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Monday, February 20, 2017

Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev, Complete String Quartets 5, Carpe Diem String Quartet

From what I have heard thus far, Sergey Ivanovich Taneyev (1856-1915) and his String Quartets make up a body of work unsurpassed in pre-modern Russian chamber realms. Not until Shostakovich and his quartets would we have anything comparable. A while back I covered a volume of the Carpe Diem Quartet's version of the Taneyev cycle (type "Taneyev" in the search box above for that). Now I return with their Complete String Quartets 5 (Naxos 8.573671), which covers Quartet No 8 and, with the addition of James Buswell on viola, String Quintet No. 2.

This, I assume the final volume in the series, affirms both Taneyev's largely unheralded stature in the quartet literature and Carpe Diem's authoritative performances.

Quartet No. 8 is filled with marvelous contrapuntal inventions, sounding for all generalities as a sort of Russian Beethoven in the late romantic-pre-modern zone. Anyone who might appreciate previously unknown, extraordinarily crafted and spirited quartet-quintet gems will readily take to this volume 5 in particular and all five in general, from what I have heard of them.

Taneyev is but one, yet nevertheless an important one of the too little examined treasures of the Russian 20th century as a whole.

Recommended for chamber music fans and Russophiles!

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