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Solem Quartet

Shostakovitch spent his life treading the line between supporting the political situation in his country and personally fighting against it through his music. In the Eighth Quartet, Shostakovitch’s musical monogram ‘DSCH’ appears – a strong and defiant stamp of individualism in the context of a totalitarian society which quashed individual creativity. Bushra El Turk’s Quintet for string quartet and kemenche Rostan, Rastan, Rast-kara, in the composer’s words is “motivated by the revolutions and the women that ignited them in Iran, Lebanon and the surrounding region”. The work contains clear Arabic references, using poems, musical forms and songs as a jumping off point, and the string quartet is expanded to a quintet with the addition of kemenche player, Faraz Eshghi Sahraei. Beethoven’s op. 135, which completes this programme, was his final string quartet and a work of perhaps surprising ease and lightness when compared to the other ‘late quartets’; after what seems like the struggle of much of his late output, Beethoven seems to find redemption.

Dmitry Shostakovich: Quartet no. 8 in C minor, op. 110
Bushra El-Turk: Rostan, Rastan and Rast-Kara for Kamanche/Qeychak and String Quartet
Ludwig van Beethoven: Quartet no. 16 in F major, op. 135
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