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Saulius Sondeckis

Saulius Sondeckis In Memoriam

  • Type CD
  • Label CuGate Classics
  • UPC 4038912419821
  • Catalog number CGC 025
  • Release date 05 May 2017
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About the album

In the 19th century William Shakespeare attained honors in Russian literary circles as a generic dramatist, whose works were looked upon as a conceivable model for the country's own theatrical evolution. So it was only a matter of time before Shostakovich as a versatile dramatic composer also felt attracted by the masterly English playwright. The first version of Hamlet was composed for Nikolai Akimov's stage production in 1932. After the war they continued their collaboration and released Hamlet in 1964 based on the original incidental music of 1932. Our album presents the eight movements Suite which Shostakovich's friend Lev Atovmian arranged with the approval of the composer. This condensed version is very effective, painting vivid pictures of the protagonists and the scenes. The Concerto No. 1 for Piano, Trumpet and Orchestra was called by Shostakovich himself a 'mocking challenge to the conservative-serious character of the classical concert attitude.' It is an overwhelming lot of ideas which are put together to a kind of kaleidoscope. One can identify a theme from Haydn, there is virtuoso piano playing with reminiscences of Liszt, Beethoven is present, Grieg seems to appear and even Hindemith leaves a trace by a foxtrot citation - in short: it is a bunch of musical flowers watered by irony. Shostakovich himself was convinced, that his String Quartet No. 8 was well adapted for an orchestral transcription. The first one for string orchestra was done by Rudolf Barshai, which is known as Chamber Symphony, Op. 110a the composer gave his blessings to. The version on this album however was arranged by Saulius Sondeckis for the St. Petersburg Camerata, adding timpani to the string section grounding the work with some sinster colors.

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