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Tag: Valery Gergiev

Valery Gergiev, Kirov Orchestra (Mariinsky) – Shostakovich Symphony 5 & 9 (2004) {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Valery Gergiev, Kirov Orchestra (Mariinsky) – Shostakovich Symphony 5 & 9 (2004)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 73:36 minutes | Artwork (PDF) | 4,24 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Artwork (PDF) | 1,36 GB
Features 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 multichannel surround sound | Decca/Philips # 470 651-2

The argument could be made that Valery Gergiev and his Kirov orchestra’s 2002 recording of Shostakovich’s Fifth and Ninth symphonies on Philips is the ne plus ultra of Shostakovich recordings. The sound of the recording is staggering: crisp, rich, and vivid. The playing of the orchestra is stunning: plush, powerful, and precise. The conducting is superb: strong, firm, and flexible.

The argument could also be made that this is far more a Gergiev/Kirov recording than a Shostakovich recording. Gergiev interprets like mad: pushing and pulling tempos, stopping, starting, then suddenly changing the tempo altogether. His louds are overwhelming, his quiets are almost inaudible, and the distance between the two is incommensurable. There are times in this recording when it sounds as if the music is going to explode from the incredible and inexorable intensity of Gergiev’s interpretations. While nothing like the recordings of Yevgeny Mravinsky with the Leningrad Philharmonic, the conductor and orchestra that gave the work its premiere, Gergiev with the Kirov’s recording is nothing if it’s not the ne plus ultra.

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Valery Gergiev, Kirov Orchestra (Mariinsky) & Rotterdam Philarmonic Orchestra – Shostakovich: Symphony 7 "Leningrad" (2004) {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Valery Gergiev, Kirov Orchestra (Mariinsky) & Rotterdam Philarmonic Orchestra
– Dmitry Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7 “Leningrad” (2004)

PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 78:35 minutes | Artwork (PDF) | 3,84 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Artwork (PDF) | 1,35 GB
Features 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 multichannel surround sound | Decca/Philips # 470 623-2

By its very nature, patriotism is vulgar: loud and proud, bombastic and sentimental, and wholeheartedly simple-minded. Or is that less a description of patriotism than a précis of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7? Written during the siege of Leningrad at the start of the Great Patriotic War, the Seventh is incredibly vulgar — critics at its American premiere savaged it for its banality — and incredibly effective. Its trite themes, its hackneyed harmonies, its straight-four rhythms, its primary color scoring, its “play it to the last row of the balcony” climaxes: all of these things are vulgar, but all of them are — in the right performance — overwhelmingly effective and altogether inspiring. In this performance by Valery Gergiev conducting the Kirov Orchestra and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Seventh is incredibly vulgar and unbelievably loud, proud, bombastic, and sentimental. But it is also incredibly effective: the opening Allegretto is monstrously evil and absolutely devastating, the following Moderato is quiet but deadly, the following Adagio is heartbreakingly mournful, the closing Allegro non troppo is enormously celebratory, and the entire work is a colossal monument to patriotism. The conjoined Kirov and Rotterdam orchestras play with all the bloodthirsty enthusiasm of the Red Army taking Berlin in 1945, and Philips’ sound gets bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger until the walls of the Reichstag come crashing down. Vulgar or not, this is as great a recording of Shostakovich’s Seventh as there has ever been.

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Valery Gergiev, Kirov Orchestra (Mariinsky) – Shostakovich Symphony 4 (2004) {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Valery Gergiev, Kirov Orchestra (Mariinsky) – Shostakovich Symphony 4 (2004)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 64:14 minutes | Artwork (PDF) | 3,96 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Artwork (PDF) | 1,17 GB
Features 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 multichannel surround sound | Decca/Philips # 475 6190

Valery Gergiev holds the opening movement of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 4 together by sheer willpower. Since the gargantuan movement sprawls like a drunken giant, lurching from pseudo-exposition through inchoate development and faux-recapitulation and amorphous coda, nothing else but willpower could possibly do it. And, amazingly enough, it works. With the tremendously muscular playing of the Kirov Orchestra, Gergiev makes chaos cohere and even convince, if not quite compel. After the opening movement, Shostakovich’s Fourth does hold together and hold together brilliantly. The central movement is as tight and hard as a blackjack and the closing movement, although even larger and longer than the opening, has a dramatic logic as rigorous and severe as a machine gun. But Gergiev’s will power never relaxes and his closing movement is not only coherent and convincing, it is immensely compelling. Indeed, taken altogether, Gergiev and the Kirov’s Fourth is surely the most compelling recording of the work to come out of Russia since Kiril Kondrashin’s premiere recording from the ’60s. No higher praise is possible. Philips’ sound has the impact and immediacy of a sledgehammer.

