Quartet Op110#8

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Woodwind Quintet

Composer

Instrumentation

Arranger

Publisher

Grade

SKU: 33M110002229
Description

Description

Quartet No. 8, Opus 110
Composed by Dimitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)
For Woodwind Quintet
Arranged by Mark A. Popkin
Published by Musica Rara
Includes score and parts

Instrumentation:
Flute/Piccolo, English Horn/Oboe, Clarinet (Bb/A), Horn in F, and Bassoon

      “Dimitri Shostakovich composed the Eighth Quartet in three days during a visit to the devastated city of Dresden in 1960. This work has been recognized as the composer's most personal and daring to that date. The personal element is exemplified by the work's leitmotif DSCH, from the composer's own name, which are the German names for the notes D, E flat, C and B natural. It was not until after Stalin's death in 1953 that Shostakovich ventured to identify so closely with his works as he did in the Violin Concerto No. 1 and the Symphony No. 10, as well as in the Quartet No. 8.
      “The 'official' dedication of the Eighth Quartet, “In Menory of the Victims of Fascism and War” was repudiated by the composer on two occasions. First, at a meeting of the Union of Soviet Composers, when an official critic proclaimed, “The composer Shostakovich in his new Quartet, together with the whole Soviet nation and the working people of the whole world angrily protest…” the composer jumped up shouting, “No, no, no! It is I, you must understand, it is I who personally protests; it is my very own protest!” Shostakovich is subsequently quoted as saying, “Only an idiot could believe that it has anything to do with war and fascism!”
      “The First Movement reveals, in addition to the introduction of the recurring DSCH motive, a quotation form Shostakovich's First Symphony, composed while he was a nineteen-year-old student at the Leningrad Conservatory, which established his world repuration. The Second Movement quotes the Jewish theme stated in the Piano Trio (1944), certianly a very strong reaction to established Soviet anti-semitism. The Third Movement includes a theme from the First 'Cello Concerto. The three percussively sinister chords repeated in the Fourth Movement are clearly representations of the summons at one's door by the dreaded KGB, and are followed by a quotation from an old prison song, “Tormented by heavy bondage…” This, in turn, is followed by his own quotation from the opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, a work criticised in Pravda as “Chaos instead of Music.” The Fifth, and last, Movement reiterates the themes of the First Movement as if simply to state that in our beginnings are our ends.”
– Mark A. Popkin

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