Life Chronicles

In April 1946, George Enescu was on tour in Moscow. Shostakovich attended two of his concerts. On 2 August 1946, in Kellomyaki (Komarovo), Shostakovich finished composing the Third Quartet.
Two photographs in the flat on Kirov Street where Shostakovich moved in 1943, after being evacuated, and lived for almost four years, during which the Eighth and Ninth Symphonies, Trio No. 2, and the Second and Third Quartets were written.

December 16th - Premiere of String Quartet No. 3 (ор.73).
Symphonies Nos. 8 and 9 are performed in Paris and London (op. 65 and op. 70).

September 24, 1946

“Life is all right. I am well. Tomorrow I shall be 40. In ten years I shall be 50.”

August 10, 1946, Kellomyaki

“Soon the academic year will be starting. For this coming one - 1946-1947 - I am left with only two students: Galynin and Makarov. I think this is much too little to justify being called a professor of the Moscow Conservatoire and receive the salary that goes with it. I do not want to have a large class. If it were possible to have four or five students next year, that would be fine. <...> For a teacher (and I want to be a teacher), it is even interesting to have students who are not over-active and then to turn them into real masters.”

April 19, 1946

“The Committee for Stalin Prizes in the arts and literature has completed its selection of candidates for Stalin Prizes for 1945.
The decisions of the Committee in its various sections require, in my view, major amendments.
With regard to music (in the ‘major instrumental works’ section) the Stalin Prize - 2nd Degree - has been proposed for D.D. SHOSTAKOVICH for his Symphony No. 9. It is a work which does not possess major artistic value. Symphony No. 9 has been performed at a number of concerts and was not highly rated by the Soviet public. Therefore I should regard it as expedient to exclude D.D.SHOSTAKOVICH from the list of candidates for Stalin Prizes for 1945. It is essential to point out that D.D. SHOSTAKOVICH has already been awarded a Stalin Prize three times for earlier works.”

September 25, 1946

“I have received...records from the USA of my Second String Quartet and my Trio. As regards the Trio, it is well recorded and well played - perfectly acceptable. <...> The recording of the Quartet forces me to turn to you. The performers of the Quartet have been careless in the extreme. Here is a list of the horrors in the recording. In the first part they have omitted a very important repeat of the exposition. In the second part they made various anti-artistic and senseless cuts. In addition to this, the performers lost their sense of artistic integrity to such an extent, that throughout almost the whole of the second part they were not playing together: the cello was a beat behind the other instruments almost the whole way through. This demonstrates that the performers did not bother to study the music they were performing. They played it without knowing it properly. Finally, they were brazen enough to record this monstrous performance and even to send the recording to us. In the last part, which I have not listened to all the way through yet, because my indignation was so great, the performers also allowed themselves to make horrendous cuts. <...> I should ask the All-Union Society for Cultural Relations to defend my integrity as a composer and to prevent such things happening in future.”

 


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