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Shostakovich: String Quartets No 8 & 9 / Quatuor Byron


Release Date: 04/12/2011 
Label:  Aparte   Catalog #: 12   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Byron Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 52 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Quatuor Byron underlines the intimate nature of Shostakovich's string quartets, which are far more personal than the usually extrovert symphonies. Quartet No. 8's brooding introduction sounds here with a marked tenderness, which makes the following violent passages seem especially brutal. But there's nothing coarse about the Byron's playing--throughout it all the members maintain their finely honed, impeccable musicianship.

Quartet No. 9's more formal movement pattern contains similar emotional extremes, from lyrical sweetness to subdued anger to slashing fury (the frenetic finale is quite gripping here). The Byron's uncompromising tonal and rhythmic fidelity renders it all with exceptional vividness.

Two
Read more Pieces for String Quartet forms a respite between the heavier main works. The heartfelt Elegy is based on Katerina's aria from Lady Macbeth of Mtensk, while the humorous Polka will be easily recognizable to those familiar with Shostakovich's Age of Gold ballet suite. There are other, more distinguished individual versions (the Borodin Quartet's classic No. 8 comes to mind), but as an album of Shostakovich string quartets this disc serves quite well. The recording provides warm, detailed sound.

--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Quartet for Strings no 8 in C minor, Op. 110 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Byron Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960; USSR 
Date of Recording: 10/2010 
Venue:  Studio Ernest Ansermet, RSR, Genève 
Length: 18 Minutes 56 Secs. 
2.
Pieces (2) for String Octet, Op. 11 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Byron Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1924-1925; USSR 
Date of Recording: 10/2010 
Venue:  Studio Ernest Ansermet, RSR, Genève 
Length: 4 Minutes 19 Secs. 
3.
Quartet for Strings no 9 in E flat major, Op. 117 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Byron Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1964; USSR 
Date of Recording: 10/2010 
Venue:  Studio Ernest Ansermet, RSR, Genève 
Length: 24 Minutes 43 Secs. 

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