Fitzwilliam String Quartet - Shostakovich: Last Three String Quartets - Hi-Fi News
The Fitzwilliam String Quartet was formed in 1968 and during the late '70s recorded all of Shostakovich's string quartets for Decca. Only violist Alan George remains from the original lineup and in the Linn booklet he recounts their close contact with the composer - they have the UK premieres of all three of his last quartets re-recorded here. Op. 144 is the one comprising six Adagio movements; in Op. 138 he asks the players to strike their violins with bow-sticks. Philip Hobbs has secured outstanding sound quality for these often harrowing, but compelling, works and the interpretations are surely definitive.