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Suite on Words of Michelangelo, Op. 145a
in Russian translations by Abram Efros
To Irina Shostakovich
To the Exile
Night (a dialogue)
Six Romances on Verses by Raleigh, Burns and Shakespeare, Op. 140
in Russian translations by Boris Pasternak and Samuil Marshak
To the Son
(after To his Son by Sir Walter Raleigh)
To Lev Atovmyan
In the fields in snow and rain
(after O wert thou in the cauld blast by Robert Burns)
To Nina Shostakovich
McPherson before his execution
(after McPherson's Farewell by Robert Burns)
To Isaak Glikman
(after Comin' thro' the Rye by Robert Burns)
To Yuri (Georg) Sviridov
(after Sonnet LXVI by William Shakespeare)
To Ivan Sollertinsky
The King's Campaign
(After The Grand Old Duke of York - traditional)
To Vissarion Shebalin
October, Op. 132
Moderato - Allegro
Total time: 72:49
Solo: Ildar Abdrazakov bass
Conductor: Gianandrea Noseda
5-7 April 2005
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The Michelangelo cycle is perhaps Shostakovich’s most unfairly neglected masterpiece, embodying everything that is hest about late Shostakovich in its concentration and power… on balance the new recording is now a clear first choice…
International Record Review
Abdrazakov’s restraint brings its own rewards, allowing the songs to speak for with stoical wisdom, the more so thanks to his fabulously steady tone, which remains rich and euphonious across the entire register and dynamic range. The BBC Philharmonic and their principal conductor accompany with refinement and well aimed attack.
Austere, uncompromising stuff, it’s ideally suited to Gianandrea Noseda’s severe way with Shostakovich and he and the BBC Philharmonic illuminate its bleakly beautiful orchestral palette with great subtlety
The Suite on Words of Michelangelo (1974) is one of Shostakovich’s most moving late works, its spare orchestration perfectly adjusted to the mood of the texts. Preoccupation with death also haunts the Six Romances, setting of English poets composed in 1942 but not orchestrated with 1971 and characteristic of his bitter humour. Both cycles are superbly sung by the Russian-born bass Ildar Abdrazakov.
The performances are very strong. Abdrazakov has a superb voice that he uses effectively to convey the great range of emotions in this music. Let us hope we hear lots more from him. The orchestral playing is clean and passionate, with strong and perceptive direction by Noseda, and the recorded sound is excellent. Texts are supplied in four languages along with informative notes. What a welcome recording this is!
American Record Guide
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Chandos Records is one of the world's premier classical music record companies, best known for its ground breaking search for neglected musical gems. The company has pioneered the idea of the 'series' and proudly includes series of such composers as Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Parry, Walton, Grainger, Berkeley and Bridge. Renowned for its superb sound quality, Chandos has won many prestigious awards for its natural sound.