Friday 17 April 19:30
Under the greatest pressure, Shostakovich delivered his most supreme masterpiece.
Condemned by the Soviet powers after his satirical opera Lady Macbeth, Shostakovich was ordered to write a symphony that rejoiced in the paradise of Stalin’s reign of terror. The result was a symphony poetic, sardonic and climactic that ends with one of music’s true masterstrokes: a sustained but choreographed jubilation – a forced smile that proves the most shattering of climaxes.
It was often when most frustrated that Sibelius created his most moving works. The composer’s dream of becoming a virtuoso violinist was dashed when he failed an audition for the Vienna Philharmonic, but that only supercharged the inspiration behind his Violin Concerto. Okko Kamu is joined by Johan Dalene for Sibelius’s love letter to the violin.
Tjat, written by Bergen’s own Knut Vaage, employs a variety of interesting extra-musical devices and was well received on the Orchestra’s US tour in 2007.