Venue Details: The Hexagon
- Mussorgsky : Dawn on the Moscow River
- Shostakovich : Cello Concerto No.1
- Tchaikovsky : Symphony No.4
Shostakovich composed this magnificent concerto for his great friend Mstislav Rostropovich. Inspired by Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante, it had a light, transparent scoring which highlights the intense cello lines to the full. Although the concerto consists of four movements, it is divided into two large parts; the opening movement (described by Shostakovich as a jocular march), dark with a grotesque and acerbic humour, is rudely punctuated by four loud blows on the timpani. The three remaining movements, played without pause, comprise a sad, reflective interlude, an extended cadenza and breathless, fierce and fiery finale.
Of his first truly symphonic masterpiece, Tchaikovsky himself wrote, “The introduction is the seed of the whole symphony, undoubtedly the central theme. This is Fate - that fateful force which prevents the impulse towards happiness from entirely achieving its goal, forever on jealous guard lest peace and well-being should ever be attained in complete and unclouded form, hanging above us like the Sword of Damocles, constantly and unremittingly poisoning the soul. Its force is invisible, and can never be overcome. Our only choice is to surrender to it and to languish fruitlessly…”