Music : Classical : Lossless
A 1991 Virgin Classics recording. Ripped with EAC & includes outside jacket scans & cue sheets.
String Quartet No. 8 in C minor op. 110
String Quartet No. 7 in F sharp minor op. 108
String Quartet No. 3 in F major op. 73
Extracted from Amazon review's of a two disc reissue (with 7th and 12th).
"These five Shostakovich string quartets were recorded by the Borodin Quartet in London in 1990, and the performance and recording are absolutely brilliant, to match the compositions. (The earlier complete cycle of 15 quartets, recorded in the 1980s by an earlier line-up of the Borodins, is no longer available.)
Quartets 2 and 3, which open and close this set, were written respectively in 1944 and 1946, expressions of DSCH in his prime, during the war and its immediate aftermath. They are among his finest works, too rich in mood and style to summarize briefly. The 8th Quartet of 1960 is his best known, and it was publicly dedicated to "the victims of war and fascism." Of course the interpretation of that phrase by the Soviet officials was at variance with what we now know to be DSCH's view. I heard the Kronos Quartet recording (on BLACK ANGELS) before this one -- by comparison it is harder-edged, emphasizing the bitter rage at the perpetrators, while the Borodin recording emphasizes grief and quiet desolation. Or in other words, the Kronos recording is strong in the louder passages, while the Borodin recording is more expressive and convincing in the slower, quieter passages, which predominate."
"These beautiful 1990 digital recordings of 5 of the 15 quartets represent the best anthology of the Shostakovich quartets available today and should not be missed. Although the readings are different--less emotional, more meditative--these performances are as intense and committed as the earlier ones and should not be missed, not even by those who own the complete set recorded by the Borodin String Quartet. "
"The recorded sound is excellent without drawing attention to itself in any way, as it does in the Borodins' great disc of Borodin's own quartets. The performances strike me as exemplary in their sympathy and understanding as well as proficiency, and the whole production ranks as what Thucydides called `a possession for ever', meaning by that a thing to be returned to over and over again. It's a classic that will not soon be supplanted."