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Friday Series: War and Peace – Iceland Symphony

Þessi viðburður er liðinn

During the Second World War, a vast amount of music was written that in one way or another expressed the horrors of the time. This programme brings together composers from three countries – the Czech Republic, France, and the Soviet Union – all of them deeply affected by the war.

Gideon Klein was arrested by the Nazis because of his Jewish heritage and wrote his masterful String Trio in a concentration camp in 1944. Nine days after he completed the trio, he was deported to the death camp at Auschwitz. Olivier Messiaen fought for France during the war and was a prisoner of war for about a year. He was able to compose music while in the camp, producing one of the landmark works of the 20th century: his Quartet for the End of Time. This programme includes “Abyss of the Birds”, the solo clarinet movement from the quartet, performed by Osmo Vänskä, a splendid clarinettist as well as an outstanding conductor.

The concert concludes with Shostakovich’s Symphony no. 6, which he completed just as the war was beginning. It is a work of stark contrasts, featuring deep melancholy and cheerful burlesque in a fascinating tug-of-war.

  • Program

    Gideon Klein String Trio
    Olivier Messiaen Selections from Quartet for the End of Time
    Dmitri Shostakovich Symphony no. 6

    Osmo Vänskä

    Sigrún Eðvaldsdóttir violin
    Þórunn Ósk Marínsdóttir viola
    Bryndís Halla Gylfadóttir cello
    Domenico Codispoti piano