Interweaving spoken narration by award-winning author and critic Jeremy Eichler with musical performance, this stirring program will spotlight war-haunted string quartets by Britten and Shostakovich alongside a presentation on their lives, their art, and their friendship. Eichler’s presentation will draw from his critically acclaimed new book Time’s Echo, which explores how music bears witness to history and carries forward the memory of the wartime past. In Time’s Echo (Knopf, 2023), Eichler spotlights four composers who lived through the era of the Second World War and the Holocaust and later transformed their experiences into deeply moving, transcendent works of music—scores that echo lost time. This program features the music of two of these composers, Britten and Shostakovich, performed by CCMS Director and Founder Wendy Putnam and Axel Strauss, violins, BSO Associate Principal Violist Cathy Basrak, and BSO Cellist Will Chow.
A finalist for the UK’s premier nonfiction prize, Time’s Echo has been named History Book of the Year by The Sunday Times of London and hailed as “the outstanding music book of this and several years” by The Times Literary Supplement. The composer John Adams, writing in the New Yorker, described it as “gravely lyrical … a work of vast historical scholarship and acute musical insights.”
Jeremy Eichler, author
Axel Strauss, violin
Wendy Putnam, violin
Cathy Basrak, viola
Will Chow, cello
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 36 by Benjamin Britten
String Quartet No. 3, Op. 73 by Dmitri Shostakovich
At the Groton Hill Music Center
122 Old Ayer Road
Groton, MA 01450
Learn more about Jeremy Eichler’s book, Time’s Echo, at jeremy-eichler.com, and purchase tickets at concordchambermusic.org.