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Cat. No. CHAN 10398(6) Price: £21 No. of discs: 6
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CHAN 10398 - Shostakovich: Complete String Quartets . Piano Quintet
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Available From: 01 November 2006
Completing the 2006 commemorative releases of Shostakovich’s 100th anniversary, Chandos is delighted to announce the complete Shostakovich String Quartet cycle performed by Sorrel Quartet. This is highly attractive box set is available at bargain price for the first time.

The Sorrel Quartet is recognised as one of the finest British quartets of today and the Shostakovich quartets are works with which they have built up a strong association and empathy. The quartet was coached by Rostislav Dubinsky shortly before his death. As a member of the Borodin Trio, Dubinsky made the first-ever recordings of the complete quartets, in the presence of Shostakovich himself – the ultimate seal of approval!

The individual volumes were well received by the critics and public alike, and at this price the box set promises to be even more popular.

These interpretations have a cumulative intensity that draws one into the composer’s confessional world.
The Daily Telegraph on Vol.2

The Sorrel Quartet barrels into these knotty, deeply personal works with a fervour that is exhilarating for its sheer intensity and tenacity. Forget about rounding off the spiky edges; these interpretations are all about fearlessly laying bare the deep psychic trauma of Shostakovich’s most personal works. Fast movements are REALLY fast and manic, vicious, slashing, and sometimes are dark, brooding, and agonising. But these are hardly two-dimensional performances. The Sorrel players bring out the wry humour, parodic sarcasm, and moments of pure, unclouded lyricism that are also major components of these works. Their interpretations are kaleidoscopes of the composer’s many voices, raw and grating, wheedling and oily, anguished, exhausted and emotionally spent.
American Record Guide

‘… I am more than ever convinced that the Sorrel members are creating something special. In the face of stiff competition, their dramatic, detailed interpretations stand out – conscientious and convincing, firmly supported by secure, sometimes startling technical ability, appropriate tonal qualities and a powerful ensemble sensibility.’

Another strong instalment in the Sorrels’ series produces a rewarding experience.
Gramophone on Vol 4

Chandos has boxed the Sorrel Quartet’s recordings of these works, plus the Piano Quintet with martin Roscoe and in some respects these readings are more convincing than the Emerson’s. Please don’t misunderstand me when I say there is an element of roughness in the Sorrel’s playing, for it is not at all inappropriate – indeed, it is positively to be welcomed at times, especially in the astounding masterpiece which is the Ninth Quartet, wherein the character of the music almost seems to burst the bounds of what a string quartet can be capable. Where necessary, the Sorrel’s fearless attack is admirable, taking the listener with them, and their sensitivity and deep musicality cover the emotional range of these works splendidly. The sound throughout is the best of all these issues.
International Record Review


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