Shostakovich: Choral Music

Composer Dmitri Shostakovich
Artist Tatyana Kravchenko piano
Chorus of the Academy of Choral Arts
Victor Popov conductor
Format 1 CD
Cat. number 9414
EAN code 5029365941426
Release March 2013

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About this release

These choruses are not (or not entirely) the tub-thumping exercises in blatant jingoistic rabble-rousing that you might expect, but contain many moments of poetry that make them secular rivals to earlier works by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov which draw from Russia's great Orthodox tradition of choral music. In Stalin's Russia such an option was closed to Shostakovich, of course, even had he wished to explore it, but instead he used the poetry of Revolutionary leaders and imbued it both with his own, bitter-sweet harmonic vocabulary while never losing sight of the powerful character of Russian choruses for whom he would be writing. One such, Moscow-based, performs the two cycles on this recording, and they naturally have the idiom, and language, under their skins.

Other information:
- Only available recording as a single issue of these works.
- As an “obedient” Soviet artist, Shostakovich set texts of revolutionary poets to music. The result is vintage Shostakovich: under the blatant populist message of the text we hear a melancholy and tender heart. The choral arrangements of Russian Folk Songs derive inspiration from the rich Russian folk culture, and Russian Orthodox Chant (though of course in a hidden way, as it was forbidden by the authorities).
- Excellent performances by Russian forces.
- Sung texts available for download by clicking on 'Download booklet' below the cover.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Ten Poems on texts by revolutionary poets, Op. 88: No. 1: Boldly, friends, on we march!
  2. Ten Poems on texts by revolutionary poets, Op. 88: No. 2: One of many
  3. Ten Poems on texts by revolutionary poets, Op. 88: No. 3: Onto the streets!
  4. Ten Poems on texts by revolutionary poets, Op. 88: No. 4: The meeting in transit to exile
  5. Ten Poems on texts by revolutionary poets, Op. 88: No. 5: To those condemned to death
  6. Ten Poems on texts by revolutionary poets, Op. 88: No. 6: The Ninth of January
  7. Ten Poems on texts by revolutionary poets, Op. 88: No. 7: The valleys have become silent
  8. Ten Poems on texts by revolutionary poets, Op. 88: No. 8: They are the victors
  9. Ten Poems on texts by revolutionary poets, Op. 88: No. 9: May Day Song
  10. Ten Poems on texts by revolutionary poets, Op. 88: No. 10: Song
  11. Ten Russian Folk songs for Soloists, Mixed Chorus and Piano: All of a sudden there was a clap of thunder over Moscow
  12. Ten Russian Folk songs for Soloists, Mixed Chorus and Piano: Beyond the mountains, beyond the valleys
  13. Ten Russian Folk songs for Soloists, Mixed Chorus and Piano: Out of the forest of spears and swords
  14. Ten Russian Folk songs for Soloists, Mixed Chorus and Piano: Nights are dark, the clouds are menacing
  15. Ten Russian Folk songs for Soloists, Mixed Chorus and Piano: A little cuckoo cuckoos
  16. Ten Russian Folk songs for Soloists, Mixed Chorus and Piano: The Splinter
  17. Ten Russian Folk songs for Soloists, Mixed Chorus and Piano: Fir grove, my fir grove
  18. Ten Russian Folk songs for Soloists, Mixed Chorus and Piano: In my dear father’s green garden
  19. Ten Russian Folk songs for Soloists, Mixed Chorus and Piano: I told my sweetheart
  20. Ten Russian Folk songs for Soloists, Mixed Chorus and Piano: What a song