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Shost Symph4 by Barbirolli? (Read 918 times)

Offline diomedes

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Shost Symph4 by Barbirolli?
« on: January 14, 2015, 07:16:16 PM »
I swear years ago I had marked a disc containing John Barbirolli conducting Shostakovich Symphony no.4 as my preferred recording of that work. My cd's are in boxes and disorder, and online i can't find any indication that it actually exists, so then is it my imagination?
Ravel, Alborada del Gracioso
Schumann, Kreisleriana
Scriabin, Sonata nr.3
Liszt, Don Juan

Offline j_menz

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Re: Shost Symph4 by Barbirolli?
«Reply #1 on: January 14, 2015, 11:32:46 PM »
Sure it wasn't the fifth?
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline diomedes

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Re: Shost Symph4 by Barbirolli?
«Reply #2 on: January 15, 2015, 03:32:16 PM »
I know he did the 5th, of that there's every indication.

I just know there's one particular recording that approaches the last climax with an irrationally aggressive tempo (although in context to this symphony, there's no such concept as rational, it can be said). I cannot remember who it was, if it wasn't barbirolli. Any chance you'd know of a place where a complete catalog of recordings is kept online? I was not able to find one.
Ravel, Alborada del Gracioso
Schumann, Kreisleriana
Scriabin, Sonata nr.3
Liszt, Don Juan

Offline ahinton

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Re: Shost Symph4 by Barbirolli?
«Reply #3 on: January 15, 2015, 05:33:40 PM »
I know he did the 5th, of that there's every indication.

I just know there's one particular recording that approaches the last climax with an irrationally aggressive tempo (although in context to this symphony, there's no such concept as rational, it can be said). I cannot remember who it was, if it wasn't barbirolli. Any chance you'd know of a place where a complete catalog of recordings is kept online? I was not able to find one.
What you need you will find at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._4_%28Shostakovich%29 . I'm not sure if it is comprehensive and there are errors, not least in that the first eight are shown in media that did not exist at the time(!) and the Ormandy recording date is, I think, about four years later than it should be.

I'm quite sure that Barbirolli never even conducted the work, let alone recorded it; http://www.barbirollisociety.co.uk/cd-listings certainly lists no recordings of Shoatakovich by him. Malcolm Sargent was down to conduct the Fourth in London in 1967 but had to pull out due to illness and his place was taken by Charles Groves in a rather shoddy performance not at all characteristic of the usually more than reliable Groves that probably resulted from necessarily hasty preparation of the work which was, of course, not well known in England at the time (I attended this, by the way - it was the first time that I'd heard it live).

The Fourth Symphony has the most troubled history in Shostakovich's output, not only because it had to wait a quarter century for its première but also because its full score apparently disappeared during WWII so, had the orchestral parts used in the 1936 rehearsals not survived, we would never have known this work, which would have been a tragedy, especially as it is not only his largest symphony with the largest orchestra that he ever used but also arguably his finest achievement of all; he was delighted with it at the first performance in 1961 and felt that it was still one of his best works (and a pity it was that his most recently completed symphony at that time - his Twelfth - was probably his worst and a rare aberration in his copious calatogue of works).

Best,

Alistair
Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive

Offline j_menz

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Re: Shost Symph4 by Barbirolli?
«Reply #4 on: January 15, 2015, 11:41:14 PM »
I'm quite sure that Barbirolli never even conducted the work, let alone recorded it; http://www.barbirollisociety.co.uk/cd-listings certainly lists no recordings of Shoatakovich by him.

Indeed, but it omits mention of the Shostakovich 5th Symphony as well, so is perhaps not as comprehensive as it ought be.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline diomedes

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Re: Shost Symph4 by Barbirolli?
«Reply #5 on: January 16, 2015, 05:27:57 PM »
Time to open some boxes, i suppose. I appreciate the input on this. The 4th always left the deepest mark on me, good to see i'm in good company. Many years ago I spent time familiarizing myself with the rest of his Symphonies and even audited a graduate course on them at my university.

I'm intruiged by the recording work done by the 2 pianists on Chandos who recorded and performed the whole thing (you can find one such live performance on youtube, if you have not seen i recommend it, for what it is, it's absolutely incredible).
Ravel, Alborada del Gracioso
Schumann, Kreisleriana
Scriabin, Sonata nr.3
Liszt, Don Juan

Offline diomedes

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Re: Shost Symph4 by Barbirolli?
«Reply #6 on: January 16, 2015, 06:46:46 PM »
Quote
Malcolm Sargent was down to conduct the Fourth in London in 1967 but had to pull out due to illness and his place was taken by Charles Groves in a rather shoddy performance not at all characteristic of the usually more than reliable Groves that probably resulted from necessarily hasty preparation of the work which was, of course, not well known in England at the time (I attended this, by the way - it was the first time that I'd heard it live).

That's extremely interesting. I find the wiki information regarding structure to be good reading, I'll be looking at it later, thanks.

I did some looking around. In the distant past it appears I have developed some attachment to a particular recording, for some reason it was the Andre Previn recording of the 4 (so my confusing him with Barbirolli is extremely embarrassing). I did pull out my digital recordings of Shostakovich and compared them for the purpose of getting at what i considered a moving approach to the finale ending and realized that the Simon Rattle and Neeme Jarvi ones were the closest to what i had imagined or perhaps interpreted in the past. I quite likely spent time listening to them at the time, probably some 10 + years ago. So it has been a while.
Ravel, Alborada del Gracioso
Schumann, Kreisleriana
Scriabin, Sonata nr.3
Liszt, Don Juan

Offline ahinton

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Re: Shost Symph4 by Barbirolli?
«Reply #7 on: January 17, 2015, 03:57:18 PM »
Indeed, but it omits mention of the Shostakovich 5th Symphony as well, so is perhaps not as comprehensive as it ought be.
But didn't he only perform that symphony and not actually record it?

Best,

Alistair
Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive

Offline j_menz

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Re: Shost Symph4 by Barbirolli?
«Reply #8 on: January 17, 2015, 11:12:07 PM »
But didn't he only perform that symphony and not actually record it?

It's a live rather than studio recording, but it's out on CD.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant