Vissarion Shebalin

Vissarion Shebalin (1902-1963)

Nationality: Russian | Soviet
Born: June 11, 1902, Omsk Died: May 29, 1963, Moscow (age 60)

String Quartet No. 3 in e minor, Op. 28

(for 2 violins, viola and cello)
I. Allegro
II. Vivace
III. Andante
IV. Allegro risoluto
Duration: 27 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1939 (age 36-37)
1 recording, 1 videos
autoopen autoplay
Krasni Quartet
From Edition Silvertrust

Vissarion ShebalinShebalin finished his String Quartet No.3 in e minor in 1939. It was dedicated to his teacher Nikolai Myaskovsky. In four movements, it opens with a lyrical Allegro. The second movement, Vivace, is a very tightly executed scherzo in which the two main subjects struggle for dominance, eventually both being heard together. The third movement, Andante, harks back to a traditional Russian lyricism with touches of Borodin and Rachmaninov. The finale, Allegro risoluto, filled with many thematic ideas, the overall mood is solemn and at one point reminiscent of old Russian choral music.

Writing of his visit to Shostakovich, the Polish composer Krzystztof Meyer said that in Shostakovich’s study he found pictures of only three composers: Mahler, Mussorgsky and Shebalin. Not only Shostakovich but most of Shebalin’s contemporaries regarded him as being in the front rank of composers from their generation. Vissarion Shebalin (1902-63) was born in Omsk, Siberia where he began his musical studies. Later at the Moscow Conservatory, he studied under Myaskovsky. During the 1920’s he was attracted by modernism, but during the 1930’s he was drawn to traditionalism with its attachment to folkloric melodies. By 1942, he was appointed director of the Moscow Conservatory. When Stalin came to power, Shebalin was forced, as were all of the other major Soviet composers, to find some sort of modus vivendi with Socialist Realism. Although his music is well-known within Russia, it is virtually never heard outside of it. Chamber music always interested Shebalin and constitutes a sizable part of his output. His nine string quartets span the length of his entire career from student right up until his death. They are an important body of work which deserves to be better known and to be performed.

© Edition Silvertrust. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Related Composers

Nikolai Myaskovsky (1881-1950)
Nationality: Russian | Soviet
Born: April 20, 1881, Modlin, Poland Died: August 8, 1950, Moscow (age 69)
Karen Khachaturian (1920-2011)
Nationality: Armenian | Russian | Soviet
Born: September 19, 1920, Moscow Died: July 19, 2011, Moscow (age 90)
Edison Denisov (1929-1996)
Nationality: Russian | Soviet
Born: April 6, 1929, Tomsk Died: November 24, 1996, Paris (age 67)
Ester Mägi (1922-2021)
Nationality: Estonian
Born: January 10, 1922, Tallinn Died: May 14, 2021 (age 99)
Lydia Auster (1912-1993)
Nationality: Estonian
Born: May 30, 1912, Petropavlovsk Died: April 3, 1993, Tallinn (age 80)
Grigory Samuilovich Frid (1915-2012)
Nationality: Russian
Born: September 22, 1915, Petrograd Died: September 22, 2012 (age 97)
Tikhon Khrennikov (1913-2007)
Nationality: Russian
Born: June 10, 1913, Yelets Died: August 14, 2007, Moscow (age 94)
Sergei Slonimsky (1932-2020)
Nationality: Russian
Born: August 12, 1932 Died: February 9, 2020, St. Petersburg (age 87)
Arno Babadjanian (1921-1983)
Nationality: Armenian | Soviet
Born: January 22, 1921, Yerevan Died: November 11, 1983, Yerevan (age 62)
Sofia Gubaidulina (born 1931)
Nationality: Russian | Tartar | Soviet
Born: October 24, 1931, Chistopol (age 91)