Remarkable Russians



The Goldner String Quartet has widespread and long-standing recognition for excellence, as not only Australia’s pre-eminent string quartet, but as an ensemble of international significance, favourably compared with the best in the world.

Launched in 1995, and still retaining all four founding members, the Goldner String Quartet’s stability of membership is enjoyed by very few ensembles.

Living under the tyrannical rule of Joseph Stalin in Soviet Russia, the composers featured in this program often feared for their lives, either banned or denounced by the regime at various times. This music however, bore witness to Soviet life in the mid-20th century; energetic at times, emotionally charged, powerful and possibly terrifying, Shostakovich’s ninth quartet covered the full gamut of feelings evoked during this period of Russian history.

By sharp contrast, both Stravinsky and Prokofiev spent extended periods of their lives in the West. Prokofiev’s first string quartet was performed in the U.S.A. during 1931 – bursting with the effervescence of a champagne cork exploding from a bottle. Stravinsky, unlike Prokofiev, wrote relatively little chamber music, but his work Three Pieces written in 1922 showcased his compositional mastery, perfectly illustrating why he was regarded to be one of the most influential composers of the 20th century.

Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre


Mieczysław Weinberg
String Quartet No.8, Op.66

Sergei Prokofiev
String Quartet No.1, Op.50

Igor Stravinsky
Three Pieces for String Quartet

Dmitry Shostakovich
String Quartet No.9, Op.117