Shostakovich Symphony No.1 & No.6
1st Mar 2004
CD HLL 7506
DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Symphony No.1 in F minor, Op.10
1. I – Allegretto – Allegro non troppo
2. II – Allegro
3. III – Lento – Largo
4. IV – Allegro molto
Symphony No.6 in B minor, Op.54
5. I – Largo
6. II – Allegro
7. III – Presto
‘Skrowaczewski combined something of the orchestra’s sophistication with the unequivocal directness which emerges from his own uncompromising honesty in interpretation.’
Stanislaw Skrowaczewski is a former Princial Conductor of the Hallé and remains an annual visitor to the Orchestra. He met Shostakovich as a student, and has become a world authority on his music.
Shostakovich’s First Symphony was written as part of his diploma studies in 1926. It was premiered both in Leningrad and Moscow and earned the composer immediate world fame at the age of just 20. Considered perhaps the greatest composer of the 20th century, Shostakovich built all the major features of his music into this spectacular work. Tragic intensity, grotesque wit and humour all find their place.
The enormously successful Sixth Symphony puzzled early listeners with its extreme contrasts between explosive activity and enigmatic unease. They had simply never heard anything like it before. This emotional roller-coaster of a symphony finds a more understanding audience today, and it remains a favourite, particularly with its rousing knees-up of a finale.