Sunday 21 April, 3:00pm
Doors 2:30pm | Concert 3:00pm, ends 4:00pm, no interval
Tickets £20 / £10 (under 25)
Anna Crookes, soprano | Sophie Rosa, violin | Jonathan Aasgaard, cello | Ian Buckle, piano
Dmitri Shostakovich - Seven Romances on poems by Aleksander Blok
Valentin Silvestrov - Three Postludes
'finely judged detail, expansiveness and lots of heart'
- The Guardian
In 1967, whilst recovering from a heart attack, Shostakovich wrote the Seven Romances on poems by Alexander Blok at the request of cellist Mstislav Rostropovich who had in mind a wordless vocalise for cello and piano. Shostakovich composed Ophelia’s Song (the first of the set) for this duo combination, but turned to the poetry of the great Russian symbolist Alexander Blok and added violin and piano to realise his musical ideas. These profound settings are ambiguous: tender and agitated, bleak and serene, calm and anguished. Shostakovich played them to his friend the critic and librettist Isaak Glikman who wrote: ‘In the twilight of the dying day, he played me the songs, leaving me with an unforgettable impression. In them, it seems to me, Shostakovich had written his confession, maintaining hope and belief in the future despite his sufferings'.
The Seven Romances are complemented by Silvestrov’s Three Postludes, part of his preoccupation with ‘music that looks back on music’. Written in 1981, the first (‘DSCH’) is a homage to Dmitri Shostakovich featuring an eerie wordless vocalise for soprano, the second is a virtuosic movement for solo violin and the third is a beautifully elegiac miniature for cello and piano.
Pixels Ensemble was created in 2016 by pianist Ian Buckle, drawing together some of the finest chamber musicians, orchestra principals and soloists in the UK. Rapidly establishing a firm presence at venues such as Liverpool’s outstanding new Tung Auditorium, Pixels Ensemble are noted for their 'thrilling rhythmic alertness' (BBC Music) and ‘fabulously detailed sound’ (Musical Opinion) and renowned for their imaginative programming.