on 20 December 2011
as a long time admirer + attendee of many many recitals of Dmitri Shostakovich's string quartets + fairly obsessive amazon reviewer of some of the many versions available, i can certainly verify that yes the Eder Quartet' final installment of the entire DSCH cycle is not only some of the cheapest avaiable (on the naxos label) BUT also these performances rank amongst the best of the last two quartets. namely the ambivalent 14th + on eof the composers most moving works, the final 15th.
these readings form the 1990's are very well recorded compare very well indeed with the Shostakovich, Fitzwilliam, Borodin quartet releases and actually surpass the releases by the Rubio,Emerson Quartets. playing has enormous sensitively to the complex emotional as well as compostional structure of these often harrowing works. deep human expression conveyed with the neccesary intensity yet eloquence here by the Eders.
throughly recommended, particularly for the composer's final Quartet the incredibly moving + elegaic 15th Quartet played (and indeed intended to be played by the composer) at his own funeral in 1975. if you aren't yet familiar with Shostakovich's string quartets - i would recommend the Eder's other naxos releases of DSCH's 4,6 + 7 then 1,8 +9 quartets first perhaps. finally acknowledged (along with Bartok's) as the 20th Centuries most important quartet works.
on 9 October 2008
Not that they aren't all engaging. The performance of the 14th is well-informed, lively, well-balanced and clear in direction. The third movement is particularly well pulled-off. The overall tone of the piece here is wise and world-weary, but ultimately resistent.
The 15th is the best performance of this work I know of. It has a passion and depth that other players rarely reach, and they marvellously manage to make the whole thing sound of a oneness - everything leads into everything else so well, every bar and note really does sound effortless, and their powers of control and management are brilliant.
An admirable quality to this quartet is their tendency to be (as another reviewer put it) 'unhistrionic'. They are more bothered about how the piece comes out sounding than how virtuosic they themselves come out sounding; they really are subservient to the music. And, of course, they pack a great emotional punch - especially in the 15th.
Overall, utterly commendable. (And cheap!)