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Electric Recording Co. to reissue Previn's Babi Yar — Shostakovich: Symphony No.13
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Oscar
2020-06-17 22:30:18 UTC
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One of the great Babi Yars is being reissued from the original HMV master tapes! Yes!! Thank you, Pete Hutchison of Electric Recording Co.
More on the cutting process with E.R.C. mastering engineer Sean Davies:



Release date: End of July 2020
Stereo LP - Catalogue Number. ERC056
Only 150 copies will be sold.

— PRE-ORDER — £300.00
https://www.theelectricrecordingco.com/news/2020-06-17-erc056-andre-previn-conducts-the-london-symphony-orchestra-performing-shostakovichs-symphony-no13-babi-yar


Press release

<< ERC056 Andre Previn conducts the London Symphony Orchestra performing Shostakovich’s Symphony No.13 “Babi Yar”

17 June 2020 by Electric Recording Co.

André Previn, who died in February last year was born April 6, 1929, in Berlin, Germany and fled Nazi persecution with his family to Los Angeles in 1939. Previn’s pedigree was unique: no other Oscar-winning conductor-composer from the Hollywood film studios became equally successful and respected in the world of classical music as he did with The London Symphony Orchestra – headed from 1968 to 1979 – whilst also maintaining a side career as a jazz pianist. In 1996 he was created a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE), and in 1998 he received a Kennedy Center Honor for lifetime achievement in music.

Dmitri Shostakovich was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on September 25, 1906 at a crucial time in Russian history and his career as a musician ran in parallel with the history of the new Soviet State. Nevertheless he was often at odds with official artistic doctrines, and, although he appeared at times to bend with the fluctuating Soviet attitudes to music, he maintained to the last an integrity and individuality. This marked him as arguably the most important composer in the history of the USSR and certainly one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century.

Shostakovich’s musical talents were identified at the age of just 13 when he was accepted into the Petrograd Conservatory to study piano under the direction of Alexander Glazunov. At this time whilst the Russian cultural climate was much more open, he was exposed to the more avant-garde works of Prokofiev, Hindemith, Stravinsky, Berg and Bartók– influences which resonate in his own compositions in the years that followed.

Symphony No. 13 in B-flat minor (Op. 113), titled “Babi Yar”, was completed on July 20, 1962, and was first performed in Moscow during December of that year. The hour-long work features a bass soloist, a male choir, and large orchestra and is laid out in five movements, each a setting of a Yevgeny Yevtushenko poem. The five earthily vernacular poems portray the massacre of Jews at Babi Yar during World War II and denounce Soviet life one aspect at a time: brutality, cynicism, deprivation, anxiety, corruption. Kirill Kondrashin conducted the 1962 premiere after Yevgeny Mravinsky had declined the assignment under State pressure.

When Previn undertook this remarkable 1979 Kingsway Hall recording Shostakovich had been dead just four years and the Berlin Wall would not fall for another ten. It’s a wonderfully transparent and richly rewarding performance that is testament to Previn’s symbiotic relationship with the LSO during the 1970s showing them both at their very best. Sonically hugely dynamic, masterminded by Walter Legge protégé Suvi Raj Grubb, the results are a truly revelatory and exhilarating listening experience.

A word on Dolby

This is the first Dolby recording to pass through our hands. Although Dolby technology has existed since the early 1970s various versions of theses boxes were manufactured throughout the 1970s and 1980s. We spent considerable time sourcing and purchasing all variations of these units and comparing their sound. We found there were significant differences between the models manufactured. Once we had chosen the units we felt performed the best we replaced some of the components as well as manufacturing cables to run to our Lyrec tape console in our custom mined silver wire. We feel that these modifications greatly enhanced the performance and enjoyability of this sonic blockbuster.

This edition is limited to 150 copies and is available to pre-order now directly from our website: https://www.theelectricrecordingco.com/shop/ >>
Oscar
2020-06-17 22:34:15 UTC
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And before y'all go all Veblen on me:

The U.S. Angel pressings are notoriously noisy. Orig. U.K. issues are not so easy to find, certainly not $1.98, owing to its inclusion in TAS list (The Absolute Sound). Last copy I saw in a store was 2012, and the last 4 online auction sales of HMV ASD 3911, going back nearly a year, as reported by Popsike (most recent, May 2020)

-£90 (11 bids, "vg+/ex")
-£70 (5 bids, "ex/ex+")
-£103 (6 bids, "ex+/ex+")
-£87 (21 bids "ex+").
number_six
2020-06-20 23:00:47 UTC
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I am not well situated to judge Yevtushenko's place in 20th century poetry.

But Shostakovich 13 in 20th century music, I have a better idea.

