Shostakovich and Beethoven



Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Lawrence Renes conductor


Shostakovich Symphony No.9
Beethoven Symphony No.4

About the performance

Following his 5-star Verdi Requiem with MSO in 2019, Dutch-Maltese Maestro Lawrence Renes makes his welcome return to Melbourne with two giants of symphonic repertoire at their sympathetic best: Shostakovich’s Ninth and Beethoven’s Fourth symphonies.

  • A star conductor returns
    In-demand on both the concert and opera platforms, former Royal Swedish Opera Music Director Lawrence Renes has conducted (among many others) the San Francisco Opera, London Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, and Mahler Chamber Orchestra in recent seasons. Limelight lauded Renes’ handling of Verdi’s Requiem as ‘stunning and beautiful’.
  • A joyful little piece
    Initially intended to be a majestic praising of Stalin and Soviet Victory in World War II, Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony turned out to be neither reflective of triumph or tragedy. Whimsical and playful, the work was banned for the remainder of Stalin’s life after its 1945 premiere. Shostakovich himself considered it “a joyful little piece”.
  • A slender symphony
    Standing between the enormous symphonies that bookend it, (the monumental Eroica and fiery Fifth Symphony) Beethoven’s Fourth has been considered a genial, lighter example of the composer’s myriad musical expression. Robert Schumann is said to have called the Fourth Symphony “a slender Greek maiden between two Norse giants”.

Duration: approx. 60 minutes with no interval

Program and artists subject to change

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