A fascinating programme that finds two creative giants, towards the end of their respective careers, composing with bracing inventiveness and insight. The unbearably poignant Death in Venice was Britten's final opera, composed as a tribute to his beloved partner, the tenor Peter Pears. This was during the early 1970s when Shostakovich was concurrently working on his last Symphony, a tour-de-force of coruscating ingenuity that includes a number of musical quotations, including a snippet from Rossini's William Tell. When asked about it, Shostakovich reasoned that 'I don't quite know myself why the quotations are there, but I could not not include them.'
More concerts with Vladimir Ashkenazy
Jun 13 2013, 19:30 - Royal Festival Hall
Ashkenazy conducts James Ehnes in Elgar’s Violin Concerto along with Walton's Symphony No. 1
Oct 17 2013, 19:30 - Royal Festival Hall
Vladimir Ashkenazy conducts Stravinsky's Four Norwegian Moods before being joined by Patricia Kopatchinskaja for the Violin Concerto. Also performed tonight is Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony.
Oct 20 2013, 15:00 - Royal Festival Hall
Vladimir Ashkenazy conducts Holst's The Planets, Delius's The Walk to the Paradise Garden and Grieg's Piano Concerto