The Enigmatic Shostakovich
Saturday, May 7, 2022 – 8 p.m.
This program is devoted to music by the Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich, who often infused his music with personal and political significance.
The Chamber Symphony is a musical obituary he composed for himself in 1960 when he was sick and reluctantly becoming a member of the Communist Party. It summarizes his musical life by including many references to his earlier compositions. Symphony no. 9 marks the end of World War II and the Soviets’ victory over the Nazis in 1945. His friend, the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, had long wanted Shostakovich to write a concerto for him, but was warned that if he asked, Shostakovich would refuse. His silence was rewarded in 1959, and Cello Concerto no. 1 became an immediate success.