'Theirs is essentially a neo-classical approach: clear-focused, painstakingly voiced, tonally ingratiating and structurally aware, allowing the music to do the talking with the minimum of interference.'
This is the fifth disc in the British Sorrel Quartet’s Shostakovich survey; I’ve now reviewed three of them and 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. The discs I’ve heard prior to this one have been impressive in their way, but these accounts of the 5th and 15th quartets are brilliant.
The Sorrels make intelligent musical decisions, play with great sound, and are recorded superbly. There are few essential recordings of these works…But it’s hard to have just one recording of these works. The Sorrel will make a good addition to any collection.
American Record Guide
'Once again , the Sorrel delivers a fine and often atmospheric performance, the latter quality being particularly hard to achieve without the benefit of a live audience.'
BBC Music Magazine
'With sound that is a model of spacious yet focused quartet recording, and a succinct but informed note from Eric Roseberry, the disc will be an automatic purchase for those following this most impressive of current Shostakovich traversals.'
International Record Review
'The superlative Sorrel Quartet have now recorded 13 of Shostakovich's 15 string quartets. They are up against formidable competition, but their playing and their understanding of the music equals that of their international rivals' a superb performance, recorded in Snape Maltings.'
BBC Music Magazine
I saw them perform a Shostakovich string quartet and bought all their Shostakovich recordings. Their scores are covered with little notes on moods and pace, most of which come from having worked with a musician who worked with Shostakovich - OK, I forgot his name. Listening to the Sorrel Quartet is to be immersed in an integrated appreciation of Shostakovich's music: phrases link perfectly to bigger themes and everything works, everything has purpose. Plus, you feel like your breath will form clouds when you breathe out and you have a sudden urge to drink vodka.