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Shostakovich Quartet Cycle Part 7: String Quartet Nos. 10 & 15

The Complete Shostakovich Quartets

London Chamber Music Society

Sun 30 Oct
Classical

Shostakovich Quartet Cycle Part 7: String Quartet Nos. 10 & 15

The Complete Shostakovich Quartets

London Chamber Music Society

Shostakovich String Quartet No. 10 in A-flat major, Op. 118
String Quartet No. 15 in E-flat minor, Op. 144
Brodsky Quartet
Elizabeth Wilson speaker

Brodsky Quartet celebrate their 50th anniversary with a complete cycle of Shostakovich’s String Quartets across one weekend, played in the intimacy of Hall One, interleaved with talks.


In this special anniversary weekend, the Brodsky Quartet present the full cycle of Shostakovich’s String Quartets. Each concert includes a performance of two quartets and a brief introduction from Elizabeth Wilson, who will share her extensive knowledge of Shostakovich’s life and music, with each of the 15 string quartets examined and illuminated through lively discussion with members of the Brodsky Quartet.

Paul Cassidy, viola, writes: ‘Perhaps because of its position in the cycle, between Nina, Dmitri and Irina and the four members of the Beethoven Quartet, but Quartet No. 10 always strikes me as a little oasis. Whilst its outer movements remain eerily subdued, drained of hope and with little to prove, they do nonetheless serve to highlight two of the most striking movements in the whole set. The ‘Furioso’ second, with its 347 bars of unrelenting venom is arguably the most bitter of his tirades. This is followed by a particularly beautiful Passacaglia whose form is a bit of a Shostakovich trademark. Rather in the way that so many of Beethoven’s great slow movements are in fact sets of variations, so the Passacaglia form allows Dmitri to lay out a bass line and repeat it as often as necessary, adding more and more beauty around it. Like Bach before them, these two giants were formidable improvisers.

And so we come to Quartet No. 15. Frankly, what to say? This is the most intimate and profound commentary on the eternal question of life and death. The music is stripped back to its bare bones, perpetually alone. Only for one brief moment of its heavenly length do the four players collectively exist. The work is full of emotion, beauty, love, tragedy, humour – it’s all there, but expressed existentially by a mind which appears to be straddling that nebulous line between reality and the unknown. It was Shostakovich’s genius which allowed him to capture these images for us mere mortals to reflect upon.’


Elizabeth Wilson is the author of Shostakovich- A Life Remembered, considered by many to be the most vivid, informative and revealing biography of the composer. As a cellist, she studied in Moscow with Mstislav Rostropovich – during which time she encountered Shostakovich, and attended the premières of many of his later works.  As a performer she has worked with such major composers as Arvo Part, Alfred Schnittke and James MacMillan, and as a biographer has also written of Jacqueline Du Pre and her teacher Rostropovich. Her most recent book, Playing with Fire, is devoted to the life and times of the maverick Soviet pianist Maria Yudina, friend and champion of Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Hindemith and Stravinsky.

Date:Sun 30 Oct
Start time:5.30pm (Doors: 5pm)
Venue:Hall One
Price:£21.50
+ £3 booking fee.

Booking Fees

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Availability:Tickets available
£8.50 ‘Under 30s’ tickets available
A limited number of £8.50 (no booking fee) tickets are available with this show for attendees aged under 30. Please select the 'Under 30s' ticket option during the booking pathway (if the option is not there, this means all 'Under 30s' tickets have sold out). Please note that proof of ID may be requested at the venue. This offer does not apply to the higher price categories.
25% discount for LCMS Friends / £5 tickets for students
Become a Friend of the London Chamber Music Society for just £30 and you'll be entitled to a special 25% discount on all ticket prices, excluding Online Savers. Students under 23 can now join for free! Alternatively, full-time schoolchildren/students up to the age of 25 may purchase a stand-by ticket on the day of the concert for only £5 on production of a valid Student Card. For more information and to join please visit the LCMS website. When purchasing Friends tickets online please login before selecting your seat. Booking fees may apply when booking over the phone or in person at the box office.
Multi-buy offers available for The Complete Shostakovich Quartets
Buy tickets to 2 concerts or more and receive 10% off. Buy tickets to 3 concerts or more and get 15% off. St Pancras Room Lecture not included. Events must be booked in one payment to receive the discount. Discount will not be added to orders booked separately. Find out more about the weekend on The Complete Shostakovich Quartets series page.
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