Andrew Wright, Maggie Urquhart
How can a performance of Shostakovich’ piano quintet be dramatized by using words, movements, staging and lighting?
This research was carried out in and through the practice and performances of ensemble ‘de Formule’, a piano quintet in which we both play the violin. As a result of this research, our goal was to perform the Shostakovich piano quintet in a dramatized way, which we did in 2018. The research text describes the internal research process. By looking at (historical) sources about the composer and the piece, and by analyzing the score we got an impression of the context and atmosphere of the quintet, and we created a story to go with it. We found that the piece fitted today’s very important topic about finding your identity within the (mass) society, knowing the history of Shostakovich’ own struggles and the expressions he creates in his melodies, harmonies, instrumentation etc.: sometimes searching, sometimes dragged along in sarcastic happiness and sometimes screaming for help. All these elements we used to conduct the research process, which included translation of the story lines and expressions into movements, words, light effects and different stagings. As a result of this dramatization, we noticed that the audience seemed to understand the music better, and for ourselves, the performance was a more meaningful experience.
Coraline Groen obtained a bachelor’s degree from the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. Her teachers have included Vera Beths, Peter Brunt and Philippe Graffin in The Hague, and Rodney Friend at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Groen was a member of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Academy 2018-2019 and played with the Bayrische Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra and the Residentie Orchestra. She was appointed principal of the second violins of the NJO, the RAM Symphony Orchestra and the Gustav Mahler Academy Orchestra. Groen is a member of the Volkmann Trio, De Formule, and a duo with bayan player Robbrecht Van Cauwenberghe.