String Quartet No. 4 in D major Op. 83
String Quartet No. 5 in B-flat major Op. 92
String Quartet No. 6 in G major Op. 101
As early as 1936, the young Shostakovich had drawn the ire of Stalin with his opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District. In 1948, the party publicly condemned him and denounced his music as “formalist.” In response, the composer withheld his Fourth String Quartet, written following this attack, until after Stalin’s death and did not have it performed until 1953, when it was paired with the Fifth. The Hagen Quartett, in its chronological presentation of Shostakovich’s complete string quartets, combines these two works with the Sixth Quartet, composed in 1956.