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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Shostakovich for Black-Magic Venus

posted by on December 11 at 15:13 PM

I have this Shostakovich CD, his trios: Piano, cello, violin. The first batch was written in the 1920s, I think, when he was a conservatory student. The next batch was written in the 1940s.

Tacked on at the end of the CD is a set of songs he wrote in 1967 for piano, cello, violin, and soprano. Whoever produced the CD apparently thought the songs—which don’t seem to show up much of anyplace—should get there due here.

Wow. I’d never sat down with the end of the CD before. But wow.

This is the subterranean sleepwalk operetta for Black-Magic-Venus, lyre, harp, and seance that you’ve been waiting for.

Here’s one of the songs.

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That song you posted is gorgeous. It's really fucking spooky, but it's gorgeous!

Posted by Megan Seling | December 11, 2007 3:36 PM

Ah, this must be from the Beaux Arts Trio disc...

Posted by Christopher DeLaurenti | December 11, 2007 5:23 PM

There weren't a batch of trios - he wrote one when still a student at the conservatory (seldom played or recorded) and one in 1944 after the death of a close friend (considered one of his seminal chamber works and thus much more popular). The series of songs came in the 60s when Shostakovich went through kind of a phase of setting poetry to music (I don't know how many works, but his 13th and 14th symphonies are part of this).

I have a CD with all this by some obscure Russian group (The Moscow Trio). I think it's out of print now (I couldn't find it at but it's a good recording. Russian musicians always seem to interpret his music better than Western ones, despite some good recordings (Emerson's quartet set, von Karajan and BPO's 10th symphony, etc).

Posted by Matt from Denver | December 11, 2007 10:22 PM

Oops, I see I just repeated some stuff you said in your post. Sorry Josh. I just want to share my knowledge with everyone so much that I don't care if they already know what I'm saying...

Posted by Matt from Denver | December 11, 2007 10:28 PM

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