Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

We hear about the terrifying moment Shostakovich received a call from Stalin. Donald Macleod presents Shostakovich's String Quartet No 4 and Violin Concerto No 1.

Shostakovich was composing for the big screen to earn money to support his family, writing pieces to comply with Party guidelines, and composing works for the concert hall that were hidden for many years, and only premiered after Stalin's death. In today's programme we hear of the terrifying moment Shostakovich received a phone call from Stalin himself. Donald Macleod presents Shostakovich's Fourth String Quartet, and a movement from his First Violin Concerto.

This week we're exploring Dmitri Shostakovich the family man. We are turning our attention to the middle of the Russian composer's life, hearing about his relationship with his two children (Galina, born in 1936, and Maxim, born in 1938) and his first wife Nina, who he was married to from 1935 until her death in 1954.

Pirogov (Finale)
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Riccardo Chailly, conductor

Violin Concerto No 1 in A minor Op 77 (1st mvmt)
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor
Lisa Batiashvili (violin)

The Song of the Forests Op 81 (part 1 & 2)
Mikhail Kotliarov, tenor
Nikita Storojev, bass
New London Children’s Choir
Brighton Festival Chorus
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Vladimir Ashkenazy, conductor

String Quartet 4 Op 83
Emerson String Quartet

Producer: Amy Wheel, BBC Cymru Wales

59 minutes

Music Played

  • Dmitry Shostakovich

    Pirogov - Music for the Film, Op 76 (Finale)

    Orchestra: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Conductor: Riccardo Chailly.
    • DECCA : 460 792-2.
    • DECCA.
    • 26.
  • Dmitry Shostakovich

    Violin Concerto No 1 in A minor, Op 77 (1st movement)

    Performer: Lisa Batiashvili. Orchestra: Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Esa‐Pekka Salonen.
    • DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON : 477-9299.
    • DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON.
    • 1.
  • Dmitry Shostakovich

    Song of the Forests, Op 81 (Parts 1 and 2)

    Performer: Vladimir Ashkenazy. Singer: Mikhail Kotliarov. Singer: Nikita Storojev. Choir: New London Children's Choir. Choir: Brighton Festival Chorus. Orchestra: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
    • DECCA 4757431.
    • DECCA 4757431.
    • 2.
  • Dmitry Shostakovich

    String Quartet No 4, Op 83

    Ensemble: Emerson String Quartet.
    • DG 028946328422.
    • DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON.
    • 1.

Broadcast

Composers A to Z

Composers A to Z

Visit the extensive audio archive of Radio 3 programmes about Composers and their works.

Who knew? Five eye-opening stories from Composer of the Week

Who knew? Five eye-opening stories from Composer of the Week

The production team reflects on 5 of Donald Macleod’s best stories from the last 20 years

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

The composer of Jerusalem was very far from the conservative figure his image suggests.

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

What is the strange power of Jerusalem which makes strong men weep?

Composer Help Page

Composer Help Page

Find resources and contacts for composers from within the classical music industry.