Dmitri Shostakovich completed his First Violin Concerto in 1948 but had locked it away until after Stalin's death in 1953, releasing it once the timing was more favourable. The concerto was dedicated to the Russian violinist David Oistrakh, who performed the premiere on October 29, 1955, with the Leningrad Philharmonic. As with his Soviet contemporaries, Shostakovich’s career was frequently sidetracked by the demands of the Soviet state for music that glorified Russia and the Soviet political system. The First Violin Concerto is a technically demanding piece written in four movements. Oistrakh noted that it "does not fall easily into one's hands" and its first and third movements call for a clever amount of interpretive and logistical dexterity.
Alixandra Porembski, English Language Annotator