André Kostelanetz / Eugene Ormandy

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 1; Ballet Suites 1 & 2

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AllMusic Review by

It's a cause for wonder that Andre Kostelanetz thought it was a good idea to mix movements from Shostakovich's musical comedy Moscow, Cheryomushki, his ballet The Age of Gold, his score for the film The Gadfly, and two of his ballet suites in no discernible order and release the result in a record called The Light Music of Shostakovich. Despite having composed some of the most passionately pessimistic music of the twentieth century, Shostakovich certainly did write light music, but he had already arranged much of his light music in suites from his films and ballets, and those suites are ideal collections of the light music of Shostakovich. The same cannot be said of this collection by Kostelanetz. Rather, it is a seemingly random collection of galops, waltzes, polkas, and miscellana that careens from bathetic to banal, from trite to tawdry, from dimwitted to flat-out dumb. Nor is Kostelanetz's collection well conducted: the tempo shifts are botched, and the textures are blotched. Nor is Kostelanetz's collection well played: whatever musicians made up his orchestra, they seem to have rarely performed together and to more rarely agree on details of ensemble or intonation. Even the production of Teo Macero -- the producer of so many fine Miles Davis/Gil Evans records -- seems crass and uncouth. From every point of view, this is a disaster.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op. 10
1
8:27
2
4:35
3
8:20
4
8:43
5
4:28
Moscow, Cheryomushki, operetta, Op. 105
6
1:44
Ballet Suite No. 2, for orchestra (assembled by Atovmyan)
7
2:12
The Gadfly, suite from the film score, Op. 97a (assembled by Atovmyan)
8
2:03
Ballet Suite No. 1, for orchestra (assembled by Atovmyan)
9
1:29
The Gadfly, suite from the film score, Op. 97a (assembled by Atovmyan)
10
3:53
Moscow, Cheryomushki, operetta, Op. 105
11
3:34
The Gadfly, suite from the film score, Op. 97a (assembled by Atovmyan)
12
2:33
Ballet Suite No. 1, for orchestra (assembled by Atovmyan)
13
2:33
The Gadfly, suite from the film score, Op. 97a (assembled by Atovmyan)
14
1:49
The Age of Gold, ballet, Op. 22
15
2:06
Ballet Suite No. 1, for orchestra (assembled by Atovmyan)
16
1:34
The Gadfly, suite from the film score, Op. 97a (assembled by Atovmyan)
17
1:55
Ballet Suite No. 2, for orchestra (assembled by Atovmyan)
18
3:22
blue highlight denotes track pick