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Shostakovich:String Quartets [Brosdky Quartet] [Chandos : CHAN 10917(6)] Box set

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Audio CD, Box set, 30 Sep 2016
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Product details

  • Conductor: -
  • Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich
  • Audio CD (30 Sept. 2016)
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B01L7M4JSS
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,948 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Product description

Product Description

This new box set with the Brodsky Quartet features Shostakovich's fifteen string quartets at a special price. Over the years the Brodsky Quartet has undertaken numerous performances of the complete cycle of quartets by several composers, including Zemlinsky whose set was released on Chandos to critical acclaim last year. It is, however, the complete Shostakovich cycle that has now become synonymous with its name: its 2012 London performance of the cycle resulted in its taking the prestigious title of 'Artist in Residence' at the city's Kings Place. One of the most rewarding aspects of performing this cycle is the way in which it seems to pan out so naturally and perfectly. To be aware that Shostakovich had intended to write twenty-four quartets, one in every key, but ended up with these fifteen thereby creating a unique musical journey that feels predestined and all-encompassing, makes one think that there really must be a greater force at work. The Quartet now adds to its famed discography this remarkable box set, recorded live at Amsterdam's Muziekgebouw.


Perhaps the most impressive aspect of these recordings lies in the huge range of dynamics and timbres that are employed to project the sometimes bewildering sequence of emotions from Shostakovich's musical arguments. Performance ***** Recording **** --BBC Music Magazine, Christmas '16

Decades of concert-giving here encouraged a freer, more robust Brodsky style that admits extra grit and pressurises the busy,quasi-symphonic rhetoric of Shostakovich's more conventional scores. --Gramophone,Dec'16

The Brodsky Quartet's earlier Shostakovich cycle is still available, but this new set, recorded live in Amsterdam, is a safer bet. The playing is technically more assured and the performances are far more emotionally involving. Having the 15 quartets programmed chronologically over five discs is a real asset, and it's worth taking the trouble to listen to them in order, the composer's inner workings forensically exposed. The Brodskys make a brilliant case for the sequence s shadier corners; the melodramatic, autobiographical Eighth Quartet is a small part of the story. Though that work is terrifying here, viscerally violent and full of impact; you can sense the well-behaved Dutch audience recoiling. What grabbed me were the lesser-known quartets. Take No. 6, a mostly radiant G major piece which is too easily dismissed. The first movement's crisis is just fraught enough, making the return to normality all the more moving. And the Fifth is terrific here, a reading full of dogged, incisive rhythms and pained introspection, the rarified final pages quietly beautiful. The sly humour of Nos. 9 and 11 is brilliantly expressed, the former's astonishing finale intensely moving. The earlier Brodsky cycle now sounds too loud, too aggressive in comparison. Other moments to savour include the powerfully affirmative close of No. 12 (one of the few unambiguously positive endings in Shostakovich's output) and a poignant account of No. 14. All excellent, in other words: everyone should seek out analogue cycles from the Fitzwilliam and Borodin Quartets (the latter also on Chandos), but this is as good a modern digital set as you'll find, and the recorded sound is excellent. --ArtsDesk,Jan'17

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18 May 2017
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
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Most helpful customer reviews on 4.7 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
Stephen F. Smith
5.0 out of 5 starsWhen humanity prevails.
30 April 2017 - Published on
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
One person found this helpful.
Gustavo Martin M.
5.0 out of 5 starsFive Stars
4 February 2017 - Published on
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One person found this helpful.
Dean Frey
5.0 out of 5 starsA passionate second look at Shostakovich
12 November 2016 - Published on
5 people found this helpful.
4.0 out of 5 starsThis is truly music to "Listen" to and not just "Hear".
13 April 2017 - Published on

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