Leeds Town Hall
Concert begins at 7.30pm
Moscow State Symphony Orchestra
Pavel Kogan - conductor
John Lill - piano
Shostakovich - Festive Overture Listen
Rachmaninov - Piano Concerto No 2 Listen
Shostakovich - Symphony No 5 Listen
Having suffered from depression and writer’s block for two years, Rachmaninov wrote his Piano Concerto No 2 to celebrate his recovery, dedicating it to his doctor who used hypnotherapy to improve his mental health and self-confidence. The music features heavily in the 1945 film Brief Encounter.
Shostakovich completed his Festive Overture in just three days, for a concert in 1954. Musicologist Lev Lebedinsky recounted that “He laughed and chuckled as he wrote”, and as he did this he produced one of his most remembered orchestral works.
Seventeen years earlier, Shostakovich wrote his fifth symphony at quite a different time in his life, following the unsuccessful premieres of his highly criticised opera, Lady Macbeth, and his ballet, The Limpid Stream. His music had been banned by Stalin and he was under pressure to please a government he detested. Nevertheless, there was a forty minute standing ovation after the first performance of this symphony.
"Our audience is organically incapable of accepting decadent, gloomy, pessimistic art. Our audience responds enthusiastically to all that is bright, clear, joyous, optimistic, life-affirming." Alexei Tolstoy on the Finale of Shostakovich's Symphony No 5 Pre-concert talk 6.45pm
Mark Pallant discusses the evening’s works.
Entry is free to ticket-holders for the concert but space is limited so please arrive early to avoid disappointment.
the brochure online for Leeds International Orchestral Season 2015/16
Your first orchestral concert? Want to know more about what to expect? View
our newcomers guide
the seating plan for Leeds Town Hall
This UK tour by the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.