The Complete String Quartets by Dmitri Shostakovich

Pacifica Quartet

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The Complete String Quartets by Dmitri Shostakovich Review

by Blair Sanderson

The Pacifica Quartet has performed and recorded complete traversals of the string quartets of Felix Mendelssohn and Elliott Carter, and this cycle of the 15 string quartets of Dmitri Shostakovich proves yet again the group's thoroughness and commitment to a project. Originally released on Çedille between 2011 and 2013 as four double-CDs, with additional string quartets by Nikolai Miaskovsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Mieczyslaw Weinberg, and Alfred Schnittke, the series is subtitled, "The Soviet Experience," and the recordings put Shostakovich's string quartets in the context of his contemporaries' music, for the purpose of providing a wider perspective on his enigmatic and sometimes mystifying works. This 2015 box set includes the four albums in the order they were released with their original booklets, so the only thing new this time around is the cardboard slip cover.

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