Critic’s Choice

By David Fleshler

Dmitri Shosstakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich

Any symphony dedicated to Lenin starts with one strike against it. And Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 12, subtitled “The Year 1917,” is widely considered 40 minutes of populist noise celebrating a regime that he hated.

Yet the symphony, which will be performed Saturday and Sunday by the New World Symphony, bears the unmistakable stamp of a great composer, even on an off day. It’s an exciting piece of virtuoso orchestral writing, with brilliant wind and brass passages and dark, brooding moments in the classic Shostakovich manner. Although the symphony might sound better if the listener didn’t know what it was glorifying, it’s still well worth hearing as a work by a master and a document in the story of his life.

The concerts, to be conducted by James Conlon, music director of the Los Angeles Opera, will also include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2.

The New World Symphony will perform Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 12 and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.; 305-673-3331.

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Tue Mar 21, 2017
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