String Quartet No.14
November 12, 1973. Leningrad. Glinka Small Hall of the Conservatoire. On November 14th the quartet was performed in Moscow, in the Small Hall of the Conservatoire by the Beethoven Quartet.
1974. Score, “Muzyka” Publishers, Moscow.
The hand-written score is kept in the archive of S.Shirinsky’s family.
“As we know, Dmitri Dmitriyevich planned on writing an extensive cycle of twenty-four quartets. The Fourteenth Quartet is written in C major and follows the Thirteenth in B flat minor, which is an intense, sad, very lyrical, subtle and attenuated quartet, I would say. And whereas the Thirteenth Quartet was composed for a solo viola and a string trio, meaning it can be described as a viola quartet, and is dedicated to violist Borisovsky, the violist for the Beethoven Quartet, the Fourteenth Quartet is a cello quartet dedicated to Sergey Shirinsky. He [Shostakovich] dedicated a quartet to each of his friends, each member of the Beethoven Quartet, thus expressing his respect, gratitude and love for his music colleagues. Maybe since the previous quartet was written for the viola, the Fourteenth Quartet begins with a solo viola, following which the solo is passed on, like a baton, in this quartet super cycle, to the cello. Dmitri Dmitriyevich’s love for the cello prompted him to write numerous cello compositions. These include two concertos, a cello sonata and, in general it seems to me, Dmitri Shostakovich can be described as a ‘string’ composer. If we take a close look at his music and the orchestral instruments he wrote for, it may seem strange at first glance that they do not include any woodwind quintets or woodwind orchestras, the instruments prized by Hindemith and Stravinsky, for instance.”
String Quartet No.14
If the Thirteenth Quartet can be called a “quartet with a solo viola,” then the Fourteenth Quartet is even more a “quartet with a solo cello.” Shostakovich dedicated it to the Beethoven Quartet cellist Sergei Petrovich Shprinsky (1903-1974).
The numerous solo episodes of the Fourteenth Quartet in their own way reflect the composer's impressions of the creative appearance of the musician. Emphasizing his dedication, Shostakovich introduced into the finale of the quartet a fragment from the last act of the opera Katerina Izmailova - the heroine’s phrase into the words “Seryozha! My dear!". In addition, the letter designations of the sounds of the main theme of the finale also add up to the word "Seryozha".
Quartet No. 14 was completed on April 23, 1973. On October 30, a new quartet was performed at the All-Union House of Composers performed by the Beethoven Quartet.
The first performance of Quartet No. 14 took place on November 12, 1973 in Leningrad, in the Small Hall named after M. I. Glinka. On November 14, the quartet was performed in Moscow, in the Small Hall of the Conservatory, in one of the concerts of the III Congress of the Union of Composers of the RSFSR. The official Moscow premiere of the quartet took place on November 18, 1973 in the same performance and in the same hall.
- Beethoven Quartet: Tsyganov D.M., Zabavnikov N., Druzhinin F.S., Shirinsky S.P. 1974 // Melodia S 10-05137-8, 1975
- Beethoven Quartet: Tsyganov D.M., Zabavnikov N., Druzhinin F.S., Shirinsky S.P. 1974 // Melodia Eurodisc 89 803 XDK,
- Sukovo kvarteto: Novák A., Jouza V., Řehák K., Štros J. 1976 // Panton 11 0603 G, 1976
- Borodin Quartet: Kopelman M., Abramenkov A., Shebalin D.V., Berlinsky V.A. 1981 // HMV Melodia EX 270339 E 2703451, 1986
- Hagen Quartett: Hagen K., Hagen L., Schmidt R., Hagen W. 1994 // Deutsche Grammophon 445 864-2 GH, 1995
- Brodsky Quartet: Thomas M., Belton I., Cassidy P., Thomas J. 1989 // TELDEC 9031-71702-2, 1990
- Fitzwilliam Quartet: C. Rowland, J. Spary, A. George, I. Davis. 1975 // LONDON 455 782-2 (Set 455 776-2), 1998
- Shostakovich Quartet: Shishlov A.A., Pishchugin S., Galkovsky A.V., Korchagin A.A. 1988 // OLYMPIA OCD 535, 1994
- Beethoven Quartet: Tsyganov D.M., Zabavnikov N., Druzhinin F.S., Shirinsky S.P. 1974 // CONSONANS 81-3008, 1995
- Glinka Quartet: A. Arenkov, S. Pischugin, M. Geller, D. Fershman 1977 // PRAGA PR 254 043, 1994