Shostakovich: Songs for the Front
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Dmitry Shostakovich: Songs for the Front

Catalogue Number: TOCC0121
EAN: 5060113441218
Release Date: 5 December 2011
Duration: 60:41

Arrangements of 27 songs by Beethoven, Bizet, Blanter, Dargomyzhsky, Dunaevsky, Gurilyov, Ippolitov-Ivanov, Leoncavallo, Musorgsky, Pokrass, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rossini and others

Soloists of the Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella

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.

Booklet texts   (PDF)

Track Listing, MP3 Downloads and Streaming Samples

Track No. Track Title / Details Duration Sample Add to Cart
DOWNLOAD COMPLETE ALBUM 60:41
1 ‘La Pastorella dell’Alpi,’ Tyrolean ländler (‘The Alpine Shepherdess’) from Serate Musicali (Soirées Musicales) (1941)

Gioacchino Antonio Rossini, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Natalia Pavlova, soprano
Ayako Tanabe, violin
Valery Masterov, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
2:22 play
2 Scottish Drinking Song from Twenty Five Scottish Songs for voice and piano trio, Op. 108, No. 13, 1817–18 (1941)

Ludwig van Beethoven, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Dmitry Volkov, bass
Ayako Tanabe, violin
Valery Masterov, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
1:22 play
3 ‘Habañera’ from the opera Carmen, 1873–74 (1941)

Georges Bizet, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Varvara Chaikova, soprano
Ayako Tanabe, violin
Valery Masterov, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director
3:05 play
4 ‘Maman, dites-moi’, pastorale (‘Mother, what is love’), 1894 (1941)

Jean-Baptiste Weckerlin, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Natalia Pavlova, soprano
Ayako Tanabe, violin
Valery Masterov, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
0:55 play
5 ‘Arlecchino’s Serenade’ from the opera Pagliacci, 1892 (1941)

Ruggero Leoncavallo, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Mikhail Vekua, tenor
Ivan Ivanov , violin
Valery Verstyuk, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
1:29 play
6 ‘Gopak’; text from Taras Shevchenko’s poem ‘The Haydamaks’ (1941)

Modest Musorgsky, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Natalia Pavlova, soprano
Ayako Tanabe, violin
Valery Masterov, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
2:43 play
7 ‘Khivrya’s Song’ from the opera Sorochintsy Fair, 1877 (1941)

Modest Musorgsky, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Varvara Chaikova, soprano
Ayako Tanabe, violin
Valery Masterov, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
4:18 play
8 ‘Parasya’s Dumka’ from the opera Sorochintsy Fair, 1877 (1941)

Modest Musorgsky, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Natalia Pavlova, soprano
Ayako Tanabe, violin
Valery Masterov, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
3:23 play
9 ‘Song of the Varangian Guest’ from the opera Sadko, 1893–96 (1941)

Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Dmitry Volkov, bass
Ayako Tanabe, violin
Valery Masterov, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
2:27 play
10 ‘I Shall Tell Mama’, 1851 (1941)

Alexander Gurilyov, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Natalia Pavlova, soprano
Ayako Tanabe, violin
Valery Masterov, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
1:30 play
11 ‘The Little Sarafan’ (‘Sarafanchik’), 1849 (1941)

Alexander Gurilyov, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Varvara Chaikova, soprano
Ayako Tanabe, violin
Valery Masterov, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
1:42 play
12 ‘I Sit on a Rock’, 1934 (1941)

Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Varvara Chaikova, soprano
Ivan Ivanov , violin
Valery Verstyuk, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
1:34 play
13 ‘Duet of Karas and Odarka’ from the opera A Cossack beyond the Danube, 1861–62 (1941)

Semyon Gulak-Artemovsky, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Natalia Pavlova, soprano
Dmitry Volkov, bass
Ayako Tanabe, violin
Valery Masterov, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
8:25 play
14 ‘Fever’ (‘Likhoradushka’), Russian folksong, 1851 (1941)

Alexander Sergeyevich Dargomyzhsky, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Natalia Pavlova, soprano
Ayako Tanabe, violin
Valery Masterov, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
0:58 play
15 ‘Grenada Clothed in Mist’, 1869 (1941)

Alexander Sergeyevich Dargomyzhsky, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Varvara Chaikova, soprano
Ayako Tanabe, violin
Valery Masterov, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
1:56 play
16 ‘On Our Street’: Olga’s Song from the opera Rusalka, 1855 (1941)

Alexander Sergeyevich Dargomyzhsky, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Natalia Pavlova, soprano
Ayako Tanabe, violin
Valery Masterov, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
1:54 play
17 ‘Comic Song’ from the unfinished opera Rogdana, begun in 1861 (1941)

Alexander Sergeyevich Dargomyzhsky, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Natalia Pavlova, soprano
Varvara Chaikova, soprano
Ivan Ivanov , violin
Valery Verstyuk, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
0:45 play
18 ‘Gypsy Song’, 1832 (1941)

Alexey Nikolayevich Verstovsky, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Varvara Chaikova, soprano
Ayako Tanabe, violin
Valery Masterov, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
2:41 play
19 ‘Girl’s Song’, 1935 (1941)

David Abramovich Pritzker, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Varvara Chaikova, soprano
Ayako Tanabe, violin
Valery Masterov, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
2:57 play
20 ‘Anyuta’s Song’ from the film The Merry Fellows, 1934 (1941)

Isaak Osipovich Dunaevsky, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Natalia Pavlova, soprano
Alexander Yuts, violin
Valery Verstyuk, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
2:35 play
21 ‘Oh, how great!’: March of the Pioneers from the film The Beethoven Concerto, 1937 (1941)

