The Enigmatic Shostakovich

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.

Patricia G. Rennert Trust
Saginaw Arts and Enrichment Commission
Jim and Christine Church

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