BORIS TISHCHENKO (1939-2010): Complete String Quartets - No. 1, Op. 8, No. 2, Op. 13, No. 3, Op. 47, No. 4, Op. 77, No. 5, Op. 90 & No. 6, Op. 148.
Catalogue Number: 09N011
Label: Northern Flowers
Reference: NF/PMA 99890-92
Description: Tishchenko's quartets form an impressive body of work spanning most of his career, maintaining a consistent vocabulary, with none of the experimentation and forays into aggressive modernism encountered in his symphonic output. Echoes of Shostakovich can be felt throughout, and not only his quartets; little snatches of almost-borrowed thematic material from various of the symphonies, the first cello concerto an other works make appearances throughout the cycle. The language is very tonal, with the composer's characteristic asymmetrical rhythms and frequent changes of meter a constant feature. The First and Second date from the late 1950s and are very reminiscent of Shostakovich. A decade later, the Third hints at a more modern idiom, and is perhaps not coincidentally dedicated to Ustvolskaya. The Fourth takes its time to establish its argument, establishing a sense of long-breathed argument from the outset, and emerges as the most original and dramatically shaped of the set. The Fifth seems to mark a deliberate return to elegant neoclassicism, while the Sixth, a late work in the composer's output, features somewhat sparer textures, a far cry from the quasi-orchestral feel of the Fourth quartet, especially in the consciously restrained, chamber-textured final andante. 3 CDs. Taneyev Quartet (1 & 3. rec. 1976), Tver' Philharmonic Quartet (No. 4, rec. 1982), Ilya Ioff, Elena Raskova (violins), Lidia Kovalenko (viola), Alexei Massarsky (cello) (rec. 2010).