The Sampson Orchestra are performing a sumptuous concert of Russian music.
Rachmaninov 1st piano concerto was written when he was only 18, He revised in 1917 after the successful performances of the 2nd and third. He said of it “I have rewritten my First Concerto; it is really good now. All the youthful freshness is there, and yet it plays itself so much more easily”
Shostakovich 10th Symphony was premiered by the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra on 17 December 1953, following the death of Joseph Stalin in March of that year. It is not clear when it was written: according to the composer's letters composition was between July and October 1953, but Tatiana Nikolayeva stated that it was completed in 1951. Sketches for some of the material date from 1946.
Khachturian Masqurade Suite was written in 1941. Khachaturian was asked to write music for a production of Masquerade being produced by the director Ruben Simonov. The famous waltz theme in particular gave Khachaturian much trouble in its creation: moved by the words of the play's heroine, Nina – "How beautiful the new waltz is! ... something between sorrow and joy gripped my heart." – the composer struggled to "find a theme that I considered beautiful and new". His former teacher, Nikolai Myaskovsky, attempted to help Khachaturian by giving him a collection of romances and waltzes from Lermontov's time; though these did not give immediate inspiration, Khachaturian admitted that "had it not been for the strenuous search" for the appropriate style and melodic inspiration, he would not have discovered the second theme of his waltz which acted "like a magic link, allowing me to pull out the whole chain. The rest of the waltz came to me easily, with no trouble at all." Khachaturian dedicated the waltz to the actress who played Nina, Alla Kazanskaya.