Piotr Anderszewski and the Belcea Quartet make superb partners in one of Shostakovich’s most performed chamber works. They present the powerful and highly approachable Piano Quintet with playing of colossal tensile strength, a tightly focused sound and yet with a willingness to respond to the work’s undeniable lyricism. The work’s rigour is striking when performed with this kind of intensity and concentration. The Third Quartet (1946) remains one of Shostakovich’s finest—and one of his favourites, perhaps because it responds so powerfully to the combustible events of the time. The Belceas capture its sardonic, sometimes violent, mood to perfection.
With his very own “mysterious seductive power and legendary elegance” (Le Monde), Claudio Abbado opened for the last time the LUCERNE FESTIVAL in the summer of 2013. Only a few months later, the world had to bid farewell to a monumental artist, humanist, great conductor and orchestra founder. Even in the concert itself, documented here, lived a moment of farewell, as the three great works performed tell of the transience of life. The centerpiece of the Eroica is the funeral march revealing “abysses of shattering dimension” - an “intense experience” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung). This record, the last audio-visual documentation of his work, captures once again the extraordinary atmosphere of “vibrant emotionality” that always emerged when Abbado created music with his “orchestra of friends”.
In this new recording the prestigious Tetzlaff Quartett presents a program of String Quartets by Franz Schubert and Joseph Haydn in exemplary performances. Praised by The New York Times for their “dramatic, energetic playing of clean intensity”, the Tetzlaff Quartett is one of today’s leading string quartets. Alongside their successful individual careers, Christian and Tanja Tetzlaff, Hanna Weinmeister and Elisabeth Kufferath have met since 1994 to perform several times each season in concerts that regularly receive great critical acclaim.