The Edinburgh Quartet, Delphian regulars for nearly a decade in 20th- and 21st-century music, delve into chamber music’s glorious past in this release Postcard from Nalchik. Here, two of the quartet repertoire’s most familiar – and challenging – works are linked by the less commonly programmed but equally virtuosic Second Quartet of Prokofiev, which shows a Russian composer writing home from the geographical margins just as 150 years earlier Haydn had looked outwards, to the Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna of Russia and her husband the future Tsar, to whom the Op. 33 set was dedicated.
If the Prokofiev displays all of the new line-up’s corporate and individual dynamic nuance in its energy and folk-inflected vigour, Shostakovich demands – and receives – total expressive commitment in a work which, the composer darkly suggested to a friend, was written in his own memory.
Recent praise for the Edinburgh Quartet:
‘‘fiercely dramatic yet limpid performances ’
– The Scotsman
‘dedicated performances by the Edinburgh quartet … a worthwhile release ’
1-4 Haydn: String Quartet in E flat major (‘The Joke’), Op. 33 No. 2
5-7 Prokofiev: String Quartet No. 2 in F major
8-12 Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 8 in C minor
Total playing time: [59:46]