Borodin: String Quartet No. 2 / Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 8 – Borodin Quartet
Unlike his fellow countryman Tchaikovsky, it wasn’t easy for Alexander Borodin to achieve the recognition due to him. As a professor of chemistry, Borodin found very little time for composing, but in spite of this he is considered one of the most important Russian symphonic composers of the 19th century. Borodin also created works for small ensembles; thanks to its beautiful, slow notturno, his String Quartet No. 2 is among the most important compositions in chamber music.
Dmitri Shostakovich has often been honoured as one of the outstanding composers of this century. Shostakovich was devastated by the destruction of Dresden and the composition of the moving String Quartet No. 8 was his means of overcoming his war experiences. The intensity of this piece is augmented by the relaxed climax in the largo which brings his composition to a serene ending.
The international career of the Moscow Philharmonic Quartet began in 1955 when it took on the honourable title “The Borodin Quartet”. These 1962 recordings are masterly performances, full of great expressivity. Even the highest demands are met by the warm and full sonority.
Recording: September 1962 at DECCA Studios, London by J. Clegg / Production: E. Smith