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Tchaikovsky: String Quartets 1 & 3
Tchaikovsky, St. Lawrence String Quartet
Tchaikovsky: String Quartets 1 & 3
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1

Though known primarily for his symphonies, ballets, and operas, Tchaikovsky, like many other composers, reserved the expression of his most intimate, personal feelings for his string quartets. Not often heard in concert, t...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Tchaikovsky, St. Lawrence String Quartet
Title: Tchaikovsky: String Quartets 1 & 3
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: EMI Import
Release Date: 1/8/2007
Album Type: Import
Genre: Classical
Styles: Chamber Music, Historical Periods, Classical (c.1770-1830)
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 724355714428

Synopsis

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Though known primarily for his symphonies, ballets, and operas, Tchaikovsky, like many other composers, reserved the expression of his most intimate, personal feelings for his string quartets. Not often heard in concert, they have been recorded in Russia by the St. Petersburg and two constellations of the Borodin Quartet, and in the West by the Vermeer and Schubert Quartets. This recording by the Canadian St. Lawrence Quartet is the latest addition to the discography, and it is excellent. The sound is lovely, warm, and full, yet the ensemble and interplay between the instruments is so careful that important lines can stand out. In the few passages where the texture gets muddy, the fault lies in the scoring, not the playing. The St. Lawrence's approach is thoroughly romantic, the expressiveness heartfelt but noble and restrained, full of ardor and exuberance. The players have the courage to take liberties with tempo and dynamics and the conviction to make them organic and persuasive. The first quartet is most familiar for its folk-songlike slow movement and ingratiating for its pensive lyricism, rambunctious Scherzo, and charming Finale. The third quartet, written in memory of Tchaikovsky's friend the violinist Ferdinand Laub, is longer, more discursive, and abstruse. It opens with a long, agonizingly dissonant, melancholy lament with an intensely dramatic coda, goes into a pungent Scherzo, and culminates in a heavy, lugubrious Funeral March, whose muted fortissimos and hollow unisons foreshadow Shostakovich. The Finale is surprisingly gay and playful. Having previously recorded Schumann's first and third quartets, the St. Lawrence Quartet might want to pair his and Tchaikovsky's second quartets on its next disc to complete both sets. --Edith Eisler