Shostakovich : String Quartets Nos. 4 & 8

Shostakovich : String Quartets Nos. 4 & 8

20.00

The Borodin String Quartet (1962)

Mercury Living Presence SR 90309

Speakers Corner Records : LP 180 gram

Brand New and Sealed Record

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Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 - 1975) : String Quartets No. 4 Op. 83  and No. 8 Op. 110

Recorded June 1962 at Bolshoi Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow.

The stony path towards artistic freedom which led through the thicket of the Soviet dictatorship appeared to have become somewhat smoother for Shostakovich with this recording. It was something of a small sensation that a recording team from the West was permitted to travel to Moscow to tape and thus preserve music by a contemporary composer for the western market. And that the Mercury team brought back a recording (along with other tapes) that would stand on an exalted platform even in times of a political thaw is a stroke of luck.

The Borodin String Quartet approaches Shostakovich’s modernistic, personal style methodically and with great expression, bedded as it is in romantic musical tradition. Although it isn’t done to draw attention to the performance of one player over the remaining three, one really must mention the cellist Berlinski who plays his part in the Quartet No. 4 with breathtaking cantabile and assurance. The Quartet No. 8 is special for a quite different reason: Shostakovich dedicated this piece to himself as a sort of personal requiem by working his initials DSCH (D, E flat, C, B natural in German notation) into the score and also included numerous citations from earlier works such as the First Symphony and Clarinet Trio op. 67. In this way both the music and the recording guarantee a very personal confrontation with the composer.

This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head. More information under http://www.pure-analogue.com. All royalties and mechanical rights have been paid.