Notes and Editorial Reviews
This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
This is an amazing disc in every respect. The Amsterdam Sinfonietta plays with such incredible unanimity of ensemble, but at the same time with such natural flexibility of pulse, that you miss absolutely none of the intimacy of the quartet originals. Examples are too numerous to list: the opening movement of the Fourth quartet (which flows like water), the stunning Recitative and Romance of the Second quartet, and any of the more sparsely scored passages. On the other hand, the big movements, such as the finale of the former or the Overture and concluding Variations of the latter, have an impact that
will sweep you off your feet. Many commentators have noted that certain Shostakovich quartets, including these two, seem to be almost orchestral in conception, and this disc will certainly bolster that view.
Significantly, the transcription of the Fourth quartet does not, as in Barshai's version, add winds and percussion. Both arrangements here were made by bass player Marijn van Prooijen, and perhaps this accounts for his sensitive handling of his own instrument--used only to add depth of sonority in a way that never overburdens the basic texture. The engineering lets you hear every detail with utter naturalness in all formats, multichannel or normal stereo. Indeed, purely on the basis of sonics, this is one of the most perfect recordings of anything that I have ever heard. Even if you don't think you like Shostakovich's quartets, you may find yourself entranced by these flawlessly polished, emotionally gripping interpretations. Miraculous!
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Quartet for Strings no 2 in A major, Op. 68 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1944; USSR
Notes: Arranger: Marijn van Prooij.
This selection is a stereo recording.
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