The Soviet Experience, Vol. 2: String quartets by Shostakovich & his contemporaries / Pacifica Quartet

> String Quartet No. 3 in F major, Op. 73 - I. Allegretto
> String Quartet No. 3 in F major, Op. 73 - II. Moderato con moto
> String Quartet No. 3 in F major, Op. 73 - III. Allegro non troppo
> String Quartet No. 3 in F major, Op. 73 - IV. Adagio
> String Quartet No. 3 in F major, Op. 73 - V. Moderato
> String Quartet No. 2 in F major, Op. 92 - I. Allegro sostenuto
> String Quartet No. 2 in F major, Op. 92 - II. Adagio
> String Quartet No. 2 in F major, Op. 92 - III. Allegro
> String Quartet No. 4 in D major, Op. 83 - I. Allegretto
> String Quartet No. 4 in D major, Op. 83 - II. Andantino
> String Quartet No. 4 in D major, Op. 83 - III. Allegretto
> String Quartet No. 4 in D major, Op. 83 - IV. Allegretto

Album Summary

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Quartet for Strings no 1 in C major, Op. 49
>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Quartet for Strings no 2 in A major, Op. 68
>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Quartet for Strings no 4 in D major, Op. 83
>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Quartet for Strings no 3 in F major, Op. 73
>Prokofiev, Sergei : Quartet for Strings no 2 in F major, Op. 92
Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Cedille presents the second installment in the Pacifica Quartet's highly anticipated, four-volume CD survey of the complete Shostakovich string quartets: The Soviet Experience: String Quartets by Dmitri Shostakovich and his Contemporaries. The Soviet Experience is the first Shostakovich quartet cycle to include works by other important composers of the Soviet era, adding variety and perspective to the listening experience. + Volume 2 features five works from the period surrounding World War II: 1938 - 1949. Included are Shostakovich's surprisingly sunny and spring-like Quartet No. 1; his often symphonic-sounding Quartet No. 2; the emotionally-powerful Third Quartet, one of Shostakovich's greatest chamber music masterpieces; his Fourth Quartet, notable especially for its "Jewish"-themed finale; and Prokofiev's folk-influenced Quartet No. 2. + Volume 1 received universal praise on both sides of the Atlantic and was included on the best classical albums of 2011 lists of The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The New Yorker, San Jose Mercury News, Newark Star-Ledger, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch. + The Pacifica Quartet + Founded in 1994, the Pacifica Quartet has received international acclaim as one of the finest chamber ensembles performing today. The quartet was recently appointed quartet-in-residence at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, the position held for 43 years by the Guarneri String Quartet. Pacifica won a 2009 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance for its CD of Elliott Carter's String Quartets Nos. 1 and 5 on the Naxos label. The ensemble has received stellar reviews for its previous Cedille Records recordings, including the complete Mendelssohn string quartets. + Also Available: CDR 127, 735131912723 = "... in this album, the first volume of a series devoted to "The Soviet Experience," they give performances of both power and perception, finding the grace and fire in Shostakovich's enigmatic Fifth and Sixth Quartets and delivering the celebrated Seventh and Eighth Quartets with overwhelming force." - The New Yorker

Financial Times
It adds up to another powerful listening experience.

Sunday Times
These Shostakovich quartets present vast musical and psychological challenges...[the Prokofiev's] originality is telling: the sinewy, heterophonic workings of folk material in its second movement here sound like music from much later.

The Independent
The maturity of an experienced composer is clear, his music dynamically and compellingly realised here.

The Telegraph
Exceptional both in the musicians' maturity and breadth of expression and in the sheer humanity and emotional force of the playing...Everything about these performances points to an ensemble with an acute understanding of the music's implications and with a capacity to communicate it freshly by means of a broad, astutely applied spectrum of timbre and a compelling blend of immediacy and intimacy.

ClassicsToday.com
The Pacifica players capture the music's quasi-tragic mood with unflinching honesty and (as in all these performances) impeccable ensemble.

American Record Guide, July / August 2012
I of the Prokofieff is more earnest than exciting (I'm used to the St Petersburg Quartet's Delos recording - J/F 2000), but not too insistent. II is exquisite, and III has the most vigorous, humorous playing on the program. So far, this is a decent set at a reasonable price (about $15 for each volume), as long as you remember to adjust the treble and bass and don't mind something that is very smooth and westernized. The Soviet propaganda posters on the cover are a terrific touch. Easy-to-read notes in English.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Foellinger Great Hall of the Krannert Center for the Pe.



Reviews

The Soviet Experience
This is the second set in the Pacifica Quartet's Soviet Experience series for Cedille, and it's another winner. The two discs include the first 4 string quartets in Shostakovich's great cycle, and the 2nd quartet by Prokofiev, both of whose quartets are of the highest quality. The music on this disc reflects the tumultuous times in Soviet Russia from the period just before to just after the Second World War.

I know the Pacifica Quartet from their amazing Naxos recording of the String Quartets of Elliott Carter, which won a Grammy Award in 2009. The new Cedille set has the same outstanding levels of musicianship and engineering. The series provides the opportunity to immerse oneself in the heroic, horrific and incredibly sad period of the Soviet war with Nazi Germany, and the emerging war of Stalin against his own greatest artists. From the deceptive simplicity of the first Shostakovich quartet, with its folk-like melodies and glimpses of chaos to come, to the tragically great Quartet #3, the Pacifica players present an amazing tableau of the broadest range of emotions and the highest peaks of art. I look forward to the next release in this series!
Submitted on 05/01/12 by Dean Frey 
Login or Create an Account to write a review
 

Also Purchased



Previous


Next


Works Details

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Quartet for Strings no 1 in C major, Op. 49
  • Ensemble: Pacifica Quartet
  • Notes: Foellinger Great Hall of the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Illinois, Urbana (11/18/2011-11/20/2011)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1938

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Quartet for Strings no 2 in A major, Op. 68
  • Notes: Foellinger Great Hall of the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Illinois, Urbana (11/18/2011-11/20/2011)
  • Running Time: 34 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1944

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Quartet for Strings no 4 in D major, Op. 83
  • Notes: Foellinger Great Hall of the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Illinois, Urbana (08/29/2011-08/31/2011)
  • Running Time: 25 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1949

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Quartet for Strings no 3 in F major, Op. 73
  • Notes: Foellinger Great Hall of the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Illinois, Urbana (07/23/2010-07/24/2010)
  • Running Time: 22 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1946

>Prokofiev, Sergei : Quartet for Strings no 2 in F major, Op. 92
  • Notes: Foellinger Great Hall of the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Illinois, Urbana (08/29/2011-08/31/2011)
  • Running Time: 22 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1941