Shostakovich. Music from ballets

shostacovich

March 5, 2017| The Tchaikovsky Concert Hall
The “Afternoon Symphonic Concerts” Subscription Series
Shostakovich. Music from ballets «The Golden Age», «The Bolt», «The Limpid Stream»
Conductor – Konstantin Khvatynets

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In the 1930s young Dmitry Shostakovich wrote three ballets: “The Bolt” (about sabotage at a factory), “The Golden Age” (about a football match at an industrial exhibition) and “The Limpid Stream”, aka “The Bright Stream”, (about a Kuban collective farm). He created them in order to serenade the new life in Soviet Russia. However, the musical language of the ballets failed to impress the Soviet Power and hence got furiously branded. In 1936 they were proclaimed a “ballet fakery” (such was the title of the disparaging article in the “Pravda” newspaper), banned for staging as “ideologically harmful” and fell into oblivion for many years.

The sad fate of the ballets echoes the predestination of many brilliant works, defamed and discredited, as their novelty and ingenuity did not fit the socialist realism canon. With time, the topics of Shostakovich’s ballets have lost their social urgency and become figures of the past, which hampered their restoration. But Shostakovich’s music has passed the test of time, mainly due to the orchestral suites comprised of the most flashing fragments of the ballet scores.

“Music in the theater should rather actively energize than just accompany a performance. – the composer said. – Do not follow this law means to put the music into the background, without taking into consideration the paramount fact that music is a tremendous force of dominance … I thought it necessary to write such music that is not merely convenient for dancing, but which also makes the very essence of music get dramatized. Give the music a real symphonic tension and a dramatic drive.”

The best excerpts from Shostakovich’s ballets will be played by the NPR within the “Afternoon Symphonic Concerts” Subscription Series, aimed at family visits. On the podium – Konstantin Khvatynets, a former member of the NPR’s training programme and now the Principal Conductor and Music Director of the “Moscow Operetta” Theatre and a Guest Conductor of the Bolshoi.

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