MORIHIKO NAKAHARA, CONDUCTOR
JOSHUA ROMAN, CELLO
Prokofiev and Shostakovich, two of the most important symphonists of the 20th century, both worked under Stalin’s highly oppressive regime. Prokofiev’s Third Symphony features material from his opera, “The Fiery Angel,” a love story set against the backdrop of demon possession. The result is both touching and dramatic, filled with foreboding and struggle. Shostakovich, who walked a fine line between state accolades and denunciation, wrote his First Cello Concerto for friend Mstislav Rostropovich. Weaving his musical monogram, DSCH, throughout the work, he skillfully combines powerful musical ideas with virtuoso pyrotechnics.