Shostakovich’s exceptional ability to recreate a scene from his past is maybe best captured in his 11th symphony, “The Year 1905”. I don’t want to try to briefly summarize the significance of the symphony’s subtitle, so click here if you want a thorough explanation. Shostakovich survived this tragic event as a child, and it was discussed in his household constantly. As a result, the music is anything but subtle.
My first time playing this music was in school, and I’m pretty sure it was the first time I had really considered that something like this had happened in relatively recent times; not just in history books. It might be my favorite of his symphonies, and I know it will be a satisfying experience for everyone. He was hesitant to compose this piece, for the same government that committed the atrocity he was asked to commemorate. However, I think we are better of having such a great work as a reminder of things like these, so we might avoid them in the future.
January 12-13, 2019
Johann Strauss: Tales from the Vienna Woods
Ravel: La Valse
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 11
The January Masterworks includes two very different takes on the waltz, one by that most Viennese of composers, Johann Strauss, the other by the Frenchman, Maurice Ravel. After intermission, Stuart conducts the monumental 11th Symphony of Dmitri Shostakovich, subtitled “The Year 1905.” -harrisburgsymphony.org