Works Chamber Instrumental Ensembles

String Quartet No. 15

Opus 143a Opus 145

Opus 144
1974 year

Quartet No.15 Score
Quartet No.15 Parts
premiere:

25-October-1974

October 25, 1974. Leningrad. House of Composers; November 15, 1974. Glinka Small Hall in Leningrad performed by the Taneyev Quartet; January 11, 1975. Moscow, in the Small Hall of the Conservatoire. Performed by the Beethoven Quartet.

first publication:

1975. Score, “Muzyka” Publishers, Moscow.

manuscripts:

The hand-written score is in the archive of the composer’s family.


Dedication:  “To the Memory of Sergei Petrovich Shirinsky”.
Duration:  37’

“It has become a tradition for my later string quartets to be premiered in Leningrad. Usually they are performed by the Beethoven Quartet, but because of the death of the superb cellist S. Shirinsky, the ensemble was unable to play.
This was why for the first time I turned to another group of musicians - the Taneyev Quartet - who were new for me.”

B. Tichtchenko:

“This work strikes me as quite unique. It has six very slow parts, which are quiet almost all the way through. There are revelations in this quartet of a kind that it is difficult for a mere mortal to achieve. I feel that this quartet is like an address from another sphere, if I can use the expression - it defies description. Yet I always have the feeling that it is Shostakovich speaking to us after his death.”


String Quartet No.15
E-flat Minor
op. 144

I. Elegy. Adagio
II. Serenade. Adagio
III. Intermezzo. Adagio
IV. Nocturne. Adagio
V. Funeral March. Adagio molto
VI. Epilogue. Adagio

   Quartet No. 15 was completed on May 17, 1974. This is the last quartet of Shostakovich. Parts of the quartet have the following names: Elegy, Serenade, Intermezzo, Nocturne, Funeral March and Epilogue. Announcing the completion of the work, the composer spoke extremely succinctly: "I tried to create a dramatic work." And he persistently asked the performers: “Please play all the parts at the pace that are written in the score! Do not accelerate in the least ... ".
   In September, the Beethovens reviewed the new composition. Rehearsals began. However, the premiere was postponed.
   “It has become a tradition for my later string quartets to be premiered in Leningrad. Usually they are performed by the Beethoven Quartet, but because of the death of the superb cellist S. Shirinsky, the ensemble was unable to play. This was why for the first time I turned to another group of musicians - the Taneyev Quartet - who were new for me.”
   On October 25, quartet No. 15  was performed by the Taneyevs at the Leningrad House of Composers; November 15, 1974 was premiered in the Small Hall named after M.I. Glinka in Leningrad.
The Beethoven Quartet returned to work on this piece in November 1974. On January 11, 1975, the Beethoven Quartet performed the Moscow premiere of the quartet in the Small Hall of the Conservatory.


recordings:

  • Beethoven Quartet: Tsyganov D.M., Zabavnikov N., Druzhinin F.S., Altman E. 1975 // Melodia Eurodisc 89 803 XDK,
  • Beethoven Quartet: Tsyganov D.M., Zabavnikov N., Druzhinin F.S., Altman E. 1975 // Melodia S 10-06495-6, 1976
  • Borodin Quartet: Kopelman M., Abramenkov A., Shebalin D.V., Berlinsky V.A. 1978 // Melodia C 10-11757-8, 1979
  • Borodin Quartet: Kopelman M., Abramenkov A., Shebalin D.V., Berlinsky V.A. 1978 // Victor VIC-2176, 1979 (?)
  • Beethoven Quartet 1975 // Shinsekai SMK-7887,
  • Taneyev Quartet: Ovcharek V.Yu., Lutsky G., Soloviev V., Levinson I. 1975 // Melodia S 10-06639-40, 1976
  • Sukovo kvarteto: Novák A., Jouza V., Řehák K., Štros J. 1981 // Panton 8111 0195, 1981
  • Borodin Quartet: Kopelman M., Abramenkov A., Shebalin D.V., Berlinsky V.A. 1978 // HMV Melodia EX 270339 E 2703451, 1986
  • Brodsky Quartet: Thomas M., Belton I., Cassidy P., Thomas J. 1989 // TELDEC 9031-71702-2, 1990
  • Borodin Quartet: Kopelman M., Abramenkov A., Shebalin D.V., Berlinsky V.A. 1995 // TELDEC 4509-98417-2, 1996
  • 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 534, 1994
  • Beethoven Quartet: Tsyganov D.M., Zabavnikov N., Druzhinin F.S., Shirinsky S.P. 1976 // PRAGA PR 254 043, 1994
  • Kremer G.M., Phillips D., Kashkashyan K., Ma Y. 1985 // CBS MK 44924, 1989

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