Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Some discussion of the quartets
JSTOR is a very rich source of material on music in general and there is a great deal on Shostakovich and the quartets here. Reviews on each of the quartets and more.
There are so many avenues for finding material at a large university library. But Google Scholar can be extremely helpful. If you search in Russian you will find a large number of articles. There are also very useful Russian webistes such as http://magazines.russ.ru that will provide access to the full text of many of the literary-cultural journals, many with full text for the last 15 years.
There is a website that provides an overview on each of the 15 quartets, Shostakovich: the string quartets at http://www.quartets.de/index.html. There are also numerous avenues for locating reviews of individual performances: any one of the databases on music, Google Scholar, online newspaper archives, such as the Historical Archive of the New York Times (UIUC database).
The article below originally appeared in New York Magazine, May 24, 1982 and has been posted in its entirety on Google Books. While there is a somewhat limited selection of materials on Google Books for Shostakovich it is surprising the works that turn up there and it should not be overlooked if you do not have access to a large research collection.
A Few More Discussions - in Russian
There are a wealth of sources available through most libraries that will make finding material on Shostakovich fairly easy. There is one thing to keep in mind. Cyrillic alphabet words are rendered in a variety of ways into latin characters. See "A Few Considerations" for a list of possible spellings.
The number of results you retrieve from a search will be radically affected by the spelling you use. Some of the most useful"subscription" databases include:
Music Periodicals Database
Index of articles dating from the late 19th century with links to the full text of the citations. Available at UIUC library
JSTOR provides access to the full text of journal articles. It is a subscription database. If you have access to it you will find it very useful.
Full text of hundreds of journals that span the century.
RIPM Retrospective Index to Music Periodicals
Identifies articles on composers, performers, and compositions, and music history from the 19th Century to the mid-20th century. Although focused on the 19th Century, the project will eventually encompass music periodical literature to the mid-20th century as well.
Available at UIUC Library.
RILM Abstracts of Music Literature
RILM is a comprehensive music bibliography featuring citations, abstracts, and indexes. Publications originate from 151 countries and are in 214 languages. There are currently over 550,000 records in RILM on traditional music, popular music, and classical music. Coverage of all document types begins in 1967. Coverage of Conference Proceedings goes back to 1835.
Available at UIUC Library.
2002 edition of Hulme's excellent catalogue of the works of Dmitri Shostakovich. For each entry there is information on when the work was composed, performed, premiered, recorded and much more. There is an extensive bibliography acccompanied by a list of BBC broadcasts of Shostakovich works.
ProQuest Historical Newspapers
Full text of newspapers dating back to the 19th century, including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and many other titles.