In the “Heiligenstadt Testament”, a letter Beethoven wrote to his brothers in 1802 but never sent, the composer details the despair he is experiencing in the face of his ever increasing and incurable deafness. Shchedrin’s “Testament”, written in 2008, offers the audience a similar dive into what is best described as an “emotional maelstroem”. A symphonic work of remarkable expressivity, this piece evokes Beethoven’s journey “from darkness into the light”. Beethoven’s Concerto No.3 in C-major, completed in the months following the “Heiligenstadt crisis”, remains deeply rooted in the style of Mozart, yet in this piece, Beethoven pioneers a new concept: the orchestra and soloist are now equal partners in the musical dialogue. The first movement is dark and passionate, followed by a peaceful and tranquil largo. A virtuosic and humorous rondo brings the symphony to a close. Shostakovich’s Symphony No.15 opens on a joyful note. Written four years before the composer’s death, this piece marks Shostakovich’s “symphonic goodbye” to the world in general, and to the world of music in particular. In this symphony, Shostakovitch quotes many composers: Rossini, Glinka, Mahler, Wagner, and even himself. While this work was written for a large symphonic orchestra, the writing style resembles more what one would expect from a piece composed for chamber orchestra. The final moments of the symphony are gripping: the music dissipates, life comes to a close.