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Shostakovich/Jewish Folk Poetry


Artistic Quality:

Sound Quality:

This is one of the best and most interesting CDs yet in Michail Jurowski’s ongoing Capriccio series. All three of these cycles are extremely strong and surely deserve to be performed more often. The first sets poetry of Marina Tsvetayeva, who committed suicide when unable to buckle under to Stalinism. A dark work, it is nonetheless singularly lyrical and finds its composer in an exceptionally expressive mode, creating what amounts to an extended nocturne for alto and orchestra. The settings of the English songs are more elaborate and exotically scored, with excellent use of percussion instruments interjecting commentary on the vocal line. The first eight of the Jewish songs were written when Shostakovich was plunged into artistic exile by being stripped of all his teaching posts under the Stalinist regime. They deal with the suffering and longings of a “homeless people”, whereas the last three songs, composed some years later, deal with the achievement of happiness. The entire cycle was orchestrated in its final form in 1964. The performances here are first rate, with alto Tamara Sinjawskaja outstanding in the Tsvetayeva cycle. The sound is more open and better balanced than in other recordings from this series. If you are looking for seldom-performed yet major song cycles to explore, this is your CD.

Recording Details:

Reference Recording: None

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH - Six Poems by Marina Tsvetayeva; Six Romances on verses by Walter Raleigh, Robert Burns, & William Shakespeare; From Jewish folk poetry-Song Cycle

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