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19 May 2017, 20:36
Violinist Nicola Benedetti has just recorded Shostakovich’s mind-blowing First Violin Concerto (the album is available to buy now on Decca). We asked her to talk us through a work that she says is “totally overwhelming the first time you encounter it”
In this opening movement, Nicola says, “every time you feel you’re reaching some kind of conclusion you’re taken away from it, it’s very unsettling.”
The concerto’s second movement is a dizzying Scherzo:
This third movement, in the form of a passacaglia, is the heart of the piece and contains what Nicola thinks is “the most shocking moment of the entire concerto”.
The final movement of the concerto is a Burlesque – a genre in the arts which is part satire, part caricature.
You can also watch Nicola playing the complete concerto with the Gothenburg Symphony and Thomas Søndergård here:
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Picture of Dmitri Shostakovich: Getty