Symphony No. 5
Benjamin Zander, conductor
Zlatomir Fung, cello
It is with great anticipation that I await my first opportunity to work with local 22-year-old cellist Zlatomir Fung, gold medalist in the most recent Tchaikovsky Cello Competition. Zlatomir’s dazzling virtuosity, sparkling intelligence, and nobility of expression made him an ideal protagonist for the Elgar.
Ravel’s La Valse is possibly the most overtly dramatic work that the composer wrote, an incremental deconstruction of the Viennese Waltz that by the end, whether by accident or design, turns virtually apocalyptic.
The second half of the concert is devoted to Shostakovich’s great Fifth Symphony. It is an enormous work – not so much in its length as in its emotional reach. It was the piece that placed Shostakovich front and center on the world’s musical stage, proclaimed him as the foremost composer of the Soviet Union in the 1930s, and, by giving the illusion of placating the authorities, probably saved his life. Since then, it has come to be regarded as music’s greatest symbol of the power of the artist to raise his voice in protest in even the darkest of times. -Benjamin Zander
Edward Elgar Cello Concerto - 30 minutes
Dmitri Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 - 30 minutes
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