About this performance
Shostakovich Seven Romances
Stanhope Lorca Songs
Beethoven Piano Trio Ghost
Greta Bradman soprano
Monica Curro violin
David Berlin cello
Stefan Cassomenos piano
Mairi Nicholson presenter
The music of Shostakovich’s later years possesses a remarkable expressiveness within its sparse long lines and intensely compressed harmonies, creating an aesthetic to match the composer’s sense of profound disillusionment.
This is the withdrawn personal world of the Seven Romances, a series of meditations on death – perhaps not what the commissioners had hoped for to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the October Revolution. By contrast, the poems of Lorca seem to soar and swoop with worldly passion (the spirit of duende) in the lyrical settings by composer Paul Stanhope.
It’s the second movement, melancholy and stationary, that gives Beethoven’s fifth Piano Trio its attention-grabbing nickname. This probably speaks more about the vivid imaginations of listeners of Beethoven’s time, gripped with the fervour of Romantic fantasy, than it does about the Trio itself, which as a whole is gracious, lively and completely uplifting.
1 hour and 40 minutes, including a 20-minute interval.
Pictured: Monica Curro | Image credit: Hugh Peachey