An ode to the musical outcast
Composers are not always free to compose whatever they want. This programme is an ode to the musical 'outcast': three Soviet Russian composers who wrote music that was dangerously contrary to the tastes of the regime under which they lived. With their work, which was labelled 'avant-garde' or 'Western', they stuck their necks out, risking their careers or - in the case of Dmitri Shostakovich under Stalin - even personal freedom. Shostakovich, for instance, had a packed suitcase ready in case he was arrested by the KGB. Alfred Schnittke was also severely thwarted by his own government; his work was viewed with suspicion and performances were regularly thwarted. Besides his musical oeuvre, Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov is known for his political engagement with the rulers of the former Soviet Union and present-day Russia. Matangi Quartet is an ardent supporter of Silvestrov's music and has formed a special personal and musical bond with him. In 2017, he was Artist in Resident of Matangi's own (Un)heard Music Festival.
Alfred Schnittke String Quartet no.3
Valentin Silvestrov String Quartet no.2
Dmitri Shostakovich Adagio & Allegretto (Elegy & Polka)
Dmitri Shostakovich String Quartet no.8