Notes and Editorial Reviews
The Jerusalem Quartet is an extraordinary group – but in Shostakovich they are simply great. Their spectacular 2005 recording of Quartets 1, 4, and 9 (Harmonia Mundi 901865) is followed by readings of Quartets nos.6, 8, and 11 -- and it’s about as good.
Because of the nature of the included works it has an altogether darker, more somber hue, but the strengths of the Jerusalem Quartet come out in these works just as much. From the Allegretto of op.101 to the Finale - Moderato of op.122, they give a riveting account that is haunting in its painful moods, biting in its irony, irresistible in its drive.
In Quartet No.8, where the cool perfection of the Emerson Quartet (DG 638802 or 459670) and the Hagen Quartet (DG 650502)
works best, the Jerusalem Quartet shows an alternative that is equally dark but gripping, instead of offering that sense of détaché. I said it before - but it bears repeating: Amid the plethora of groups that have issued complete Shostakovich cycles over the last ten years, this quartet is one that I actually, actively wish will offer one, too!
Jens F. Laurson - WETA 90.9 Read less
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