Your hosts Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer and Marjolaine Fournier talk about Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 77, which will be performed by Guy Braunstein with the NAC Orchestra in January 2018. This work in four movements is technically and emotionally challenging for the soloist. It’s been termed “probing” and “sarcastic” – which may be why it spent time on the shelf after being completed in 1947-48, before seeing the light of day after Stalin’s death in 1953.
Jean-Jacques and Marjolaine also talk about Shostakovich’s second piano concerto, which appears in the NAC Orchestra program in March 2018 and sees Russia-born Israeli pianist Boris Giltburg at the keyboard. This work was born after Stalin’s death, and was written for the composer’s 19-year-old son, Maxim, a detail that upholds what some have said was the youthful character of the final movement.