15 May 2021
By Ellie Palmer
The Russian pianist will be joined by violinist Thomas Gould live at London's Kings Place on 26 May, 7pm BST
Yulia Chaplina is joined by violinist Thomas Gould on 26 May at Kings Place in a programme capturing the desperation of artists in an authoritarian regime during and after the second world war, performing Prokofiev's Violin Sonata No. 1, Weinberg and her own solo arrangements of works by Shostakovich once more in front of a live audience.
Chaplina is joined by Gould in Prokofiev's dark and brooding Violin Sonata No. 1, begun in 1938 and premiered in 1946 by David Oistrakh and Lev Oborin. Written upon his return to the Soviet Union, Prokofiev described parts of the piece as 'wind passing through a graveyard'; movements from the sonata would later be performed at his funeral.
Prokofiev's haunting sonata is paired with Shostakovich arrangements by Chaplina, including her transcriptions from Moscow, Cheremoyshki, and her arrangement of the acidly comic waltz from his Jazz Suite No. 2, also written in 1938, where the grotesquely happy writing betrays the composer's inner psychological strain as jovial melodies are marred by an inevitable touch of sadness. Also in her own solo arrangements, Chaplina also performs music from his Ballet Suites, and films The Gadfly and Michurin.
Watch Chaplina and Gould perform a snippet of Shostakovich Waltz from 'Jazz Suite' No 2 below.
The performance is completed with excerpts from the Children's Notebooks of Mieczysław Weinberg, himself Shostakovich's friend, a set of charming piano miniatures composed to meet the Soviet Union's strong demand for music for children, but later criticised for their inappropriate sophistication. The consoling works are an act of self-denial, seeking peace not just for children but the whole of humanity.
The concert is part of Chaplina's second London Prokofiev Festival, 25-28 May 2021. View the full programme for the 25 May performance below:
- Shostakovich (arr. Chaplina) Transcription from Moscow, Cheremoyshki
- Shostakovich (arr. Chaplina) Pieces from Ballet Suites, 'Limpid Stream', 'The Human Comedy' & 'The Tale of a Priest and His Servant Balda'
- Shostakovich (arr. Chaplina) Extracts from The Gadfly, Michurin
- Shostakovich (arr. Chaplina) Jazz Suite No. 2, 'Waltz No. 2'
- Shostakovich The Gadfly, 'Romance'
- Weinberg Children's Notebook (excerpts)
- Prokofiev Violin Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 80
Main image: Thomas Gould (left) and Yulia Chaplina. ©Nicky Thomas Media