A 50-CD set of legendary recordings celebrating the world-renowned Decca Sound. Classic-status pioneering stereo recordings from the past 60 years and starring a galaxy of internationally-acclaimed artistic talent.
If the print on this review goes blurry on your screen it’s because I’m still rubbing my eyes at the cast list on this astonishing trove of archive finds, unobtainable anywhere on line. The composer Dmitri Shostakovich was a capable pianist who sometimes participated in his own premieres. The people he played with were the elite of Russian music.
Well known for the intensity and profundity of its interpretations, the Quatuor Danel has made a name for itself on the international classical scene (winning such awards as the Diapason d’Or, Choc du Monde de la Musique, and CD of the Month in BBC Music Magazine) in the great cycles that form the basis of the quartet literature, from Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert to Weinberg. Since Russian composers occupy a key position in the Danels’ repertory, it was logical for them to champion the quartets of Shostakovich by recording them complete in 2005. Today Alpha Classics reissues this boxed set, which is among the reference recordings of the composer’s works.
The Mandelring Quartet plays with unflinching resolve, sympathetic expression, incisive attacks, and penetrating tone, which are all necessary in Shostakovich's sardonic and frequently bitter language.