Shostakovich and Britten

Friendship without words

Lore Binon, Inge Spinette, Maxime Désert and Trio Khaldei
Sun 10/10/2021 - 11:00
Music, Classical
Daytime Show, Youngsters (12+)

Ticket prices

€ 25 - check our reductions

Both Britten and Shostakovich wrote numerous works for the famous cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and his wife, soprano Galina Vishnevskaja, for example The Poet’s Echo and Blok Romances. Both song cycles were based on Russian poems and are excellent examples of sophistication and modesty. This morning concert starts with Shostakovich’s unequalled Viola Sonata, which he finished only three days prior to his death.

A selection of Belgian musicians is ready to reignite the friendship between Britten and Shostakovich during this matinee concert. Maxime Désert brings out both the friskiness and the sadness of Shostakovich’s Viola Sonata. With full dedication, Lore Binon, Inge Spinette and the Trio Khaldei dive into the rich world of sounds inspired by Russian sadness.

  • Dmitri Shostakovich, Sonato for viola and piano op. 147
  • Dmitri Shostakovich, Seven romances on poems of Alexander Blok op. 127
  • Benjamin Britten, The Poet’s Echo op. 76


The works are introduced by a short, specially designed documentaries. Testimonies and images will completely immerse you in the fascinating atmosphere in which the works were created. Especially the autobiography of Galina Vishnevskaja, who was a muse for both Britten and Shostakovich in the 60s and 70s, provided inspiration. Video artist Lise Bruyneel took care of the design and Pieter Bergé was responsible for the composition.

Shostakovich and Britten

Benjamin Britten and Dmitri Shostakovich both managed to write music that is completely unique, ground-breaking and accessible. Maybe that was the real reason for their friendship. Even though they didn’t understand each other’s language, they understood each other’s music perfectly. This theme day zooms in on their relationship, with a focus on their incredibly intense later works.

More info

with Lore Binon (soprano), Inge Spinette (piano), Maxime Désert (viola) and Trio Khaldei: Barbara Baltussen (piano), Pieter Jansen (violin) and Francis Mourey (cello) photo Mario Leko