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Reviews: Borodin: String Quartet No. 2, Cello Sonata, Piano Quintet - Prazak Quartet

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Reviews: 3

Site review by Adrian Cue April 30, 2011
Performance:   Sonics:
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Review by JJ April 14, 2011 (3 of 11 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
“Borodine was a wonderfully warm and cultivated man, a pleasant conversationalist who had a special sense of humor. When I arrived at his place I often found him at work in his laboratory, situated at the side of his apartment. When he was seated before his still containing who knows what kind of uncolored gas, and he would transfer it by tube from one recipient to another, I told him he was brewing empty space. Once finished, he returned with me to his apartment, and we began activities or musical conversations, in the middle of which he might get up suddenly and run to the laboratory in order to verify if something hadn’t carbonized or evaporated, while making the corridor ring with incredible harmonic marches in ninth or seventh successions, after which he returned and we took up the music we had begun or the conversation interrupted.” This is how Rimski-Korsakov described, in his memoirs, the beginning of his relation with the author of “Prince Igor.” The String Quartet N°2 in D major, dating from 1885, the Sonata for Cello and Piano in B minor, from 1860, as well as the Quintet with Piano in C minor, dating from 1862, are on the program of this copious SACD devoted to the Russian composer-chemist. As notes Pierre-Emile Barbier, “he was the only one in the group of five to have composed a dozen chamber scores for his own pleasure…” The Prazak Quartet, Michal Kanka and Maromir Klepac here offer an ideal approach to these pages that is colored, powerful and expressive all at the same time, and during which inspiration is omnipresent.

Jean-Jacques Millo
Translation Lawrence Schulman

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Review by Fugue October 28, 2011 (6 of 11 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
As one reviewer noted, THIS IS NOT MULTI-CHANNEL. In fact, I think it sounds downright terrible, especially the Quintet, which has extremely scratchy string tone and a nasal/hollow sound overall. Actually, all three pieces suffer from a rather hollow acoustic. I guess the performances are adequate, but the sound for me is too off-putting. Very disappointing.

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