Monday, November 20, 2006

The Shostakovich Project

IMG_4579_1Dmitri Shostakovich fascinates me. His music seems to dance an ever-changing line between tonal and atonal, just as the man was forced between praise and persecution in Soviet Russia. His style is difficult to pin down, at times quite melodic and beautiful, at others, almost fugitive. I don't to a good job of describing it.

At any rate, I was at a concert yesterday: the CBC Radio Orchestra presents the Shostakovich Project, which was six short tribute works by new Canadian composers using Shostakovich's signature DSCH motif, as well as some longer works written by Shostakovich himself.

The CBC Radio Orchestra is the only remaining radio orchestra in North America. It does two series of cheap concerts per year, where they record new music for the radio and spend a lot of money commissioning new works from new and contemporary Canadian composers. And at the low price of $15 per ticket, kids on a budget like me can go see big names like Jon Kimura Parker and Yegor Dyachkov and still afford lunch for the following week. Sure, they don't wear uniforms, but they make up for that with talent. With all this talk about axeing the CBC, it would be a pity to lose it.