Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra - Britten, Shostakovich, Prokofiev
Kirill Karabits conducts the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Britten: Canadian Carnival. Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No 1 (soloist: James Ehnes). Prokofiev: Symphony No 7.
Live from the Lighthouse, Poole
Presented by Martin Handley
Kirill Karabits & the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra play Britten's Canadian Carnival, Shostakovich's 1st Violin Concerto (with James Ehnes) and Prokofiev's 7th Symphony.
Britten : Canadian Carnival
Shostakovich : Violin Concerto No.1
Prokofiev : Symphony No.7
James Ehnes, violin
conductor Kirill Karabits,
Britten composed his light-hearted Canadian Carnival as a souvenir of a visit to Toronto in 1939. A hoedown is enlivened by surprising harmonies and rhythmic hiccups, the waltz that forms a relaxed interlude keeps falling out of step with its accompaniment, and the familiar song "Alouette" is subject to raucous variation.
Shostakovich likened his First Violin Concerto to "a symphony for solo violin and orchestra". There is a brooding opening movement, rousing scherzo and whirling finale but the expressive heart of the concerto lies in its third movement, the darkly hued and deeply emotional passacaglia, richly imbued with philosophic meditation and sad lyricism.
Prokofiev wrote his Seventh Symphony after returning to Russia from the West in 1933. It is richly lyrical and immediately ingratiating, the style deemed appropriate by the government to inspire the Soviet masses. "It is the duty of the composer to serve his fellow men, to beautify human life and show the way to a radiant future," he wrote in his 1946 autobiography. This Symphony not only made those words manifest (the andante is one of the most effusively melodious pieces that Prokofiev ever created), but also showed that he was able to create music of surpassing quality under the tightest ideological strictures.