Both forward-looking and intelligible to all – that’s what music was intended to be in the Soviet Union. On this evening you can hear works that accord ingeniously with this challenging mission: Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto, with Vadim Gluzman as the soloist, and Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony, probably his most popular one. The conductor is Tugan Sokhiev, Music Director of Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre.
The Enchanted Lake
Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor
Vadim Gluzman Violin
Symphony No. 5 in D minor
“The days are over when dissonance was used just for the sake of dissonance,” Sergei Prokofiev explained in a 1930 interview in the Chicago journal Music Leader. “A new simplicity – that is the current modernism.” It is no wonder that in his Violin Concerto No. 2, composed in 1935, the composer left out those grotesque aspects that characterised his first work in the genre: the soloist starts the piece alone with a lyrical, ethereally floating theme of unmistakably Russian origin.
For his Philharmonic debut, Vadim Gluzman, who studied with violin legends Zakhar Bron and Dorothy DeLay and in Germany is still an insider tip, will perform Prokofiev’s masterpiece on the “ex-Leopold Auer” Stradivarius. The evening will be conducted by Tugan Sokhiev, recently appointed the new Music Director of Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre. The first piece on the programme is Anatoly Lyadov’s impressionistically shimmering tone poem, The Enchanted Lake, op. 62, which unfolds a mysterious nocturnal tableau in the tradition of Rimsky-Korsakov’s fantastic opera scenes.
The symphonic highlight of the evening is Dmitri Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony; its brilliant premiere was a sensational success: “As the storm of applause shook the columns of the concert hall,” writer Aleksandr Nikolaevich Glumov recalled, “Mravinsky lifted the score above his head to make it clear that this ovation was not [...] owed to him, but to the creator of the music – Shostakovich.”