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Shostakovich’s Seventh

Jaap van Zweden conducts two World War II pieces: Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony, mostly written in Leningrad while the city was under siege, became symbolic of the indomitable spirit of both that ...

Van Zweden and Weilerstein

Prokofiev’s Symphony-Concerto, featuring cellist Alisa Weilerstein, embraces anguish and defiance as well as warmth and tender lyricism. Shostakovich’s neo-classical Ninth confounded expectations:...

Prokofiev 5

Britten’s Sinfonia da requiem captures his deep anguish as he watched his native Britain enter war with Germany. The tides of war had turned in Russia’s favor by 1944, and Prokofiev’s Fifth Symp...
pulcinella design by Picasso

‘Pulcinella,’ Stravinsky’s ‘discovery of the past’

While the term “neo-classical” serves as highly useful shorthand for describing much of Igor Stravinsky’s output, he himself hated the term. It meant “absolutely nothing” to him, even as he ...
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Violin concertos from Russian masters

The 20th century giants Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Shostakovich share a similar heritage but historical and artistic circumstances took them in very different directions, as their distinctive violin co...
Kirill GersteinPhoto: Marco Borggreve

Gerstein and Bychkov, a winning team

In 2006, when pianist Kirill Gerstein met conductor Semyon B...
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On this island: Britten and his native land

In the ’60s, the soundtrack of England and the age was The...
Australian Chamber Orchestra

The Australian Chamber Orchestra sharpens its edge

Australia might not have the vaunted classical-music pedigre...
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When Prokofiev came to Chicago

In 1917, businessman Cyrus McCormick Jr. met Sergei Prokofie...