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“It is cruel, you know, that music should be so beautiful. It has the beauty of loneliness of pain: of strength and freedom. The beauty of disappointment and never-satisfied love. The cruel beauty of nature and everlasting beauty of monotony.”


Benjamin Britten

around shostakovich

Saturday 16 October 2021, 20:15

The Hague: Paleiskerk

britten and shostakovich:
Two kindred spirits

Ekaterina Levental mezzo-soprano

Jacobien Rozemond violin

Doris Hochscheid cello

Frans van Ruth piano


Lera Auerbach
Selection from 24 preludes, opus 24

Benjamin Britten
Sonate voor cello en piano in C, opus 65

Dmitri Shostakovich
Suite on poems by Alexander Blok voor soprano and piano trio, opus 127

A close friendship

Shostakovich was a close friend of Benjamin Britten’s, with whom he had become acquainted through Mstislav Rostropovich, the cellist who invited almost all prominent composers of his time to compose new cello repertoire. Britten completed his Cello Sonata for Rostropovich in 1961.


Six years later, Shostakovich composed his Suite on poems by Alexander Blok for soprano and piano trio for the cellist. The cycle was premiered in October 1967 during the commemoration of the October Revolution of 1917. Apparently, the authorities were not as sensitive to the political implications of a piece as they had been in the past. Shortly after the revolution, Alexander Blok had expressed his disappointment with what he saw as a failed regime change. Ekaterina Levental will be joined by Jacobien Rozenmond, Doris Hochscheid and Frans van Ruth, praised in de Volkskrant for the “great élan” and the “unconditional dedication” in their playing.

Order tickets : € 10,00 – € 27,50

The Hague: Paleiskerk

Ekaterina Levental sings cradle song from  Jewish songs by Shostakovich.

Classical NOW!


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