1950's russia

Piano concerto N°2 in F major Op.102 - II. Andante
Paavo Berglund, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Cristina Ortiz
Piano concerto N°2 in F major Op.102 - II. Andante

Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich (1905-1975).

Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102, was composed in 1957 for his son Maxim’s 19th birthday. Maxim premiered the piece during his graduation at the Moscow Conservatory. It is an uncharacteristically cheerful piece, much more so than most of Shostakovich’s works.

This concerto is sometimes dismissed as one of the composer’s less important works, especially in comparison to some of the symphonies and string quartets. In a letter to Edison Denisov in mid-February 1957, barely a week after he had finished work on it, the composer himself wrote that the work had “no redeeming artistic merits”. It is suggested that the comment was actually meant to be tongue-in-cheek. 

Despite the apparent simplistic nature of this concerto, the public has always regarded it warmly, and it stands as one of Shostakovich’s most popular pieces.