Omid Zoufonoun Conducts Shostakovich

[youtube][/youtube]On a concert program that includes the Ravel Piano Concerto in G, Omid conducts a performance of the Chamber Symphony, Op.110a by Dimitri Shostakovich.  Originally conceived as a string quartet, the work was later arranged for string orchestra by Rudolf Barshai with the composer’s consent.  Click on the links below to hear Omid’s interpretation of this masterpiece.

[wpaudio url=”″ text=”1.Largo” dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=”″ text=2.Allegro molto” dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=”″ text=”3.Allegretto” dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=”″ text=”4.Largo” dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=”″ text=”5.Largo” dl=”0″]


About the Chamber Symphony, Op.110a:

Composed in three days, the piece was written after two traumatic events: the composer’s diagnosis with polio, and his joining the Communist Party reluctantly. The score is dedicated “to the victims of fascism and war”; his son, Maxim, interprets this as a reference to the victims of all totalitarianism, while his daughter Galina says that he dedicated it to himself, and that the published dedication was imposed by the authorities. Shostakovich’s friend, Lebedinsky, said that Shostakovich thought of the work as his epitaph and that he planned to commit suicide.
The first movement opens with the DSCH motif which was Shostakovich’s musical signature:

This slow, extremely sad theme can also be heard in his Cello Concerto No. 1, Symphony No. 10, Violin Concerto No. 1, Symphony No. 15, and Piano Sonata No. 2. The motif is used in every movement of the Chamber Symphony, and is the basis of the faster theme of the third movement.
The work is filled with quotes of other pieces by Shostakovich: the first movement quotes his Symphony No. 1 and Symphony No. 5; the second movement uses a Jewish theme first used by Shostakovich in his Piano Trio No. 2; the third movement quotes the Cello Concerto No. 1; and the fourth movement quotes the 19th century revolutionary song “Tormented by Grievous Bondage” and the aria “Seryozha, my love” from Shostakovich’s opera, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District.[youtube width=”960″ height=”720″][/youtube]

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