The 15 quartets are among the undisputed masterpieces of chamber music in the 20th century. Here Shostakovich’s personal feelings and political thoughts found their own highly original musical language, which soon won a wide audience due to its powerful emotional appeal. The interpretations presented here, some of them recorded live, with the Emerson Quartet are among the finest in contemporary chamber music and captivate with the highest virtuosity and emotionality. The 2000 recording earned the quartet 2 of the prestigious Grammys – one for Best Classical Album and one for Best Chamber Music Performance. The Emerson String will play excerpts from this recording in many concerts of their 2022 / 23 farewell tour before celebrating the “Final Farewell” in New York on October 22nd and 23rd.
E. Bezold in Stereo 8/00:
“Whoever gets involved with Shostakovich’s quartets, which are full of profundities and oppressive pallor, must meet the highest demands, both technically and intellectually. The Emerson String Quartet has no technical problems.there is no rhythmic tension, no dynamic accent, no tonal nuance that goes unnoticed. This atmospherically dense, immensely expressive, yet highly virtuosic recording is spellbinding.”