Orchestra concert: Shostakovich, Mendelssohn, Pejačević
The University of Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra performs music by Dmitri Shostakovich, Felix Mendelssohn and Dora Pejačević with conductor Simon Crawford-Phillips.
- Dora Pejačević: Overture Op 49
- Felix Mendelssohn: Symphony No 4
- Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No 5
University of Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Simon Crawford-Phillips.
The Duchess Dora Pejačević (1885–1923) published over a hundred works during her lifetime, and is considered to have introduced both the symphony and the classical concerto format to Croatian music. She grew up in a castle in present-day Croatia and was largely self-taught as a musician. Pejačević's artistic impulses came partly from her association with the intellectual elite of the time, such as her friend the writer Karl Kraus. Her Overture op. 49 (1919) relates freely and fluidly to the sonata form, and the concluding coda ties together elements from two of the three main parts.
The first sketches for Felix Mendelssohn's (1809–1847) fourth symphony, 'The Italian', came about when the composer found inspiration in the colours and landscapes while traveling through Il bel paese. Upon receiving a commission from the London Philharmonic Society, he completed the work in Berlin in 1833. Mendelssohn was never truly satisfied with the work, and he returned several times to make revisions. However, it is widely believed that these changes were merely the manifestation of nervous vanity from a composer who did not know when to let go of a project – today, the original version is widely preferred.
Applause for more than thirty minutes – the premiere of Symphony No 5 in D major by Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1975) was a tremendous success. The year was 1937 and the place was Leningrad. A year earlier, the Soviet composer had been severely criticised in the Pravda newspaper, after Stalin accused his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk of being elitist. Symphony No 5 brought him back in from the cold, with audiences and authorities alike admiring the new piece. The work includes quotes from his song Vozrozhdenije, which in turn was based on a poem by Alexander Pushkin.