Dmitri Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 77
featuring Phoenix Avalon, violin
Modest Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition (Ravel orch.)
Guest violinist Phoenix Avalon joins us for an exhilarating performance of the daring First Violin Concerto by Dmitri Shostakovich. The work was composed during a time when the arts were severely censored under Stalin’s Post-War Soviet Russia. David Oistrakh, to whom the work was dedicated, described the first movement as a “suppression of feelings,” and went on to say that a theme of devilish abandonment could be found throughout the entire work. The composer’s personal motif, which can be found throughout the concerto, conveys a mischievous message of anti-Soviet propaganda.
From the politically humorous to the artfully reflective, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition takes the audience on a walk through an eternally preserved art collection. This work was inspired by a series of watercolor paintings by Russian artist Viktor Hartmann, whose colorful works conveyed images found in his travels across Europe. Mussorgsky composed the work a year after Hartmann’s death in 1873 for piano, and it was later orchestrated by Maurice Ravel to be the piece so well-known today. Though many of the paintings which inspired this composition have never been found, they will forever be sealed in musical notation to captivate the imagination of audiences to come.
Pre-concert talk at 6:45 p.m. with Maestro Hughes