Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 6, composed eighty years ago, is one of the most original works of this genre in the composer’s oeuvre, but also the shortest. It lasts only half an hour and, like the Second, Third and Later Ninth, it has an unusual structure: a powerful Largo and behind it two fast movements: Allegro and Presto. The political situation at the time of the work’s creation did not favour its reception, and Shostakovich was accused of insufficient “involvement”. The author of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk county announced that he was working on a great thanksgiving symphony dedicated to Lenin with the participation of singers' soloists, a choir which, of course, he never wrote. Instead, he created a great mahlerian fresco with an almost artificial conclusion in the form of an almost vulgar and seemingly only optimistic finale. In the same year that Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 6 was written, the twenty-year-old Mieczysław Weinberg completed his piano class at the Warsaw Conservatory and began composing his first works. It was then that his escape to the east began, first to Minsk, then to Tashkent, where he met Dmitri Shostakovich, and finally settled in Moscow in 1943. Until recently, his music was almost non-existent in the repertoire of concert halls. Today, the composer’s name on a poster is not surprising. Of the dozen or so pieces for solo instrument with orchestra, it was the Violin Concerto from 1960 that recently gained quite a number of propagators, led by Gidon Kremer. In Poland, the tireless ambassador of Weinberg’s music is maestro Gabriel Chmura, who prepared the first four-movement Sinfonietta from 1948, bathed in Jewish folklore, for this special concert.
Performers: The National Philharmonic Orchestra, Gabriel Chmura – conductor, Gidon Kremer – violin. Preprogrammed by Mieczysław Weinberg – Sinfonietta No. 1 Op. 1. 41, Violin Concerto in G minor Op. 67, Dmitry Shostakovich – Symphony No. 6 in B minor Op. 54.