Shostakovich: The String Quartets
 
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Shostakovich: The String Quartets

10 April 2006

24.99 (VAT included if applicable)
Song Title
Time
Popularity  
1
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.1 in C major, Op.49 - 1. Moderato
3:55
2
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.1 in C major, Op.49 - 2. Moderato
3:59
3
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.1 in C major, Op.49 - 3. Allegro molto
2:23
4
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.1 in C major, Op.49 - 4. Allegro
3:44
5
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.2 in A major, Op.68 - 1. Overture (Moderato con moto)
7:57
6
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.2 in A major, Op.68 - 2. Recitative & Romance (Adagio)
9:05
7
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.2 in A major, Op.68 - 3. Valse (Allegro)
5:28
8
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.2 in A major, Op.68 - 4. Theme & Variations
10:43
9
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.3 in F major, Op.73 - 1. Allegretto
6:52
10
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.3 in F major, Op.73 - 2. Moderato con moto
4:22
11
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.3 in F major, Op.73 - 3. Allegro non troppo
3:50
12
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.3 in F major, Op.73 - 4. Adagio
4:44
13
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.3 in F major, Op.73 - 5. Moderato
8:18
Disc 2
1
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.4 in D major, Op.83 - 1. Allegretto
3:50
2
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.4 in D major, Op.83 - 2. Andantino
6:23
3
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.4 in D major, Op.83 - 3. Allegretto
4:35
4
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.4 in D major, Op.83 - 4. Allegretto
9:30
5
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.5 in B flat major, Op.92 - 1. Allegro non troppo
11:18
6
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.5 in B flat major, Op.92 - 2. Andante
8:29
7
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.5 in B flat major, Op.92 - 3. Moderato
10:22
8
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.6 in G major op.101 - 1. Allegretto
6:44
9
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.6 in G major op.101 - 2. Moderato con moto
4:59
10
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.6 in G major op.101 - 3. Lento - attacca:
3:57
11
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.6 in G major op.101 - 4. Lento - Allegretto - Andante - Lento
6:33
Disc 3
1
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.7 in F sharp minor, Op.108 - 1. Allegretto
3:41
2
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.7 in F sharp minor, Op.108 - 2. Lento
2:48
3
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.7 in F sharp minor, Op.108 - 3. Allegro
5:05
4
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.8 in C minor, Op.110 - 1. Largo
4:33
5
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.8 in C minor, Op.110 - 2. Allegro molto
2:37
6
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.8 in C minor, Op.110 - 3. Allegretto
4:05
7
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.8 in C minor, Op.110 - 4. Largo
4:45
8
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.8 in C minor, Op.110 - 5. Largo
3:34
9
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.9 in E flat major, Op.117 - 1. Moderato con moto
4:24
10
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.9 in E flat major, Op.117 - 2. Adagio
3:47
11
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.9 in E flat major, Op.117 - 3. Allegretto
4:02
12
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.9 in E flat major, Op.117 - 4. Adagio
3:00
13
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.9 in E flat major, Op.117 - 5. Allegro
9:29
14
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.10 in A flat major, Op.118 - 1. Andante con moto
4:12
15
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.10 in A flat major, Op.118 - 2. Allegretto furioso
3:57
16
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.10 in A flat major, Op.118 - 3. Adagio
4:48
17
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.10 in A flat major, Op.118 - 4. Allegretto - Andante
8:40
Disc 4
1
Shostakovich: Adagio (Elegy) for String Quartet
4:34
2
Shostakovich: Allegretto (Polka) for String Quartet
2:47
3
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.11 in F minor, Op.122 - 1. Introduction: Andantino
2:11
4
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.11 in F minor, Op.122 - 2. Scherzo: Allegretto
2:40
5
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.11 in F minor, Op.122 - 3. Recitative: Adagio
1:08
6
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.11 in F minor, Op.122 - 4. Etude: Allegro
1:14
7
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.11 in F minor, Op.122 - 5. Humoresque: Allegro
1:01
8
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.11 in F minor, Op.122 - 6. Elegy: Adagio
4:12
9
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.11 in F minor, Op.122 - 7. Finale: Moderato
3:39
10
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.12 in D flat major, Op.133 - 1. Moderato - Allegretto
6:29
11
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.12 in D flat major, Op.133 - 2. Allegretto - Adagio - Moderato - Allegretto
19:23
12
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.13 In B Flat Minor, Op.138 (Live At Harris Concert Hall, Aspen / 1994)
19:08
Disc 5
1
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.14 in F sharp major Op.142 - 1. Allegretto
8:13
2
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.14 in F sharp major Op.142 - 2. Adagio
8:52
3
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.14 in F sharp major Op.142 - 3. Allegretto
7:58
4
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.15 in E flat minor, Op.144 - 1. Elegy
12:36
5
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.15 in E flat minor, Op.144 - 2. Serenade
5:47
6
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.15 in E flat minor, Op.144 - 3. Intermezzo
1:38
7
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.15 in E flat minor, Op.144 - 4. Nocturne
4:30
8
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.15 in E flat minor, Op.144 - 5. Funeral March
4:35
9
Shostakovich: String Quartet No.15 in E flat minor, Op.144 - 6. Epilogue
6:18


