Haydn: String Quartet No. 31 in B minor, Op. 33, No. 1, Hob.III:37
Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Op. 110
Tchaikovsky: String Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 11
“There is something special in the Borodin Quartet’s sound which would persuade even an innocent listener. It’s the refusal to exaggerate, and a pearly, immaculate quality in the balance of the four parts.”
The Telegraph, London, UK
With unsurpassed insight and authority, Russia’s internationally celebrated Borodin Quartet performs two masterpieces from their homeland’s repertoire, and an unusually dark and troubled piece that Haydn, the first master of the string quartet, composed in the late 1770s, commonly known as the “Russian” quartets, as he dedicated them to a Russian nobleman. Shostakovich sketched the searingly emotional Quartet No. 8 in just three days during July 1960. Publicly, he dedicated it “To the memory of the victims of fascism and war.” This provided Soviet authorities with a politically correct inspiration, but he gave it a personal spin by, at least inwardly, including himself among the victims. Contemplating suicide over his recent giving in to joining the Communist Party, he considered this piece his last will and testament, before a friend convinced him not to kill himself. In complete contrast, the first of Tchaikovsky’s three string quartets (1871, the earliest Russian example of the genre to win international popularity) is filled with sunshine and wonderful melodies. The slow second movement – its opening theme a haunting Ukrainian folk song – casts a lyrical spell that has made it one of his most beloved compositions.
Join us for a post-concert reception in the lobby for the entire audience!