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Shostakovich: The String Quartets Box set


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Audio CD, Box set, May 16, 2006
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$28.84 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 9 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.1 in C major, Op.49 - 1. Moderato 3:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.1 in C major, Op.49 - 2. Moderato 3:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.1 in C major, Op.49 - 3. Allegro molto 2:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.1 in C major, Op.49 - 4. Allegro 3:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.2 in A major, Op.68 - 1. Overture (Moderato con moto) 7:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.2 in A major, Op.68 - 2. Recitative & Romance (Adagio) 9:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.2 in A major, Op.68 - 3. Valse (Allegro) 5:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.2 in A major, Op.68 - 4. Theme & Variations10:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.3 in F major, Op.73 - 1. Allegretto 6:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.3 in F major, Op.73 - 2. Moderato con moto 4:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.3 in F major, Op.73 - 3. Allegro non troppo 3:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.3 in F major, Op.73 - 4. Adagio 4:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.3 in F major, Op.73 - 5. Moderato 8:19$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.4 in D major, Op.83 - 1. Allegretto 3:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.4 in D major, Op.83 - 2. Andantino 6:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.4 in D major, Op.83 - 3. Allegretto 4:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.4 in D major, Op.83 - 4. Allegretto 9:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.5 in B flat major, Op.92 - 1. Allegro non troppo11:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.5 in B flat major, Op.92 - 2. Andante 8:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.5 in B flat major, Op.92 - 3. Moderato10:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.6 in G major op.101 - 1. Allegretto 6:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.6 in G major op.101 - 2. Moderato con moto 4:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.6 in G major op.101 - 3. Lento - attacca: 3:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.6 in G major op.101 - 4. Lento - Allegretto - Andante - Lento 6:33$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 3:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.7 in F sharp minor, Op.108 - 1. Allegretto 3:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.7 in F sharp minor, Op.108 - 2. Lento 2:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.7 in F sharp minor, Op.108 - 3. Allegro 5:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.8 in C minor, Op.110 - 1. Largo 4:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.8 in C minor, Op.110 - 2. Allegro molto 2:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.8 in C minor, Op.110 - 3. Allegretto 4:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.8 in C minor, Op.110 - 4. Largo 4:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.8 in C minor, Op.110 - 5. Largo 3:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.9 in E flat major, Op.117 - 1. Moderato con moto 4:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.9 in E flat major, Op.117 - 2. Adagio 3:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.9 in E flat major, Op.117 - 3. Allegretto 4:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.9 in E flat major, Op.117 - 4. Adagio 3:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.9 in E flat major, Op.117 - 5. Allegro 9:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.10 in A flat major, Op.118 - 1. Andante con moto 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.10 in A flat major, Op.118 - 2. Allegretto furioso 3:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.10 in A flat major, Op.118 - 3. Adagio 4:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.10 in A flat major, Op.118 - 4. Allegretto - Andante 8:41$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 4:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Shostakovich: Adagio (Elegy) for String Quartet 4:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Shostakovich: Allegretto (Polka) for String Quartet 2:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.11 in F minor, Op.122 - 1. Introduction: Andantino 2:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.11 in F minor, Op.122 - 2. Scherzo: Allegretto 2:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.11 in F minor, Op.122 - 3. Recitative: Adagio 1:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.11 in F minor, Op.122 - 4. Etude: Allegro 1:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.11 in F minor, Op.122 - 5. Humoresque: Allegro 1:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.11 in F minor, Op.122 - 6. Elegy: Adagio 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.11 in F minor, Op.122 - 7. Finale: Moderato 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.12 in D flat major, Op.133 - 1. Moderato - Allegretto 6:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.12 in D flat major, Op.133 - 2. Allegretto - Adagio - Moderato - Allegretto19:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.13 In B Flat Minor, Op.138 (Live At Harris Concert Hall, Aspen / 1994)19:10$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 5:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.14 in F sharp major Op.142 - 1. Allegretto 8:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.14 in F sharp major Op.142 - 2. Adagio 8:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.14 in F sharp major Op.142 - 3. Allegretto 7:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.15 in E flat minor, Op.144 - 1. Elegy12:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.15 in E flat minor, Op.144 - 2. Serenade 5:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.15 in E flat minor, Op.144 - 3. Intermezzo 1:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.15 in E flat minor, Op.144 - 4. Nocturne 4:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.15 in E flat minor, Op.144 - 5. Funeral March 4:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Shostakovich: String Quartet No.15 in E flat minor, Op.144 - 6. Epilogue 6:18$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Shostakovich: The String Quartets + Shostakovich: The Complete Symphonies
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Product Details

  • Performer: Emerson String Quartet
  • Composer: Dmitry Shostakovich
  • Audio CD (May 16, 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000F3T7RE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,973 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

While his symphonies were subjected to scrutiny and censure by the suffocating Soviet government, the string quartets were chamber pieces into which he felt free to pour all his sadness, anger and boldest musical ideas. They are some of the most passionate, deeply affecting works in the classical canon, and these Emerson Quartet performances have won universal acclaim for their virtuosity and emotional power. Includes all 15 quartets on 5 CDs.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 16 customer reviews
Simply a great recording.
jt52
The SQ play beautifully, are well recorded, and imbue Shostakovich's music with more emotional intensity than the cooler Emersons.
Santa Fe Listener
Yes, if one is familiar with these works, one can actually hear and feel the difference.
Moldyoldie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

118 of 121 people found the following review helpful By PH-50-NC on January 25, 2008
Format: Audio CD
It's hard to assign stars to this set because it's just a different approach from the three other sets I own (Borodin, Fitzwilliam, Brodsky]. Whereas the others tend to emphasize the dramatic, soulful, and sarcastic elements of the Shostakovich, the Emerson Quartet, to some extent, downplays these while moving through the music at a noticeably brisker tempo.

