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PROGRAM

Emerson String Quartet performs Shostakovich

Few composers fathomed the chaos and pathos of 20th-century life as forcefully as Dmitri Shostakovich. The grim pressures he navigated as an artist and Soviet citizen, and his wide-ranging means of surviving and commenting on them, find particularly vivid expression in his fifteen string quartets. This Sunday, the eve of the hundredth anniversary of Shostakovich’s birth, the renowned Emerson String Quartet returns for a program devoted his string quartet cycle. As a form, the string quartet allowed Shostakovich a measure of freedom from official scrutiny and the license to voice extremes of a sensibility that was by turns exuberant, earthy, anguished, and, in its final years, beyond the reach of other means of articulation.

Listen to the performance

MUSIC PLAYED IN THE PROGRAM

    Dmitri Shostakovich: Quartet No. 2 in A, Op. 68
    —I. Overture
    Dmitri Shostakovich: Quartet No. 4 in D, Op. 83
    —IV. Allegretto
    Dmitri Shostakovich: Quartet No. 13 in Bb minor, Op. 138

MIXED COMPANY

POSTED BY VAUGHN ORMSETH ON SEPTEMBER 22, 2006

Mystery Man

This program, performed by the great Emerson String Quartet, airs on the eve of Dmitri Shostakovich's hundredth birthday. With that in mind, it felt important to say something momentous, or at least new, about the composer, whose biography seems to grow less determinate with time, but whose music strikes me as ever more timely and accessible. (more)

LINKS AND RESOURCES

Artist profile: Emerson String Quartet


Document Shostakovich: Breaking down silence