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 recordings, 1 videos
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26:56
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.

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