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Valery Gergiev, Mariinsky Orchestra and Chorus – Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos 3 & 10 (2011) [2.0 & 5.1] {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Valery Gergiev, Mariinsky Orchestra and Chorus – Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos 3 & 10 (2011)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 80:23 minutes | Full Artwork | 4,37 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Artwork | 1,41 GB

The trend in the 21st century has been to let the suppressed emotions detailed in the still-controversial Shostakovich memoir Testimony spill over into performances of his music, and this is all to the good: the emotional core of Shostakovich’s music is the experience of living under repression at a fundamental level. But that’s not to say soberer, more controlled readings don’t have their place, as well, and conductor Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra deliver some here. The program opens with the Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 20 (“The First of May”), one of the least-often-performed of Shostakovich’s 15 symphonies. Composed in 1930, the work carries overtones of the breakdown in freedom that accompanied the Soviet Union’s second decade; it’s as if the composer was unsure of what he could get away with and ended the work with some rather plain patriotic choral music. The Symphony No. 3 serves almost as a prelude to the much longer and weightier Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93. In both works Gergiev’s readings are restrained, with the entire album recorded at very quiet dynamic levels, as if hesitant to make too much of a statement. The quick central movements, often taken as slightly angry commentary on Joseph Stalin, the dictator whom Shostakovich had managed to outlast, are crisp but not especially tangy, and in the giant 23-minute opening movement Gergiev sacrifices emotional intensity for a remarkable sense of the long line of the whole. There are plenty of other choices on the market for the Symphony No. 10, but those interested in letting the music speak for itself will find a masterly recording here, in audiophile-quality sound.

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Valery Gergiev, LSO – Ravel. Daphnis et Chloe, Pavane, Bolero (2010) [2.0 & 5.0] {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Valery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra & London Symphony Chorus –
– Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé / Pavane / Boléro (2010) [2.0 & 5.0]

PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 78:36 minutes | Scans included | 4,15 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 1,38 GB

The first thing that will strike you when listening to this recording is its huge dynamic range. The opening bars of ‘Daphnis and Chloe’ (recorded in September 2009) emerge almost imperceptibly from inky black silence, and you may be tempted to immediately increase the volume setting, but beware, because as the music of the introduction rises to its climax (around 2’28”) the sound expands hugely, with the LSO trumpets cutting thrillingly through the massive orchestral and choral texture. Nevertheless this disc does need to be played at a high level to achieve the most realistic sound from it.

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Valery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra – Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet (2010) {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

London Symphony Orchestra / Valery Gergiev – Prokofiev: Romeo & Juliet (2010)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & DST64 6.0 >1-bit/2.8224 MHz | Front Cover | 7.78 GB
FLAC tracks 2.0 24bit/88.2 kHz | Front Cover | 2.14 GB

This 2008 live recording with the London Symphony Orchestra is Valery Gergiev’s 2nd complete recording of Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo & Juliet, the 1st being a 1991 Philips release with the Kirov Orchestra. This performance, like his 1st, is notable for its refinement & lyricism. It’s perhaps surprising that Gergiev, known for the wildness & ferocity of his performances of other Prokofiev works, like The Fiery Angel, shows such restraint here. Gergiev clearly understands the ballet as a work in which Prokofiev, writing originally for the Bolshoi, a theater known for its conservatism (although that production was canceled), tailored his score to follow in the tradition of the 3 great Tchaikovsky ballets. The composer certainly cuts loose when appropriate, as in the fierce Introduction to Act III & the various fights, but the score is exceptional in its delicacy & finely calibrated orchestration. Because it is a “numbers” ballet, made up of a series of discrete movements or sections, it’s easy for the complete, nearly 2.5 hour ballet to come across as episodic, especially without the visual element to hold the narrative together. Gergiev does an excellent job of keeping the dramatic momentum going at the same time as he gives loving attention to its many exquisite details, & even though his approach is refined, that doesn’t mean that it in any way lacks passion, intensity, & suspense. Another strong recommendation for this performance is the fact that it is the 1st recording of the ballet as the composer originally conceived it. In preparation for the ballet’s Russian premiere at the Kirov Theatre in 1940, Prokofiev reluctantly cut or altered some numbers & added others. This version, prepared for the Mark Morris Dance Group by Princeton musicologist Simon Morrison, restores the composer’s original intentions for the scenario & the music. Gergiev led the LSO in accompanying Morris’ British premiere of the restored version in 2008, & went on to conduct it in concert, the source of this recording. The sound of the SACD is clean, clear, & brilliant. This is a recording that should be of strong interest to Gergiev’s fans & anyone who loves the music.

