Music for Dark Evenings

There is much to do and little time to play right now. Which is why posting is becoming less frequent, and I suppose it will stay this way for the rest of the year. I will try to do something every week, at least, and more if I can. I so enjoy blogging (I think I probably carve out a new neural path in my brain every time) and it distresses me a bit when I have nothing to contribute. It´s like life itself is on hold.

We did get a real treat Sunday, however, when we attended the farewell concert for the collaboration between Norrbotten Chamber Orchestra and its long-time artistic leader, Petter Sundkvist, who is moving on to other projects. The program selection was the result of suggestions from the faithful audience, and they played such favourite composers as Sibelius, Mozart, Bach and de Frumerie. My personal favourite, though, was the last piece, an adaptation for orchestra of Sjostakovitj´s String Quartet No 8. My, that woke me up!

According to the conductor, Petter Sundkvist, this piece was written both as a lament over Dresden, which Sjostakovitj visited in 1960, and as a memorial piece over the the composer himself, who did not think it likely that anyone else would compose anything with him in mind after his death. He quotes from his earlier works, and the notes in the main theme corresponds to his initials. It was performed at his funeral in 1975. It´s really sad, but full of vitality as well; perfect for dark November evenings. 

I found a version of it on youtube, courtesy of Rodney Leinberger. Enjoy!


  1. Dmitri Shostakovich's works are extraordinary and I do not seek them out, or even remember to do so, unless I am reminded by others. Thanks for posting. It is playing in the background as I type and recover from literally 4 holidays celebrations over the past week. My poor dead brain is waking up with the music.

    1. Good idea. I am just returning from a short holiday with family in Z├╝rich, and a bit of Sjostakovitj may just restore me!