Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 11

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Semyon Bychkov returns to the New York Philharmonic to conduct Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with pianist Kirill Gerstein in his subscription debut, and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11, The Year 1905.

Program details:

Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 11, The Year 1905

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Comments [1]

Nancy Dow

On my way home from work tonight, I tuned in to WQXR, as an introduction to Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini was airing. I found it fascinating to hear about the composer's need to veil the messages he wished to convey, because of the Soviet regime. "Dies irae" was mentioned, along with a recording of monks singing this hymn. It made it all the more meaningful when the Rhapsody played, and I was able to identify this musical quote.

I believe there is a similar quote in Tchaikovsky's Suite no. 3, in the fourth movement: Theme and Variations. It's a brief visit to "Dies irae," but I think it's there, in the fourth variation. Did anyone else make this connection?

Nov. 14 2013 11:06 PM

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