and 14th symphonies -
'... a superb disc ...'
Here are two profound and monumental works of Shostakovich written before and after
that long period during which a popular communicative voice was forced upon him -- and what
a searing atmosphere he was able to create. Listening to the 2nd Symphony, called
October on the title page of the 1927 full score, one cannot but be amazed at its power
and sheer modernity.
Here is a work, first heard on 5 November 1927, that stands equally
in stature alongside other European masterworks, first performed about the same time and found
a place in the guidebooks -- works like Bartók's Miraculous Mandarin, Schoenberg's
3rd Quartet first heard in Vienna two months earlier, his Variations op 31 near to completion,
Stravinsky's Appollon Musagète, or the riotous first performance in Budapest of
Krenek's Jonny spielt auf! in March 1928. But few were aware of Shostakovich.
Copyright © 17 February 2005
Patric Standford, Wakefield UK