Ravel & Shostakovich for strings - Scottish Ensemble - The Scotsman

Rudolph Barshai has created an industry out of re-scoring string quartets as chamber symphonies, as violinist and founder of the original Borodin Quartet, then or the Moscow chamber Orchestra, his interests in both genres have been self-evident. It was to Shostakovich that he first turned, scaling up the string quartets, with the full endorsement of the composer. Barshai's version of the Tenth is performed here by the Scottish Ensemble, which offers both mystery and electrifying charm in equal measure. Also on this new Linn release is Barshai's arrangement of Ravel's String Quartet, as premiered last season. Hot-blooded playing ignites every bar of this delicious music.

The Scotsman
27 June 2003