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BBC SO/Storgårds

Gubaidulina, Mussorgsky and Shostakovich

John Storgårds is in the centre of a BBC SO branded image, holding his baton across his left shoulder

John Storgårds joins the BBC Symphony Orchestra to conduct Dmitri Shostakovich’s dramatic Fifth Symphony, a journey through life by Modest Mussorgsky and a fantastical work from Sofia Gubaidulina.

Condemned by Stalin, Dmitri Shostakovich had little choice but to write a symphony in sympathy with the dictator’s regime – or face certain death. Shostakovich found a third way. The symphony he delivered is a poetic, sardonic and climactic spiritual battle in which the composer disguises his protest as praise – with its ingenious choreographed jubilation, Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony may well have saved its composer’s life. 
Baritone Kostas Smoriginas is the soloist in Modest Mussorgsky’s seminal Songs and Dances of Death. The composer’s visionary, dramatic songs chart a journey from youth to death, itself given a whole new dimension by Shostakovich’s evocative orchestration. To start, we hear a fantastical work from a visionary Russian composer, Sofia Gubaidulina. 

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

Produced by the BBC Symphony Orchestra

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Barbican Hall