Shostakovich’s 11th

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 11 in G minor, Op. 103 ‘The year 1905’

• Orchestra: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
• Conductor: Vasily Petrenko
• Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich

From a historic perspective, this symphony is all about a famous Russian massacre of the protesting low income citizens that took place outside the Czar’s winter palace. The palace guards fired into a crowd who were gathered peacefully, killing over two hundred people. Shostakovich’s fiftieth birthday roughly coincided with Russian commemorations of the January 9th, 1905 tragedy.

The opening of this symphony makes a strong statement. Vasily Petrenko and the RLPO Players combine an introductory, scene-setting narrative with an unfolding of the harmonic tensions which paint the scenes of that event. Petrenko and the RLPO players show us the grim, relentless tread of the rhythmic motive that predicts the gathering sounds of the impending tragedy.

A great reading by the orchestra brings it all together, and the whole music just snaps together into sharp focus. Folk songs, imagery, history, and music bring us powerfully into what took place in history back in 1905.

Conductor Vasily Petrenko was born on July 7th 1976 in St Petersburg. He attended the St Petersburg Conservatoire and studied conducting with Ilya Musin, Mariss Jansons, Yuri Temirkanov and Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Here is a video showing him rehearsing and talking about music



Tags: Shostakovich, Symphony 11, Vasily Petrenko, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

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