"This is the first volume of the Chicago-based Pacifica Quartet’s exciting exploration of the cycle, tackling Nos 5 to 8 and coupling them with Nikolai Miaskovsky’s quartet No 13. Its release coincides with their electrifying performances at Wigmore Hall last week. Listen to these and you’ll wish you had been there."
Stephen Pritchard - The Guardian
"The excellent Pacifica Quartet, which has demonstrated its empathy with Shostakovich’s music in recent concert performances, offers electrifying interpretations of his Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Quartets. The group conveys every shade of Shostakovich’s extreme emotional palette in a set — Volume 1 of a series called "The Soviet Experience" — that also includes a stirring rendition of Miaskovsky’s String Quartet No. 13 in A minor."
Vivien Schweitzer - NY Times
"The virile imagination of the elder Miaskovsky certainly has the undivided attention of the Pacifica members, as it will likely captivate a host of new believers via this stunning recording made 14-15 May 2011 in the Foellinger Great Hall, Krannett Center, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana."
Gary Lemco - Audiophile Audition
"Cedille certainly produces some of the smartest "concept" albums in the classical music business today, because the concept always seems to work musically. Now the Pacifica Quartet is one of the best chamber ensembles out there, as its Mendelssohn recordings for this same label attest. Even so, there’s no dearth of fine Shostakovich cycles, from the Borodin Quartet to the Emerson. These performances, every bit as fine as those, would be excellent by themselves, but they do risk getting lost in the discographic shuffle. So it was an inspired idea to pair them in this series with other important works in the same medium by Shostakovich’s contemporaries...A great start to a very promising series."
David Hurwitz - ClassicsToday.com
"The Pacifica Quartet (Simin Ganatra, violin; Sibbi Bernhardsson, violin; Masumi Per Rostad, viola; Brandon Vamos, cello) play Shostakovich as though born to it. Among the best small ensembles in the country, the Pacifica players perform with enthusiasm, passion, grace, precision, and, above all, virtuosity. If anyone could make Shostakovich come alive for twenty-first century ears, it’s these folks."
John J Puccio - Classical Candor
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