Twentieth-century Russian Composers
Fridays in October
On each Friday evening in October, Stingray Classica premieres concerts featuring works by 20th-century Russian composers. On October 1, Stingray Classica broadcasts two Dmitri Shostakovich symphonies performed by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Santtu-Matias Rouvali. The evening starts with a rendition of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 12, dubbed 'The Year 1917' and composed in the memory of Vladimir Lenin. This is followed by the Symphony No. 5, which deals with the theme of rebirth, and was received favorably by critics and audiences alike. On October 8, Iván Fischer conducts the Budapest Festival Orchestra in a concert featuring Sergei Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 and Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. The following Friday sees Japanese virtuoso violinist Fumiaki Miura as featured soloist in Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1. Rouvali and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra round up the evening with lesser-known jewels by Alexander Mosolov and Aram Khachaturian. On October 22, Miura returns as the soloist in Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5, and maestro Mikhail Pletnev and pianist Lucas Debargue conclude the month in splendid fashion with a rendition of Alexander Scriabin's tone poem for piano, orchestra, and choir Prometheus: The Poem of Fire, Op. 60.
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 12 & Passacaglia
Friday, October 1 | 21:00
Santtu-Matias Rouvali conducts the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in a performance of works by Dimitri Shostakovich. The concert opens with the Symphony No. 12, dubbed 'The Year 1917', composed in the memory of Vladimir Lenin. Like the composer's 11th Symphony, the work is programmatic as its subtitle and movements commemorate the Russian Revolution. Shostakovich planned this symphony to be a biographical drama, tracing Lenin from his youth to the new Soviet society he had created. The work is followed by a performance of the dramatic Passacaglia from Shostakovich’s masterpiece “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District”. This performance was recorded at Gothenburg Concert Hall (Konserthuset) in Sweden in 2018.
Shostakovich - Symphony No. 5, Op. 47
Friday, October 1 | 21:55
Finnish conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali conducts the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 in D-minor, Op. 47. The Symphony quotes Shostakovich's song Vozrozhdenije (Op. 46, No. 1), which is set to the poem by Pushkin and deals about the subject of rebirth. The mournful Largo movement recalls a genre of Russian symphonic works written in memory of the dead. The harmonic idiom of the work is more tonal than previous symphonies with thematic material being more accessible. The 1937 premiere of the work, which was received remarkably well by critics and the public, was considered a triumph for Shostakovich This performance was recorded at the Gothenburg Concert Hall (Konserthuset) in Sweden, 2020.
Fischer conducts Prokofiev and Stravinsky
Friday, October 8 | 21:00
Iván Fischer conducts the Budapest Festival Orchestra in a concert recorded at the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall in Budapest, Bulgaria in 2015. The concert opens with Sergei Prokofiev's Overture on Hebrew Themes, Op. 34. After this, Thomas Zehetmair stars as solo violinist in Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2, Op. 63. The second part of the concert is features music by Igor Stravinsky. On the program is music composed for the ballet 'Jeu de cartes' (1937) and the Firebird Suite, No. 2 (1919). 'Jeu de cartes' is one of Stravinsky's neo-classical works and consists of three parts ('deals'). The Firebird Suite, No. 2 is based on the music from the ballet of the same name, which was written for Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and premiered in Paris in 1910.
Rouvali conducts Mosolov & Khatchaturian
Friday, October 15 | 21:00
Finnish conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali conducts the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in a Russian programme. The concert opens with Alexander Mosolov's Op. 19, Factory: machine-music, commonly referred to as the 'Iron Foundry'. It is Mosolov's well-known work and an example of futurist music from the Soviet Union. The program closes with the Aram Khachaturian's Masquerade, a five-movement suite of incidental music, composed for a production of Lermontov's play of the same name. This concert was recorded at Gothenburg Concert Hall (Konserthuset) in Sweden, 2020.
Shostakovich - Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 77
Friday, October 15 | 21:20
Finnish conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali conducts the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Dmitri Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1 in A-minor, Op. 77. Soloist is Japanese violinist Fumiaki Miura. The work was already composed in 1947-48, but until its premiere in 1955, Shostakovich worked on multiple revisions together with its dedicatee David Oistrakh. The Scherzo is notable for the appearance of the DSCH motif, representing the composer's name and recurring in many of his works. This performance of the Violin Concerto was recorded at the Gothenburg Concert Hall (Konserthuset) in Sweden, 2020.
Prokofiev - Symphony No. 5, Op. 100
Friday, October 22 | 21:00
Finnish conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali conducts the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Sergei Prokofiev's Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major, Op. 100. Soloist is Japanese violinist Fumiaki Miura. Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 was composed during WWII and is often referred to as the 'War Symphony’. Prokofiev composed the work in the summer of 1944. At that moment the Soviets were pushing back the Germans from in the East, and the allies had landed on the beaches of Normandy. Prokofiev was sheltering from the war at a special House for Creativity for composers, at about a day’s journey of Moscow. The retreat was set up by the Union of Soviet Composers to provide an idyllic setting for composition. This concert was recorded at the Gothenburg Concert Hall (Konserthuset) in Sweden, 2020.
Pletnev conducts Ravel & Scriabin
Friday, October 29 | 21:00
The Russian National Orchestra and the Moscow Synodal Choir are led by maestro Mikhail Pletnev at a concert from the 9th Russian National Orchestra Grand Festival. The orchestra opens with a performance of Maurice Ravel's music suite to the ballet 'Daphnis and Chloe'. Furthermore, Lucas Debargue is the solo pianist in Alexander Scriabin's 'Prometheus: The Poem of Fire', Op. 60, a tone poem for piano, orchestra, choir, and a clavier à lumières ("Chromola"). A clavier à lumières actually is a musical instrument, especially invented by Scriabin for use in this work. Only one copy of the instrument was constructed for a performance of the piece in New York, 1915. As encore, Debargue performs Erik Satie's Gnossienne No. 1. This concert was recorded at Moscow's Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in 2018.