Flowers in the Concrete – Illustrated Talk with Stephen Johnson

29th October 2019

Book signing by Stephen Johnson (How Shostakovich Changed My Mind) followed by an ASPECT Chamber Music Series concert - 29th October 2019, Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Road, London.


Philippe Quint, violin

José Gallardo, piano

Leonard Elschenbroich, cello

Illustrated talk by Stephen Johnson

Schnittke – Suite in Old Style for violin and piano

Prokofiev – Sonata No.2 in D minor, Op.94a

Shostakovich – Trio No.2 in E Minor

Despite the devastation of World War Two and the oppressive rigidity of Stalin’s Communism, exquisite artistic flowers continued to bloom in Soviet Russia. Prokofiev’s Second Violin Sonata emerged just as the tide of war began to turn in Russia’s favour, but it breathes air from another, far happier world. Elegant, lyrical, witty, and serene, it holds out hope of what might lie on the distant borders of possibility. Thirty years later Alfred Schnittke reworked music from his film scores into his Suite in the Old Style, a touching evocation of eighteenth-century Classicism, beautiful, but as Schnittke deftly reveals, ultimately impossible. Shostakovich’s magnificent Second Piano Trio, however, looks the worst squarely in the face. War, tyranny, terrible suffering – it’s all here, yet this work offers another kind of hope: that music can help the tears of grief to flow, and perhaps even provide resolution.


Tue, October 29, 2019

7:30 PM – 9:30 PM GMT


Leighton House Museum

12 Holland Park Road


W14 8LZ


ASPECT Chamber Music Series presents a new concert format – one that transforms the traditional recital into an intimate, engaging, and thought-provoking blend of performance, speech, and image. The Foundation’s chamber music events feature some of today’s leading musicians and music experts. Each concert sets the works on the program in context with presentations supported by visuals. These ‘illustrated  talks’ reveal fascinating details about the composer, the music, and the cultural history of a particular period. ASPECT (ASPECT Foundation for Music & Arts) aims to support and promote artists, and to welcome audiences to explore new aspects of a classical repertoire.


Tickets £25 - Buy Here

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