Celebrating a milestone 70th-anniversary year, the Borodin Quartet has signed to Decca Classics for a major series of recordings of the music of Shostakovich. The project will comprise the composer’s complete works for string quartet.
The first release is out now and it features String Quartets 1, 8 and 14, plus the Elegy and Polka (Adagio and Allegretto).
Here is what the critics say:
“Has the Borodin Quartet inherited a musical style through its DNA?
There have been many changes to the membership of the Quartet since it was founded 70 years ago, but its close association with Shostakovich in the early years still casts a glow of authenticity.
This first disc in a new complete cycle of Shostakovich’s works for string quartet exudes authority.
The playing of the current four members has a molten intensity, a restraint that never seeks quick or easy effects. It seems fitting that the performances of such an august group should take the long view.”
Richard Fairman, Financial Times****
“What I like most about this recording, besides the quartet’s gorgeously rich sound, is the straight-up sincerity of the playing. The First Quartet is full-bodied and lyrical; the work’s tuneful simplicity isn’t loaded with innuendo. The 14th Quartet is frank and impassioned. The Eighth opens with grainy solemnity and the movements unfold with moving candour. Nothing is overstated or hysterical, and there’s no chance of the gaudy romp that this work can become [...] the sobriety is hugely dignified.”
Kate Molleson, The Guardian****
“The naivety of Quartet no. 1 gives way to the autobiographical, despairing no. 8, the Borodins reaching right down into the depths of its bitter universal torment before offering some relief with the whimsy and warmth of no. 14. Prepare to be profoundly stirred.”
Stephen Pritchard, The Observer
For more information on the CD please visit Decca’s website here.