East meets West in this, the penultimate concert of the Canterbury season, as a Russian-themed first half is complimented by a second half of American classics. The concert is bookended by two takes on Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Romeo and Juliet; the Overture to Tchaikovsky’s orchestral interpretation and Leonard Benstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, a musical which transposes the story of the star-crossed lovers to the gangland of 1950s New York. Written for and dedicated to the composer’s own son, Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 has become one of the most popular piano pieces in the classical repertoire. Consisting of a Romantic slow movement that wouldn’t be out of place in a Rachmaninov concerto, and a bold final movement that contains Shostakovich’s unmistakeable hallmarks, the concerto exhibits the composer’s melodic talents freed from the restraints of state intrusion after the death of Joseph Stalin. Barber’s Adagio, broadcast at the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, has similarly acquired the status of a 20th Century classic. Its beautiful, atmospheric melody has become synonymous with periods of melancholic reflection, the piece able to transport the listener to a place of deep contemplation.
Forthcoming concerts in Canterbury
May 16 2014, 19:30 - Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
Jakub Hrůša conducts Smetana and Dvořák
Mar 21 2014, 19:30 - Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
Maazel conducts Mussorgsky and Mozart featuring violinist Esther Yoo