The Jerusalem String Quartet Plays Shostakovich

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Monday, October 21, 2013

The Jerusalem String Quartet. The Jerusalem String Quartet. (Felix Broede)

The string quartets of the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, who lived from 1906 to 1975, chronicle the musical and personal life of one of history’s most challenged artists. Living under the harsh conditions of Soviet Russia for most of his life, his music communicated to the world the very soul of Russia.

Shostakovich’s chamber works represent the more private, personal and often experimental facets of his musicianship, and the two quartets performed on this week's program by the Jerusalem Quartet embody all of those characteristics.

From the dolorous intoning of the composer’s own musical initials, played by the cello at the outset of the Eighth Quartet, to the alternately tuneful and dissonant episodes of the 12th quartet, we experience an artist who truly wore his heart on his sleeve, whose probing creativity advanced the art of chamber music, and whose work helped sustain him and his fellow musicians through the most trying of times.

Program details:

Shostakovich: Quartet No. 8 in C minor for Strings, Op. 110

Shostakovich: Quartet No. 12 in D-flat major for Strings, Op. 133

Jerusalem String Quartet: Alexander Pavlovsky, Sergei Bresler, violin; Ori Kam, viola; Kyril Zlotnikov, cello.

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