Shostakovich, Prokofiev & Tchaikovsky, introduced by Gianandrea Noseda, LSO Principal Guest Conductor
'As a conductor you try to get inside the music, to find the element of truth that is hidden behind the notes – but knowing that you will never get to the ultimate truth, because you can’t talk to the great masters. There is something the composer wanted to say strongly, emotionally, historically, and it’s there, written in the music … you have to try to solve the enigma. What drives me as a conductor is going back to the score, because when you are working with a great orchestra there will always be something that will surprise you.
Shostakovich speaks to me, and I’m sure he speaks to the soul of 21st-century people. He lived his whole life with this dualism of, ‘Should I be myself, or should I say what the Soviets want me to say? How can I give the impression of accomplishing what they want, but stay 100% myself?’ Sometimes in his music there is 98% sadness and 2% euphoric happiness in the same moment – and vice versa.’