Violist Mahoko Eguchi
Calling the piece Le Tombeau de Beethoven would be closer to the mark, because Shostakovich was said to have dedicated the work "to the memory of the great Beethoven." The work is in three movements: a deeply expressive Andante, a brutally dancing Allegretto, and a monumentally mournful Largo built on the doleful arpeggio theme of the opening movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. There will be other works on the programBrahms' autumnal E-flat Major Sonata, Penderecki's diabolical Cadenza for Solo Viola, Elgar's lyrical Salut d'Amour, and Tchaikovsky's dismal Melodie, but with Shostakovich's eschatological Viola Sonata on the program, the end is near.
[Originally published in January, 2004.]