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Discussion: Shostakovich: String Quartets Nos. 2 & 4 - Amsterdam Sinfonietta

Posts: 4

Post by Julien October 28, 2007 (1 of 4)

Post by Windsurfer December 22, 2007 (2 of 4)
Julien said:


Tell me more! For some reason, I would have thought you'd prefer to have this played by a string quartet! A couple days ago while driving, I heard on the radio a performance of Dvorak's American quartet by a chamber orchestra. I tried to listen with an open mind but while there were passages that I thought sounded like they might have been the disembodied parts of another "serenade for strings" mostly I was turned off. Despite finding myself occasionally smiling, the experience on the whole, was disagreeable.

Post by jlaurson December 22, 2007 (3 of 4)
can't say that the results match the effort. SQ4t 4 is kind-of suited to this treatment (mvt. 1 esp. so) ... but #2 less so. Sound just about as stunning as the Walton - but to what musical avail? Pretty ain't always enough in some of the DSCH Quartets.

Post by Julien December 23, 2007 (4 of 4)
Windsurfer said:

Tell me more! For some reason, I would have thought you'd prefer to have this played by a string quartet!

I do prefer these pieces with a string quartet. But there are three reasons to buy this disc:

1)Jared Sacks' recordings are as good as ever if not better.
2)The arrangements sound pretty good to my ears, sometimes highlighting the music in a different way. Who knows it could be done better, but I'm no expert in composition nor orchestration.
3)The playing might be among the best I've ever heard from a chamber orchestra. Which was the main reason for my "bravo" comment. And it seems that a few of the string quartet ensembles we have on SACD do not play as well as this chamber orchestra. I should check the Manderling though. Never heard them play.

If you're still hesitating I'll do a listening session specially for you and spin the disc three times in a row, then write more about it. Your call...