About the Concert
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It is not at all rare for composers to write a work that they suspect will be their last. But seldom do we hear a sense of foreboding and farewell pain as clearly as in Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony. He did not give it the epithet "Pathétique" himself, however, but rather his brother Modest. It is indeed pathetic. Even more: the Sixth is tragic, dramatic, gripping, ominous. And it is Tchaikovsky's swan song: Nine days after the premiere, he died of cholera under circumstances that remain unexplained to this day.
Shostakovich's First Violin Concerto is also a kind of symphony. Or rather: a symphony with an obbligato first violin. The violin has no rest, it is incessantly in action, talking to individual instruments, to the whole orchestra and of course to the listeners. The great violinist David Oistrakh, for whom Shostakovich created the concerto, asked him to at least catch his breath after the great solo in the fourth movement. Shostakovich granted his wish. Nevertheless, it is an enormously demanding work - just the right thing for Maria Ioudenitch, who loves challenges for her instrument and - as she will prove - also masters them with aplomb.