Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts Shostakovich's Symphony No. 4

Lucerne Festival

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Program notes

A brilliant yet initially misunderstood work, Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony, receives an appropriately brilliant interpretation from the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

In the midst of composing his Fourth Symphony in 1936, Shostakovich received a horrible shock: an article in the Soviet newspaper Pravda was published that attacked his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk as being “musical gibberish” and “cacophony”. Such a harsh condemnation posed a threat both to him and to anyone with whom he might associate, and ultimately led to the cancellation of the planned premiere of his Fourth Symphony. The work would have to wait until 1961—nearly a decade after the death of Stalin—to be performed before a public audience!

Yannick Nézet-Séguin appears courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon.

Photo: Yannick Nézet-Séguin © Jan Regan

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