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Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor, Op. 40
Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67
Sonata for Viola and Piano in C major, Op. 147
Natalie Clein is a multifaceted artist; her solo performances under the stage lights in front of the orchestra represent only one of her many sides. In the service of music she seeks musicians who share her dedication, so that they could combine their collective enthusiasm and let go of any reservations in conjuring up the wind under the wings of striking chamber music interpretations.
At this Chamber Cycle concert we will get to experience Ms Clein together with French-Swiss pianist Cédric Pescia and Israeli violinist Nurit Stark, two artists on a quest for sincere music partnerships. The ego of the individual is nowhere to be found when this trio get together – every member becomes a building block of a larger music tale, coming to the forefront on one occasion and moving into the background on the other. What matters most is the ultimate goal; this time, it’s to present a representative selection of Shostakovich’s rich oeuvre of chamber music for violin and cello accompanied by piano.
Forty years of a tumultuous life and creation span between the first and last part of the concert. The Sonata for Cello and Piano is Shostakovich’s first chamber piece that he created right after completing his studies, yet every note already announces his recognizable chamber music oeuvre. Unlike symphonies, these pieces do not rely on programmes beyond music, but rather stay true and focused on the melodic essence. Yet even this early piece already makes it fully clear that Shostakovich’s music spills over into dramatic dimensions even when it is internalized and employs allusions to Russian folk music, the vibrant colours of the Orient, and indispensable grotesque that is all too common for the composer.
Even though it cannot be put into words, Shostakovich’s chamber music creates the impression that it silently interprets what the artist experienced on the inside. His Trio No 2 is already so full of expression that it has been labelled “an expression of tragedy that his generation experienced through suffering and death” (Ivan Ivanovich Martynov).
When Shostakovich completed his Sonata for Viola, his remaining days were already numbered, but the drive he experienced when creating this piece may have given him strength and granted him some additional time. This sonata has an air of finality: the music sounds as a touching farewell by a person who made peace with his life, which was far from easy at times, without any sadness.