Music: Hit for Shostakovich

The stooped man in the crumpled grey suit stood on the stage of London's Royal Festival Hall, bowing gently and solemnly to the welling applause. Twice he withdrew, and twice he returned, walking with awkward, nervous steps. If Dmitry Shostakovich was surprised by the ovation, so was his audience by what it had heard: the Shostakovich Concerto for Cello, being given its London premiere, was one of the most immediate concert hits in years.

Exuberant & Witty. Performed by Russia's eminent cellist, Mstislav Rostropovich, and the visiting Leningrad Symphony Orchestra, the 28-minute concerto...

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