String Quartet No.1 (1815)
String Quartet No.3 (1825)
:Dmitry Tsyganov (violin) Vassily Shirinsky (violin) Vadim Borisovsky (viola)
Sergey Shirinsky (cello)
rec 1948 mono BOHEME
CDBMR 907086 [49.36]
The Siberian composer Alyabiev was born in Tobolsk and, in that fateful year,
1812, having joined the Russian Imperial army, went with them almost as far
as Paris. After a false accusation of murder he was exiled back to Siberia.
He wrote extensively. There are six operas, symphonies, overtures, and more
than 160 romances including the famous Nightingale (variations on
which form the axle of the Adagio of the Third Quartet). In some of
his works he reputedly shows his knowledge of the music of the peoples of
the Urals, Caucasus and Siberia but in these two quartets the Beethoven Quartet,
who play with keen-edged alacrity and inwardness, advocate music which
oscillates, with some wonderment, between early Beethoven and later Schubert.
The joyous repose of Schubert's string quintet is never far from Alyabiev's
lovingly crooned Adagios. I for one would like to hear his
Ammalat-Bek opera and his Pushkin-based melodrama Prisoner of the
Caucasus. Meantime enthusiasts of classical quartets motivated by real
musical inspiration must hear these recordings. Although they are in venerable
mono the recordings have come up as fresh as the proverbial paint. What a
joy to have these works played by the world famous Beethoven Quartet - the
dedicatees of quartets by Shostakovich, Myaskovsky, Shebalin and Vainberg.