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Str Qrts 2/3/7/8/12 [Import]

Dimitri Shostakovich Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 14.54 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details

Disc: 1
1. I. Overture: moderato con moto
2. II. Recitative and romance: Adagio
3. III. Waltz: allegro
4. IV. Theme and variations: Adagio - Moderato con moto
5. Moderato
6. Allegretto-Adagio-Moderato-Adagio-Moderato-Allegretto
Disc: 2
1. I. Largo
2. II. Allegro molto
3. III. Allegretto
4. IV. Largo
5. V. Largo
6. I. Allegretto
7. II. Lento
8. III. Allegro
9. I. Allegretto
10. II. Moderato con moto
See all 13 tracks on this disc

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5.0 out of 5 stars sheer brilliance and range, brilliantly performed Nov. 15 2003
Format:Audio CD
These five Shostakovich string quartets were recorded by the Borodin Quartet in London in 1990, and the performance and recording are absolutely brilliant, to match the compositions. (The earlier complete cycle of 15 quartets, recorded in the 1980s by an earlier line-up of the Borodins, is no longer available.)
Quartets 2 and 3, which open and close this set, were written respectively in 1944 and 1946, expressions of DSCH in his prime, during the war and its immediate aftermath. They are among his finest works, too rich in mood and style to summarize briefly. The 8th Quartet of 1960 is his best known, and it was publicly dedicated to "the victims of war and fascism." Of course the interpretation of that phrase by the Soviet officials was at variance with what we now know to be DSCH's view. I heard the Kronos Quartet recording (on "Black Angels") before this one -- by comparison it is harder-edged, emphasizing the bitter rage at the perpetrators, while the Borodin recording emphasizes grief and quiet desolation. Or in other words, the Kronos recording is strong in the louder passages, while the Borodin recording is more expressive and convincing in the slower, quieter passages, which predominate. The 7th Quartet (also of 1960), in honor of Shostakovich's first wife Nina, who died in 1954, is in three movements, and concludes with a powerful raging allegro. Finally, the 12th Quartet, completed in 1968, is in two movements. It can here be seen to represent the "late quartets," 12-15, all of which are dark works written as Shostakovich's health failed and he was in and out of hospitals. The 12th is a powerful, memorable work that continues to show an amazing range, the baring of a complex soul.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A PILGRIMAGE Aug. 17 2003
Format:Audio CD
This 2-disc selection of 5 Shostakovich quartets is arranged with quartets #2 and #12 on the first disc, #8, #7 and #3 (in that order for some reason) on the second.
It seems to me that far and away the best sequence for listening to them is the chronological sequence of publication, which to the best of my knowledge is also the sequence of their composition. Shostakovich's output is a pilgrim's progress. His music tracks his states of mind, and with the quartets we can try to follow those comparatively free from external political influences and the pressing practical need to adopt public and official personae. These quartets have far more unity and consistency of style than do the symphonies and concertos, and it is far easier for the hearer to gain a feel for the composer's real private identity. 3 of the 5 here are in major keys, but the prevailing mood is sombre and introverted in all of them. It almost goes without saying that this is not 'absolute' music - the music by itself is not the whole story as it is in the quartets of Borodin or Brahms. The listener needs to read the composer's mind-set as best he can, with or without help from the composer's biography. If anyone wants my advice, it would be to persevere without that for a while, as music of this stature demands to be heard for itself.
There are no early works here - the second quartet has the opus-# 68 - and one of the things I like best about them is that they are 'genuine' quartets, if that expression may be excused. More or less nobody's quartets consist of absolutely pure four-part writing, but there are cases, even including such great works as Franck's quartet or Schumann's quintet, where the string-writing is really for a miniature string band or orchestra rather than a distinctive quartet.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful recent recordings by the Borodin Quartet April 16 2000
Format:Audio CD
This 2-CD set contains the 1990 recordings by the Borodin String Quartet of 5 major Shostakovich Quartets for Virgin Classics (now EMI/Virgin Classics). The Borodin String Quartet recorded a complete cycle in Moscow between 1978 and 1983 (originally released in the west as an EMI box set, but now availabe as a BMG/Melodiya box set through Amazon). These beautiful 1990 digital recordings of 5 of the 15 quartets represent the best anthology of the Shostakovich quartets available today and should not be missed. Although the readings are different--less emotional, more meditative--these performances are as intense and committed as the earlier ones and should not be missed, not even by those who own the complete set recorded by the Borodin String Quartet. All the more tempting by the fact that this 2-CD set is offered for less than the price of 1, an incredible bargain!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection Oct. 15 2009
By A-train
Format:Audio CD
I only recently became aware of this opus. These quartets are as profoundly expressive as any of the composers symphonic or keyboard work. The reading by the Borodin quartet is extraordinarily beautiful. Rendered with sensitivity and dynamism, their performance almost places you at the composers elbow as he wrote: you feel his passion, angst,hope, anger. Recording quality is very good. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You Want This! Sept. 20 2012
By brotagonist TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Shostakovich is often mentioned in the same breath as Stravinsky. Having rapidly tired of Rite of Spring and Firebird, I was in no hurry to know Shostakovich. Let me tell you: you want this! It is unthinkable to ever tire of Shostakovich's string quartets. Do I hear hints of Webern and Bartók? This music is rich, deep and multifaceted, seeming to change style in mid-stride. The performance is impeccable. May the Borodin Quartet not tarry in recording another set of more of Shostakovich's string quartets!
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