Scottish Ensemble - Tchaikovsky & Shostakovich - BBC Radio 3 ‘CD Review’
Jonathon Morton's intelligent arrangement of Shostakovich's 2nd string quartet is the coupling, the drones and folk like dance tunes that open it a stark shock after the warmth of the Tchaikovsky. It's the epic scale and rich sound-world that Morton says attracted him to this Shostakovich quartet and its handy it isn't one of the ones that Rudolph Barshai has already arranged for chamber orchestra. It gains in lushness but loses some of its bleakness, in no way the fault of the Scottish Ensemble, and the opening of the second movement recitative and romance solo violin keening of a held string chord is especially haunting. It's an enjoyable recording whichever way you look at it.