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Vasks, Gubaidulina and Shostakovich

Music by Sofia Gubaidulina and Péteris Vasks, topped with the unparalleled symphonic debut by a 19 year old Shostakovich. Latvian Andris Poga conducts the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.

Latvian Andris Poga is chief conductor of the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra since 2013, and designated chief conductor of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra starting with the season 2021/22. He had his international breakthrough in 2010 when he won first prize in Evgeny Svetlanov International Conducting Competition. This concert marks his debut with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.

Poga’s fellow countryman Péteris Vasks (born in 1946) is probably Latvia’s most known and celebrated composer internationally today. Musica serena for strings was written for the Finnish conductor friend Juha Kangas, and the piece war premiered in connection with Kangas’ 70th birthday. Musica serena spans a wide dynamic range, building up from softly shimmering violin harmonics to fortissimo and then gradually regaining its calm.

Polar Music Prize-winning Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina (born in 1931), who was featured in our Composer festival in 2000, describes Fairy Tale Poem as about a piece of chalk in a classroom with a blackboard. Its dreams of getting to create pictures of beautiful castles, magnificent gardens and oceans wither away. But soon, something invigorating happens to the chalk.

With a total of fifteen symphonies, Dmitry Shostakovich is one of the twentieth century’s greatest symphonic composers. Already with the first symphony, he shows his phenomenal capacity to handle the vast orchestral palette. To be sure, traces of his teacher Rimsy-Korsakov are heard here, but above all, this is personal music with humorous turns, surprising melodies and timbral finesse. It is undoubtedly one of the most impressive symphonic debuts in music history, written by a 19 year-old Shostakovich.

  • The music

  • Péteris Vasks Musica serena for string orchestra
  • Sofia Gubaidulina Fairytale Poem
  • Dmitry Shostakovich Symphony No. 1
  • Participants

  • Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Andris Poga conductor
  • From a livestream 22 April 2021.
  • The video is approximately one hour and 15 minutes.
  • Subtitles in English and Swedish is activated by using the CC control in the video player.

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