Thursday, 3 April 2014

Tughan Sokhiev conducts Shostakovich tonight LIVE

Tonight at 7pm European time LIVE on, Tughan Sokhiev conducts the Orchestre National du Capitole, Toulouse in a special  programme in honour of Dimitri Shostakovich. This concert will be significant because Sokhiev has recemtly taken over as Music Director of the Bolshoi Opera. Sokhiev came up through the Russian system, though he's spent most of his career abroad, so perhaps this Shostakovich concert i8s a statement of intent. Please read my article about the background to his appointment here. 

"Edgar Moreau, one of the most sought-after young cellists on the classical scene, performs Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, Op. 107. Dedicated to Mstislav Rostropovitch who premiered the work in Moscow in 1959, this concerto bears witness of the personal difficulties experienced by the composer at the time of composition. Shostakovich's anxiety due to his illness, as well as his resentment againt the regime, pierce throughout the concerto's four movements. In the finale especially, the sarcastic quotation of one of Staline's most favorite Russian melodies is to be read as a lugubrious remembrance of what Stalinism inflicted on the population of the Soviet Union". 

"In the second half of the concert, Tugan Sokhiev, music director of the Orchestre National du Capitole, conducts Shostakovich's Symphony No. 8 in C minor, Op. 65. The subtitle "Stalingrad" is not in the orignal score. The Soviet government added this mention in order to portray Shostakovich's symphony as a memorial to those killed in the recent Battle of Stalingrad. The Symphony No. 8 was indeed considered by the composer's friend Isaak Glikman as "the most tragic work" ever composed by Shostakovich. Yet, this symphony lies within the tradition of symphonies composed in C minor (Beethoven's Fifth, Bruckner's Eighth, Mahler's Second, ...) which follow a teleological path from minor to major, from "tragedy to triumph". Though here triumph might well sound bittersweet."

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