Product details

  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Label: Decca Music Group Ltd.
  • Copyright: (C) 2006 Decca Music Group Limited
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 5:58:20
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001N5J0XY
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 110,814 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Polished and accurate performance 22 July 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Unlike the previous reviewer, I think that the Emerson's performances of these wonderful quartets were enjoyable and polished. Like him I prefer the rather gutsier Borodin performances. Both are, however, world class, and I don't think that a 1 star rating does anything like justice to this collection.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars flawless yet still flawed DSCH from the Emersons 10 July 2011
Format:Audio CD
as a passionate admirer of Dmitri Shostakovich's incredibly powerful, coded + landmark string quartets as well as reviewer elsewhere on amazon of this great cycle , i felt compelled to try + re-address the rather extreme reviews posted here.

i have seen the Emersons perform twice over the years (Barbican DSCH cycle+ at the Wigmore Hall for Beethoven,Bach etc) and listening to this DG 5 cd set reminds me of the merits + otherwise of this US based Quartet. yes the Emersons have justifiably famous flawless technical powers with near perfect intonation, projection + ensemble playing (refer to their equally contentious but coruscating Bartok cycle also on DG) BUT sometimes far from flawless understanding and empathy i feel for DSCH's remarkable emotionally complex quartet cycle. Recorded sound is fine, clear but a touch too closely miked perhaps.

like any quartet cycle -there are gains + losses to be discovered. no quartet can offer the "definitive" version of all 15 quartets . for eg. i prefer the Eders (naxos) + Emersons here to the Borodins in the 1st Quartet but the Borodin, Eders + Sorrels in the 9th + 11th quartet. the Emersons + Fitzwilliams in the 13th over the Borodins. get the picture ? so - listening to this "live" recording from 2000 : there IS much that hits the emotional spot here . the Emerson's score highly in the late quartets such as 11th-13th when dynamics + projection are need to convey the dissonant + emotional outbursts in these quartets, but they fail to convey the hushed intensity of the 4th quartet for instance.

DSCH's music (like Schnittke's also) is above all else - complex, coded, emotional music to be experienced rather than "enjoyed" for its profoundly moving overview of the Soviet era terrors + its contemporary relevance.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
108 of 110 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Different...Maybe you'll like this approach, maybe you won't 26 Jan 2008
By PH-50-NC - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
It's hard to assign stars to this set because it's just a different approach from the three other sets I own (Borodin, Fitzwilliam, Brodsky]. Whereas the others tend to emphasize the dramatic, soulful, and sarcastic elements of the Shostakovich, the Emerson Quartet, to some extent, downplays these while moving through the music at a noticeably brisker tempo.

The result is that some features of the music are newly revealed and others are obscured. The biggest difference is in tempo (the Emersons are without a doubt the speediest). After this, one notices the difference in virtuosity (the Emersons have technique to burn, not that there are glaring deficiencies in any of the other groups).

The Emerson's don't make this music sound like Haydn by any stretch, but they do make it sound less anguished and spiritual. The flip side of this is that the music will seem less weird to listeners who don't crave anguished sounding string quartets.

In the end, I keep going back to the readings that are starker and that highlight the perverse aspects of the music (at times it even reminds me of Carl Stalling's comic scores for the classic Warner Bros. cartoons). Shostakovich put a lot of humor into these pieces, and the mood often shifts rapidly between silly-sounding runs and heart-breaking, almost operatic melodies underpinned by beautiful, slow-moving harmonies. I like the readings that point up these contrasts; others may think the Emersons wisely avoid the temptation to over-dramatize the music and walk a more tasteful line.

Also, my very favorite interpretations benefit from very careful studio engineering and a touch of reverb. Somehow, these works almost demand good sound and perfect balances to show what they are about; that's not alway the case (I'm often happy listening to historical piano recordings from the 1930s and 1940s, for example). The Emerson set is of course live, and while the sound is great for a concert recording, the instrumental voices are not as balanced as I'd like.

While I wouldn't recommend this set to someone looking to experience this music for the first time, I'm glad it's available.
72 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Re-release of a Fantastic Collection 23 Jun 2006
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a re-release of the Emerson String Quartet's live performances of the Shostakovich String Quartets. For Shostakovich lovers this is a must buy.

Note that Amazon does offer the original as well. This re-release, however, is priced at about half of the original. There is nothing left out in this one, so if you want the original artwork and so on, pay the double price. If you want the music to enjoy, buy this one -- at least until someone realizes that the two are competing with each other. (Note that many people, after viewing this album, purchased the more expensive one!)

