String Quartet No. 13 (Shostakovich)

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Dmitri Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 13 in B flat minor (Op. 138) was first conceived in 1969, and completed in 1970 as Shostakovich was undergoing treatment at an orthopedic clinic in Kurgan.

The work consists of one movement:

  1. Adagio - Doppio movimento - Tempo primo

Playing time is approximately 19 minutes.

The piece was dedicated to Vadim Borisovsky, violist of the Beethoven Quartet, and the viola is accordingly given a prominent role in the piece. The quartet opens with a twelve-tone row played on the viola, and concludes with a long viola solo in the high register. The work also requires the players to tap on the bodies of their instruments with their bows at several points; such techniques had become almost commonplace in the West by this time, but were not typically used in Soviet music of this period.[citation needed]

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