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THESE CONCERTS, A PART OF THE BARBRO AND BERNARD OSHER MASTERWORKS SERIES, ARE MADE POSSIBLE BY A GENEROUS GIFT FROM BARBRO AND BERNARD OSHER.
THESE CONCERTS ARE GENEROUSLY SPONSORED BY THE MATTHEW KELLY FAMILY FOUNDATION AND NELLIE & MAX LEVCHIN.
Written for celebrated cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, Dmitri Shostakovich’s Second Cello Concerto brings the audience into a musical conversation between two close friends, as soloist and orchestra trade ideas, jokes, and emotions. Longtime collaborators Music Director Laureate Michael Tilson Thomas and cellist superstar Gautier Capuçon continue the dialogue of musical minds in this concert, which also features Sergei Prokofiev’s immensely moving Fifth Symphony.
AT A GLANCE
The Second World War was in full swing while Sergei Prokofiev worked on the Fifth Symphony, during the summer of 1944, but he was sheltered from the conflict living in an artists’ retreat 150 miles northeast of Moscow. “I regard the Fifth Symphony as the culmination of a long period of my creative life,” he wrote shortly after its premiere. “I conceived of it as glorifying the grandeur of the human spirit … praising the free and happy man—his strength, his generosity, and the purity of his soul.” Prokofiev was a master melodist, and one marvels throughout this symphony at not just the elegant craftsmanship of his melodies but also at how memorable they are, easily recognized even as he slows down their rhythms, robes them in new apparel through refashioning of orchestration, or tosses them about from one player to another.
After notes by James M. Keller and Thomas May
For more information, including full program notes, visit the San Francisco Symphony’s digital program book platform at sfsymphony.encoreplus.app or text “SFS Concert” to 55741.