Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, composed at the height of the Great Purge, brims with suspense, tension, and moments of twisted irony, capped off by a thunderously cathartic finale which calls on the full powers of brass and percussion.
Less often heard than his famed second piano concerto, Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 1 calls for the same ferocious musicianship, with manic flurries, fanfares, and the lushly romantic textures you’ll recognise from Rachmaninov’s best-loved orchestral works. Pianist Barry Douglas, widely acclaimed for his recordings of Beethoven and Brahms, brings his ‘finely chiselled’ technique (Gramophone) to this exhilarating piece.
Khachaturian’s exuberant Masquerade Suite opens this concert featuring the acclaimed Russian State Symphony Orchestra – musicians who really know how to get under the skin of music by their country’s greatest composers.
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