Isaak Osipovich Dunaevsky, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Natalia Pavlova, soprano
Tatiana Abramenko, mezzo soprano
Magdalina Ganaba, mezzo soprano
Ayako Tanabe, violin
Valery Masterov, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
1:28 play
22 ‘Sing for us, wind’, from the film The Children of Captain Grant, 1936 (1941)

Isaak Osipovich Dunaevsky, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Natalia Pavlova, soprano
Tatiana Abramenko, mezzo soprano
Magdalina Ganaba, mezzo soprano
Ayako Tanabe, violin
Valery Masterov, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
1:24 play
23 ‘Song of the Sea’, 1939 (1941)

Isaak Osipovich Dunaevsky, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Ivan Bolgov, tenor
Taras Yasenkov, tenor
Alexander Yuts, violin
Valery Verstyuk, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
2:03 play
24 ‘Farewell’, 1937 (1941)

Dmitry Yakovlevich Pokrass, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Ivan Bolgov, tenor
Ayako Tanabe, violin
Valery Masterov, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
1:24 play
25 ‘Those are not storm clouds’, from the film Sons of a Working People, 1937 (1941)

Daniil Jakovlevich Pokrass, composer
Dmitry Yakovlevich Pokrass, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Ivan Bolgov, tenor
Ayako Tanabe, violin
Valery Masterov, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
1:31 play
26 ‘Do not touch us’, from the film Mitka-Lelyuk, 1938 (1941)

Yuri Milyutin, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Ivan Bolgov, tenor
Taras Yasenkov, tenor
Alexander Yuts, violin
Valery Verstyuk, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
2:18 play
27 ‘Shchors’s Song’, 1935 (1941)

Matvei Isaakovich Blanter, composer
Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger
Ivan Bolgov, tenor
Taras Yasenkov, tenor
Alexander Yuts, violin
Valery Verstyuk, cello
Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir
Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

(first recording)
1:32 play

Artists

Matvei Isaakovich Blanter

Matvei Isaakovich Blanter, composer

Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven, composer
[credit: portrait miniature by Christian Horneman, 1802]

Georges Bizet

Georges Bizet, composer

Alexander Sergeyevich Dargomyzhsky

Alexander Sergeyevich Dargomyzhsky, composer
[credit: Portrait by Konstantin Makovsky, 1869]

Isaak Osipovich Dunaevsky

Isaak Osipovich Dunaevsky, composer

Semyon Gulak-Artemovsky

Semyon Gulak-Artemovsky, composer

Alexander Gurilyov

Alexander Gurilyov, composer

Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov

Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov, composer

Ruggero Leoncavallo, postcard (1910)

Ruggero Leoncavallo, composer

Yuri Milyutin

Yuri Milyutin, composer

Modest Mussorgsky

Modest Musorgsky, composer

Daniil Jakovlevich Pokrass

Daniil Jakovlevich Pokrass, composer

Dmitri Yakovlevich Pokrass

Dmitry Yakovlevich Pokrass, composer

David Abramovich Pritzker

David Abramovich Pritzker, composer

Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov

Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov, composer

Gioacchino Rossini, 1865

Gioacchino Antonio Rossini, composer
[credit: Etienne Carjat]

Alexey Nikolayevich Verstovsky

Alexey Nikolayevich Verstovsky, composer

Jean-Baptiste Weckerlin

Jean-Baptiste Weckerlin, composer

Dmitry Shostakovich

Dmitry Shostakovich, arranger

Natalia Pavlova

Natalia Pavlova, soprano

Varvara Chaikova

Varvara Chaikova, soprano

Tatiana Abramenko, mezzo soprano

Magdalina Ganaba

Magdalina Ganaba, mezzo soprano

Mikhail Vekua

Mikhail Vekua, tenor

Ivan Bolgov

Ivan Bolgov, tenor

Taras Yasenkov

Taras Yasenkov, tenor

Dmitry Volkov

Dmitry Volkov, bass

Ayako Tanabe

Ayako Tanabe, violin

Alexander Yuts

Alexander Yuts, violin

Ivan Ivanov

Ivan Ivanov , violin

Valery Masterov

Valery Masterov, cello

Valery Verstyuk

Valery Verstyuk, cello
[credit: Classicus Trio, 2009]

Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella

Russkaya Conservatoria Chamber Capella, choir

Nikolay Khondzinsky

Nikolay Khondzinsky, director

Reviews

The mandatory Shostakovich CD of 2012

Shostakovich, whose repeated applications for military duty had been rejected, spent the first weeks of July [1941] labouring with the Home Guard to fortify Leningrad. In a few days around 12 July, he arranged twenty-seven popular art and mass songs, intended to be performed by small groups of Conservatoire musicians to soldiers at the front and to recruits at call-up centres. Small-scale in comparison with the Leningrad Symphony (which he began the following week), this wartime project is nevertheless equally revealing of Shostakovich's fervent commitment to apply his skills to the fight.

The present release marks the first recording of these Russian-language arrangements, and in the foreseeable future is unlikely to be surpassed for quality. All performances are of the very highest calibre in terms of both technique and emotional projection. No less impressive, booklet notes by academics Larisa Miller, Florentina Panchenko, Tamara Svirskaya and soprano Elvira Fatykhova are a treasure trove of information, providing historical context, documenting the provenance of each piece, detailing instances where Shostakovich made noteworthy modifications to his source material, and presenting biographies for all the performers. Full librettos are supplied in both Cyrillic and Anthony Phillips' English translations.

[…] 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 January 2013

Comments

1 comment – add a comment

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.

Graham 15 August 2013