Shostakovitch: The Complete String Quartets the Rubio Quartet

By Richards, Denby | Musical Opinion, September/October 2003 | Go to article overview
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Shostakovitch: The Complete String Quartets the Rubio Quartet


Richards, Denby, Musical Opinion


SHOSTAKOVITCH: The Complete String Quartets The Rubio Quartet Brilliant Classics DDD6429 5 CD in Box Total Timing 377' 76"

The inevitable problem involved in recording a cycle of major works by any composer is that all too often the circumstances in recoding individual works an differ and there is a lack of sound continuity for the listener. The fifteen Shostakovich String Quartets were recorded at live concerts between April and September 2002 at the Church in the Belgium City of Mullem. Johan Kennive and the engineers of Signum Sound Productions have successfully captured the atmosphere of the five recitals so well that each individual CD projects that individual concert in a highly individual way. This means that if you wish to play the Quartets in chronological order you must be constantly altering the disk.

In fact, I found this remarkably enervating because at the end of each Quartet I had to physically prepare for the next in a highly practical way. It was also wonderfully satisfying because these four players, violinists Dirk van de Velde, Dirk van den Hauwe, violist Marc Sonnaert and cellist Peter Devos not only play as a well matched ensemble, but also bring a quality of freshness to each movement as though interpreting the music for the first time.

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