That being said, many reviewers of this and other editions have compared Emerson's against Borodin String Quartet among others. The Emerson String Quartet is as perfect as one can get during this lifetime. It may lack "Soul," as some reviewers put it, but if it does, then I don't know what "soul" means. Different interpretations? Yes. Lack of soul? No. Americans can perform Russian works with dexterity. Incidentally, I also enjoy these same works produced on a budget label by an relatively unknown string quartet. I love them, too, and I'm keeping them both.
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars American-Style Borscht...with a Dash of Hot Sauce 1 Aug 2007
By Moldyoldie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Dmitri Shostakovich, my favorite 20th century composer, wrote a series of fifteen string quartets that span his entire career. These are alternately searing, violent, brooding, fiery, introspective works that run the gamut of human emotion and experience -- hardly beautiful, and often quite depressing. But man, do they pack a wallop! They're often considered the greatest creations in the string quartet genre since Beethoven, and it's easy to see why.

These were recorded in live performance in three separate years ('94, '98, and '99) at the summer Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. The playing is not only passionate and precise, but imbued with a palpable intensity. There's no audible hint of an audience, but applause is included judiciously at the conclusion of several of the works. The recording is close-up and very vivid, though not quite in-your-face; there's adequate space around the instruments to make listening comfortable. Any closer and you'd be hurled against the back wall!

This re-issued box set retails at less than half that of the original release. Even though I already have the quartets on separate older discs by various other groups, the Emersons give them that slap of American modernism quite apart from the Slavic flavor of a native Russian group like the Borodin Quartet. Yes, if one is familiar with these works, one can actually hear and feel the difference. I've read some reviewers here, as well as professional critics, write of the Emersons' lack of a "Russian soul"; I have no idea what that means. I suppose if one has to ask....
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first--and still greatest?--modernist readings 13 Nov 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This re-issue at bargain price of the Emerson's complete Shostakovich quartet cycle is a reminder that their breakthrough readings are roughly a decade old now (the set was taped in concert from Aspen 1994-99). Instead of Russian soul we get clean, often faster interpretations that brought out Shostakovich's modernist side, aided by the ultra virtuosity of the playing. In the meantime, however, other groups like the St. Lawrence and Hagen Quartets have made even more severe, biting, stark, haunted, and tragic recordings of selected works from the fifteen quartets. This doesn't mean the Emersons have been eclipsed, only that they started a trend that shows no sign of ending.

Also, I'd like to point out that if you want the best all-around modern set from a Russian group. the Shostakovich Quartet, which recorded for Olympia, can now be found on bargain reissues from Regis (Berkshire Record Outlet offers the complete quartets for $20). The SQ play beautifully, are well recorded, and imbue Shostakovich's music with more emotional intensity than the cooler Emersons. By comparison, the old standby set from the Fitzwilliam Quartet on Decca seems dated and stodgy. The choice for me comes down to 1. Emerson complete cycle 2. Shostakovich Quartet complete cycle or 3. Pick and choose among outstanding individual readings from the St. Lawrence, Kronos, Hagen, and of course older Soviet groups like the Borodin and Beethoven Quartets. That's just a thumbnail sketch. Many die-hard fans won't give up their beloved Emerson cycle, while older aficinados would never part with their traditional Soviet favorites.

P.S. 2013 - I regret that I skated over the great Shostakovich quartet cycle made in the sixties by the old Borodin Qt. before they changed personnel - it's available on Chandos at a good price and contains unmissable performances of the then-existing quartets (excluding no. 14 and 15).
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable Recording of Remarkable Music 7 Aug 2009
By Karl W. Nehring - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This 5-CD set was recorded in live performances in front of remarkably quiet audiences. The Emerson Quartet play with both drive and precision. Although their playing is precise and technically brilliant, I find nothing sterile about their approach to this music. They do not drag the music out, nor do they exaggerate dynamics, but they play it with consummate skill and grace, and with enough enthusiasm for the music to let it speak for itself. By comparison, even the old Fitzwilliam set, so exciting when it was first released, and still a remarkable value, seems a bit ponderous at times, a bit too calculated and measured.
One of my favorite things about the Emerson performances is that the four voices always seem to be equal, and of one mind--the very essence of superb musicianship for a string quartet, and the result in this case of excellent musicianship combined with sympathetic engineering. The recordings were made at live performances, with a really quiet audience. What I find remarkable is the way the engineers have been able to produce such a nice balance in the sound. You can hear the individual instruments, but the sound still has a blend to it, rather than sounding more clinical than life, as some studio recordings of quartets can sound. Still, the recording is rather close, and you can picture the four instruments spread across the soundstage, but for a close recording, there ins not as much extraneous noise as you might expect--bowings and scrapings and gruntings and the like. There is not too much hall sound, but yet the effect is not one of sterility. The sound is close, but not stifling. In all, this stands as an excellent recording job under what could easily have been difficult circumstances.

Yes, this is a most remarkable recording of most remarkable music. Shostakovitch's symphonies can grow tiring after a while, but his quartets have withstood the test of time and repeated listening. Those on a tight budget will get good value from the Naxos set; for about the same price, the Fitzwilliam boxed set (6 CDs) has the advantage over the Naxos of presenting the quartets in order. But for those seeking the ultimate boxed set of these remarkable quartets, this remarkable new release from DG is my first recommendation. It is a winner in every way.
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