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Opus 126

Cello Concerto No.2. G Minor.

1966

1. Largo

2. Allegretto

3. Allegretto (without a break)


Duration:  34’
Premiere:  September 25, 1966. Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire. Concert to celebrate Shostakovich’s sixtieth birthday. State Symphony Orchestra. Conductor Y. Svetlanov. Soloist M. Rostropovich.
First Edition:  Score, “Muzfond” Publishers, Moscow, 1967. Piano score, “Muzfond” Publishers, Moscow, 1967.
Manuscripts:  The hand-written score is in the archive of the composer’s family.
 

M. Rostropovich:
“After I had studied this Concerto for the first time, I came to the Crimea - to Yalta - with my cello and my pianist and in some theatre or other, where there was a piano,I played this work to Shostakovich for the first time. This was the first time in my life that Shostakovich had shown me a work not yet complete: he never used to show people incomplete works, but he showed me the Second Concerto , when he had only written the beginning. He showed it to me, because he was not very happy with it and he realized that he was turning to the ‘evaluator’.  Meanwhile, I was ‘infected’ by this work and, you know, the wiser our genius became, the simpler the score became. I looked at the score and thought,  what a long time the strings are playing, then the harps come in, and for a long time as well. Yet you know, when you look at a score by Richard Strauss, there are so many instruments, the page looks like a close mesh. Yet when the orchestra plays it, it sounds fairly simple. With Shostakovich the opposite is the case: it looks very simple, but sounds amazing, like some kind of revelation. I simply adore this concerto and regard it as the best one Shostakovich wrote for our every-day life”
(From an interview given to O.Dvornichenko. Published for the first time)




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