Jonathan Nott, conductor
Gautier Capuçon, cello
The friendship between two of the greatest 20th-century composers is an underlying theme of our season. Here, it is illustrated firstly by Britten's Passacaglia, one of the key moments of his opera Peter Grimes. It precedes two works by Shostakovich, beginning with the Cello Concerto No. 1, in which the composer’s monogram DSCH is often used as a musical signature, and where Stalin's favourite melodies are presented with macabre irony. The dictator’s shadow seems to hang over the Symphony No. 10, often perceived as a description of Stalinist terror.