
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  • 12.
    Great Violin Concertos
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501058 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Louis Spohr  ... 
    Performer:  Takako Nishizaki,  Simone Lamsma,  Ilya Kaler,  Misha Keylin  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  Oliver Dohnányi,  Patrick Gallois,  Kenneth Jean  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana,  Sinfonia Finlandia,  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 13.
    Shostakovich: Violin Concertos 1 & 2 / Sayaka Shoji, Dmitri Liss
    Label: Mirare   Catalog: 166 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Sayaka Shoji
    Conductor:  Dmitry Liss
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ural State Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Shostakovich: Concertos / Oistrakh, Rostropovich
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1385 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Mason Jones,  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Hilary Hahn Spectacular
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 795069 Release Date: 02/21/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Hilary Hahn
    Conductor:  Marek Janowski,  Hugh Wolff,  David Zinman,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 16.
    The Russian Archives - David Oistrakh Plays Russian Violin Concertos
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9239 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Sergei Taneyev,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling,  Karl Eliasberg,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra,  USSR State Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 17.
    Shostakovich: Violin Concerto; Dvorak: Symphony No 8 / Hahn, Jansons, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2050448 Release Date: 03/29/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Hilary Hahn
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 18.
    Echoes Of Time / Batiashvili, Salonen,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001520302 Release Date: 02/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Giya Kancheli,  Arvo Pärt,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Lisa Batiashvili,  Hélčne Grimaud
    Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Glazunov, Shostakovich: Violin Concertos / Sasha Rozhdestvensky, Gennady Rozhdestvensky
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 6123 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov,  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Sasha Rozhdestvensky
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian State Symphony Cappella
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  • 20.
    Shostakovich: Violin Concertos 1 & 2 / Vengerov, Rostropovich, London Philharmonic
    Label: Wea Apex Classics Uk   Catalog: 4680397 Release Date: 08/03/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Maxim Vengerov
    Conductor:  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 21.
    20th Century Classics - Shostakovich
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 37686 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  John Ogdon,  Sarah Chang,  Han-Na Chang
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Antonio Pappano,  Mariss Jansons,  Lawrence Foster
    CD: $12.99
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  • 22.
    Bartok: Violin Concerto No 2;  Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No 1 / Steinberg, Ivanov, Et Al
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 175 Release Date: 01/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Béla Bartók
    Performer:  Yossif Ivanov
    Conductor:  Pinchas Steinberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Flemish Philharmonic
    CD: $17.99
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  • 23.
    Mozart, Shostakovich: Violin Concerti / Oistrakh, Mravinsky, Leningrad Po
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 736081 Release Date: 01/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 24.
    Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No 1, Violin Sonata / Palmer, Et Al
    Label: Quartz Records   Catalog: 2045 Release Date: 10/14/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Alexei Grynyuk,  Ruth Palmer
    Conductor:  Benjamin Wallfisch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 25.
    David Oistrakh - The Complete EMI Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 14712 Release Date: 09/16/2008   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Karen Khachaturian,  Eugčne Ysa˙e  ... 
    Performer:  Jacov Shapiro,  Joseph Stidel,  Joseph Gertovich,  Mikhail Terian  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicolai Malko,  Aram Khachaturian,  Maxim Shostakovich,  Lovro von Matacic  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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