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: The Complete Symphonies
Release Date: 10/09/2015   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8501111   Number of Discs: 11
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Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 / Sanderling, Berlin Symphony
Release Date: 08/26/2016   Label: Berlin Classics  
Catalog: 0300750BC   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for Violin no 1 in A minor, Op. 77

Browse 1-25 of 64 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    111: The Violin – Legendary Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: B002523902 Release Date: 08/05/2016   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Niccolò Paganini,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Giya Kancheli,  Arvo Pärt  ... 
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo,  Shmuel Ashkenasi,  Hélène Grimaud,  Giuliano Carmignola  ... 
    Conductor:  Heribert Esser,  Esa-Pekka Salonen,  Andrea Marcon,  Reinhard Goebel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Venice Baroque Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $168.98
    CD: $165.99
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  • 2.
    Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1 - Glazunov: Violin Concerto / Benedetti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002518602 Release Date: 07/01/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Alexander Glazunov
    Performer:  Nicola Benedetti
    Conductor:  Kirill Karabits
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
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  • 3.
    The Art of Midori
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 518340 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Niccolò Paganini,  Antonín Dvorák,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Midori,  Robert McDonald,  Nobuko Imai,  Christoph Eschenbach
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Claudio Abbado,  Christoph Eschenbach,  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1; Glazunov: Violin Concerto
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552413 Release Date: 11/20/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Alexander Glazunov
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    CD: $9.99
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  • 5.
    Hilary Hahn: The Complete Sony Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875126182 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Leonard Bernstein,  Samuel Barber  ... 
    Performer:  Hilary Hahn
    Conductor:  David Zinman,  Hugh Wolff,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Marek Janowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 6.
    Itzhak Perlman: The Complete Warner Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552439 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 77
    Composer:  Niccolò Paganini,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Ray Still,  Samuel Sanders  ... 
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster,  Daniel Barenboim,  Itzhak Perlman,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 7.
    Shostakovich: Violin Concertos 1 & 2 / Mordkovitch, Jarvi
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10864 Release Date: 07/31/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Lydia Mordkovitch
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
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    CD: $11.99
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  • 8.
    Itzhak Perlman - Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002298802 Release Date: 05/26/2015   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Alban Berg,  Igor Stravinsky,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Ernest Chausson  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Daniel Barenboim,  Myor Rosen  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Daniel Barenboim,  Zubin Mehta,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
    CD: $108.49
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  • 9.
    Shostakovich: Symphony No 9, Violin Concerto No 1 / Kavakos, Gergiev
    Label: Mariinsky   Catalog: 524 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Leonidas Kavakos
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $18.99
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  • 10.
    Shostakovich Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9420 Release Date: 04/28/2015   Number of Discs: 49
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Benjamin Fleischmann
    Performer:  Boris Petrushansky,  Lewis James Quinn,  Kevin Matthews,  Alastair McCall  ... 
    Conductor:  Vasily Petrenko,  Sir Andrew Davis,  Rudolf Barshai,  Paavo Berglund  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Wdr Sinfonieorchester  ... 
    CD: $128.99
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  • 11.
    Shostakovich: Complete Symphonies & Concertos / Gergiev, Mariinsky
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 107551 Release Date: 04/28/2015   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Daniil Trifonov,  Timur Martynov,  Denis Matsuev,  Veronika Dzhioeva  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra,  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Chorus
    DVD: $234.99
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  • 12.
    Shostakovich: Complete Symphonies & Concertos / Gergiev, Mariinsky [Blu-ray]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 107552 Release Date: 04/28/2015   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Daniil Trifonov,  Timur Martynov,  Denis Matsuev,  Veronika Dzhioeva  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra,  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Chorus
    Blu-ray Video: $234.99
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  • 13.
    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 Storgårds
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 14.
    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
    Recommendation
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  • 15.
    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  ... 
    CD: $88.99
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  • 16.
    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
    On sale! $12.99
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  • 17.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 18.
    Britten & Shostakovich: Violin Concertos / Ehnes
    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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  • 19.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 20.
    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
    Recommendation
    CD: $68.99
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  • 21.
    Shostakovich: Three Concertos
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350059 Release Date: 09/12/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Mason [French Horn] Jones,  Leonard Bernstein,  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Leonard Bernstein,  Yevgeny Mravinsky
    SuperAudio CD: $24.99
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  • 22.
    Steven Staryk: A Retrospective, Vol. 1 - Violin Concertos
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 3186 Release Date: 06/19/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Niccolò 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  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 23.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 24.
    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
    CD: $23.99
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  • 25.
    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
    CD: $9.99
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