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Today's concert: Shostakovich, Gergiev, Mariinsky

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Title : Today's concert: Shostakovich, Gergiev, Mariinsky
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Today's concert: Shostakovich, Gergiev, Mariinsky

After his Fifth Symphony restored his standing with the State, Shostakovich a couple of years later wrote this rather quirky, but deeply felt symphony. It consists of a dramatic slow movement that always sounds a bit apocalyptic to me, followed by two deeply sardonic scherzi. And that's it. Fairly short for a Shostakovich symphony and one of my favorites. I just stumbled across this performance with Gergiev conducting the Mariinsky orchestra in a concert at Salle Pleyel in Paris, filmed by a French crew. Pretty well directed in that there are no out-of-focus shots on someone not playing. Perhaps too many closeups of the bore of the principal flautist's instrument. Wow, does the principal flute ever have a lot of work in this piece! Gergiev is conducting with a toothpick (literally) as he sometimes does. This is a powerful, committed, driving performance where everyone is really together. Great performance.




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