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Britten and Russia

Jac van Steen, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and cellist Laura van der Heijden relive the concert at which Britten met both Shostakovich and Rostropovich for the first time.

In 1960, Benjamin Britten attended a concert at the Royal Festival Hall in which Shostakovich's Cello Concerto was being given its London premiere, alongside Britten's own Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. The cellist at the concert was Rostropovich, and Shostakovich was in attendance during one of his few visits to the UK. Britten met both of these Russian musical giants there for the first time, and it was to create two long-lasting relationships, both personal and professional. In this concert the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and conductor Jac van Steen recreate that seminal concert, with BBC Young Musician 2012 Laura van der Heijden taking the part of Rostropovich in Shostokovich's concerto. As in 1960, the performance culminates with another Russian great, Rachmaninov's Third Symphony.

Recorded at Snape Maltings last Sunday and presented by Nicola Heywood Thomas.

Britten: The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra
Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No 1 in E flat major, Op 107

Interval

Rachmaninov: Symphony No 3 in A minor, Op 44

Laura van der Heijden (cello)
BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Jac van Steen (conductor)

2 days left to listen

2 hours, 28 minutes

Music Played

  • Benjamin Britten

    The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, Op 34

    Orchestra: BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Conductor: Jac van Steen.
  • Dmitry Shostakovich

    Cello Concerto No 1 in E flat major, Op 107

    Performer: Laura van der Heijden. Orchestra: BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Conductor: Jac van Steen.
  • Sergei Prokofiev

    Cello Sonata in C major, Op 119

    Performer: Laura van der Heijden. Performer: Peter Limonov.
    • 1948 - Russian Works for Cello and Piano.
    • Champs Hill Records.
    • 3.
  • Benjamin Britten

    The Prodigal Son, Op 81

    Choir: English Opera Group Chorus. Orchestra: English Opera Group. Singer: Peter Pears. Singer: John Shirley‐Quirk. Singer: Bryan Drake. Singer: Robert Tear. Conductor: Benjamin Britten.
    • The Prodigal Son.
    • London.
    • 13.
  • Dmitry Shostakovich

    The City Sleeps (Seven Romances On Poems Of Alexandr Blok, Op 127)

    Performer: Benjamin Britten. Performer: Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich. Singer: Galina Pavlovna Vishnevskaya.
    • Britten the performer (complete Decca recordings).
    • DECCA.
    • 8.
  • Sergey Rachmaninov

    Symphony No 3 in A minor, Op 44

    Orchestra: BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Conductor: Jac van Steen.
  • Benjamin Britten

    Hymn to St Cecilia

    Choir: The Cambridge Singers. Conductor: John Rutter.
    • Collegium.
  • Benjamin Britten

    Piano Concerto, Op 13 (Toccata)

    Performer: Sviatoslav Richter. Orchestra: English Chamber Orchestra. Conductor: Benjamin Britten.
    • London.

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