A rare and exhilarating opportunity to hear all of Shostakovich’s incredible string quartets in one weekend. Or pace yourself and pick one or two that take your fancy. Tickets are available per concert, per day or for the weekend.
The Seventh Quartet, of 1960 – written in memory of his first wife, Nina, on what would have been her fiftieth birthday – is the shortest of the set and interrupts the key pattern of falling thirds from one quartet to the next. It is an apparently simple little piece, yet the clarity of thought, sparseness of texture, and almost Webernesque succinctness make it one of the most elusive.
In the Eighth Quartet (also from 1960) – by his own admission, his most personal and intimate work – Shostakovich writes his very own epitaph. What a gift to us all, to know the depth of emotion within these pages. Dedicated to the victims of fascism and war, it can be quite overwhelming to both performers and listeners.
The Ninth Quartet (1964) is one of the most exhilarating of the whole cycle. Dedicating it to his third wife, Shostakovich selects that most warm and sunny of keys, E flat major. Following understated murmuring, an irresistible forward momentum is generated, which persists through the work and brings us to one of the most uplifting of all the endings.
The Brodsky Quartet
Now in their sixth decade as an ensemble, the Brodsky Quartet are among the most beloved interpreters of Shostakovich, a creative relationship that goes back to 1972, the year they formed.
They invite you to join them in celebrating the most magical and intimate journey in all music. Come and revel in the personal diaries of one of the world’s greatest ever musicians. Initially inspired by life – the birth of his son – and finishing with our collective demise, these masterpieces address family, friends, enemies and lovers; with every conceivable emotion explored. We promise you a rollercoaster. Take the ride!
The Complete String QuartetsView all
Under 30s membership
Are you 16-29 years old or a full-time student? Get discounted tickets to brilliant shows at the Howard Assembly Room.