The Borodin Quartet returns to Australia for a national tour for the first time since 2010 with a new membership. Presented by Music Viva, the Borodin Quartet, comprising violinists Ruben Aharonian and Sergey Lomovsky, violist Igor Naidin and cellist Vladimir Balshin make up the ensemble which, since 1945 has been celebrated for its interpretation of the chamber music repertoire. Past members of the ensemble include cellist Msitislav Rostropovich, violist Rudolph Barshai and violinist Nina Barshai.
The music of Beethoven and Shostakovich will form the core repertoire on this tour. Aptly, the Borodin Quartet has recorded the complete string quartets of both composers – Beethoven’s in 2000, and Shostakovich’s in earlier incarnations of the Borodin Quartet’s line-up. Though fourteen years have passed since the quartet recorded Beethoven, says Naidin, time has not significantly changed the way the players view the music.“Of course each of us, every time, approaches the masterpieces in a different way. As time passes we become different, and more wise, I hope. But as long as the generation of the quartet is the same, there will be no major different approach in the way we perform this or that Beethoven quartet.”
The founding members of the ensemble were personally acquainted with Shostakovich, who guided them in the interpretation of his string quartets. Many of the ensemble’s Shostakovich scores contain the composer’s own annotations. Violist Naidin says the String Quartet no 8, is “….. definitely one of Shostakovich’s most famous quartets. It’s not only in memory of the victims of Fascism, but it’s also in a way Shostakovich’s own memorial. He was not an old man when he wrote it, but in letters of the time he said it was a piece in which he mourned himself, because of his situation. It will definitely be the highlight of that program.”
Completing the tour programme are string quartet’s by Tchaikovsky and Schubert.
Tchaikovsky’s second string quartet is featured in Programme 1, described by Naidin as “something like Beethoven’s fifth symphony. It’s very powerful and clearly understandable for a wide range of listeners. It’s an absolute fairytale – very emotional and full of variety, and actually, it’s not that easy to perform. After you have played it, you are completely emotionally exhausted.”
The ensemble will perform Schubert’s popular Death and the Maiden quartet, in Programme 2.
BEETHOVEN String Quartet in F major, Op.18 No.1
SHOSTAKOVICH String Quartet No.11 in F minor, Op.122
SCHUBERT String Quartet No.14 in D minor, D810 ‘Death and the Maiden’
BEETHOVEN String Quartet in G major, Op.18 No.2
SHOSTAKOVICH String Quartet No.8 in C minor, Op.110
TCHAIKOVSKY String Quartet No.2 in F major, Op.22
Bookings: Call 1800 688 482 or visit wwww.musicaviva.com.au/2014