After incurring the wrath of the official Soviet press for his opera Lady Macbeth, Shostakovich sought to redeem himself by composing his bright, vigorous, and dramatic Fifth Symphony. But despite of appearances, this work unabashedly broaches the atmosphere of collective anguish during Stalin’s Great Purge of the 1930s. For his first concert as OSM Music Director, Rafael Payare delivers a poignant symphony that cannot avoid resonating with the difficult year that we have experienced.
Completing this program are two works associated with the Orchestra’s history. Ravel’s head-spinning La valse has been a mainstay for the OSM on several of its tours, while Kaleidoscope by Pierre Mercure, a key work of Quebec’s symphonic repertoire, was premiered by the OSM in 1948.
Symphony no. 5 in D minor, op. 47