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Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts will be rededicated as Marian Anderson Hall, home of The Philadelphia Orchestra
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Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony key art. Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony key art. Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony key art.

Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony

Thursday
Feb 08, 2024, 7:30 PM
Friday
Feb 09, 2024, 2:00 PM
Saturday
Feb 10, 2024, 8:00 PM

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Performance Details

Tugan Sokhiev Conductor

Gabrieli Canzon septimi toni, No. 2, from Sacrae symphoniae
Britten
Simple Symphony
Shostakovich Symphony No. 4

Program Notes

Caught up in the shifting political currents of Stalinist Russia, Shostakovich was forced to cancel the 1936 premiere of his Fourth Symphony—and it would be 25 years before the work was heard. Teeming with raw energy, the Fourth reflected Shostakovich’s fury against the repressive culture; he described it as “a monumental, programmatic piece of great ideas and great passions.” Big, bold, and powerful, Shostakovich’s Fourth is the largest of his symphonies, with 20 woodwinds, 17 brass, and large percussion and string sections. It’s the perfect showcase for conductor Tugan Sokhiev, acclaimed for his “distinctive, never less than compelling” style that elicits “imposing, powerful” performances (Chicago Classical Review).

In a study in contrasts, this concert pairs Shostakovich’s monumental masterwork with Benjamin Britten’s Simple Symphony, scored for a small string orchestra. A prodigy by any definition, Britten had written nearly 100 pieces of music by the time he was 14, and at the ripe old age of 21 he wove together some of those childhood triumphs into his Simple Symphony, naming the four movements “Boisterous Bourrée,” “Playful Pizzicato,” “Sentimental Saraband,” and “Frolicsome Finale.” (Fun fact: Listen for bits of Britten’s Simple Symphony in the “Mid-way to Mid-town” episode of the The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.)

Marian Anderson Hall

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