Notes and Editorial Reviews
The St. Petersburg Quartet concludes its complete Shostakovich cycle at the beginning with Quartet No. 1, employing rich tone and emphatic phrasing to elevate the work beyond its often simplistic-sounding, scale-based melodies. Actually, Shostakovich applied this technique in both works on this disc, but to greater effect in his later, more mature style. Igor Uryash joins the St. Petersburg for the Piano Quintet and Trio No. 2, and again the players offer fully fleshed-out sonority--listen to the sumptuous sound of the Quintet's Prelude and the Trio's Largo movements, as well as to the vibrant motion and rhythmic sparkle in the scherzo movements of both works (as well as the Quintet's finale), revealing the ensemble's stylistic affinity for
However, the St. Petersburg faces formidable competition from the Borodin Trio on Chandos, whose raw emotion and driving intensity make its renditions quite unforgettable. The St. Petersburg does have in its favor a recorded sound that's far more natural and more engaging overall, making the Hyperion disc the preferred choice for repeated listening. The inclusion of the finely rendered Quartet No. 1 further sweetens the deal.
--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com Read less
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