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CD I : Quartet Nr. 2 in A major op. 68 (1944) - Quartet Nr. 7 in F-sharp minor op. 108 (1960) - Quartet Nr. 5 in B-flat major op. 92 (1952) Total time : 79'53 CD II: Quartet Nr. 6 in G major op. 101 (1956) - Quartet Nr. 3 in F major op. 73 (1946) 31'59 - Quartet Nr. 13 in B-flat major op. 138 (1970) Total Time 78'34 CD III : Quartet Nr. 14 in F-sharp major op. 142 (1973) - Quartet Nr. 8 in C minor op. 110 (1960) - Quartet Nr. 12 in D-flat major op. 133 (1968) Total time : 80'05 CD IV : Quartet Nr. 4 in D major op. 83 (1949) - Quartet Nr. 11 in F minor op. 122 (1966) - Quartet Nr. 9 in E-flat major op. 117 (1964) Total time : 70'02 CD V: Quartet Nr. 1 in C major op. 49 (1938) - Quartet Nr. 10 in A-moll major op. 118 (1964) - Quartet Nr. 15 in E-flat minor op. 144 (1974) Total time : 77'48 Quatuor Danel (Marc Danel, 1st violin, Gilles Millet, 2d violin, Tony Nys, viola, Guy Danel, cello) The Danel Quartet's complete Shostakovich recording is the result of a long association with a body of works unique in the history of the twentieth-century string quartet. Right from the very start, the Quartet, now the most active and most prestigious of its kind in Belgium, acquired a close familiarity with the quartets of the Russian composer. It was in the course of many work sessions with members of the Borodin Quartet (Berlinsky, Shebalin and Kopelman) and the Beethoven Quartet (Druzhinin) - the two groups that gave the first performances of these masterpieces in the USSR, as well as with the composer and musicologist Krzysztof Meyer, and also through their many complete performances, that the Danel Quartet forged its own identity, now arrived at full maturity. The box set released today, by continuing the many successes of the Quartet in prestigious international competitions (Evian, London, Florence), sheds a particular light on the special mention "for the finest performance of a quartet by Shostakovich" gained by the young quartet in 1993 at Saint Petersburg, during its success at the International Dimitri Shostakovich Competition, where it won First Prize. This passion and this experience, matured over more than a decade, was magnificently caught in Munich from 2001 to 2005 by the microphones of the Bayerischer Rundfunk, co-producer of the project. The result is now with us, a year before the centenary of the composer's birth, which is being marked by several complete performances given by the Danel Quartet in Europe and Japan. For this monumental edition, Fuga Libera has prepared some delicacies in addition to the main course! The two main Western specialists of Shostakovich, the Belgian Frans Lemaire, the author of some remarkable studies published by Fayard, and the Briton David Fanning, of Manchester University, were asked to provide entirely new presentations of the works. The production has also benefited from the invaluable support of the composer's widow, Madame Irina Shostakovich, and, in the person of its director Emmanuel Utwiller, of the 'Dimitri Shostakovich' Contemporary Music Documentation Centre ('Ple Universitaire Lonard de Vinci' in Paris), that houses a precious iconographic archive, some of the finest pieces of which are reproduced in the booklet. The Dimitri Shostakovich Centre was also the instigator of the new printed edition of Shostakovich's quartets, which the Danel Quartet chose for this recording.

10/10 Classics Today award