Shostakovich Symphony No.4 – Beyond the Score ®


Saturday 28th October 2017

The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

From £13.50 (inc. booking fees); £5 student offer available

Please note that this performance begins at 7pm

First half - Beyond the Score ® dramatisation
Second half - Full orchestral performance

Sir Mark Elder

Gerard McBurney, Creative Director, Beyond the Score ®
Samuel West, Actor
Tamzin Griffin, Actor
Robert Pickavance, Actor

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The Soviet Union’s most famous composer, Dmitri Shostakovich had triumphed internationally with a wildly successful opera, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, running simultaneously in different theatres in Moscow and Leningrad, and creating scandals and excitement in Europe and America. The composer was determined to follow with a massive symphony, scored for enormous orchestra and designed to show the full power and scale of modern music.

And then he fell from grace. At the beginning of the year, two unsigned articles appear in the national newspaper Pravda, condemning his work as ‘coarse, primitive and vulgar’, ‘musical chaos’, an example of the evil and anti-Soviet influence of Western ‘formalism’ and bourgeois values. The opera was taken off, the new symphony abruptly cancelled, and the composer plunged into public peril.

This was at the very moment when Stalin initiated the bloodthirsty Terror, in which hundreds of thousands died and millions were arrested and imprisoned.

25 years later, when the symphony was finally allowed to be performed, the composer told a friend: ‘In many ways, it seems to me the Fourth is better than the symphonies that came after…’

Beyond the Score ® dramatises this dark and shocking story, setting the violence and pathos of the music alongside political and personal events in a multimedia performance using diaries, letters, prose and poetry, documentary films and posters of the time. We hear a complete performance of the symphony after the interval.

Pre-concert event 5.45pmat The Bridgewater Hall auditorium, free to concert ticket holders

Setting the scene for the evening’s dramatic Beyond the Score® retelling of Shostakovich’s Symphony No.4, join three talented musicians from the RNCM School of Keyboard Studies in a performance of Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes Op.34.

Beyond the Score ® is a production of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

(Image credit: The Hallé)

Ticket Information >>

The Bridgewater Hall applies a booking fee of £2 per ticket to telephone and online transactions. Tickets bought in person at the Box Office using a debit card or credit card are subject to a 2% booking fee. No fee applies to tickets bought in person and paid for by cash or cheque or purchased as part of a fixed or personal subscription.

Patrons should note the new measures in place for admission to The Bridgewater Hall. Please visit here for details.