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Triumph and Passion

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LighthousePoole, South-West, BH15 1UG, United Kingdom
On Wednesday 24 January 2018 at 19:30

Shostakovich’s Second Piano Concerto stands miles apart from many of his other works in its sense of freedom and abandon. It is a gloriously free, wistful creation – an unrestrained delight from start to finish, particularly in the famous, soulful and heart-rending adagio, which guarantees the whole work’s enduring popularity – either side of which are two vivacious movements, both full of style and an overwhelming sense of fun. After a shaky start, the Fifth Symphony soon became recognised for the masterpiece it undoubtedly is. Tchaikovsky wrote that its subject was ‘Providence’.

More specifically it is a journey from darkness and despair into light and triumph, accomplished partly by the musical character of the individual movements, and partly through a recurring "motto" theme, which appears in a different guise throughout. Khachaturian’s sensual Adagio marks the moment in the ballet when Spartacus can enjoy a moment of peace and celebration from persecution by the Romans. More beautiful melodies make this perennial favourite one of the best love themes ever written.

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