Postcard, big: Shostakovich
The postcard shows: Association over Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 1. Op. 8 by Bit Vejle.
Celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2009, the Winter Chamber Music Festival in Norway featured Bit Vejle as festival artist. The result was a monumental commission measuring 500 x 105 cm. Both figurative and non-figurative, the motifs are inspired by Dimitri Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 1 Op. 8. 8. The background of the composition is the story of the 17-year-old composer’s first experience of love during travels to the Black Sea.
Bit Vejle says of the work: “I always work to – and draw inspiration from – music. In this case it was essential to delve deeper into the musical material, both through active listening and studying the score of the piano trio.”
The cutting’s three main elements are:
1) The outer frame’s taut, ornamental pattern, with snowflakes and a Russian-inspired floral motif.
2) In the lower border each of the four seasons are illustrated, with a middle section referencing the Winter Chamber Music Festival, visited by two of the nine muses: Euterpe with the flute and Terpsichore with her lyre. The little angel at the spire of local Røros Church – with his companion – safeguards the key to the winter festival. The two also symbolize the relationship between the spiritual and earthly powers. The birds and trees of the various seasons reflect the year’s passage from spring nesting, to stormy autumn migration, to the swan’s death in the final scene.
3) An abstraction on the piano trio, the main field allows the observer to follow the development of the music from the first to the final bar. The dynamics, rhythm, themes, modulations and crescendos of Shostakovich’s work are all reflected in the cutting. Bit Vejle was also festival artist at the Winter Chamber Music Festival’s twentieth anniversary in 2019.