Shostakovich (1906 - 75)


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Donald Macleod talks to Brian Morton, author of a new book on Shostakovich, about how the composer managed to survive under the communist regime by playing a part - that of the 'yurodivy' or Holy Fool.

A selection of The Fool's Songs from King Lear

David Wilson Johnson (baritone)

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Mark Elder (conductor)

Overture on Russian and Kirghiz Themes

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Enrique Batiz (conductor)

Piano Quintet in Gm, Op 57

Beaux Arts Trio

Menahem Pressler (piano)

Isidore Cohen (violin)

Peter Wiley (cello)

with Eugene Drucker (violin)

Lawrence Dutton (viola).


Donald Macleod talks to author and broadcaster Brian Morton about the way Shostakovich satirised Stalin in his music, and the consequences of the disastrous night when Stalin walked out before the end of Shostakovich's opera Lady Macbeth of Mtensk.

Symphony No 9, first movement Allegro

Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra

Mariss Jansons (conductor)

Excerpts - Lady Macbeth of the Mtensk District

Galina Vishnevskaya (soprano)

Nicolai Gedda (tenor)

Dimiter Petkov (bass)

Ambrosian Opera Chorus

London Philharmonic Orchestra

Mstislav Rostropovich (conductor)

String Quartet No 3 in F, Op 73

Fitzwilliam String Quartet.


Donald Macleod and Brian Morton talk about the musical monogram DSCH used by Shostakovich - and the events surrounding the composer's second fall from grace in 1948.

String Quartet 8 in Cm, Op 110

Borodin String Quartet

Symphony No 15 - 1st movement; Allegretto

London Philharmonic Orchestra

Bernard Haitink (conductor)

Two of the 24 Preludes and Fugues - No 13 in F sharp and No 24 in Dm

Tatiana Nikolaeva (piano).

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Jewish folk music made a powerful impression on Shostakovich, because of its capacity to appear happy whilst being essentially tragic. 'There should always be two layers in music', he once said.

Donald Macleod looks at the way in which Shostakovich used Jewish folk songs and themes in his own music.

Excerpt from Rothschild's violin

Bronze....Sergei Leiferkus (baritone)

Rothschild....Konstantin Pluzhnikov (tenor)

Chakhkes....Ilya Levinsky (tenor)

Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra

Gennady Rozhdestvensky (conductor)

From Jewish Poetry, Op 79a

Luba Orgonasova (soprano)

Nathalie Stutzmann (mezzo-soprano)

Philip Langridge tenor)

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra

Neeme Järvi (conductor)

Piano Trio No 2

Beaux Arts Trio

Menahem Pressler (piano)

Isidore Cohen (violin)

Peter Wiley (cello).

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Donald Macleod and Brian Morton talk about Shostakovich's preoccupation with death in his later works.

O Delvig, Delvig - from Symphony No 14, Op 135

John Tomlinson (bass)

BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Mark Wigglesworth (conductor)

Viola Sonata

Yuri Bashmet (viola)

Sviatoslav Richter (piano)

Suite on verses by Michelangelo Buonarroti, Op 145a

Love, Separation, and Immortality

Dietrich Fischer-Diskau (baritone)

Berlin Radio Symphony orchestra

Vladimir Ashkenazy (conductor).