I typed masur yar into the amazon search window --

it asked if I meant "mason jar" but at least produced the desired search hit

Question - what living composer (if any) is worthy to set Paul Celan's Death Fugue? With Penderecki gone, I'll believe it if I ever hear it.
Frank Berger
2020-06-17 23:48:26 UTC
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Post by Oscar
One of the great Babi Yars is being reissued from the original HMV master tapes! Yes!! Thank you, Pete Hutchison of Electric Recording Co.
More on the cutting process with E.R.C. mastering engineer Sean Davies: http://youtu.be/wAj22g8MWkw
Release date: End of July 2020
Stereo LP - Catalogue Number. ERC056
Only 150 copies will be sold.
— PRE-ORDER — £300.00
https://www.theelectricrecordingco.com/news/2020-06-17-erc056-andre-previn-conducts-the-london-symphony-orchestra-performing-shostakovichs-symphony-no13-babi-yar
Press release
<< ERC056 Andre Previn conducts the London Symphony Orchestra performing Shostakovich’s Symphony No.13 “Babi Yar”
17 June 2020 by Electric Recording Co.
André Previn, who died in February last year was born April 6, 1929, in Berlin, Germany and fled Nazi persecution with his family to Los Angeles in 1939. Previn’s pedigree was unique: no other Oscar-winning conductor-composer from the Hollywood film studios became equally successful and respected in the world of classical music as he did with The London Symphony Orchestra – headed from 1968 to 1979 – whilst also maintaining a side career as a jazz pianist. In 1996 he was created a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE), and in 1998 he received a Kennedy Center Honor for lifetime achievement in music.
Dmitri Shostakovich was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on September 25, 1906 at a crucial time in Russian history and his career as a musician ran in parallel with the history of the new Soviet State. Nevertheless he was often at odds with official artistic doctrines, and, although he appeared at times to bend with the fluctuating Soviet attitudes to music, he maintained to the last an integrity and individuality. This marked him as arguably the most important composer in the history of the USSR and certainly one of the most celebrated composers of the 20th century.
Shostakovich’s musical talents were identified at the age of just 13 when he was accepted into the Petrograd Conservatory to study piano under the direction of Alexander Glazunov. At this time whilst the Russian cultural climate was much more open, he was exposed to the more avant-garde works of Prokofiev, Hindemith, Stravinsky, Berg and Bartók– influences which resonate in his own compositions in the years that followed.
Symphony No. 13 in B-flat minor (Op. 113), titled “Babi Yar”, was completed on July 20, 1962, and was first performed in Moscow during December of that year. The hour-long work features a bass soloist, a male choir, and large orchestra and is laid out in five movements, each a setting of a Yevgeny Yevtushenko poem. The five earthily vernacular poems portray the massacre of Jews at Babi Yar during World War II and denounce Soviet life one aspect at a time: brutality, cynicism, deprivation, anxiety, corruption. Kirill Kondrashin conducted the 1962 premiere after Yevgeny Mravinsky had declined the assignment under State pressure.
When Previn undertook this remarkable 1979 Kingsway Hall recording Shostakovich had been dead just four years and the Berlin Wall would not fall for another ten. It’s a wonderfully transparent and richly rewarding performance that is testament to Previn’s symbiotic relationship with the LSO during the 1970s showing them both at their very best. Sonically hugely dynamic, masterminded by Walter Legge protégé Suvi Raj Grubb, the results are a truly revelatory and exhilarating listening experience.
A word on Dolby
This is the first Dolby recording to pass through our hands. Although Dolby technology has existed since the early 1970s various versions of theses boxes were manufactured throughout the 1970s and 1980s. We spent considerable time sourcing and purchasing all variations of these units and comparing their sound. We found there were significant differences between the models manufactured. Once we had chosen the units we felt performed the best we replaced some of the components as well as manufacturing cables to run to our Lyrec tape console in our custom mined silver wire. We feel that these modifications greatly enhanced the performance and enjoyability of this sonic blockbuster.
This edition is limited to 150 copies and is available to pre-order now directly from our website: https://www.theelectricrecordingco.com/shop/ >>
Sold out. Can't help wondering how much better it actually
sound than the 1999 CD release.
Oscar
2020-06-18 00:25:28 UTC
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Post by Frank Berger
Sold out. Can't help wondering how much better it actually
sound than the 1999 CD release.
This is a late 1970s all-analog recording by the great Christopher Parker and you want to hear it "remastered at Abbey Road Studios and noise-shaped via the Prism SNS system for optimum sound quality". Blasphemy, Sir!

