In what is now one of the premiere spring events for classical music in the United States, Spring For Music brings together an impressive grouping of orchestras from across the nation and Canada for a series of performances, showcasing some of the greatest music ever created, at the world-renowned Carnegie Hall.
Our very own Houston Symphony is kicking off the sophomore edition of this series on May 7th with an all-Shostakovich performance. They will begin the night with the celebrated 20th century composer’s famous satirical and mocking cantata, Anti-Formalist Rayok. Originally written to ridicule the absurdities of the Zhdanov Decree of 1948 and the anti-formalism campaign in Soviet arts which followed it.
One of the most interesting things about this composition is that it was never played to more than Shostakovich’s friend and family, being on a controversial topic that may or may not have sent him directly to the Gulag. In fact, the first public performance was in January 1989, fourteen years after the death of the Russian composer.
The second piece is the Symphony No. 11 in G minor. An instant success in the Soviet Union when released in 1957, this topical composition was written about the Russian revolution of 1915. It had such a profound effect that it led directly to political resolutions aimed at “correcting the errors” of a previous decree in the Soviet Union after being released.
Once the Houston Symphony finishes their performance on May 7th, other groups including the Edmonton, New Jersey, Alabama, Millwaukee and Nashville Orchestras will be continuing the great music through May 12th. Tickets are available for only $25 each.