A slightly curious compilation (two Russian performances dating from 1962, one English from 1976) but an attractive one, and very good value. I had not heard the Gabrieli's Tchaikovsky before, and liked it a great deal: properly chamber-scale, in colour as well as tone of voice, and nice underlining of the lyricism in even Tchaikovsky's most exuberant pages. The Borodin play their eponymous composer's affectionate tribute to his wife with a charming demureness shading the ardour, and in the sharply characterized finale manage even to hint that Shostakovich (and in C minor after all this D major!) will be the next composer on the programme. He is, and their reading of his Eighth Quartet is nobly expressive as well as exhaustingly virtuoso.Read more As a tiny bonus for Shostakovich scholars there is even an interesting variant reading towards the end of the third movement. The recordings still sound very well, slightly close but very clean for the Gabrieli, a little more open for the Borodin.
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