Dmitri Shostakovich paid a visit to Copley Symphony Hall this weekend in the haunted form of his first cello concerto and tenth symphony. Composed after the oppressive tumults of Stalin's reign in Soviet Russia, the turbulent yet witty numbers give a glimpse of the stifling life and survival of the artist under an unmusical dictatorship.

Cellist Julie Albers looked resplendent in her flowing blue gown upon entering the stage for the Eb cello concerto, but she was transformed into something ethereal with the first stroke of her bow. Through impeccable musicianship and absorbing charisma, Albers didn't play as much as she sang through her cello. The soft legato passages were so compelling that you could hear a pin drop in the auditorium.

Leading the flawless San Diego Symphony Orchestra was Maestro Eri Klas, whose Estonian touch lent his reading of Shostakovich's torturously gorgeous music the authenticity only found in someone who had experienced life under communism.

Albers, Klas, and the SDSO were warmly received by the audience, who would have kept on clapping all night if allowed.

Concert: Jacob's Masterworks Series: All Shostakovich
Show date: October 16, 2009
Venue: Copley Symphony Hall
Seats: V 35

More from SDReader


Visduh Oct. 20, 2009 @ 7:18 p.m.

Such a pleasure to read a critique of a local classical performance that did not pick it to pieces and damn it with faint praise. This was almost enough to make me want to attend Symphony performances, even though they would require a 40+ mile drive each way. I'll be watching for more of your reviews.


David Dodd Oct. 20, 2009 @ 7:32 p.m.

Visduh, I agree. Shostakovitch is probably my favorite Russian composer, and this review made me feel very sorry I missed the concert.


Sign in to comment

Win a $25 Gift Card to
The Broken Yolk Cafe

Join our newsletter list

Each newsletter subscription means another chance to win!