It seems to me that Shostakovich's string quartets are infrequently
performed by string quartet ensembles here in the USA. Would you agree20
I'm usually bored by the Haydn or Mozart quartet that opens the typical
program, and I'm really tired of hearing Ravel and/or Debussy that pop
all too often.
With 15 quartets, you'd think Shostakovich would get more 'air time'
simply due to the range of his works. The only quartet I know well is
the 8th, which I've loved for many years, but I hardly know the other
So if his quartets are indeed seldom performed (hard to tell by Google
searching), why is this? Do string players consider most of the quartets
to be generally inferior to others in the literature? That would seem
to be most likely reason, since I can't believe that the players wouldn't
be familiar with such a large body of work.
Since I have a complete Quartet set by the Fitzwilliam, I've decided to
listen attentively to all of them and see if I can answer my own questions.
But it would nice to hear some other opinions.
PS: I know that 2006 is the 100th anniversary of Shostakovich's birth
so there will be plenty of festivals, but I'm talking about year-in