RNS Sessions: Dinis Sousa plays Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 57 – Prelude
To celebrate his appointment as Royal Northern Sinfonia’s Principal Conductor, Dinis Sousa joined a quartet of RNS musicians to perform a socially distanced performance of the Prelude from Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet.
Performed by Dinis Sousa, Alexandra Raikhlina (violin), Gaelle-Anne Michel (violin), Michael Gerrard (viola) and Gabriel Waite (cello) as Sage Gateshead.
About the music
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) composed this piano quintet in September 1940 for his musician friends, the Beethoven Quartet, who wanted a work that would let him join them as a pianist. Together, they premiered the Quintet at the Moscow Conservatory that November. Reaction to the work from the audience, critics and – most importantly – the Soviet authorities, was overwhelmingly favourable. It was hailed as the 36-year-old’s best work to date and the following year was awarded the very first Stalin Prize. The Quintet marks the Soviet composer’s return to traditional forms after a more experimental period. He rarely has the musicians playing in unison, preferring to vary the partnerships between instruments.