Shostakovich: The Year 1957

BBC Symphony Orchestra/Semyon Bychkov

Semyon Bychkov conducting 2018

Semyon Bychkov brings together three of Shostakovich’s best-loved pieces; all products of the same golden year, 1957 – in a concert that climaxes with a performance of the powerful Eleventh Symphony.

While the Second Piano Concerto, composed for Shostakovich’s pianist son Maxim, frames its exquisite central Andante with outer movements filled with musical-in-jokes and energy, the Eleventh Symphony is a sombre work – a ‘symphony written in blood’, whose defiant rage and grief takes inspiration both from Russia’s failed 1905 Revolution and the Hungarian Uprising of 1957 itself.

Semyon Bychkov conducts, with Alexei Volodin as soloist in both the concerto and the composer’s musical homage to his revered forebear – the Variations on a Theme by Glinka.

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