Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Music Webmaster
Len Mullenger:

String Quartet No.1 (1815)
String Quartet No.3 (1825)
Beethoven Quartet :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.


Rob Barnett


Rob Barnett

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