To the stake!
Frank Berger
2020-06-18 01:00:26 UTC
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Post by Oscar
Post by Frank Berger
Sold out. Can't help wondering how much better it actually
sound than the 1999 CD release.
This is a late 1970s all-analog recording by the great Christopher Parker and you want to hear it "remastered at Abbey Road Studios and noise-shaped via the Prism SNS system for optimum sound quality". Blasphemy, Sir!
To the stake!
Not sure what you are saying (or joking about). What you
describe is the 1999 EMI transfer. I was wondering about
the new vinyl remaster. Their web site says out of stock but
the post shows a release date of July 2020, so out of stock
probably means not yet in stock. I suppose they can sell
150 copies at 300 pounds. I wonder how they came up with
that marketing. How many copies could the sell at, say, 100
pounds?
RiRiIII
2020-06-19 16:43:16 UTC
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You can still order their only release not sold out. The EMI Mozart for 2500 pounds.
Ricardo Jimenez
2020-06-18 00:20:14 UTC
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On Wed, 17 Jun 2020 15:30:18 -0700 (PDT), Oscar
Previn’s pedigree was unique: no other Oscar-winning conductor-composer from the Hollywood film studios became equally successful and respected in the world of classical music as he did with The London Symphony Orchestra – headed from 1968 to 1979 – whilst also maintaining a side career as a jazz pianist.
I checked Leonard Bernstein. He was nominated for an Academy Award
for his On the Waterfront score but did not win. Eric Korngold,
Bernard Herrmann and John Williams all won Oscars and were respected
in the world of classical music so I don't think Previn's pedigree was
so unusual.
number_six
2020-06-20 23:06:34 UTC
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Post by Ricardo Jimenez
On Wed, 17 Jun 2020 15:30:18 -0700 (PDT), Oscar
Post by Oscar
Previn’s pedigree was unique: no other Oscar-winning conductor-composer from the Hollywood film studios became equally successful and respected in the world of classical music as he did with The London Symphony Orchestra – headed from 1968 to 1979 – whilst also maintaining a side career as a jazz pianist.
I checked Leonard Bernstein. He was nominated for an Academy Award
for his On the Waterfront score but did not win. Eric Korngold,
Bernard Herrmann and John Williams all won Oscars and were respected
in the world of classical music so I don't think Previn's pedigree was
so unusual.
I think the writer was factoring in the jazz world also.

Agree film /classical combo is not remarkable per se.
Oscar
2020-06-21 05:31:22 UTC
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Here's Lebrecht's review of Muti's Babi Yar:


<< Shostakovich: 13th symphony ‘Babi Yar’ (CSO.Resound)
By Norman Lebrecht
January 10, 2020

Half a century ago, in January 1970, the young Riccardo Muti gave this symphony its western Europe premiere in Rome with the RAI orchestra and the wondeful bass Ruggiero Raimondi. The performance was semi-samizdat. A score had been smuggled out of Russia, where the work was suppressed for its denunciation of Soviet antisemitism, and Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s text was unofficially translated into Italian. Muti, who never forgot the occasion, revisited it 16 months ago with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Although unversed in Russian ironies, his interpretation has the authority of a leader who lived through the late-Soviet era and observed the shoddy deals that democracies made, and continue to make, with rotten regimes. This is not about them: it’s about us. There is a grandeur to Muti’s tempi that expresses both magnitude and contempt. It is totally convincing from the opening phrase.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra plays more powerfully than any Russian orchestra, then or since, and the men of the Chicago chorus with Alexei Tikhomirov as soloist do full justice to Yevtushenko’s sonorous lines. Solti, a late convert to Shostakovich, recorded this symphony in Chicago in 1995. Muti, I feel, has more to say. On record, only Mariss Jansons comes close. >>

https://myscena.org/norman-lebrecht/shostakovich-13th-symphony-babi-yar-cso-resound/
Néstor Castiglione
2020-06-21 20:28:54 UTC
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Give Muti's earlier reading of Shostakovich 13 at La Scala a try sometime. It was issued a long time ago on a Memories CD. His CSO recording is actually quite fine, too, and makes me regret that he hasn't recorded more Shostakovich; but the Italian recording captures the maestro at his youthful, steely best. A powerful performance, the singing of the bowdlerized translation into Italian (!) and all notwithstanding.

I'm surprised that the Jansons recording on EMI is praised in the attached article: A tired performance in weird sound. Unmentioned in the review are the vastly superior recordings by Kondrashin, Rozhdestvensky, Ormandy, or Temirkanov.

I used to be very taken with this symphony as a teenager. Now as I approach my 40s, I find it (and a lot of Shostakovich's music from the late 1950s/early 1960s) to be the overblown efforts of a Mussorgsky manqué. It seemsthat he was struggling to find his stylistic footing during this period, which he really didn't recover until the visionary, spectral works of his late period. But the last movement, "A Career," is excellent; its coda one of the most moving pages in all of Shostakovich.
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