B2: Music across Europe
Four Sea Interludes from the opera Peter Grimes, Op. 33a
Concerto for Cello and Orchestra No. 1 in E flat major
Symphony in D minor
Julian Steckel – cello
Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava
Vassily Sinaisky – Conductor
Despite the Iron Curtain, the strong friendship, and the artistic and human closeness of Benjamin Britten and Dmitri Shostakovich spans across Europe. Their compositions are presented by the Russian conductor, whose greatest achievements are the credits of the British audience. Julian Steckel, the prominent German cellist of the youngest generation, performs a spectacular cello concerto that Shostakovich wrote for his devoted interpreter Mstislav Rostropovich. As a satire, he also encoded to this cello concerto a nervously conceived citation of Stalin’s favorite song Suliko. Rostropovich managed to learn this difficult part by heart in only three days, and by this he shocked a composer, who was just about to search for a music stand on their first meeting related to the composition. The stand was not needed. The evening will be concluded by the triumphant Symphony in D minor, by César Franck, as one of the perennial stars of the French symphonic repertoire.