Beethoven & Shostakovich - String Quartets
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Cat No: AVI8553368
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 23rd September 2016
WorksString Quartet no.7 in F major, op.59 no.1 'Razumovsky'
String Quartet no.10 in A flat major, op.118
If Beethoven’s supposedly ‘classical’ Opus 59 quartet is astoundingly challenging and unconventional, Shostakovich’s Opus 118 is surprisingly carefree at first glance – particularly in comparison with his well-known 8th Quartet dedicated “to the victims of fascism and war”, or with the 9th, written during the same period. The 10th, conversely, emerged in a relaxed atmosphere in 1964, during Shostakovich’s stay at the composers’ retreat centre in the Armenian spa town of Dilijan. These were the palmy days of Shostakovich’s career. He found himself showered with awards and recognitions, and rushed from one rehearsal or premičre to the next of his long-banished opera masterpiece Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, acclaimed in a revised version on opera stages from Moscow to Milan and London. With lightness of hand he apparently jotted down this string quartet in a mere eleven days. And yet: the work might be simmering beneath the surface, a tell-tale sign of Shostakovich’s well-known ambiguous stance.
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