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The Hallé - Shostakovich's Eighth Symphony

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Bridgewater HallManchester, North-West, M2 3WS, United Kingdom
On Thursday 15 March 2018 at 19:30

‘A class above the rest’ was how International Piano recently described Charles Owen. Tonight he brings his unique spontaneity and skills of interpretation to bear on Bach’s majestic D minor concerto. Both Mendelssohn and Shostakovich were huge admirers of Bach, and much of Mendelssohn’s music, including his great psalm settings, reflects the Baroque master’s influence. Shostakovich’s massive Eighth Symphony was composed during the Second World War and, as his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk had done, landed him in political trouble. In typically cryptic fashion, Shostakovich himself summed up its message in just three words, ‘life is beautiful’, though it is infinitely more complex and dramatic than those words suggest. It ends with just a faint breath of optimism – not enough for the Soviet authorities who wanted a triumphant war symphony instead.

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