Ether Game

Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 8

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: A product of the horrors of war.

Shostakovich wrote his Eighth String Quartet after visiting the German city of DRESDEN. In DRESDEN, he saw the effects of the previous German fascist government. It was the influence of this visit, Shostakovich claimed, which led him to dedicate the quartet to “the memory of the victims of fascism and war.” Shostakovich prominently used a musical motive representing his name—D-Es-C-H (D, E-flat, C, B-natural) and quoted several of his other musical works. These self-referential gestures have led some people to speculate that Shostakovich was alluding to his own political victimization in Soviet Russia.

Music Heard On This Episode

Dmitri Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 8 in c minor: Allegretto
The Kronos Quartet — Black Angels (Nonesuch, 1990)
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album cover
Dmitri Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 8 in c minor: Allegretto
The Kronos Quartet — Black Angels (Nonesuch, 1990)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

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