Scottish Ensemble - Ravel and Shostakovich - Inverness Courier
Recorded shortly before its world premiere performance in Inverness, this arrangement of Ravel's only string quartet is paired with Shostakovich's "Symphony for Strings", his tenth String Quartet also orchestrated by the veteran Russian conductor Rudolph Barshai whose arrangement of the composer's war-torn eighth quartet met with Shostakovich's approval and proved an earlier success for the Scottish Ensemble.
As the founder-member of the Borodin String Quartet, Barshai has an innate understanding of the quartet form. Respectful of the original, he uses his larger forces to sensitively expand, enhance and deepen Ravel's instrumental palette. Like the eighth, the intense tenth quartet is a bleak work which acquires a sombre beauty and grandeur in its new form, especially when played by such a vibrant and sensitive young group under the inspirational leadership of Clio Gould.