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“I write music, it’s performed. After all, my music says it all. It doesn’t need historical and hysterical commentaries. In the long run, any words about music are less important than the music.”


Dmitri Shostakovich

around shostakovich

Friday 15 October 2021, 17:00

The Hague: Paleiskerk

inspired by bach

Nikola Meeuwsen piano



Dmitri Shostakovich
Piano sonata no. 2 in b-minor, opus 61

Johann Sebastian Bach
Partita nr. 6 in e-minor, BWV 830

Shostakovich and Bach

In 1943, while the Second World War was disrupting Russia, Shostakovich wrote one of his most lucid pieces: the Second Piano Sonata. The sonata is not a showstopper, which is one reason that few pianists perform this masterpiece. But this is completely unjustified according to the young pianist from The Hague, Nikola Meeuwsen, who was selected by the Dutch leading newspaper NRC in their list with the greatest young musical talents in the Netherlands.


In the Second Piano Sonata, you can hear that Bach was an important source of inspiration for Shostakovich. Like Bach, he composed 24 preludes and fugues in all keys. But Shostakovich also liked to perform Bach’s dance suites and partitas. These pieces have left a mark on the sonata’s clear texture and vital rhythmic drive. Nikola Meeuwsen concludes his recital with Bach’s rich and overwhelmingly profound Sixth Partita.

Dmitri Shostakovich performs eight of his preludes and fugues.

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