The Kennedy Center

National Symphony Orchestra: Vasily Petrenko, conductor / <i>Beyond the Score</i>: Shostakovich's Symphony No. 4 – Is Music Dangerous?

National Symphony Orchestra: Vasily Petrenko, conductor / Beyond the Score: Shostakovich's Symphony No. 4 – Is Music Dangerous?

Friday, November 16, 2012 8:00 PM

National Symphony Orchestra

Take your musical appreciation to the next level with this new NSO initiative that's half concert, half multimedia educational experience. Conductor Vasily Petrenko explores Shostakovich's Symphony No. 4.

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Ever wondered what inspired the creation of a great work of art? Beyond the Score takes you into the heart of the music to find its inspiration. Beyond the Score begins with a multimedia examination of the symphony, weaving together historical narrative with live actors, visual illustrations, and musical examples played by the National Symphony Orchestra to reveal the illuminating stories found "inside" the score. After discovering its context in history, how it fits into the composer's output of works, and the details of a composer's life that influenced its creation, concertgoers return to the hall after intermission with newly discovered knowledge to hear a performance of the work played in its entirety.

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4 – Is Music Dangerous?
Shostakovich composed his Fourth Symphony in the Soviet Union under the dark shadow of Stalin. Rehearsals began in earnest, but the work was withdrawn before the premiere and it was not performed for 25 years. What about this work did the Soviet government find dangerous? Or was it Shostakovich himself who withdrew it because he feared for his life?

It's often the case that great art can emerge only through great suffering.  In Shostakovich's Soviet Union, darkened by the shadow of Stalin, music was essential--it expressed the ideas and feelings of a people that otherwise had no voice.  Perhaps this is why the Fourth Symphony lay dormant, unperformed, for 25 years after its completion.  This exploration will feature newsreels and testimonies, including the words of Shostakovich and his friends.

Beyond the Score is produced by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Gerard McBurney, Creative Director; Martha Gilmer, Executive Producer.

Performance Timing: Part one - 60 min.; Intermission - 15 min.; Part Two - 60 min.


Featured Artists

Vasily Petrenko Vasily Petrenko
default-img Michael Boudewyns
Nigel Boon Nigel Boon

Program & Notes