The Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Opus 77, was originally written by Dmitri Shostakovich in 1947–48. He was still working on the piece at the time of the Zhdanov decree, and in the period following the composer's denunciation it could not be performed. In the time between the work's initial completion and the first performance, the composer, sometimes with the collaboration of its dedicatee, David Oistrakh, worked on a number of revisions. The concerto was finally premiered by the Leningrad Philharmonic under Yevgeny Mravinsky on 29 October 1955. It was well received, Oistrakh remarking on the "depth of its artistic content" and describing the violin part as a "pithy 'Shakespearian' role".
Oistrakh characterised the first movement Nocturne as "a suppression of feelings", and the second movement Scherzo as "demoniac". The Scherzo is also notable for an appearance by the DSCH motif—a motif representing Shostakovich himself that recurs in many of the composer's works. Boris Schwarz (Music and Musical Life in Soviet Russia, 1972) commented on the Passacaglia's "lapidary grandeur" and the Burlesque's "devil-may-care abandonment".
Performances & Interviews
- Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01vlr2z.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01vlr2z.jpg2014-07-04T13:52:00.000ZIn this Music Guide, Stephen Johnson talks about Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p0225993
Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1In this Music Guide, Stephen Johnson talks about Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1