Unmistakable VoicesFri 18 January 2019
THE GREAT HALL, UNIVERSITY OF EXETER
Kirill Karabits conductor
Augustin Hadelich violin
Shostakovich was just 19 when he wrote his precocious First Symphony as a graduation exercise in composition at the Leningrad Conservatory. Youthful symphonies seldom reveal their composer’s true voice, but this symphonic debut immediately speaks in his own distinctive voice, juxtaposing the ironic with the romantic, the intimate with the bombastic, and the chromatic with the diatonic. This is the signature sound that is heard throughout his storied career melded from an exceptionally broad exposure of contemporary music whilst studying.
Beethoven’s Violin Concerto possesses all the grandeur of those he wrote for the piano. It exceeds the scale of any violin concerto that preceded it, and also begins with the longest orchestral introduction of any – before or after. These are familiar hallmarks of Beethoven the form-breaker and innovator – but it is admired more for its sheer beauty than for its innovations and is now firmly established as one of the most beloved violin concertos in the repertoire despite its inauspicious beginnings.
Beethoven Violin Concerto
Shostakovich Symphony No.1