Amsterdam Sinfonietta and Eva-Maria Westbroek Soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek has given brilliant performances of many vocal works by Shostakovich from the Netherlands Opera to New York. Today she and bass Mikhail Petrenko will sing in his intense Symphony no. 14. The work is the centrepiece of a programme about death and memory, put together by the Amsterdam Sinfonietta. The concert starts with Pärt’s beloved Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten, and then the Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge, written by Britten himself as a homage to his teacher. Energy, humour, charm – all of Bridge’s good qualities will shine forth in the hands of the Amsterdam Sinfonietta. After intermission they’ll play a work that was dedicated to Benjamin Britten: Shostakovich's Symphony no. 14.
Shostakovich Shostakovich’s Symphony no. 14 is actually a song cycle. The composer chose texts about death by various poets while lying in the Kremlin hospital. ‘Everything I’ve written in the last few years was in preparation for this’, he said. It is ‘a passionate protest against death. And a reminder to the living that they must live honestly, conscientiously and nobly.’