Chandos is proud to present the complete series of Beethoven String Quartets performed by the legendary Borodin String Quartet.
The quartets which contain some the greatest, most enigmatic music ever written, are in the capable hands of one of the world’s finest ensembles.
The Borodin String Quartet was formed in 1945 in Moscow. Cellist Valentin Berlinsky was with the quartet since its earliest days and violinist Andrei Abramenkov joined in 1974. Igor Naidin learnt the art of quartet playing from several of the Borodins including the Quartet’s violinist, Dmitri Shebalin, whom he eventually replaced. Leader Ruben Aharonian won prizes at several international competitions, including the Enescu, Montréal and Tchaikovsky. These artists provide a unique insight to these works.
The individual volumes were highly acclaimed by the critics and this praised series is now released as a complete box set, at a competitive price and in attractive packaging.
Some reviews of the individual volumes:
’Valentin Berlinsky, cellist and founding member of the quartet in 1945, has been waiting to make this set his whole career, and calls it ‘the great dream of my life: to play all Beethoven’s quartets from first to last’. A worthwhile dream. Each of the volumes in the set thus far have been invested with palpable love… the playing here is uniformly committed – and a joy.’
American Record Guide Vol.3
’This redoubtable Russian group plays with all the powerful, focused tone you’d expect and brings out the entire wealth of Beethoven’s colour in these fiery performances.’
Classic FM Magazine on Vol.2
’We are given the feeling of a voyage of discovery, and of the players own enjoyment of the music.’
“The eight discs in this set, recorded between 2003 and 2006 … are available separately but I can’t imagine that anyone hearing only one disc wouldn’t want the whole set.
I love the chance to listen to the quartets out of order, noticing how intertextually connected they are and noticing how the quartet’s interpretations of the early and middle quartets are influenced by the later quartets. I love the tempo choices, the pacing, the way pitches rub against one another, and I love the dramatic-yet logical way that phrases follow one another. I particularly love the lyricism abd tge distinct lack of superficiality and flash that these musicians bring to the music that I thought (before hearing these readings) that I knew extremely well.”
“.. the Borodin Quartet has become my set of choice …” “…there is just so much to learn about Beethoven (and musical possibilities) from the Borodin Quartet.”
“…The Borodin Quartet plays the set with emotional restrain bordering on diffidence, emphasizing their classical roots, but they are never doctrinaire in their approach. The insistent strangeness that creeps into Beethoven’s music as early as this is allowed to seep through, enriching their performance with a nervous grittiness amongst the ubiquitous elegance.
It is in the great heroic middle quartets where the Borodin responds with their well-known technical proficiency. They take the revolutionary character of these works seriously. Here is a vast new world of expansive musical expressiveness, emotional depth and a kind of uneasy swagger that is Beethoven’s poignant mask in response to encroaching silence. The Borodin Quartet’s technical prowess is fully on display and is effective. Their playing has an earthy richness and musical coherence resulting from years of experience. Also evident is an instrumental smoothness that facilitates their distinctive glutinous sound. Those who prefer their Beethoven rougher and more plebian may quarrel with this, evidence that no single vision of these masterful quartets can possibly be sufficient.”
“…This set is an exemplary recording that celebrates a singular musical collective performing some of the finest music ever written.
The Chandos engineers have produced superbly lifelike sound, intimate and softly glowing in a natural space. The strings of the quartet are crisp and clear allowing this often complex music to remain focused and accessible.”
“…I’ve become a huge fan of this set of Beethoven String Quartets, and am delighted to have it as a new reference for the future. …excellent playing throughout this box.”