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Classic Performances Finally Properly Remastered,
This review is from: Shostakovich: String Quartets 1-13 (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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Initial post: 7 Jul 2011 21:22:14 BDT
Simon Mack - creative says:
thks for the review - can you comment on the Taneyev quartet also - ive reviewed their cd on Leningrad Masters label of the 1,3 + 4th quartets which is very good also. The Emersons dont come close i agree but have you heard the uk's Sorrel Quartet or Eder Qrt on naxos ? - both excellent. the Fitzwilliams yes are excellent also. hearing the quartets (except the Eder s alas) live is the best way though - having heard all the above play this marvellous haunted music.
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