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Shostakovich: String Quartets 1-13 [Box set]

Borodin Quartet Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: 17.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 April 2003)
  • SPARS Code: ADD
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B00008WQB4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,210 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. I Moderato
2. II Moderato
3. III Allegro Molto
4. IV Allegro
5. I Allegretto
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. I Allegretto
2. II Andantino
3. III Allegretto
4. IV Allegretto
5. I Allegretto Non Troppo
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. I Allegretto
2. II Lento
3. III Allegro-Allegretto
4. I Largo
5. II Allegro Molto
See all 20 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. I Overture. Moderato Con Moto
2. II Recitative And Romance. Adagio
3. III Waltz. Allegro
4. IV Theme With Variations. Adagio
5. I Adante
See all 9 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Quatuors à cordes 1 - 13 / Quatuor Borodine (Rostislav Dubinski & Yaroslav Alexandrov, violons - Dmitri Chebalin, alto - Valentin Berlinski, violoncelle)

Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
110 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful in every way 28 Jun 2003
By Eclectic / clueless VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
This is extraordinary ; possibly the finest-ever recordings of one of the greatest string quartet cycles, admittedly without the final two...
Impassioned and lyrical playing, and remarkably good value for money, also. Less edgy and less closely-miked than the at times intimidatingly fierce Emerson Quartet, this digitally-remastered version of a 70s recording is an essential buy for anyone who loves the Bartok Quartets and doesn't know where to start with Shostakovich. There is wit, humour, flawless musicianship and real drive here.
This music is more honest and personal than the symphonies, as well as richer and more harmonically daring. I have not heard a more heart-breakingly sad version of the Eighth, probably his best-known quartet ; immensely moving, even more so than the Fitzwilliam Quartet version. This version of the Eighth makes Barber's Adagio sound like adolescent self-pity ; this is grown-up grief, communicated by master musicians. Yes, I realise this may all sound over-the-top, but this music is serious medicine. I hadn't bought a single CD for three months, and then broke this musical fast with this box. There is enough here for many months ; I'll stop there, but could go on citing stunning moments from this set for many hundred words.
Somewhat shame-faced PS, added much later, to apologise for the rather mean sniping at the Barber Adagio ; it is indeed a fine peace of work, albeit less intense than the later Shostakovich quartets in particular.
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94 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Performances Finally Properly Remastered 15 Mar 2004
By NNNNN
Format:Audio CD
If one wonders why not all 15 Quartets the reason is that the purpose of the set is to present all the Shostakovich performances by the original members of the Borodin Quartet. By the early 1970's two members had left prior to recording the last 2.
Another clarification should also be made. The 2003/2004 edition of the Penguin Guide To Compact Discs lists these recordings as mono. They are definately Stereo. Makes one wonder if the editors of the guide actually listen to the stuff they review.
These are intense and often powerful performances of perhaps the composer's most personal works. The Borodin's do not try to soften the impact as some recent recordings have but fully enter into the often unsettling soundscape that the composer adapted. Shostakovich's scoring is so tight that at times one would think there are more than four players and the Borodin's often create that illusion. These recordings from Melodyia have appeared on EMI but those transfers varied from good to barely acceptable. These new remasterings are very good and are a vast improvement over the prior issue. If you want a cd of quartets nos. 14 and 15 to be complete I would recommend a recording on Le Chant Du Monde (ASIN: B00004YU9C)by the Russian Glinka and Beethoven Quartets. Like the Borodin Quartet they both had a close reationship with the composer and the performances and recording are very good. Between the 3 of them you will expierence a level of true music making that is all too often being replaced by a fixation with technique and wardrobe. Go for the real thing.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't get much better than this 26 April 2011
By zargb5
Format:Audio CD
I have trawled through many cd versions of these string 4tets by various 4tets and can candidly offer the opinion that this Borodin cycle knocks spots off any of the opposition. They outshine the later cycle recorded for virgin even though missing a couple of the later 4tets.

The performances keep you on the edge of your seat, driving and dynamic - they are so convincing they make you look over your shoulder in case Stalin's heavies may come knocking on the door at anytime. The paranoia, fear and anxiety especially in the classic 8th are conveyed to full effect. In contrast the lighter aspects are also beautifully and skillfully played.

This is not a 'safe' recording, its sharp, grainy, highly musical and above all exciting. Highly recommended.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Masterful performances but with a caveat 5 Oct 2012
Format:Audio CD
I share the enthusiasm of the other reviewers in the quality of the performances; they are simply the finest available. However there is an important fact that the other reviews omit which I believe needs to be mentioned. These recordings were made by Melodiya in the 1960s and the master tapes presumably are languishing in their Moscow vaults. The present issue from Chandos are direct copies of LPs which were in the possession of the wife of the late 1st violinist Rostislav Dubinsky who did record for Chandos in his Western Career. There is no mention of this fact in the documentation that accompanies the set. Whilst Chandos have impeccable taste, I can't help feeling a bit cheated by record companies who transfer historical material not owned by themselves from end-user media like 78s and LPs onto CD and make no mention of this. This is something I could do myself with the LP set and a CD burner. Indeed, is this practice even legal? There is no agreement between Chandos and Melodiya for the former to distribute the latter's recordings. And whilst, the transfers are well done, I'd still recommend getting the original HMV/Melodiya box set of LPs which in this instance obviously cannot be inferior to the CDs which they are copied from. The LP set fairly regularly pops up on Internet sites and listening to this will undoubtedly be a more musical experience.
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