Monsters, witches and a devil (well, Stalin, anyway). This was perhaps not a typical program for the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, but it was in turns electrifying, poignant, lovely and menacing.
In fact, the concert Saturday night in the Amphitheater was an intriguing look at danger set in Russia. It began with the fantastical one of two monsters that abduct the characters Russlan and Ludmilla in the opera of the same name by Glinka, moved to the frightful Slavic legend of Baba Yaga and concluded with Shostakovich’s secret account of the brutality of Stalin’s regime. All led by, with a measure of irony, but a conductor at ease, the American Ira Levin.Read more