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Shostakovich: String Quartets No 3, 7 & 8 / St Lawrence String Quartet


Release Date: 08/01/2006 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 59956   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Christopher CostanzaGeoff NuttallBarry ShiffmanLesley Robertson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Lawrence String Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Hot on the heels of the Hagen Quartett's DG recordings of Shostakovich's Third, Seventh, and Eighth quartets come the very same works on EMI, performed by the St. Lawrence String Quartet. While the St. Lawrence players don't quite match the Hagens' extraordinary surface refinement, control, and blend, their interpretations are far more impassioned, emotionally engaging, and stylistically perceptive. Comparative listening illustrates my point.


The Hagens downplay the rude dynamic contrasts in the Eighth's central Allegretto, while the St. Lawrence's more forceful brand of swing comes closer to conveying my notion of this movement as kind of a sardonic "Danse Macabre". In addition, the St. Lawrence group takes
Read more a more liberal attitude toward the composer's expressive indications in the Third's first movement, resulting in more character and contrast than the Hagen's cooler reading reveals. Although the Hagen's seemingly fast and fluid tempo for No. 7's second-movement Lento actually adheres to Shostakovich's metronome marking, the markedly slower and more subjectively phrased St. Lawrence performance divines more mystery and tone color within the strings' muted sonorities (what eerie glissandos!).


This disc won't displace my affection for the finely-honed give-and-take that distinguishes the Emerson and Borodin reference versions, but the St. Lawrence Quartet's rougher-hewn, heartfelt, communicative, and brightly engineered performances truly hit home, and are worth hearing.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Quartet for Strings no 3 in F major, Op. 73 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Christopher Costanza (Cello), Geoff Nuttall (Violin), Barry Shiffman (Violin),
Lesley Robertson (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Lawrence String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; USSR 
Date of Recording: 01/2006 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound Scoring Stage, CA 
Length: 29 Minutes 36 Secs. 
2.
Quartet for Strings no 7 in F sharp minor, Op. 108 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Barry Shiffman (Violin), Geoff Nuttall (Violin), Lesley Robertson (Viola),
Christopher Costanza (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Lawrence String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960; USSR 
Date of Recording: 01/2006 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound Scoring Stage, CA 
Length: 14 Minutes 12 Secs. 
3.
Quartet for Strings no 8 in C minor, Op. 110 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Geoff Nuttall (Violin), Christopher Costanza (Cello), Barry Shiffman (Violin),
Lesley Robertson (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Lawrence String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960; USSR 
Date of Recording: 01/2006 
Venue:  Skywalker Sound Scoring Stage, CA 
Length: 22 Minutes 51 Secs. 

Sound Samples

String Quartet No.3 in F major Op.73: Allegretto
String Quartet No.3 in F major Op.73: Moderato con moto
String Quartet No.3 in F major Op.73: Allegro non troppo
String Quartet No.3 in F major Op.73: Adagio
String Quartet No.3 in F major Op.73: Moderato
String Quartet No.7 in F sharp minor Op.108: Allegretto
String Quartet No.7 in F sharp minor Op.108: Lento
String Quartet No.7 in F sharp minor Op.108: Allegro
String Quartet No.8 in C minor Op.110: Largo
String Quartet No.8 in C minor Op.110: Allegro molto
String Quartet No.8 in C minor Op.110: Allegretto
String Quartet No.8 in C minor Op.110: Largo
String Quartet No.8 in C minor Op.110: Largo

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