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Shostakovich audio book “Doppeltes Spiel” Double Play, published by BR Klassik

In the audiobook sector, biographies of well-known personalities, completely staged in radio play form or narrated in a setting, occupy a special place. This long tradition is being carried on by Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Radio). In his eleventh audio biography for BR-Klassik, Jörg Handstein has dedicated himself to the life of Dmitri Shostakovich. The four-CD audio book “Dmitri Shostakovich - Double Play” has been published by BR Klassik and distributed by the Naxos label. As a bonus, the album includes a recording of Shostakovich’s popular Symphony No. 5 by the BR Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mariss Jansons.

“Hardly any other composer’s life in the 20th century reflects so dramatically the tragedy of political entanglements and confusions in a world marked by revolutions, wars and dictatorships,” writes the label of this release. Udo Wachtveitl (as narrator), Ulrich Matthes (as Shostakovich) and many other voices of well-known actors let not only the composer but also his direct environment have their say. Handstein elaborates the composer’s often contradictory reactions to the bitter experiences in the Soviet Union quite grippingly and draws on, in part, little-known quotations from the composer, whose life was certainly not without drama and disappointments. Shostakovich’s “double life”, to which the author alludes in the title of the publication, was the artist’s kind of survival strategy during the turmoil of the Stalin era and the development of the Soviet Union in the second half of the 20th century. 

Audio book “Dmitri Shostakovich – Double Play”
4 CD (FA)
(Distributor: Naxos)

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