One of Shostakovich's greatest creations, his Cello Concerto No.1, and the powerful Eighth Symphony show how great artistry emerges from tragic experience.
What kind of music do you write when you've been ostracised, when you've lived through siege and war, when your whole world has been turned upside down? This concert reveals an artist, utterly shaken by the terrible visions he has witnessed, looking into the future. This is music that protests against evil, while seeking the light. It takes us through the circles of hell, as Shostakovich's 'hero...makes his way to victory through torment, trial and catastrophe'. You'll hear Shostakovich's trademark grotesquery, the sardonic caricatures, the fierce drama, the nervous tension. But you'll also hear the sounds of dreams – lyrical and radiant in music of life-affirming beauty. And in the first cello concerto, composed for the legendary Mstislav Rostropovich and played by one of his students, you can marvel at astonishing virtuosity.