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Festive Overture, Op 96

first performance 6/11/1954

By late 1954, Shostakovich’s yo-yoing career was back in the ascendant after being awarded the title of People’s Artist of the USSR and elected an honorary member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Music. The Festive Overture Op 96 was written during these less harrowing days and reflects a lighter side of Shostakovich’s musical personality. The overture was written in record breaking time in response to a last-minute request from the Bolshoi Theatre which required a celebratory piece for the 37th Anniversary of the 1917 October Revolution. Dashed off in just three days, and seemingly based on Glinka’s Ruslan and Ludmilla Overture, this is a little rip-roaring, fire-cracker which barely draws a breath from beginning to end. Its utterly upbeat nature and lack of any solemn ideological baggage has assured that a work written to commemorate the Bolshevik Revolution now enjoys outings at fireworks spectaculars the world over.

from notes by Signum Classics © 2007


Shostakovich: Symphony No 5
SIGCD135Download only

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD135 track 1

Recording date
27 July 2001
Recording venue
Suntory Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Recording producer
Tomoyoshi Ezaki
Recording engineer
Tomoyoshi Ezaki
Hyperion usage
  1. Shostakovich: Symphony No 5 (SIGCD135)
    Disc 1 Track 1
    Release date: September 2008
    Download only
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