Works Chamber Instrumental Ensembles

String Quartet No. 8

Opus 109 Opus 111

Opus 110
1960 year

Quartet No.8 Score
Quartet No.8 Parts
Sinfonietta (Quartet No 8)
Dmitri Shostakovich’s String Quartets Nos. 7-9


Leningrad. Glinka Small Hall of the Conservatoire. First performance in Moscow: October 9, 1960. Small Hall of the Conservatoire. Performed by the Beethoven Quartet.

first publication:

1961. “Sovietskii kompozitor” Publishers. Score, parts.


The hand-written score is in the Russian State Archive for Literature and Art (Stack 2048, Inv. 2, Item 13). Drafts in the archive of the composer’s family.

Dedication:  “To the Victims of Fascism and War”

String Quartet No. 8
in C minor
Op. 110

I. Largo
II. Allegro molto
III. Allegretto
IV. Largo
V. Largo
   The eighth quartet was written in three days: July 12, 13 and 14, 1960. At that time, the composer was in Dresden, where he worked on the music for the film Five Days - Five Nights, dedicated to one of the episodes of the end of World War II. Viewing the frames telling about the tragic events of the middle of the century, visiting the monstrous death camps - all this caused the composer, according to him, deeply personal experiences and served as an impetus for the creation of the quartet, which Shostakovich dedicated to “the memory of the victims of fascism and war”.
   This instrumental requiem for millions of innocently ruined lives was addressed both to the fate of the living people, and to the fate of  his own. The victims of fascism and war seemed to him not only those who fell under the bullets and burned down in gas stoves, but also all those generations of people whose life was broken, maimed, shortened by the terrible cataclysms of the era.
   The premiere took place on October 2, 1960 in Leningrad, in the Small Hall named after M.I. Glinka. On October 9 of that year, this composition was performed in Moscow, in the Small Hall of the Conservatory.


  • Beethoven Quartet: D. Tsyganov, V. Shirinsky, V. Borisovsky, S. Shirinsky 1960 // Melodia D-08019-20, 1961
  • Quartet of the Azerbaijan State Conservatory: S. Ganiev, B. Mehdiyev, Ch. Mammadov, R. Abdullaev 1977 // Melodia С10-09729-30, 1978
  • The Taneyev Quartet: V. Ovcharek, G. Lutsky, V. Soloviev, I. Levinson 1978 // Melodia S10-10241-42, 1978
  • Borodin Quartet: R. Dubinsky, Y. Alexandrov, D. Shebalin, V. Berlinsky 1963 // Melodia S 01443-44, 1967
  • Borodin Quartet: R. Dubinsky, Y. Alexandrov, D. Shebalin, V. Berlinsky 1967 // Melodia C 01443-44, 1967
  • Quartet No. 8 op. 110a (instrumentation for chamber orchestra by R. Barshai)
    I musici de Montreal. Conductor: J. Turovsky 1984 // Chandos ABRD 1120, 1985