Music for Galway’s midwinter festival

Soprano Helen Kearns.

Soprano Helen Kearns.

SOUNDTRACKS FOR Superpowers, a celebration of the music of Haydn and Shostakovich, the Music for Galway 2015 midwinter festival, is at the Town Hall Theatre from Friday January 16 to Sunday 18.

Joseph Haydn and Dmitri Shostakovich both worked with powerful patrons. Haydn’s were the Esterházys, the Hungarian noble family, while Shostakovich’s was Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union. Both were composers of the highest order and both had a major impact on music for the string quartet.

The Carducci Quartet, pianist Finghin Collins, soprano Helen Kearns, and The ConTempo Quartet will be the festival performers. Concerts take place on Friday 16 at 8pm, Saturday 17 at 8pm, and Sunday 18 at 3pm.

The programme will include Haydn’s Quartet in E flat major; Four English Canzonettas; Piano Sonata in E flat Hob XVI:49; and Arianna a Naxos. Shostakovich works include 7 Romances for soprano and piano trio; Quartet No 12 in D flat, Op 133; Piano Quintet in G minor, Op 57; Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Op 110; and Two Pieces for String Octet, Op 11.

On Saturday 17 at 11am in the Town Hall studio, Dr Wolfgang Marx of UCD’s School of Music will give a lecture exploring the composers’ relationships with their powerful patrons. Then from 2pm to 4pm, the public is invited to sit in to open rehearsals and listen to the artists at work.

Festival tickets are €55/€45, single tickets are €20, Friends and concessions are €16, and students are €6. Booking is through the Town Hall on www.tht.ie or 091 - 569777. See also www.musicforgalway.ie

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