Selection from 24 preludes, opus 24
Sonata for cello and piano in C-major, opus 65
Suite on poems by Alexander Blok voor soprano and piano trio, opus 127
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.