Shostakovich Symphony No.4

Wednesday 28 August 2019

Overview

The arabesques and infectious energy of Armenian folk music animate composer Aram Khachaturian’s extravagantly tuneful Violin Concerto, the ideal vehicle for virtuoso violinist James Ehnes’s suave and soulful playing.

Shostakovich’s huge Fourth Symphony is a churning dynamo of sound for a huge orchestra. Visceral, grandiose, cartoonish and tragic, it is one of Shostakovich’s most pointed works: a jab at the pompous tyrants, and a cry of anguish. After its premiere was cancelled, Shostakovich turned to more covert means of dissent; his life depended on it.

Shostakovich expert, conductor Mark Wigglesworth has the measure of this enigmatic masterpiece that retains an electrifying power and relevance to this day.

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