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Ravel and Shostakovich string quartets arranged for chamber orchestra by R. Barshai / Scottish Ensemble, Gould

Album Summary

>Ravel, Maurice : Quartet for Strings in F major
>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Chamber Symphony in A flat major, Op. 118a (arr. by Robert Barshai from String Quartet No 10)
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composers
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Notes & Reviews:

This is the world premiere recording of Rudolph Barshai's arrangements of Ravel and Shostakovich string quartets. Originally released in 2003 'Ravel & Shostakovich for strings' has been re-issued as part of Linn's ECHO series which offers a second chance to enjoy the best of the label's award-winning catalogue. The specially commissioned arrangements retain the nuances that make the original string quartets so special but also add a whole world of subtle sonorities. The Shostakovich quartet shows him in the prime of his creative life; Barshai's orchestration adds to the texture and depth of this piece. The Ravel String Quartet in F major is one of director Clio Gould's favourite pieces of music so she was delighted when Rudolf Barshai agreed to orchestrate this. Barshai, a student of Shostakovich and a founding member of the Borodin and Tchaikovsky Quartets has also completed arrangements of Shostakovich's four chamber symphonies. Re-defining the string orchestra, Scottish Ensemble inspires audiences with vibrant and powerful performances. Scottish Ensemble is the UK's only professional string orchestra, built around a core of twelve outstanding string players. The ensemble is known both in the UK and internationally for its versatility and ambitious programming. Performing standing up, the individual layers bring an energetic and passionate dynamic to every performance.

American Record Guide, July/August 2015
The chamber symphony version of the Shostakovich Quartet 10 is not heard as often as Quartet 8, but the Scottish Ensemble and conductor Gould build as strong a case for it as Barshai in his classic recording with the European Chamber Orchestra (DG). Rudolf Barshai's adept, respectful adaptation of Shostakovich's Quartet 8 as a "chamber symphony" for string orchestra has become a repertory staple of chamber orchestras; and his similar arrangements of Quartets 4 and 10 have had a fair amount of exposure, too. His arrangement of the Ravel quartet is new to me. It is just as idiomatic and enjoyable as the earlier efforts. The performances retain the nimbleness of the one-instrument-per-part of the original scores while adding the greater body and sensuous enjoyment of massed strings. This works particularly well in the lush, masterly Ravel; one hopes the orchestrator of Moussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition would approve.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: City Halls, Glasgow, UK (12/16/2002-12/18/2002).



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Works Details

>Ravel, Maurice : Quartet for Strings in F major
  • Performer: Clio Gould (Violin)
  • Conductor: Clio Gould
  • Ensemble: Scottish Ensemble
  • Notes: City Halls, Glasgow, UK (12/16/2002-12/18/2002)
  • Running Time: 28 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1902-1903

>Shostakovich, Dmitri : Chamber Symphony in A flat major, Op. 118a (arr. by Robert Barshai from String Quartet No 10)
  • Performer: Clio Gould (Violin)
  • Conductor: Clio Gould
  • Ensemble: Scottish Ensemble
  • Notes: City Halls, Glasgow, UK (12/16/2002-12/18/2002)
  • Running Time: 24 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern