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Shostakovich Quartets: Intimate Portraits, Part 2

A series with the Carducci Quartet

Photo of Carducci Quartet in formal dress smiling at the camera

Sofia Gubaidulina contemplates unfinished J S Bach as the Carduccis survey Shostakovich in triplicate across some two decades.

Mahler meets Prokofiev in the Quartet No 6, which Shostakovich started to sketch on honeymoon following his marriage to second wife Margarita Kainova. The 12th, composed after a spell of bad health signalled a decisive return of confidence, (‘it’s a symphony, a symphony’ he enthused). It’s inscribed to his devoted friend Dmitri Tsyganov, first violinist of the Beethoven Quartet. The Carduccis end with No 3, one of Shostakovich's finest works and the only one he wrote in 1946, when the Soviet state began a campaign of censorship.

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‘Fabulously aggressive, full of iron pizzicatos and flying bow hair‘

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Milton Court Concert Hall