Shostakovich - A Ring for String Quartet
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Label: Praga Digitals
Cat No: PRD250318
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 22nd January 2016
WorksString Quartet no.10 in A flat major, op.118
String Quartet no.11 in F minor, op.122
String Quartet no.12 in D flat major, op.133
String Quartet no.13 in B flat minor, op.138 (Adagio)
This string quartet tetralogy is the epitome of eloquence, progressing from the ‘golden age’ of Soviet realism with Quartet No.10 Op.118, dominated by the viola, to the Weberian purity of Quartet No.13 Op.138, a haunting adagio also written for the viola.
The Beethoven Quartet was founded between 1922 and 1923 by graduates of the Moscow Conservatory. In 1931 they changed their name from the Moscow Conservatory Quartet to the Beethoven Quartet. From 1938 they collaborated closely with Shostakovich and premiered 13 of his 15 string quartets. He dedicated his third and fifth quartets to the Quartet, while later quartets were dedicated individually to the members: Quartet No.11 to the memory of Vasily Shirinsky, Quartet No.12 to Tsyganov, Quartet No.13 to Borisovsky, and Quartet No.14 to Sergei Shirinsky.
The composer himself rehearsed, performed and recorded with the ensemble, and the Beethoven Quartet performances of the 15 Shostakovich quartets are still regarded as benchmarks against which to judge all others.
An admirable attempt at immortality, despite the rudimentary recording techniques of the time. Mastered from stereo broadcast recordings 1966-71.
Beethoven Quartet: Dmitri Tsyganov, Nicolai Zabavnikov, Fyodor Druzhinin, Sergey Shirinsky
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