JAMES CONLON conducts ALEXANDER KERR violin SHOSTAKOVICH Festive Overture KORNGOLD Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Major SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 5 in D minor Korngold wrote his lyrical and cinematic Violin Concerto, which embraced both his Viennese upbringing and his full-blooded romantic style as the defining composer of Hollywood's Golden Age. During the reign of Stalin, Shostakovich spent much of his time playing cat-and-mouse games with the culture police; always trying to push his artistic boundaries outwards without offending Stalin by seeming too formalist. Shostakovich the composer has taken a lot of flack from Western musicologists for seeming to capitulate to the whims of Stalin and his henchmen. At the time, criticism was life threatening, not merely career threatening, which explains why Shostakovich withheld his exploratory Fourth Symphony (being performed later in the season) and composed instead the Fifth to please the regime.