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Malvern Concert Club: Brodsky Quartet – Quartets 11, 12, 13 & 14

June 9th 11:30 am

 

 

Brodsky Quartet

Krysia Osostowicz violin
Ian Belton violin
Paul Cassidy viola
Jacqueline Thomas cello

 

Dmitri Shostakovich Complete String Quartet Cycle

Malvern Concert Club is proud and delighted in equal measure to have been invited by the Brodsky Quartet to host this Shostakovich cycle in Malvern in June 2024.

(Introductory note to Quartets 11-14 by Paul Cassidy)

The untimely death of Vasili Shirinsky, the 2nd violin of the Beethoven Quartet, led Shostakovich to write four quartets dedicated to the four members of that group who had worked with him so closely.

No.11, written in memory of Vasili is a short, almost reverential tribute in which the characteristics of this gentleman are plain to see: they are never exaggerated, always understated and somehow loving.
Quartet No.12, written for the 1st violin Dmitri Tsiganov, is arguably the most formidable of the fifteen. The gently undulating first movement acts like a prelude to the unleashing of seemingly infinite power in the titanic second movement. Reflective adagios try to take over the scene but the irresistible energy of the main movement always wins out as the music gallops towards an ultimately optimistic ending.

The infamously brooding and personal timbre of the viola leads our composer to a particularly dark and lonely place in No.13. Though it often shows signs of a loving character, this is a troubled soul who cannot escape the walls of his tortured mind. Even the quirky central ‘jazz’ section is confused and goes by in a bit of a blur. This poor unfortunate being inevitably ends up alone, screaming with pent up frustration in a perfect musical depiction of that celebrated Munch painting.

In No.14, Shostakovich seems to do the exact opposite by presenting the cello with a series of roles not necessarily typical of that instrument. The first and last movements are frivolous and enigmatic, our protagonist inhabiting a daydream world. It is in the middle movement that real life comes to call, but even here, in the glorious love duet with the first violin, the cello most unusually takes the upper line, creating a particularly heart-breaking effect. Equally, even here, the music is heavily tinged with nostalgia.

Since forming in 1972, the Brodsky Quartet have performed over 3,500 concerts on the major stages of the world and released more than 70 recordings. Having recently celebrated their 50th anniversary, the Brodsky Quartet continue to enjoy a busy international performing schedule, extensively touring the major festivals and venues throughout Australasia, North and South America, Asia and Europe as well as in the UK, where the quartet is based. Their prominent presence on the international chamber music scene, as well as in a range of educational affiliations, has been ensured by their never-ending energy and craftsmanship, attracting numerous awards and accolades worldwide.

Details

Date:
June 9th
Time:
11:30 am
Event Categories:
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Price:
£28 (Price includes 12% booking fee)
Book all 5 concerts for £112 (bookable through the box office only on 01684 892277)
Show Times:
Sunday 9th June '24 at 11.30am

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