Shostakovich: Ballet Suite no. 1
Santcovsky: Concerto for two shamisen and orchestra (work commissioned by the Fundación SGAE, AEOS and the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra)
Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet (selection by K. Ono)
Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya (OBC)
Kazushi Ono, conductor
Ryoichiro Yoshida, shamisen
Kenichi Yoshida, shamisen
Shakespeare’s works have been set to music by many composers, but Romeo and Juliet is the play that has inspired more notes of music than any other, in the form of operas, overtures and ballets, such as the one composed by Prokofiev in 1935. It contains sections that are intense, romantic, spirited, narrative and even violent, and is considered one of the composer’s most important works thanks to its overflowing lyricism. The first production was cancelled, as the music was considered to be “undanceable”, but over time it became an accepted part of both the ballet and symphonic canons. Some years earlier, Shostakovich premiered his ballet The Golden Age, a wry and humorous work that is at the same time critical and ironic. Some performances were subsequently censored as it contained dances that were banned in the Soviet Union, such as the can-can, the foxtrot and the tango. The programme is completed by a concerto dedicated to the shamisen, the traditional Japanese instrument par excellence, an oriental ancestor to the guitar or lute.