The Fourth Symphony was for many, including Tchaikovsky, a breakthrough. Here, Tchaikovsky is in total control of the orchestral palette, with highly original colours – including an almost entirely pizzicato third movement. Woven into the entire work is the ‘fate’ motif, spelled out in the first movement, subsequently developed, and by the finale it is violently thrown around the orchestra in a torrent of enthusiasm. It is the composer’s most exciting symphonic invention. Before this, the bestknown of Shostakovich’s two piano concertos. Written for his son’s 19th birthday, who later premièred the work, its highlight is its exquisite slow movement – more-than-slightly Romantic in style.