Friday series - War and Peace

Friday series - War and Peace

Friday Series: War and Peace – Iceland Symphony
16. Feb » 18:00 Norðurljós | Harpa

Gideon Klein String Trio Olivier Messiaen

Osmo Vänskä

Sigrún Eðvaldsdóttir violin
Daniel Schmitt viola
Bryndís Halla Gylfadóttir cello

Gideon Klein String Trio
Olivier Messiaen Selections from Quartet for the End of Time
Dmitri Shostakovich Symphony no. 6

During the Second World War, a vast amount of music was written that in one way or another expressed the horrors of the time. This programme brings together composers from three countries – the Czech Republic, France, and the Soviet Union – all of them deeply affected by the war.

Gideon Klein was arrested by the Nazis because of his Jewish heritage and wrote his masterful String Trio in a concentration camp in 1944. Nine days after he completed the trio, he was deported to the death camp at Auschwitz. Olivier Messiaen fought for France during the war and was a prisoner of war for about a year. He was able to compose music while in the camp, producing one of the landmark works of the 20th century: his Quartet for the End of Time. This programme includes “Abyss of the Birds”, the solo clarinet movement from the quartet, performed by Osmo Vänskä, a splendid clarinettist as well as an outstanding conductor.

The concert concludes with Shostakovich’s Symphony no. 6, which he completed just as the war was beginning. It is a work of stark contrasts, featuring deep melancholy and cheerful burlesque in a fascinating tug-of-war.



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