Vladimir Ashkenazi, a famous pianist and conductor of our time, gives concerts on Saturday and Sunday in Moscow, the last in his world concert tour.
At the basis of the program performed by the musician during the year in Prague, Cologne, New York, London and Vienna, are the most widely known compositions by Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitry Shostakovich.
"I have always wondered how these great composers could create music in conditions of most ruthless Soviet dictatorship," Ashkenazi told reporters. In his view, "the difficulties of their life and the life of their countrymen gave an immense creative impetus to these masters."
According to Ashkenazi, his program is based on contrasts - together with compositions written on an order of the authorities, there also are those which reflect the true thoughts and feelings of the composers.
Among the latter is the famous 13th symphony by Shostakovich. It will be performed by the Novaya Rossiya Orchestra conducted by Ashkenazi on December 6 in the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. Performed at the concert on December 7 will be, apart form music by Prokofiev and Shostakovich, the vocal series by Rodion Shchedrin based on the poems written by Osip Mandelshtam, who died in Stalin's prisons. The series is devoted to Vladimir Ashkenazi and will be performed for the first time.