Unity: Amjad Ali Khan, Shostakovich

Chicago Philharmonic

Lidiya Yankovskaya, conductor
Amjad Ali Khan, sarod
Amaan Ali Bangash, sarod
Ayaan Ali Bangash, sarod
Alexandra Loutsion, soprano

Amjad Ali Khan Samaagam | A Concerto for Sarod, Concertante Group and String Orchestra
Kamala Sankaram | Aria for Soprano from Taking Up Serpents
Dmitri Shostakovich | Chamber Symphony in C Minor, Op. 110a

Samaagam means confluence – a flowing together or a gathering to celebrate. Master sarod player Amjad Ali Khan, scion of a family of sarod musicians in central India, composed Samaagam to entwine and rejoice in the classical music cultures of West and East. This stunning collaborative work creates an exhilarating bond of both traditions. Sankaram’s atmospheric aria from the opera Taking Up Serpents also brings together diverse conventions, depicting a young woman’s reunion with her estranged family at her father’s deathbed. And Shostakovich in his Chamber Symphony mourns for his kin, his countrymen, and himself at a difficult time in his life. Weaving together quotations from his previous works, the symphony “is so powerful that when I was writing it, tears flowed as freely as water…”