Joseph Haydn, Symphony No 100 in G Major, Hob. I: 100, “Military”
Dmitri Shostakovich, Symphony No 7 in C Major, Op. 60, “Leningrad”
Young Uzbek conductor Aziz Shokhakimov is an increasingly prominent and appreciated figure on concert and opera stages. He is currently the chief conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of Uzbekistan, the musical director of the Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra from Turkey, the kapellmeister of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein of Düsseldorf, and the principal guest conductor of the Verdi Orchestra in Milan. He will open his concert with the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra with Joseph Haydn’s Symphony in G Major.
Although full of dramatic expression and rhythmic charge, and despite bearing the nickname “Military”, Haydn’s symphony is not in fact related to war. It acquired its name mainly due to the second movement, in which the composer uses a triangle, cymbals and a bass drum and sounds fanfares. In contrast, Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony in C Major, entitled “Leningrad”, is specifically associated with the Second World War. Shostakovich completed his seventh symphony in December 1941, during the Nazi siege of Saint Petersburg, then Leningrad, from which the composer had been evacuated. Since he was not accepted into the military forces, the composer dedicated his music to his own city and its brave inhabitants, who, despite starvation, did not give in to the hostile forces. In 1942, this magnificent and eloquent symphonic work was performed in several countries throughout the world as a symbol of resistance. However, the most chilling and moving performance took place in August in the still besieged Leningrad, where starving musicians sacrificed the last of their energy to speak to humanity through Shostakovich’s masterpiece.