String Quartet No. 7 F Sharp minor Op. 108

Lento


  • Recorded: 31st May 2019
  • Record Place: Domovina Studio
  • First Release: 2019
  • (P) 2019 SUPRAPHON a.s.
  • Genre: Chamber Music

Artists

  • music by: Dmitry Shostakovich
  • musical group: Pavel Haas Quartet

Album

Pavel Haas Quartet

Shostakovich: String Quartets Nos. 2, 7, 8

Catalogue Number: SU 4271-2
Published: 25th October 2019
Genre: Chamber Music
Format: 1 CD
This album has received following awards:
  • Recording of the Week, Presto Classical (2019)
  • Disc of the Week, Europadisc (2019)
  • The 100 best records of the year, The Times (2019)
Dmitry Shostakovich - String Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op. 68 (1944). - String Quartet No. 7 in F sharp minor, Op. 108 (1960). String Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Op. 110 (1960)

Pavel Haas Quartet: Veronika Jarůšková - first violin, Marek Zwiebel - second violin, Jiří Kabát - viola, Peter Jarůšek - cello

Shostakovich - his music is a challenge each and every quartet sooner or later has to face up to. Yet when it comes to the Pavel Haas Quartet, it seems to be in their very DNA. The ensemble's unbridled, impulsive and, now and then, frenetic energy, sense for extreme contrast, ability to bring to bear gradation from breath-taking subtlety and tenderness to symphonic drama are facets essentially incident to Shostakovich's music. Although composed in safety, away from the horrors of World War II, String Quartet No. 2 (1944) reflects the suffering, uncertainty and anxiety of living at the time (the lyrical Recitative of the second movement, as performed by Veronika Jarůšková, the first violin). Both dating from 1960, String Quartets Nos. 7 and 8 are truly intimate confessions. While Shostakovich dedicated the former (the shortest piece of the cycle) to the memory of his first wife, he most likely intended the latter as his own epitaph, at the time when be hovered on the thin line between life and death. Attesting to the autobiographical nature of String Quartet No. 8 is the opening DSCH motif, Shostakovich's musical signature, which reoccurs throughout the piece. The Pavel Haas Quartet surpass the abyss of time, as well as the barrier of personal physical existence, delving into the very centre of Shostakovich's music and reflecting the full scale of emotions with airiness, as if the music were their own.

The Pavel Haas Quartet and (in truth) their Shostakovich. At long last!

Reviews

“What we have here is one of the bleakest and most beautiful recordings of the year, with all three quartets (particularly the much-recorded No. 8) approached with an immediacy that would make you swear that the ink was barely dry on the page.”
Presto Classical, November 2019

“The PHQ’s formidable combination of almost orchestral depth of tone with mercurial, chamber-music responsiveness lies at the heart of their success in the C minor Eighth Quartet. This is a performance of real weight and incisiveness which nevertheless finds plenty of room for the intensely personal nature of the music.”
Europadisc, October 2019

“The wonderful Pavel Haas Quartet perform three of Shostakovich’s he­re: the wartime No 2, a powerfully reflective response to the suffering and anxiety of the time, rigorously and sweepingly argued; the short No 7, written in memory of his first wife, its mix of sweet memories, turbulence and soulful lamentation affectionately captured; and the harrowing No 8, a paean to tragedy and anger, presented here as a crunching finale to this engrossing disc.”
The Scotsman*****, October 2019

“Its interpretation of the first and third movements are notable. In the former, the performers show the vibrant multi-dimensionality of emotions, ranging from the robust A-major opening to the menacing nature of the middle section. With so many character changes, a significant challenge for any group is to keep the energy flowing throughout. The ensemble does this impressively.”
The Classic Review, November 2019

“It’s absolutely gut wrenchingly intense. It’s almost unlistenable too, it’s so fabulous, it’s such committed playing, it’s such deep, deep sincerity.”
BBC Radio 3 Record Review, November 2019

“The Czech players are always worth hearing, especially in their angst-ridden account of the biographical C minor quartet (No 8), but also in the forlorn, if fleeting, F sharp minor (No 7), written in memory of his first wife. Their account of the Second Quartet, in A major, is spacious, intense and symphonically conceived.”
The Sunday Times, 24th November 2019

Dmitry Shostakovich
String Quartet No. 2 A major Op. 68
1.
Ouverture. Moderato con moto 08:09
2.
Recitative and Romance. Adagio 11:35
3.
Waltz. Allegro 05:29
4.
Theme with Variations. Adagio - Moderato con moto 10:57
Dmitry Shostakovich
String Quartet No. 7 F Sharp minor Op. 108
5.
Allegretto 03:40
6.
Lento 03:22
7.
Allegro - Allegretto 06:03
Dmitry Shostakovich
String Quartet No. 8 C minor Op. 110
8.
Largo 04:59
9.
Allegro molto 02:53
10.
Allegretto 04:37
11.
Largo 05:15
12.
Largo 03:49