It is great to be in the room listening to brilliant young Quartets discovering for the first time the genius of Haydn and the power of Shostakovich. Haydn’s Op.77 was his final set of quartets, composed in the last year of the eighteenth century. His style is here dramatically different from his early Op.20 set heard earlier in the Festival for he was now writing with a concert hall in mind rather than a palatial reception room. Shostakovich’s renowned Eighth Quartet, dedicated to the victims of Fascism, was composed after he visited the post-war ruins of Dresden. The composer Sofiya Gubaidulina has written that she saw Shostakovich as pain personified, the epitome of the tragedy and terror of our times. She believed that he was able to reach such a wide audience because he was able to transform the pain that he so keenly experienced into something exalted and full of light, which transcends all worldly suffering.