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7:30 PM , Royal Festival Hall , London

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Faith from the shadows

Belief and Beyond Belief: War and Peace

Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1
Pēteris Vasks
Dona nobis pacem
Gregorian Chant
Dies Irae
Symphonic Dances*

Andrés Orozco-Estrada
István Várdai
London Philharmonic Choir
The Lay Vicars of Westminster Abbey
London Philharmonic Orchestra

Dispatches from a dark century: Shostakovich’s powerful First Cello Concerto speaks both in whispers and warnings, in a USSR in which Stalin’s death was still all too recent. Rachmaninoff, exiled from Russia, celebrates all the colours of a virtuoso orchestra – but still sounds a note of sadness and loss. The link is faith. The ancient chants that echo through Rachmaninoff’s music form the emotional core of the music of Pēteris Vasks: a priest’s son from Latvia, born under Soviet oppression, whose Dona nobis pacem speaks with a quiet but fierce sincerity. Andrés Orozco-Estrada and soloist István Várdai will bring it all into focus.

*In co-operation with the Serge Rachmaninoff Foundation.

The Lay Vicars of Westminster Abbey appear by kind permission of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster.

This performance is being recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3. 

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Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances

Get to know a little more about the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff