Shostakovich: Symphony No 14; Six Verses of Marina Tsvetayeva

Shostakovich: Symphony No 14; Six Verses of Marina Tsvetayeva

CHSA 5310 (Chandos Records, SACD)

FIRST RELEASE (7 July 2023)

Playing time: 74'47"
Tracks: 17
Booklet pages: 40
℗ 2023 Chandos Records Ltd
© 2023 Chandos Records Ltd
Main country of recording: United Kingdom
Reviewer: Geoff Pearce
Review of Shostakovich: Symphony No 14; Six Verses of Marina Tsvetayeva published on 8 June 2023

Elizabeth Atherton, soprano
Jess Dandy, contralto
Peter Rose, bass
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
John Storgårds, conductor

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-75):

Six Verses of Marina Tsvetayeva, Op 143a (1974) - Suite for Contralto and Chamber Orchestra (after the Original Version for Contralto and Piano, Op 143, 1973)
1 My verses. Largo
2 Whence all this tenderness? Allegretto
3 Dialogue between Hamlet and His Conscience. Largo
4 No, the drum did beat. Moderato -
5 The Poet and the Tsar. Allegretto - Meno mosso - Moderato. Maestoso - Allegretto
6 To Anna Akhmatova. Largo

Symphony No 14 in G minor, Op 135 (1969) for Soprano, Bass and Chamber Orchestra after Poems by Federico García Lorca, Guillaume Apollinaire, Wilhelm Küchelbecker and Rainer Maria Rilke.
7 De profundis (Lorca, in Russian translation by Yury Nikolayevich Tynyanov). Adagio
8 Malagueña (Lorca, in Russian translation by Anatoly Mikhailovich Geleskul). Allegretto -
9 Loreley (Apollinaire, in Russian translation by Mikhail Pavlovich Kudinov). Allegro molto - Presto - Adagio -
10 The Suicide (Apollinaire, in Russian translation by Kudinov). Adagio
11 On Watch (Apollinaire, in Russian translation by Kudinov). Allegretto - Adagio - Allegretto -
12 Madam, look (Apollinaire, in Russian translation by Kudinov). Adagio -
13 In the Santé Prison (Apollinaire, in Russian translation by Kudinov). Adagio
14 The Zaporozhian Cossacks' Answer to the Sultan of Constantinople (Apollinaire, in Russian translation by Kudinov). Allegro -
15 O Delvig, Delvig (Küchelbecker). Andante
16 The Poet's Death (Rilke, in Russian translation by Tamara Isaakovna Silman). Largo -
17 Conclusion (Rilke, in Russian translation by Silman). Moderato

John Storgårds and the BBC Philharmonic continue their survey of Shostakovich's late symphonies with this recording of the Fourteenth, with Elizabeth Atherton and Peter Rose as soloists. Completed in the spring of 1969 and first performed later that year, the symphony is written for soprano, bass, and small string orchestra with percussion, comprising eleven linked settings of poems by four authors. Most of the poems deal with the theme of death, particularly that of unjust or early death, and indeed all four of the poets had died prematurely and / or in unnatural circumstances - Wilhelm Küchelbecker in Siberian exile for his part in the 1825 Decembrist uprising, Federico García Lorca assassinated during the Spanish Civil War, in 1936, Rainer Maria Rilke of blood poisoning following an accident in 1926, and Guillaume Apollinaire in 1918 during the Spanish influenza pandemic. The Six Verses of Marina Tsvetayeva were composed in 1973, originally for contralto and piano, and subsequently arranged for chamber orchestra - the version we hear here, with Jess Dandy as soloist. The recording was made in Surround Sound, and is available as a hybrid SACD and in Spatial Audio.

Recorded 21 and 22 January 2022 (Symphony No 14) and 25 November 2022 (Six Verses of Marina Tsvetayeva) at MediaCityUK, Salford, Manchester, UK.