Scottish-born violinist Nicola Benedetti joins the London Symphony Orchestra and maestro Gianandrea Noseda for an all-Shostakovich concert featuring two of the composer’s most contemplative works: his First Violin Concerto and his Tenth Symphony.
This evening's program shows the indelible mark of Shostakovich’s personal struggles with Stalin and Soviet Russia on his artistic output. Both the First Violin Concerto and the Tenth Symphony were begun in the late 1940s but then shelved during the dark period leading up to the autocratic party leader’s death in 1953. First composed in 1947 and 1948, the Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor received its premiere performance with David Oistrakh as soloist. The piece is remarkable for its unusual emotional arc: an inward-looking Nocturne is followed by a demonic Scherzo, then a Baroque Passacaglia, and finally a Presto Burlesque. One of the composer’s most frequently performed works, the Symphony No. 10 in E Minor was completed and premiered shortly after the death of Stalin, and is famous in particular for its diabolical Scherzo that many consider to represent the dictator himself.
Photo: Nicola Benedetti © Simon Fowler