Quartetto Noûs – Shostakovich: String Quartets Vol. 1 (2022) [FLAC 24bit/44,1kHz]

Quartetto Noûs – Shostakovich: String Quartets Vol. 1 (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 02:06:06 minutes | 1,20 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Brilliant Classics

A Brilliant Classics debut for one of today’s most accomplished Italian string quartets, in 20th-century masterpieces which make a compelling introduction to the troubled private world of Shostakovich’s chamber music.

Unchanged since its formation more than a decade ago, the Quartetto Noûs has made albums for the Amadeus label and the Italian division of Warner Classics, but this is the ensemble’s first recording to receive international distribution and attention. As frequent return guests to well supported chamber music series at Conway Hall in London, the Società del Quartetto in Milan and the Festival Ticino Musica in Lugano, Quartetto Noûs has won critical praise for its supercharged interpretations. Having studied with the Quartetto di Cremona but also quartet luminaries such as Gunter Pichler and Rainer Schmidt, they combine an Italian warmth of collective sonority with the incisive musical instincts of modern-European schools of quartet playing.

Presenting five of Shostakovich’s best-known quartets, this volume presents the first in a projected series of the complete quartets for release on Brilliant Classics. Contemporaneous with the postwar Ninth Symphony which attracted censure for its unsettling humour, the Third Quartet of 1946 remained one of the composer’s own favourite works, and its five-movement form – encompassing two black Scherzos and a brief but intense slow movement – dives deep into dark waters before finding uneasy rest in one of Shostakovich’s most characteristically edgy finales.

It was following the death of Stalin in 1953 that several of Shostakovich’s works began to feature his musical monogram, DSCH transliterated into notation, and the Fifth Quartet is one of the first such pieces. The contrapuntal working of the quartet makes it one of the most satisfying in the cycle, while the Seventh presents the composer once more as oddball clown, the Fool to the King Lear of the Eighth Quartet, where the DSCH motif finds a tragic apotheosis. The five-movement form once more serves Shostakovich well in the Ninth but signs of his refined and austere ‘late style’ begin to appear in the solemn simplicity of the slow music and the pithy exhilaration of the finale, which is almost a quartet in itself and the most Bartókian movement of the entire cycle.

Dimitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) is without doubt one of the most famous and influential composers of 20th century Russia. He lived in a time of Soviet repression and, though outwardly a loyal communist, he resented the restrictions imposed by the regime on his creativity. This led to a fascinating duality between conformism and the expression of his most innermost feelings, fears and anger.

Shostakovich’s 15 String Quartets form an impressive body which follows the development of his style throughout his life. They are the testimony of a tortured soul struggling to remain true to himself, expressed in anguish and bleakness, but also in serenity and bliss.

This first installment of the recording of the complete string quartets contains the numbers 3, 5, 7, 8 and 9.

Tracklist:
01. Quartetto Noûs – Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 3 in F Major, Op. 73: I. Allegretto (07:10)
02. Quartetto Noûs – Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 3 in F Major, Op. 73: II. Moderato con moto (05:43)
03. Quartetto Noûs – Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 3 in F Major, Op. 73: III. Allegro non troppo (04:12)
04. Quartetto Noûs – Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 3 in F Major, Op. 73: IV. Adagio (05:46)
05. Quartetto Noûs – Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 3 in F Major, Op. 73: V. Moderato (10:25)
06. Quartetto Noûs – Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 5 in B-Flat Major, Op. 92: I. Allegro non troppo (11:28)
07. Quartetto Noûs – Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 5 in B-Flat Major, Op. 92: II. Andante (09:42)
08. Quartetto Noûs – Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 5 in B-Flat Major, Op. 92: III. Moderato – Allegretto – Andante (10:59)
09. Quartetto Noûs – Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 7 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 108: I. Allegretto (03:46)
10. Quartetto Noûs – Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 7 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 108: II. Lento (03:00)
11. Quartetto Noûs – Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 7 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 108: III. Allegro – Allegretto (05:49)
12. Quartetto Noûs – Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 110: I. Largo (05:11)
13. Quartetto Noûs – Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 110: II. Allegro molto (02:51)
14. Quartetto Noûs – Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 110: III. Allegretto (04:34)
15. Quartetto Noûs – Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 110: IV. Largo (05:06)
16. Quartetto Noûs – Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 110: V. Largo (03:59)
17. Quartetto Noûs – Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 9 in E-Flat Major, Op. 117: I. Moderato con moto (04:28)
18. Quartetto Noûs – Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 9 in E-Flat Major, Op. 117: II. Adagio (04:28)
19. Quartetto Noûs – Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 9 in E-Flat Major, Op. 117: III. Allegretto (04:06)
20. Quartetto Noûs – Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 9 in E-Flat Major, Op. 117: IV. Adagio (03:34)
21. Quartetto Noûs – Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 9 in E-Flat Major, Op. 117: V. Allegro (09:41)

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