Borodin: The Two String Quartets / St. Petersburg Quartet

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Alexander Borodin's Second String Quartet has vastly superceded the First in popularity. Musicologists tend to bemoan this fact, citing the earlier work's greater compositional ingenuity....

Alexander Borodin's Second String Quartet has vastly superceded the First in popularity. Musicologists tend to bemoan this fact, citing the earlier work's greater compositional ingenuity. Yet most listeners are understandably drawn to Quartet No. 2's irresistible tunefulness (two of its melodies were used as songs in the Broadway musical Kismet). The St. Petersburg Quartet emphasizes the intellectual rigor of No. 1, making a connection between it and Beethoven's late quartets. The playing, with its smoothness and clean intensity, lends an especially bleak cast to the rhapsodic Andante con moto, sounding here like a precursor to the quartets of Shostakovich.

This ensemble takes a more lyrical approach for No. 2, which is full of feeling yet maintains a strong sense of line (the first movement's argument is seamlessly realized here). Both performances are quite satisfying and are recorded in wonderfully clear, detailed, dynamically realistic sound by Dorian. Fine as these performances are, the Borodin Quartet on EMI displays even greater imagination throughout both performances (especially in the finale of No. 2), and a more deeply felt passion (No. 1's first movement and No. 2's Notturno). However, the cavernous Melodiya recording tends to blur some detail and adds an element of gigantism to the readings. So, it looks like the Dorian is the more generally recommendable version. It's quite enjoyable, and if you don't know these pieces, you've got quite a treat in store.

--Victor Carr Jr., ClassicsToday.com



Product Description:


  • Release Date: October 02, 2001


  • UPC: 053479030726


  • Catalog Number: DOR-90307


  • Label: Dorian


  • Number of Discs: 1


  • Composer: Alexander Borodin


  • Orchestra/Ensemble: St. Petersburg String Quartet


  • Performer: Aleksey Koptev, Alla Aranovskaya, Ilya Teplyakov, Leonid Shukaev



Works:


  1. Quartet for Strings no 1 in A major

    Composer: Alexander Borodin

    Ensemble: St. Petersburg String Quartet

    Performer: Alla Aranovskaya (Violin), Aleksey Koptev (Viola), Leonid Shukaev (Cello), Ilya Teplyakov (Violin)


  2. Quartet for Strings no 2 in D major

    Composer: Alexander Borodin

    Ensemble: St. Petersburg String Quartet

    Performer: Alla Aranovskaya (Violin), Aleksey Koptev (Viola), Leonid Shukaev (Cello), Ilya Teplyakov (Violin)