Studio 150 Bethlehemkerk Livestream Concerts presents:

This concert is going to take us into the darkest corners of the Shostakovich's mind. The performance will be held in near complete darkness with nothing more than a candle light...

Daniel Rowland, violin
Benjamin Roskams, violin
Dana Zemtsov, viola
Mikhail Zemtsov, viola
Maja Bogdanovic, cello
Anna Fedorova, piano

Viola Sonata
String quartet N 15

The concert will be live streamed at Studio 150 Bethlehemkerk's Facebook and YouTube pages.
This concert is supported by the Amsterdam Studio Concerts Fund.

“The String Quartet no.15 in E flat minor, opus 144, is one of the most moving of all Shostakovich’s compositions and is probably the most intimate string quartet he ever has written.

“Play the first movement so that flies drop dead in mid-air and the audience leaves the hall out of sheer boredom.” – were Shostakovich’s strange instructions for the performance of his 15th, and last, string quartet, written a half year before his death. Even being terminally ill, he did not lose his sense of humor and irony!
The Fifteenth Quartet has six movements, performed without breaks:
1. Elegy 2. Serenade 3. Intermezzo 4. Nocturne 5. Funeral March 6. Epilogue
All of the movements are in the key of E flat minor; all are marked adagio; all flow seamlessly into one another.

However, the Viola Sonata op 147 is the composer’s very last piece, revised for the last time just 3 days before he passed away. Originally, every of it’s three movements had a name :

  1. Novella (a narration of the whole composer’s life)
  2. Scherzo (this music is taken from unfinished opera ” The Gamblers” on N. Gogol, it is an ironic portrait of the “theater play of the life”)
  3. In memoriam of L. van Beethoven (the quotation from Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata is used here). However, Schostakovich has decided finally not to publish the names of the movements.

In fact, we have in this program two requiems which the composer wrote for himself. These pieces share a similar autobiographic idea – the remembrance of the whole composer’s life with all terrible and wonderful things which happened to him.
The Viola Sonata ends with a long C major cord – the symbol of purification, “catarsis”, the composer leaves this world without hard feelings, forgiving and asking for the forgiveness… ”
– Mikhail Zemtsov