Finally, a different sort of white. Finally, spring begins.
In the summer of 1941, Prokofiev (1891-1953), Myaskovsky (1881-1950), and other composers were evacuated to Nalchik, on the north slope of the Caucasus. While there, Prokofiev received a commission from Khatu Temirkanov, the chairman of the local Arts Affairs Administration, for a string quartet “merging ‘new and untouched Eastern folklore with the most classical of classical forms—the string quartet.’” Prokofiev expressed concern that people in Nalchik wouldn’t comprehend his work, since, “excluding its excellent folksongs, Kabardinian musical culture, from a European musical perspective, remains undeveloped.” Temirkanov responded “write what you feel: if we don’t understand your quartet at first, we will appreciate it later.” Myaskovsky thought the string quartet “wild-eyed and fantastical” and “monstrously, even ‘nightmarishly’ interesting.” [Simon Morrison, The People’s Artist: Prokofiev’s Soviet Years, 178] Information on songs and dances Prokofiev used in the quartet may be found here (the date of composition given at the link appears to be incorrect).
Prokofiev wrote only two string quartets. Myaskovsky was much more prolific in the genre. While in Nalchik in 1941, Myaskovsky wrote his seventh string quartet, about which information may be found here.
Sergei Prokofiev, String Quartet No. 2 in F Major, Op. 92 (1941, first movement)
Nikolai Myaskovsky, String Quartet No. 7 in F. Major, Op. 55 (1941) (First Movement)