Pensacola Symphony Orchestra Presents Shostakovich No. 10
The Pensacola Symphony closes its season this Saturday, April 30th at 7:30pm in the Saenger Theatre. Violinist Jennifer Frautschi will join the orchestra for a program of music by Bruch and Shostakovich. Music Director Peter Rubardt and Dr. Hedi Salanki stopped by the WUWF studios to share some thoughts on the performance.
Hedi Salanki: It is hard to believe that it is time for the season finale.
Peter Rubardt: That's right! It's been quite the season this year!
HS: So, I expect some razzle-dazzle!
PR: Well you will certainly get that with Jennifer Frautschi, the violin soloist we have playing to play the Bruch concerto...
HS: She is fantastic.
PR: Oh my, I did the Bruch concerto with her last year and the moment I heard her start to play it I thought, "I have got to bring her to Pensacola for this piece." Such a wonderful piece: The Bruch Concerto. A great romantic war-horse that really just brings out the best of the violinist.
HS: Watching you for decades programming, one would think that I have figured you ou already, but that's not the case this time. So why Shostakovich 10?
PR: I've always been so fascinated by Shostakovich, you know he occupies such a mammoth position in the 20th century symphonic world. He wrote 15 symphonies, his first symphony he wrote when he was 19 and, to this day, it is one of the most brillian pieces of the 20th century. He was an incredible prodigy along the lines of Mozart and Mendelssohn. It's thrilling music for the audience to listen to and thrilling to play as well. One of the things that Shostakovich is really good at is writing terrifying music and I don't know if it's the times that he lived in, he was a composer in Soviet Russia, his life was dominated by Stalin, but boy I don't know any music that is as harrowing as the second movement of the tenth symphony.
HS: I certainly hope that not everything is so fast in this symphony because your players would not appreciate that too much!
PR: Well, it does have its marvelous challenges that they enjoy living up to. But one of the things Shostakovich is most well known for is writing music that feels very monumental. He'll write crescendos that unfold over several minutes continuously and when we reach the climax it's incredibly powerful.
HS: But he had a great sense of humor in music, also.
PR: He did! He did and a very tongue in cheek sense of humor. The last movement in this piece, I think, is an example of that. After three movements that, you know, show a lot of different emotions and a lot of depth he writes a finale that is almost offhand in its jauntiness and humor.
HS: I could sense even just watching you preparing for this concert, that this is a special one.
PR: Shostakovich 10 does not come along every day, but it's such a gratifying piece to work on and its such a thrilling piece to listen to. This has been a really great season with a lot of big pieces. But all season long I think we have been aiming towards this as the grand finale and we are really excited to be putting this concert on this weekend.
That was Pensacola Symphony Music Director Peter Rubardt talking about the final concert of the season this Saturday at the Saenger Theatre. For more information call the symphony office at 435-2533, or go online to pensacolasymphony.com.