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20th Century String Quartets / Rubin String Quartet

Release Date: 05/09/2006 
Label:  Arte Nova   Catalog #: 770690   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Béla BartókIgor StravinskySofia GubaidulinaDmitri Shostakovich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rubin Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This young all-female quartet (with personnel from Paris, Cologne and Amsterdam) presents a thoughtfully balanced programme of three established 20th-century classics and an equally masterly and characteristically intense study in textures from Sofia Gubaidulina. The Rubin Quartet’s playing is exceptionally clean and rhythmically lively, with exemplary unanimity of attack. Sometimes the expressive effect is a bit lightweight. Given the high quality of the competing versions (Fine Arts, Juilliard, Emerson, Tokyo, Zehetmair et al) I felt these players’ Bartók Fourth Quartet could have benefited from more gravitas (and the recording, indeed, from a bit more bass), but their account of the finale, especially, is extremely exciting. Read more Likewise their approach to Shostakovich’s Eighth presents that most dolorously personal of quartet confessions as almost classically poised, its flood of feeling kept under tight rein. But this is all to the good, when we compare some of the self-indulgently lachrymose interpretations this much-recorded work has received; certainly there is no lack of commitment to the score as both human document and display of utterly focused technique. Stravinsky’s teasing, quasi-surreal miniatures make an excellent foil to the bigger pieces, as cool and crisp as Gubaidulina’s flickering textural furnace is hot. The DeutschlandRadio recording is, unsurprisingly, very good indeed.

-- Calum MacDonald, BBC Music Magazine Read less

Works on This Recording

Quartet for Strings no 4, Sz 91 by Béla Bartók
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rubin Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; Budapest, Hungary 
Pieces (3) for String Quartet by Igor Stravinsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rubin Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; Switzerland 
Quartet for Strings no 2 by Sofia Gubaidulina
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rubin Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1987; USSR 
Quartet for Strings no 8 in C minor, Op. 110 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rubin Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960; USSR 

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