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Rachmaninoff Performed by Olga Kern

Andrew Litton, conductor
Olga Kern, piano

RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp minor, Op. 1
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 60, "Leningrad"

Colorado Symphony Artistic Advisor Andrew Litton conducts piano sensation Olga Kern, known as a master of Rachmaninoff. For her 2017 return to Denver, she takes on Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 1, with Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7 concluding the all-Russian program. The imposing piece is one of the composer's best-known works, a 75-minute orchestral commentary on the German siege of Leningrad in World War II. After the invasion theme of the first movement, the score moves into a requiem dirge, followed by an even more sorrowful phase -- "After the requiem comes an even more tragic episode," Shostakovich explained. "I do not know how to characterize that music" -- and a thunderous finale that's anything but joyous.