Shostakovich was interested in numbers. Like Bach he conceived patterns that playfully told a story in and of themselves. There is an amazing example in the Shostakovich String Quartet No. 12. The 1968 piece was composer especially for the Beethoven String Quartet of Moscow. The group had premiered many of the composers works and by 1968 had been together for 34 years. The ensemble was by that date performing with a new second violinist. The original second violinist had died a few years before. In the Shostakovich 12th quartet the second violin part doesn't begin until bar 34: an inside joke for the players, and maybe the listeners too. The Artaria Quartet performs the Shostakovich String Quartet No. 12 in this week's Regional Spotlight.