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BBC SO/Stasevska

Before the Iron Curtain

Dalia Stasevska looks to the camera in a conducting action shot. BBC SO branding frames the edge of the image.

BBC Symphony Orchestra Principal Guest Conductor Dalia Stasevska presents music from two titans of Russian music – separated by continents, but not yet the iron curtain.

By the time Sergei Rachmaninov began his Symphony No 3, he had been estranged from Russia for nearly two decades. Having fled during the revolution, his new life in the US and later Switzerland would see just six new compositions – ‘losing my country’, he said, ‘I lost myself also’. A sense of yearning for a lost homeland defines this symphony, with Russian-inflected melodies saturating its rich landscape.

Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No 1 is a musical contemporary of the Rachmaninov, though Shostakovich remained in Russia. A double concerto, featuring solo trumpet as well as piano, its style looks back not to a forgotten Russian, but to Baroque, Classical and folk music of centuries past. Tonight’s concert begins with a remarkable piece of Soviet Futurism, in which the whole orchestra imitates the sounds of a factory floor.

This performance ends at approximately 9.30pm, with a 20-minute interval

Produced by the BBC Symphony Orchestra

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