String quartet no. 4 in D-major, opus 84
String quartet no. 13 in b-flat minor, opus 138
String quartet no. 15 in e-flat minor, opus 1
Few musicians have such a deep affinity with Shostakovich as the violinist Daniel Rowland. As the former first violinist of the Brodsky Quartet, he has performed the complete quartets many times. For the final concert of our five-day festival, he has assembled a quartet with musicians who are friends of his. They will be performing one of Shostakovich’s most poignant pieces: the Fifteenth String Quartet from 1974. Its six hushed, at times haunting adagios include an elegy, a serenade, a nocturne and a funeral march. Biographers see the quartet as Shostakovich’s farewell to life, although after its completion he announced that he had already started working on a sixteenth quartet. But he was unable to complete it.
The quartet can be heard alongside the lyrical Fourth String Quartet with Jewish themes and the radical one-movement Thirteenth String Quartet, one of Shostakovich’s most progressive pieces.