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Shostakovich: Quartets - Fragments, Vol. 2

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Customer Reviews

world premiere recording

Here's a "flying by the seat of your pants" exciting, and fantastic sounding first recording of D.D.S.'s first and abandoned attempt at his 9th Quartet (1961). He discarded it, leaving it unfinished and three years later published a newly designated 9th Quartet which is also present here along with fabulous accounts of all the late quartets, 8-15. A terrific bonus is another pair of ASQ's first violinist, Zak Grafilo's transcriptions of the op. 87 Preludes and Fuges, originally written for piano in 1950-51. This recording is a unique contribution in a crowded field, head and antlers above the alternatives in both interpretive depth, recorded sound, content and delivery.

World class musicians

The Alexander String Quartet is uniquely in touch with the music. They are the Julliard String Quartet of the west coast. This group not only touches on every emotion Schostakovich was writing for, but also brings them to the forefront for the audience to experience and be a part of. Their unbridled passion and experience is evident, especially in the later quartets. Zak Grafilo plays with authority and demonstrates impeccable technicality and musicality. Fred Lifsitz does not play second fiddle, but rather comes off as being another first violinist, with clear crisp and concise musicality and technicality. Paul Yarbrough and Sandy Wilson provide the dark and deepest emotions intended by Schostakovich. Mr. Yarbrough lets us know that in fact viola is a super fantastic instrument and utilizes the best qualities of the viola. Mr. Wilson makes impeccable use of his instrument, becoming the engine room and helping to provide the stability and sometimes instability of the emotions Schostakovich intended. It is obvious that this group has thought out this project with utter intelligence. Mr. Grafilo even treats us to some of the Preludes and Fugues for piano, by arranging them for the quartet. You will also find the rare and previously not recorded, unfinished (Labeled: Unfinished String Quartet: Moderato) 9th quartet. This group is the perfect example of the definition of professional collaboration. They have worked tirelessly to bring classical music to audiences all around the world. The raw musical, technical, and intellectual talent of these musicians is second to none. This recording is a must buy for anyone from students, to professionals, and music lovers.

Alexander/Shostakovich/Volume 2

These discs are every bit as essential as the first volume. The adaptations of the piano preludes/fugues by the quartet's first violinist are quite wonderful, and of course it is fascinating to hear this recording of the unfinished quartet fragment.

Shostakovich: Quartets - Fragments, Vol. 2, Alexander String Quartet
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  • $29.99
  • Genres: Classical, Music
  • Released: Jul 01, 2007

Customer Ratings