Jonathan Nott, conductor
Karen Gomyo, violin
Britten and Shostakovich were linked by an exceptional friendship, one comparable to that of Haydn and Mozart. Intimidated by the idea of meeting the idol of his youth, Britten eventually was introduced to Shostakovich with the help of Rostropovich. Britten's Violin Concerto (1940) is an echo of his unyielding pacifism, and The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra pays homage to Purcell while introducing the instruments of the orchestra to young music-lovers. The gigantic Symphony No. 4 of Shostakovich calls for monumental Mahlerian musical forces; the Soviet composer's fervent tribute was first performed 25 years after its composition.