Related Reviews
The Herald Scotland
Top 10 Scottish Classical Albums of 2015: #4 spot
more >>
Hi-Fi News
4½ Stars
Album Choice: 'The finale has some quite thrilling string ensemble playing.'
more >>
Fanfare
'The vivacious and highly musical performances are a standout.'
more >>
American Record Guide
'The sound on both of these discs is just superb.'
more >>
Classics Today
4½ Stars
'A performance of exceptional textural clarity and articulation...All told, this is an intriguing disc, made all the more enjoyable by the excellent recorded sound.'
more >>
BBC Music Magazine
4 Stars
'Expertly played, immaculately paced and skilfully shaped...'
more >>
Pizzicato
'The Shostakovich transcription has an expressivity that goes well with the music.'
more >>
Classical CD Choice
'Here is a sterling example: while both of these pieces have enjoyed recommendable interpretations before, this particular coupling - performed with suitable panache - allows the listener to compare two great Russian masters from different eras.'
more >>
BBC Radio 3 ‘CD Review’
'Jonathon Morton's intelligent arrangement of Shostakovich's 2nd string quartet is the coupling...It's an enjoyable recording...'
more >>
The Telegraph
4 Stars
'Jonathan Morton's Scottish Ensemble reveal new spectrums of colour in Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich.'
more >>
SA-CD.net
4 Stars
'An invigorating release.'
more >>
Herald Scotland
'It is a stonker, with a characteristically big-boned, confident and (under the consummately authoritative leadership of Jonathan Morton) compelling performance of Tchaikovsky's Serenade For Strings, the greatest of all classics for string orchestra.'
more >>
The Times
4 Stars
'superbly virtuosic'
more >>
Gramophone
'The two works, in fact, are not only extremely well and intelligently played but give the listener much food for thought about Russia in their juxtaposition.'
more >>

Scottish Ensemble - Tchaikovsky & Shostakovich - The Observer


22 February 2015
The Observer
Fiona Maddocks
4 Stars

Tchaikovsky; Shostakovich: Serenade for Strings Op 48; String Quartet Op 68 No 2 CD review - graceful, fluent, crystal-clear

Built around a dozen string players, the Scottish Ensemble is a byword for vigorous music-making, combining the prowess of solo playing with the discipline of small-scale ensemble. Here they find connections and departure points in one Russian and one Soviet work. Their performance of Tchaikovsky's smiling Serenade for Strings Op 48 zips along with grace and fluency except, appropriately, in the pensive Larghetto elegiaco third movement. The group's director, Jonathan Morton, has arranged Shostakovich's expansive, folk-inspired Second String Quartet (1944) for string orchestra. The Overture takes on a full-blooded rustic energy while the Waltz nods back at Tchaikovsky, but now in dark, macabre mode. The Scottish Ensemble's crystal-clear playing is a joy.


Bookmark and Share


Related Links

Scottish EnsembleScottish Ensemble
Tchaikovsky & Shostakovich for stringsTchaikovsky & Shostakovich for strings