This is the first installment in the Pacifica Quartet's highly anticipated, four-volume CD survey of the complete Shostakovich string quartets: The Soviet Experience: String Quartets by Dmitri Shostakovich and his Contemporaries. The Soviet Experience is the first Shostakovich quartet cycle to include works by other important composers of the Soviet era, adding variety and perspective to the listening experience. The Pacifica Quartet performed the complete Shostakovich cycle to great acclaim in New York and Chicago and at the University of Illinois in Urbana, Ill., during the 2010 2011 season. The Chicago Tribune said, 'The remarkable Pacifica Quartet . . . coaxed the music's unfathomable sorrows, fleeting joys and macabre humor to the surface as if creating it on the spot.' The New York Times called the Pacifica 'enterprising and eloquent' and said its Shostakovich installments were 'beautifully and powerfully played.'