classical music

Music in the Grip of War: Messiaen & Shostakovich

Part of Classical Season 2020/21

From the hopelessness of a labour camp and the desperation of a Moscow crippled by war, we hear composers respond with music of inspiring defiance.

Violinist Alina Ibragimova, pianist Steve Osborne, cellist Alban Gerhardt and clarinettist Pascal Moraguès come together to form a trio and a quartet for this concert, which features remarkable works born out of extraordinary circumstances.

In the early years of the Second World War, Olivier Messiaen found himself interned in the labour camp Stalag VIII.

A German officer smuggled pencils and paper to the composer, who set about writing a work to perform alongside three fellow inmates.

On a freezing January day in 1941, the eight movements of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time were performed in front of an audience of prisoners.

The work is one of dramatic extremes and extraordinary profundity. It has been described by the cellist Matt Haimovitz as ‘an intimate expression of awe, a prophetic collective scream and a delirious dance all at once.’

As Russia felt the strain of its ‘great patriotic war’ with Germany, Shostakovich experienced the premature loss of his most important friend, Ivan Sollertinsky.

His response was a piano trio that speaks of the despair of grief and the horror of war – Shostakovich laying bare his soul and eulogising his companion. Its finale is a dance of death based on Jewish-inflected dance tunes.

To play these works at Queen Elizabeth Hall, we welcome four consummate chamber musicians who are all distinguished soloists in their own right.

Some of the finest piano playing I have heard.
The Times [on Steven Osborne]
Simply superb in every way
BBC Music Magazine [on Alina Ibragimova]

Performers

Alina Ibragimova violin
Alban Gerhardt cello
Pascal Moraguès clarinet
Steven Osborne piano

Repertoire

Messiaen: Quatuor pour la fin du temps
Interval
Shostakovich: Piano Trio No.2 in E minor, Op.67

Dates & times

3 Jun 2021
Approximate run time: 110 mins
Run times may vary, find out more

where

Queen Elizabeth Hall

Pricing

£15 - £45
Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)

Multi-buy discount

£15, £25, £35, £45

Multi-buy discount
Book 3 to 4 events in the International Chamber Music Series and save 10% on tickets, or book 5 or more events and save 20%. This discount is not available on Premium seats and only applies to multiple concerts bought in the same series, not across two or more series.

Concessions

25% off (limited availability)
Find out more about our Concessions policy

need to know

Ticketing
Book 3 to 4 events in the International Chamber Music Series and save 10% on tickets, or book 5 or more events and save 20%. This discount is not available on Premium seats and only applies to multiple concerts bought in the same series, not across two or more series.

Southbank Centre takes a strong view on secondary ticketing. We require the lead booker to attend (photo ID may be requested). Tickets can only be resold by Southbank Centre or one of its authorised agents.

Discounted student tickets are available from Student Pulse in the month before this concert.
Download the Student Pulse app or register online.