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symphonic concert


A re-imagined programme calling for peace, solidarity, and inclusion of musicians of all nations opens the festival on 15 July: Italian conductor Gianandrea Noseda conducts the Verbier Festival Orchestra in a concert that features Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony preceded by Rodion Shchedrin’s Second Piano Concerto and Silvestrov's poignant work, Prayer for Ukraine. At the piano will be Ukrainian pianist Anna Fedorova, alumna of the Verbier Festival Academy (2012 and 2017).

Piano Concerto No. 2 


“Prayer for the Ukraine” for mixed choir a cappella

Symphony No. 4 in C minor Op. 43

The first piece performed in honor of Rodion Schedrin, is the Piano Concerto No.2 (1966). It was dedicated to the ballerina Maïa Plissetskaïa, to whom the composer was married from 1958 until her death in 2015. The work is made up of three movements: Dialogues, Improvisations, Contrasts. At the time he was criticised, but in retrospect it is clear that this piece is one of the most brilliant works he has composed.” Shostakovich’s Symphony No.4 only saw the light of day in 1961. Faced with violent attacks by the government against his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Shostakovich felt it was more prudent to keep the symphonic score hidden during rehearsals. A work of monumental proportions and striking originality, many opposing forces can be seen crossing paths throughout: military style music is cleverly subverted by the grotesque, strident sounds, clamorous outcries, and parodies of waltzes and polkas. Yet there are also meditative moments of peace and tranquility (in the third movement). The epilogue ends on an enigmatic note. In a letter to his friend Glikman in 1974, Shostakovich writes: « The authorities told me to repent (…) I refused. At the time I was young and strong. Instead of repenting, I wrote the Fourth Symphony.”

presented by

with the generous support of

Madame Aline Foriel-Destezet