Celia Sheen, solo theremin
Kamil Barczewski, bass
Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
Mark Fitz-Gerald, conductor
This treasure trove of Shostakovich rarities presents four world première recordings.
The music for the film The Girlfriends, newly reconstructed from various original sources including the 1934 soundtrack and a number of recently discovered Preludes, and the scores for the stage productions of Salute to Spain and Rule, Britannia!, come from one of the most fertile and brilliant periods of the composer’s creative life and are almost completely unknown.
The unfinished symphonic movement from 1945, that had lain hidden for more than half a century, turns out to be Shostakovich’s first idea for his Ninth Symphony.
Described by DSCH Journal as “one of the indispensable Shostakovich interpreters of our time”, Mark Fitz-Gerald adds to his highly acclaimed reconstruction of Shostakovich’s music for the ‘sound-silent’ film Odna (Alone), released on Naxos 8570316.
“This is a significant new release of mostly minor Shostakovich rarities - painstakingly restored by Mark Fitz-Gerald, faultlessly delivered by first-class Polish musicians in bright, clear sound and deservedly annotated by no less than five experts.”
BBC Music Magazine, August 2009 *****
“Shostakovich's forgotten film music and first ideas for the Ninth Symphony. …The Girlfriends (1935) is the most diverse of all the composer's earlier film scores: cues for string quartet make way for those in which chamber ensembles alternate with brass fanfares, folk choruses and even the Internationale on solo theremin before a powerful orchestral apotheosis. No other such score gives as many clues to Shostakovich's development, and to have it complete and so finely realised is as pleasurable as it is instructive.”
Gramophone Magazine, September 2009