Valentin Berlinsky Quartet: Bartek Niziol (1st Violin), Wang Xiaoming (2nd Violin), David Greenlees (viola) & Alexander Neustroev (cello)
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The Zurich-based Valentin Berlinsky Quartet, named in honour of the legendary founding cellist of the Borodin Quartet, debuts on Avie with the first in a series of recordings pairing the works of Beethoven and Shostakovich.
Avie introduces the Valentin Berlinsky Quartet, a Zurich-based international foursome which chose its name to honour the legendary founding cellist of the Borodin Quartet whose dedication to the string quartet form has been an inspiration to so many. The Quartet received the blessing for their attribution from the cellist’s daughter, pianist Ludmila Berlinskaia with whom the Quartet frequently performs. On their debut album The Valentin Berlinsky Quartet pair Beethoven and Shostakovich, composers who dominated the quartet genre during their respective eras and whose strong musical contrasts and rapidly changing mood swings complement each other well. Many of the Shostakovich Quartets were premiered by the Beethoven Quartet, and were championed by the Borodins. In an additional nod to their namesake, the two composers were a favoured combination of Berlinsky’s.
The award-winning members of the Valentin Berlinsky Quartet are four of the finest musicians working in Switzerland today. Bartek Niziol and Wang Xiaoming are concertmasters of the Zurich Opera Orchestra; violist David Greenlees and cellist Alexander Neustroev are principal players of the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra. As chamber musicians they have worked with such artists as Martha Argerich, Julia Fischer and Radu Lupu. They formed the Valentin Berlinsky Quartet in 2010, to explore the masterpieces of the string quartet repertoire. In addition to performances in Holland, Poland, China and Switzerland, the Quartet has reached audiences further afield through their numerous YouTube videos.
Their recording debut marks the first in a series for Avie featuring the works of Beethoven and Shostakovich.
“one registers a conscious effort to reinforce the importance of warmth, blend and polish. The spacious recording is entirely in keeping with these old-school priorities. Focus and refinement may slip a little in the face of the implosive ferocity of the Seventh's finale but there is little to criticise and much to admire. The inviting, singing tone of the Beethoven is yet more striking”
“In all three works in their warmly recorded debut disc they offer playing that combines technical perfection with excpetional maturity and musical insight. Particularly admirable is their performance of the Beethoven F major Razumovsky Quartet...Every interpretative nuance has been carefully honed, yet the playing really does penetrate the multi-faceted character of the outer movements and brings great depth of expression to the Adagio molto.”
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