Recording of the Week The Jerusalem Quartet
I’d like to tell you a bit about the Jerusalem Quartet this week as they are undoubtedly one of the finest young quartets around. They have just won a BBC Music Magazine Award for their second volume of Shostakovich Quartets and have a new disc out next week of Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden”.
The Jerusalem Quartet was formed at a music school in the ancient city in 1993 when the Russian cellist Kyril Zlotnikov encountered two other emigres from the former Soviet Union. Both violinists, Sergei Bresler and Alexander Pavloksy, were born in the Ukraine, while the viola player, Amihai Grosz, is the only native-born Israeli.
By 1996 they had started winning awards and were part of the first-ever BBC New Generation Artists scheme between 1999 and 2001. They made their debut recording on EMI’s Debut label and also recorded two cover CDs for BBC Music Magazine.
They took a sabbatical in 2003 and since their return have gone from strength to strength. Cellist Zlotnikov used that year to cement his friendship with the Paris-based, Jewish pianist and conductor, Daniel Barenboim. Apart from the obvious things he must have learnt during that year he also now benefits from the loan of Jacqueline Du Pré’s “Sergio Perresson” cello.
They now record exclusively for Harmonia Mundi and the forthcoming Schubert will be their Fifth CD on the label. I’ve put the scherzo on the website for you to listen to, and I think you’ll be quickly impressed by their ability to achieve excitement and vitality in the music without ever producing a harsh sound. This ability to always produce a beautiful tone really singles out the few very top quartets from the rest. Overall it is a fantastic performance to which I’ll certainly be returning again and again. Their Award-winning Shostakovich is equally impressive.
You can also view all their recordings here.
Released April 28th - but you can pre-order your copy now
Available Formats: MP3, CD Quality FLAC