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Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 Barber Adagio
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Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, Import, 18 August 2017
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- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Product Dimensions : 14.2 x 12.5 x 1.19 cm; 108.01 Grams
- Manufacturer : REFERENCE RECORDINGS
- Manufacturer reference : unknown
- Original Release Date : 2017
- Label : REFERENCE RECORDINGS
- ASIN : B073FFSJ98
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: 39,592 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
- Customer Reviews:
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In his fascinating and scholarly music notes, Maestro Honeck gives us great insight into the history of both pieces, and describes how he conducts and interprets each. He reminds us that Joseph Stalin's Soviet government was offended by Shostakovich's previous works. Under threat of arrest or banishment to Siberia, Shostakovich devised a new, less-complex compositional style for the 5th Symphony, still full of irony and double meaning, to appease Stalin and appeal to the common people. The Adagio of Samuel Barber is his most performed work, and one of the most popular of all 20th Century orchestral works. It is beloved for its beautiful simplicity and emotion. Manfred Honeck describes Barber's 1967 a capella version for mixed choir using the ''Agnus Dei'' text, and tells us his own interpretaiton is inspired by this text. He says it is ''for me, without a doubt, the key to finding a deeper sense of this piece. Perhaps it is for this reason that the Adagio has enchanted and moved audiences around the world since its very first incarnation and has continued to do so in all subsequent versions born since.'' This release is the seventh in the highly acclaimed Pittsburgh Live! series of releases from Reference Recordings.
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The PSO I am not overly familiar with, but it does absolutely fine on this recording. I'm also not familiar with Manfred Honeck, the conductor, but he brings these two pieces to life with a solid (but not radical in any way) interpretation. What stood out for me, after repeated listening, is the quality of the recording. Reference does its usual superb job with the engineering and mastering, and I'll continue to buy Reference Recordings releases simply based on the label for this reason. One of the nicest engineered recordings I've heard all year! Once again, RR sets the engineering bar high for all the other labels to chase.