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NX 2824
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NX 2824
(this is a multiple CD album sold separately)

SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: New Babylon (The) (Basel Sinfonietta, Fitz-Gerald)

The Classical Shop
release date: January 2012


Basel Sinfonietta

Fitz-Gerald, Mark

Mark Fitz-Gerald



Volkshaus, Basel, Switzerland

Record Label


Film & TV Music


Total Time - 91:24
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SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: New Babylon (The) (Basel Sinfonietta, Fitz-Gerald)




Select Complete Single Disc for

Noviy Vavilon (New Babylon), Op. 18 (original manuscript version)

1 Reel 1, General Sale: War - Death to the Prussians 9:02
2 Reel 2, Head over Heels: Paris 10:01
3 Reel 3, The Siege of Paris 10:51
4 Reel 4, 18th March 1871: On the morning of 18th March the workers still guarded their guns 13:21

Select Complete Single Disc for
1 Reel 5, Versailles against Paris: Paris has stood for centuries 10:21
2 Reel 6, The Barricade: The 49th day of defence 14:51
3 Reel 7, To the Firing Squad: There is peace and order in Paris 10:39
4 Reel 8, Death: The trial 8:11
5 Reel 8 (continued), Original ending 4:07
 Mark Fitz-Gerald Conductor
 Fitz-Gerald, Mark

This recording of New Babylon, one of Shostakovich’s most inventive and truly symphonic film scores, is the first complete recording of all the surviving music from the original ‘lost’ manuscript full score and the first to use five solo string players only, as conceived by the composer. A remarkable collage of marches, can-cans, carnival music, tumultuous rhythms and musical quotations, New Babylon bristles with witty dissonance and brassy ebullience, emphasizing the film’s content rather than its visual surface. Mark Fitz-Gerald’s two previous Naxos world première recordings of Shostakovich’s film scores for Alone (NX 0316) and The Girlfriends (NX 2138) have been highly acclaimed.

                       Music ****  (Very Good)           Sound **** (Very Good)

Christoph Vratz - Fono Forum - July 2012

"...this superbly performed rendition by the Basel Sinfonietta conducted by Mark Fitz-Gerald, enhanced by vividly realistic sound and extensive booklet notes from four Shostakovich specialists, makes the strongest case for a score that, in terms of the film medium, its composer equalled only rarely and which he arguably never surpassed." 

Richard Whitehouse - International Record Review - January 2012

                        Recording of the Month
"The score presented here is as significant as it is relatively unknown and this new recording can lay fair claim to being definitive. Whether measured by the yardstick of the history of cinema, the Soviet Union or simply as part of the Shostakovich oeuvre this is an important release. Add to that the fact that this recording offers the most complete, skilfully reconstructed and authentic...rendition of the score yet made. It becomes a compulsory purchase. It is a magnificent piece of work and one that shows how even at the tender age of 23 Shostakovich understood the compelling power of the moving image.Fitz-Gerald conducts the Basel Sinfonietta and they prove to be stunningly fine collaborators.Without doubt this is one the finest all-round achievements by Naxos.

Nick Barnard - MusicWeb - November 2011

"The first complete recording, on two CDs, on the 1929 film score has more than curiosity value. It affords a rare glimpse of the composer as a youthful mischief, before Stalin and the system contrived to crush his spirit. …a necessary addition to my shelf."

Norman Lebrecht - La Scena Musicale - November 2011

"This lively and engaging performance by Mark Fitz-Gerald leading the Basel Sinfonietta is its first complete recording. The music shows Shostakovich at his most giddy, whimsical, and irreverent. Its stream of consciousness development is constantly inventive and intriguing; this is a recording that’s likely to be of strong interest to the composer’s fans."

Stephen Eddins - - December 2011

                 Recording of the Month

"...We are indeed fortunate that both survived so we can hear what is certainly an outstandingly brilliant, witty, poignant and altogether wonderfully inventive score. It is immediately obvious that Shostakovich was already a creative genius whose abilities and style were already formed by that early age."

Steve Arloff - - December 2011

"...I cannot recommend this splendid New Babylon too effusively..."

Haller - American Record Guide - March/April 2012

            Performance ****     Recording ****

Geoff Brown - BBC Music magazine - March 2012

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