Shostakovich - Symphony No.14
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Label: Challenge Classics
Cat No: CC72654
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 24th November 2014
ArtistsGal James (soprano)
Thomas Oliemans (bass)
Netherlands Chamber Orchestra
On this Hybrid SACD, the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and its highly-regarded conductor and musical director Gordan Nikolic, perform one of Shostakovich’s last and most introspective works, the 14th Symphony, op.135.
Gordan Nikolic has been the musical director, concertmaster and face of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra since 2004. He studied at the Academy of Music in Basle with the well-known French violinist and conductor Jean-Jacques Kantorow and has steeped himself in Baroque music, whilst also working with contemporary composers such as Lutoslawski and Kurtág. He has performed with numerous orchestras in Europe, and the posts he has held include concertmaster of the London Symphony Orchestra, professor at the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music, and lecturer at the Rotterdam Conservatorium.
The Israeli soprano Gal James is rapidly gaining recognition as a one of the most important voices of her generation. She has won several major competitions, including first prize in the Aviv Vocal competition in Tel Aviv in 2005.
As with the 13th Symphony known as 'Babi Yar', Dmitri Shostakovich’s 14th Symphony is written in the form of a song cycle. However, whilst the 13th incorporates a large orchestra, all-male choir and a bass soloist, the 14th was arranged for a relatively small string orchestra, supplemented with percussion, which accompanies and frames the soprano and bass soloists. The texts are drawn from the world of literature: two poems by the Spaniard Federico Garcia Lorca, six by Frenchman Guillaume Apollinaire, two from the German Rainer Maria Rilke and one poem of Russian origin, by Wilhelm Küchelbecker.
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