To talk about Shostakovich is to think about his complex relationship with the Soviet government. Born in 1906, Dmitri Shostakovich wrote his first symphony when he was twenty years old. It was a tremendous success. The governmental issues started in 1934 with his first opera, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (Stalin didn’t like it). In 1948 he and his works were denounced and he was not able to work for several years. A trauma that according to some led to him hiding his messages within his music. Since then, many musicologists are looking for these messages.
The first string quartet he wrote in 1937. It carries no dedication, and concerns according to the composer childhood scenes. The third is according to the titles of the parts a war story, including the memorial afterward. It was written in 1947, and dedicated to the Beethoven Quartet. That famous quartet has performed many premieres of his string quartets.