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Three darkly brooding 20th-century chefs-d'oeuvre make up this fascinating concert program that places the electrifying artistry of Russian pianist Denis Matsuev at its center. His performance of Prokofiev’s explosive Piano Concerto No. 2—one of the most technically daunting of the genre—is masterfully accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of their Principal Guest Conductor, Italian maestro Gianandrea Noseda.
Preceding Matsuev's arrival, they open the evening with Benjamin Britten’s Four Sea Interludes, a symphonic reworking of material from his operatic seaside masterpiece Peter Grimes. The evening closes with Shostakovich’s Sixth Symphony, premiered in 1939 in the eye of the Soviet wartime storm. As is often the case with this composer, the symphony is marked by the surrounding political context, as Gianandrea Noseda observes: “It’s fascinating to see how, through art, Shostakovich tried to be true to himself, while also trying to accomplish the dictates of the Soviets”.
Photo: Gianandrea Noseda