Music and drama performance presented in association with Sheffield Theatres
with ENSEMBLE 360, SARA KESTELMAN actor and the voice of SIMON RUSSELL BEALE, actor, as the USSR All-Union Radio newsreader
PROKOFIEV Overture on Hebrew Themes Op.34
WEINBERG ‘Aria’ Op.9
GLIÈRE Romances Op.35
MYASKOVSKY Cello Sonata No.2 in A Op.81, Finale
TSINTSADZE ‘Spring’ from 12 Miniatures for string quartet on Georgian Folk Songs
KHACHATURIAN Clarinet Trio
SHOSTAKOVICH String Quartet No.7 in F sharp minor Op.108
This Saturday night, the Studio Theatre will be dressed to resemble a concert hall in Moscow sometime in the 1940s. There are three alternating players in the drama that unfolds: the vicious diatribes of the totalitarian state taken from original Soviet broadcasts and editorials, the brave words of poet Anna Akhmatova and the powerful music of great composers.
Even in this age of unprecedented artistic pressure, the musical sequence presents a varied emotional range: dignity and beauty in the reflective works of Weinberg and Tsintsadze, visceral power in the outpourings of Myaskovsky and Shostakovich, and a dash of humour in the music of Prokofiev.
On 1st December 1934, a young man called Leonid Nikolaev walked into the Smolny in Leningrad and shot Sergey Kirov, the most important Communist in Russia after Joseph Stalin. As the Great Terror began, music was placed right in the firing line. In a state that sought to control every aspect of its citizens’ lives, any perceived offence could – and did – lead to arrest, deportation to Siberia or execution.
'I lived through '37, when night after night every person in Moscow feared his arrest. You can't imagine what we went through, listening for the fatal knock on the door.' David Oistrakh, violinist
Professor Marina Frolova-Walker, from the University of Cambridge, presents a portrait of music in Stalin’s state and reflects on the story of the Stalin Prize.
Free to all concert ticket holders
Experience thrilling live music by the world’s greatest Russian composers, performed up close in the Crucible Studio this May. See the full festival diary here.