Thomas Sanderling

Shostakovich: The Tale of the Priest and his Worker, Balda; Suite from "Lady Macbeth"

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While absolutely not appropriate for neophyte Shostakovich fans, this disc of two world-premiere recordings will be irresistible to longtime fans. The Tale of the Priest and His Servant, Balda, was written in 1933 for a never-completed cartoon film based on Pushkin's well-known children's story but was thought long lost. The Symphonic Suite was originally assembled in 1932 from orchestral interludes from his fabulously successful opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District but essentially forgotten after the opera was banned by the Party and never performed in the composer's lifetime. Both works are Shostakovich at the height of his enfant terrible period. With their vicious marches, satirical waltzes, snide songs, and coarse dances, Shostakovich's cartoon music is rude, crude, ironic, sarcastic, bitter, and side-splittingly funny. And with its relentless ostinatos, jagged melodies, dissonant harmonies, and mechanical rhythms, Shostakovich's suite of operatic interludes is nasty, brutal, bloody, and brief. Superbly played by the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra and superlatively conducted by Thomas Sanderling, this disc will fill the blanks in the Shostakovich discography between the musical review Hypothetically Murdered and the incidental music to Hamlet. Although those who only know his Fifth and Tenth symphonies may be initially dismayed by the unrelieved vulgarity of this music, those who know and love his Jazz Suite No. 1 and his music for the film The Human Comedy will be thrilled by Balda and Lady Macbeth. Deutsche Grammophon's 2006 sound is very vivid and quite immediate.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
The Tale of the Priest and His Servant Balda, animated film score, Op. 36
1 01:23 Amazon
2 01:51 Amazon
3 02:30 Amazon
4 01:24 Amazon
5 00:53 Amazon
6 02:16 Amazon
7 02:08 Amazon
8 02:55 Amazon
9 01:34 Amazon
10 01:32 Amazon
11 01:14 Amazon
12 01:34 Amazon
13 02:00 Amazon
14 01:31 Amazon
15 01:13 Amazon
16 01:52 Amazon
17 04:24 Amazon
18 02:05
19 03:11 Amazon
20 00:53 Amazon
21 01:06 Amazon
22 02:33 Amazon
23 01:05
24 01:34 Amazon
25 03:34 Amazon
26 01:18 Amazon
27 01:48 Amazon
28 01:55 Amazon
29 01:31 Amazon
Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, symphonic suite from the opera for orchestra, Op. 29a
30 02:06 Amazon
31 02:40 Amazon
32 01:53 Amazon
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