Ronald Lo Presti: Elegy for a Young American (1967) 7’
Bert Appermont: Crystal Magic
Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9 in E flat major, Op. 70 (1945) 28’
Barcelona Symphonic Band
José R. Pascual-Vilaplana, conductor
During the 1930s up until the Second World War, Dmitri Shostakovich engaged in a singular game of tug of war with Stalin’s government. The symphonies of the period convey the repulsion he felt for his country’s dictatorship, denoting cutting irony and sarcasm. Symphony No. 9 is a good example. It was to have been the “Ninth Symphony” and an ode to Soviet Russia, but Shostakovich did not give it a choir or soloists and neither did he add a spectacular finale. Instead, from the very outset, its mocking tone led to the symphony’s censorship and it could not be recorded until three years after Stalin’s death.
PROGRAM The concert features two other works. The first, Crystal Magic, is a brief work by Belgian composer Bert Appermont, describing the properties of four precious stones–the carnelian’s perseverance, the opal’s misfortune, the amethyst’s wisdom and the amazonite’s playfulness. The second is Elegy for a Young American by Ronald Lo Presti, dedicated to president John F. Kennedy and premiered a year after his assassination.