Conductor Philip Mackenzie in action

Amadeus Orchestra – Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

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The renowned Amadeus Orchestra return to Exeter Cathedral with a dazzling programme of Bernstein and Shostakovich. In his lifetime, Bernstein was just as well known as a conductor as he was as a composer and he had a particular affinity with the music of Shostakovich. He would have adored this programme!

The Symphonic Dances, a selection of all the best tunes from West Side Story, brings the music of Broadway into the concert hall – orchestrated using the full palette and might of the symphony orchestra.

Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony, arguably his most popular, was ‘A Soviet Artist’s response to just criticism’. He wrote it to save his neck after an article entitled ‘Muddle Instead of Music’ appeared in Pravda the day after Stalin went to see his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. It sounds triumphal but is full of barely concealed cynicism – something that Stalin clearly didn’t pick up on as it helped to restore Shostakovich’s standing within the party.

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