Loc: Long Beach, CA
Not sure what to make of this, but it is so bizarre.
The following comes from the program notes at last night's L.A. Philharmonic concert where this piece was played.
Mozart, K. 488, and Stalin? This is a story that had circulated in Russian musical circles well before it was documented in The Memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich.
In his final years, Stalin became addicted to listening to music on the radio... on one occasion to a performance of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488, played by Maria Yudina, a particular favorite of his — surprisingly, since she was as celebrated for her non-conforming political views as for her musical skills. Instead of playing encores at her concerts, she would read poems by banned Russian writers and recite the sayings of Russian Orthodox clerics (risky business in those days to say the least).
Stalin asked Moscow Radio for a copy of Yudina's K. 488 performance, and they agreed to send it immediately. The problem was that this had been a live performance and it had not been recorded. The radio people called Yudina and hastily assembled an orchestra late that night, delivering the recording to Stalin the following day.
In his memoirs, Shostakovich relates: "Soon after Stalin heard the recording, Yudina received an envelope with 20,000 rubles... To which she responded: 'I thank you, Joseph Vissarionovich... I will pray for you day and night that the Lord forgive you your great sins...'" The pianist is said to have donated the 20,000 rubles to her church.
Oddly, Yudina was never censured nor imprisoned for any of her renegade acts, and her career continued until shortly before her death in 1970. Shostakovich said that "her recording was on the record player when the leader was found dead in his dacha in 1953. It was the last thing he had listened to."
This recording is available on CD and even on YouTube.
At last night's concert (pianist Rudolf Buchbinder with the L.A. Phil under the baton of the soon-to-be new conductor, Gustavo Dudamel) during the sublime performance of the Adagio movement, all around me I could see couples reaching out to hold the hand their partner. It was a performance I will never forget.
Xplain's use of MacNews, AppleCentral and AppleExpo are not affiliated with Apple, Inc. MacTech is a registered trademark of Xplain Corporation. AppleCentral, MacNews, Xplain, "The journal of Apple technology", Apple Expo, Explain It, MacDev, MacDev-1, THINK Reference, NetProfessional, MacTech Central, MacTech Domains, MacForge, and the MacTutorMan are trademarks or service marks of Xplain Corp. Sprocket is a registered trademark of eSprocket Corp. Other trademarks and copyrights appearing in this printing or software remain the property of their respective holders.
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.