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The Boston Globe


Music Review

In Shostakovich’s vast night, with Nelsons and Skride

Part of the appeal of the concerto as a genre is the way it can operate, beneath the music, on the plane of myth. These pieces are, among many other things, variations on an endlessly relevant theme: the lone individual voice cast against an enormous collective.

Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto — which received an arresting performance Thursday night at Symphony Hall — only enhances this mythic resonance. Not only do we have a dark, lamenting solo line playing out against a giant orchestral backdrop, but we have the historical figure of Shostakovich, hounded by a regime, writing music that in his own era came to be heard as a veiled repository of private emotion in a mercilessly public time.

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