Russian art and politics have shaped one another through centuries of war and conflict. Paul Juon wrote his First Piano Quartet the same year Czar Nicholas II, responsible for "Bloody Sunday," was crowned. Brimming with 19th-century romanticism, the quartet recalls Russia's artistic golden age. Shostakovich, labeled by the USSR as a composer whose music often failed to "reflect the spirit of the Soviet people," composed his Piano Quintet the year after World War II began. Ironically, it won a Stalin Prize the same year it premiered. The quintet's contemplative, darkly hued tone betrays the composer's true sentiments toward the USSR, however. Postconcert, learn more about art's power to communicate revolutionary ideas.