by Daniel Hathaway
“It’s a piece of epic proportions with so many emotions from deep sorrow to sarcasm,” violinist Hristo Popov told us in a telephone conversation. “The Shostakovich Piano Quintet has a lot in common with the current political environment in Eastern Europe, and should be very appealing to people on both sides.”
Popov, who is artistic director of the Chagrin Valley Chamber Music Series, has chosen the Shostakovich, along with chamber works by Mozart and Dvořák, for the season finale of the series on Sunday, April 6 at 3:00 pm in Valley Lutheran Church in Chagrin Falls. The concert is free.
Shostakovich, who had a complicated relationship with the Stalinist government of the USSR, falling in and out of official favor on a regular basis, wrote his only chamber work for piano and string quartet in 1940, a piece that has been described as both rigorous and accessible. It was enthusiastically received at its first performance by Shostakovich and the Beethoven Quartet, who encored both the scherzo and finale.