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Shostakovich: The String Quartets

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Customer Reviews


One of the greatest achievements in 20th Century classical music. As a set, only Beethoven's and Bartok's compare. DG's re-issue of a recording only about 10 years old, for half the price of the original, is a steal. This is, beyond question, a classical "essential".

Fantastic Re-Release of a Classic Album

Although only about 10 years old, DG has re-released its Shostakovich Complete String Quartets performed by the Emerson String Quartet, and is charging only about half of the original cost! For many of us, the Emerson version is the creme de la creme of these Quartets. They are simply fantastic. The only drawback is my usual gripe: Although most of the track break transitions are done fairlly well, there are occasional disturbing glitches. The worst is between the first two movements of the ever popular Quartet No. 8. This hickup, however, is not as bad as many of iTunes offerings of music where movements are meant to be played without pause and the producers have decided that there should be a track break there anyway. The music rates 5 stars. The glitches turn it into 4.

good interpretation

The Emerson String Quartet really did well with this recording. Many times I have heard these quartets, and have even seen master classes where performances of the compositions were critiqued. On a basic level, the ensemble members are playing closer to the bridge than is the custom, which is how most of Shostakovich's works are supposed to be played. On a slightly deeper level, they capture the irony of the pieces correctly. For example, there is sometimes a rhythm fit for a waltz being played by the cello, and on top there is being played very tragic and dark music. The musicians play it with a pleasant subtlety that make these works worth the buy.


Genre: Classical

Since its formation in 1976, the Emerson String Quartet has gradually achieved recognition as one of the world's top chamber ensembles. The group's reputation partially rests upon its daring interpretations of core string quartet repertory; it has performed the complete quartet cycles of Beethoven, Shostakovich, Mendelssohn, and Bartók in major concert halls around the world, and its interpretations tend toward the personal, the passionate, and even the hell-for-leather. Audiences have responded...
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Shostakovich: The String Quartets, Emerson String Quartet
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  • $29.99
  • Genres: Classical, Music
  • Released: Jan 01, 2000

Customer Ratings