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Cat. No. CHAN 10183 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10183 - The Film Music of Dmitri Shostakovich, Vol. 2
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Available From: 08 March 2004
The Golden Mountains (1931) was Shostakovich’s third film score. The film is set in 1914 but inspired by the 1905 strike in St Petersburg’s Putilov ironworks, which sparked a wave of similar uprisings throughout the country and quickly came to be seen as a decisive moment in the history of the revolution. Shostakovich was developing a more symphonic approach to film scoring and was able to include some extended cues in the film. The suite he compiled from the music almost immediately afterwards was his first film score suite.

Following the Pravda denunciations of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and The Limpid Stream in 1936, Shostakovich’s income fell by around two-thirds. He had little option but to accept cinema work, regardless of the films’ quality. Nevertheless he still managed to produce some worthwhile music for these projects. Volochayev Days (1937) is set in 1918 at a time when Russo-Japanese relations had long been strained. In the film, a Japanese commander, claiming to be visiting Russia to collect botanical specimens, attacks and sets fire to a village.

The Gadfly was one of an increasing number of populist Soviet films. Shostakovich wrote a good deal of music for it, though the process of editing meant that much of it was abbreviated in the film. The suite compiled by Lev Atovmian quickly became a hit in Russia, but it was only when it was used as theme music for the British television series Reilly, Ace of Spies, that it became widely known in the West. The Gadfly is full of colourful and effective music that works both in the film and (with Atovmian’s help) the concert hall.
Reviews

'Shostakovich hated writing for films. Yet the melodic invention , orchestration and atmospheric variety of these scores completely belies their money-earning inspiration' Vivid recording, compelling performances.'
Classic FM Magazine

'The Chandos issue will appeal to film music buffs and Shostakovich completists, but it deserves to reach a wider audience given the flair and dynamism of the music-making and the high quotient of tunes. As I observed last time round, Sinaisky is always right inside the idiom, just the man for the job.'
Gramophone

The Chandos issue will appeal to film music buffs and Shostakovich completists, but it deserves to reach a wider audience given the flair and dynamism of the music-making and the high quotient of tunes. As I observed last time round, Sinaisky is always right inside the idiom, just the man for the job.
Gramophone

Shostakovich hated writing for films. Yet the melodic invention , orchestration and atmospheric variety of these scores completely belies their money-earning inspiration' Vivid recording, compelling performances.
Classic FM Magazine

As ever with this partnership, the BBC Philharmonic players pull out all the stops for their principal guest conductor Vassily Sinaisky, and the music-making is lively and distinctive.
The Telegraph

'As ever with this partnership, the BBC Philharmonic players pull out all the stops for their principal guest conductor Vassily Sinaisky, and the music-making is lively and distinctive.'
The Telegraph

'I haven't heard all recordings of The Gadfly suite, but I feel comfortable in saying that Sinaisky's probably is at the front of the pack, given the refined yet lively playing of the BBC Philharmonic, and Chandos' almost histrionic engineering.'
Fanfare (USA)

 

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