The result is that some features of the music are newly revealed and others are obscured. The biggest difference is in tempo (the Emersons are without a doubt the speediest). After this, one notices the difference in virtuosity (the Emersons have technique to burn, not that there are glaring deficiencies in any of the other groups).

The Emerson's don't make this music sound like Haydn by any stretch, but they do make it sound less anguished and spiritual. The flip side of this is that the music will seem less weird to listeners who don't crave anguished sounding string quartets.

In the end, I keep going back to the readings that are starker and that highlight the perverse aspects of the music (at times it even reminds me of Carl Stalling's comic scores for the classic Warner Bros. cartoons). Shostakovich put a lot of humor into these pieces, and the mood often shifts rapidly between silly-sounding runs and heart-breaking, almost operatic melodies underpinned by beautiful, slow-moving harmonies. I like the readings that point up these contrasts; others may think the Emersons wisely avoid the temptation to over-dramatize the music and walk a more tasteful line.

Also, my very favorite interpretations benefit from very careful studio engineering and a touch of reverb.
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77 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on June 22, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a re-release of the Emerson String Quartet's live performances of the Shostakovich String Quartets. For Shostakovich lovers this is a must buy.

Note that Amazon does offer the original as well. This re-release, however, is priced at about half of the original. There is nothing left out in this one, so if you want the original artwork and so on, pay the double price. If you want the music to enjoy, buy this one -- at least until someone realizes that the two are competing with each other. (Note that many people, after viewing this album, purchased the more expensive one!)

That being said, many reviewers of this and other editions have compared Emerson's against Borodin String Quartet among others. The Emerson String Quartet is as perfect as one can get during this lifetime. It may lack "Soul," as some reviewers put it, but if it does, then I don't know what "soul" means. Different interpretations? Yes. Lack of soul? No. Americans can perform Russian works with dexterity. Incidentally, I also enjoy these same works produced on a budget label by an relatively unknown string quartet. I love them, too, and I'm keeping them both.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Moldyoldie on August 1, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Dmitri Shostakovich, my favorite 20th century composer, wrote a series of fifteen string quartets that span his entire career. These are alternately searing, violent, brooding, fiery, introspective works that run the gamut of human emotion and experience -- hardly beautiful, and often quite depressing. But man, do they pack a wallop! They're often considered the greatest creations in the string quartet genre since Beethoven, and it's easy to see why.

These were recorded in live performance in three separate years ('94, '98, and '99) at the summer Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. The playing is not only passionate and precise, but imbued with a palpable intensity. There's no audible hint of an audience, but applause is included judiciously at the conclusion of several of the works. The recording is close-up and very vivid, though not quite in-your-face; there's adequate space around the instruments to make listening comfortable. Any closer and you'd be hurled against the back wall!

This re-issued box set retails at less than half that of the original release. Even though I already have the quartets on separate older discs by various other groups, the Emersons give them that slap of American modernism quite apart from the Slavic flavor of a native Russian group like the Borodin Quartet. Yes, if one is familiar with these works, one can actually hear and feel the difference. I've read some reviewers here, as well as professional critics, write of the Emersons' lack of a "Russian soul"; I have no idea what that means. I suppose if one has to ask....
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Santa Fe Listener HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 12, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This re-issue at bargain price of the Emerson's complete Shostakovich quartet cycle is a reminder that their breakthrough readings are roughly a decade old now (the set was taped in concert from Aspen 1994-99). Instead of Russian soul we get clean, often faster interpretations that brought out Shostakovich's modernist side, aided by the ultra virtuosity of the playing. In the meantime, however, other groups like the St. Lawrence and Hagen Quartets have made even more severe, biting, stark, haunted, and tragic recordings of selected works from the fifteen quartets. This doesn't mean the Emersons have been eclipsed, only that they started a trend that shows no sign of ending.

Also, I'd like to point out that if you want the best all-around modern set from a Russian group. the Shostakovich Quartet, which recorded for Olympia, can now be found on bargain reissues from Regis (Berkshire Record Outlet offers the complete quartets for $20). The SQ play beautifully, are well recorded, and imbue Shostakovich's music with more emotional intensity than the cooler Emersons. By comparison, the old standby set from the Fitzwilliam Quartet on Decca seems dated and stodgy. The choice for me comes down to 1. Emerson complete cycle 2. Shostakovich Quartet complete cycle or 3. Pick and choose among outstanding individual readings from the St. Lawrence, Kronos, Hagen, and of course older Soviet groups like the Borodin and Beethoven Quartets. That's just a thumbnail sketch. Many die-hard fans won't give up their beloved Emerson cycle, while older aficinados would never part with their traditional Soviet favorites.

P.S. 2013 - I regret that I skated over the great Shostakovich quartet cycle made in the sixties by the old Borodin Qt. before they changed personnel - it's available on Chandos at a good price and contains unmissable performances of the then-existing quartets (excluding no. 14 and 15).
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