Notes and Editorial Reviews
The Borodin Quartet's Melodiya recording of Borodin's own two quartets was the winner of a Gramophone Award in 1983, earning more votes than any operatic or choral issue. Lionel Salter, in his original review of the LP, declared that he did not expect to hear the two works ''more persuasively played'', and in September 1986, SJ described the recording as ''a strong contender for CD transfer''. I can only add my praise for these magnificent performances to that of my colleagues, the Russian ensemble (with a different first and second violin from the team that recorded Borodin's Second Quartet for Decca over 20 years ago now deleted—but with the same viola and cello) have the music in their blood and match the need for flexibility of phrasing
and rhythm with a unanimity of articulation and intonation that is quite staggering.
Not the least valuable feature of the EMI issue, to my mind, is the fact that it offers both of Borodin's quartets: the less familiar No. 1 in A (composed between 1873 and 1879) as well as the popular No. 2 in D of 1881, with the celebrated Notturno as its third movement.
-- Robin Golding, Gramophone [5/1988]
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