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Valery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra – Debussy: La mer, Jeux & Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune (2011) {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

London Symphony Orchestra / Valery Gergiev – Debussy: La mer, Jeux & Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune (2011)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & DST64 6.0 >1-bit/2.8224 MHz | Front Cover | 3.29 GB 
FLAC tracks 2.0 24bit/88.2 kHz | Front Cover | 900 MB 

Valery Gergiev’s 1st recording of French music on the LSO Live label, Ravel: Daphnis et Chloé, Boléro, Pavane – Gergiev was characterised by an unexpected affinity for this music & a warmth of expression not usually associated with this conductor. This follow-up issue confirms Gergiev’s credentials as a Francophile conductor (as do his recent meticulous performances of the music of Henri Dutilleux at the Barbican.

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Sergei Rachmaninov – Symphony No. 1 – London Symphony Orchestra, Mily Balakirev & Valery Gergiev (2016) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

Sergei Rachmaninov – Symphony No. 1 – London Symphony Orchestra, Mily Balakirev & Valery Gergiev (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 61:19 minutes | 1,29 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Q0buz | Digital booklet | © LSO Live

This new release in the LSO Live cycle of Rachmaninovs complete symphonies features his Symphony No. 1. The piece was composed in 1895 at his Ivanovka estate in Tambov, Russia. The premiere was a disaster due to poor conductor performance and under-rehearsal, but the score was rediscovered after the composers death and has since been frequently performed. English composer and professor Robert Simpson calls the First Symphony a powerful work in its own right convinced, individual, finely constructed, and achieving a genuinely tragic and heroic expression. Valery Gergiev is able to shine with this work, displaying his impeccable transparent interpretation. Also included on this release is Balakirevs Tamara. A member of Russias Mighty Handful, this work is considered by most scholars to be Balakirevs best work. The score drips with exotic and oriental influences, which were popular in nineteenth century Russia. This concert received extraordinary reviews: Full blooded and engrossing the performance revealed the genius of this strange, haunted piece. (The Telegraph) This is music Gergiev clearly believes in and that translated itself to his players Here was Gergiev at his best. (Bachtrack)

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Valery Gergiev, Mariinsky Theatre Soloists, Orchestra & Chorus – Stravinsky: Oedipus Rex / Les Noces (2010) {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Valery Gergiev, Mariinsky Theatre Soloists, Orchestra & Chorus – Stravinsky: Oedipus Rex / Les Noces (2010)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 74:10 minutes | Booklet (PDF) | 4,33 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Booklet (PDF) | 1,24 GB
Features Stereo and Multichannel surround sound | Mariinsky # MAR0510

Valery Gergiev brings enormous authority to two of Stravinsky’s pivotal masterworks of the 1920s, Les Noces, the dance-cantata completed in 1923, and the opera-oratorio Oedipus Rex from 1927. Les Noces, the final work from the composer’s “Russian” period, draws heavily on Russian folk material, deployed with the kind of raw rhythmic primitivism of Le Sacre du printemps. Gergiev leads vocal and instrumental forces from the Mariinsky Theatre of St. Petersburg in a propulsively energetic account of the score. The use of native Russian speakers in the vocal roles allows for a performance of such exhilarating abandon that it sounds like it is on the brink of flying out of control. One of the composer’s first major works from his neo-classical period, Oedipus Rex, also shows the influence of both Russian music and a cool, forward-looking modernism. The power of Gergiev’s reading lies in his ability to make all those elements clearly audible, and at the same time make them coalesce into a coherent and urgently dramatic performance; he turns the familiar story into a real nail-biter that builds to an overwhelming conclusion. The full forces of the Orchestra and the Men of the Chorus of the Mariinsky Theatre perform with unreserved power and focus. The soloists are all very fine, and some are much more than fine. Sergei Semishkur’s Oedipus does not make an especially strong beginning, but he gathers gravitas and force as the opera progresses. Ekaterina Semenchuk, a powerful and moving Jocasta, has a large, expressive voice that is penetrating from top to bottom. Evgeny Nikitin shines as Creon and the Messenger. Gérard Depardieu is an appropriately dramatic and dignified narrator. The monumentality of this terrific performance is perfectly suited to the high seriousness and grandeur of the opera. The sound of the Mariinsky hybrid SACD is vibrant and thrillingly present. Highly recommended.

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Valery Gergiev, Vienna Philharmonic – Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.6 (2005) {PS3 ISO + FLAC}

Valery Gergiev, Vienna Philharmonic – Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.6 (2005)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 44:00 minutes | Artwork (PDF) | 3,17 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Artwork (PDF) | 807 MB
Features 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 multichannel surround sound | Decca/Philips # 475 6197

Tchaikovsky’s six symphonie by Valery Gergiev leading the Vienna Philharmonic contains performances that are undeniably fire-breathing, undoubtedly heaven-storming, and inarguably heart-on-sleeve. Gergiev, one of the most exciting Russian conductors, leads the works with a combination of reckless passion, imperious command, and unbearable drama that is his hallmark, and the Vienna Philharmonic, one of the finest Austrian orchestras, plays the works with a combination of superb polish, impeccable technique, and warm colors that are its trademark and the fusion is absolutely riveting.

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