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Sunday Matinees: Shostakovich and Prokofiev

Southbank Centre: Royal Festival HallBelvedere Road, London, Greater London, SE1 8XX, United Kingdom
Dates/times in London time zone
Sunday 28 February 202115:00

Prokofiev and Shostakovich are at their most playful in this evening’s programme, featuring charismatic pianist Simon Trpčeski.

A cheery mood pervades the 15 minutes of Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony. Prokofiev pays homage to Haydn in four movements brimming with graceful melodies – with a distinctive twentieth-century twist.

Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 was written as a graduation piece for his son Maxim. Its outer movements show off the soloist’s youthful energy and precision, while the central slow movement is a lyrical outpouring of love.

The Stalinist regime had great expectations of Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony. “But I couldn’t write an apotheosis to Stalin, I simply couldn’t,” he said. Instead he gave them a symphony full of joie-de-vivre and sardonic humour – which was promptly banned until after Stalin’s death.

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