November 29, 2019

GCSE and A level music trip to Sage

Last Monday, our GCSE and A level musicians attended a concert by the Royal Northern Sinfonia at Sage Gateshead. 

The concert was specially designed to complement the study of set works and aimed to develop wider knowledge of the musical periods and their hallmarks. There was something for everyone, from Vivaldi to Reich and Mozart to Bartok; the boys certainly came away talking about what they’d heard.

The unanimous favourite amongst our boys was the performance of Shostakovich’s 8th String Quartet (orchestrated). The piece spelled out his musical epigram of DSCH (in German notation, E flat is known as ‘S’ and B natural is known as ‘H’) which stands for his name, Dmitri Shostakovich. The reoccurring motif secretly announced his frustration at Stalin’s regime.

The boys found it fascinating that he spelled his name in music and that he repeated it angrily throughout the intense composition.