Catalogue No: TOCC0121EAN/UPC: 5060113441218Release Date: 05.12.2011Composer: Dmitry Shostakovich Artists: Soloists of the Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella
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During the Siege of Leningrad, which lasted from 1941 to 1944, Shostakovich was famously photographed in a fireman's outfit on the burning rooftops. But he also made a musical contribution to the defence of the city, arranging a series of songs — operatic arias, classical numbers and popular Soviet hits — for voices, violin and cello. The musicians then climbed into the back of a truck and were driven to the front, where they performed to the soldiers. The cheeky, folky — and defiantly Russian — insouciance of many of the songs, recorded here for the first time, must have brought a ray of hope and humour to the cold and hungry troops.
Soloists of the Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella
W. Mark Roberts :
“… While this release of Songs for the Front is self-recommending to Shostakovich completists on the basis of being the premiere recording, there is no denying that the material is not the usual fare of most admirers of this composer. Nevertheless, such superb music-making and recording engineering – deserving of any number of ‘Record of the Year’ awards – swiftly dispel any preconceptions. Repeat hearings generate increasing appreciation for all on offer here, and I have derived immense pleasure listening to these performances in preparing this review. Executive producer Martin Anderson, production director and coordinator Igor Prokhorov, and all others involved should be commended for the attention to detail evident in the presentation and documentation. This is the mandatory Shostakovich CD of 2012.” —W. Mark Roberts, DSCH Journal
Brilliant performances by all concerned. I can only hope that some consideration can be given to recording the transcriptions by composers other than Shostakovich mentioned in the liner notes.
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