Kabalevsky: String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2
Dmitri Kabalevsky composed a mere two string quartets, in this category hardly a quantitative match for his fellow Dmitri (Shostakovich). His first quartet of 1928 from his late study years with Nikolai Yakovievich Myaskovsky is a work structured with great refinement not only fulfilling academic requirements but also representing a remarkably independent achievement. His second quartet from the period immediately after World War II very dramatically reflects the events of the preceding years. Here Kabalevsky produced a work of extraordinary eloquence with a clear per aspera ad astra arising from the horrors of the war and its end but in no way limited to this aspect. It is known that Serge Prokofiev was looking a bit over Kabalevsky’s shoulder while he was composing, but the result is of course in no way a stylistic copy.