Shostakovich And His Heroes



Opening a series of concerts, featuring the BBC Philharmonic playing Britten and Shostakovich. Presented by Petroc Trelawny.

Britten first encountered Shostakovich's music in 1936, the year the older composer wrote his groundbreaking Fourth Symphony, though they did not meet until much later. Shostakovich's genius casts a shadow of inspiration across Britten's Concerto, begun soon after this encounter.

Britten: Violin Concerto

Shostakovich: Symphony No 4

Tasmin Little (violin)

BBC Philharmonic

Vassily Sinaisky (conductor).


Continuing a series of concerts - featuring the Halle Orchestra playing Britten and Shostakovich from Manchester's Bridgewater Hall. Presented by Petroc Trelawny.

In the 11th Symphony (The Year 1905), Shostakovich takes a vivid cinematic approach to the violence of the attempted revolution. Britten's Sinfonia da Requiem of 1940 offers the listener an equally powerful and intense musical experience, in a work which its composer described as 'a plea for peace'.

Britten: Sinfonia da requiem, Op 20

Shostakovich: Symphony No 11, Op 103 in Gm, The Year 1905

Halle Orchestra

Stanislaw Skrowaczewski (conductor).


Freedom is the underlying theme in this concert. Shostakovich dedicated his Seventh Symphony to "our struggle against fascism and our coming victory, and to my native Leningrad". A visit to Dresden and its ruins in 1960 provided the inspiration for a film score, including a Beethovian hymn to victory.

A different sort of freedom lies behind Beethoven's only opera, affirmatively depicted in this overture. Presented by Petroc Trelawny.

Beethoven: Overture - Leonore No 3

Shostakovich: The Liberation of Dresden; Symphony No 7, Leningrad

BBC Philharmonic

Vassily Sinaisky (conductor).