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An eminent violist and conductor, Rudolf Barshai was responsible for five transcriptions of Shostakovich's String Quartets and this recording completes the sequence with the Third and Tenth (Volume 1 is on 8573466). Barshai recast String Quartet No. 3 as a chamber symphony for strings and woodwind, the latter adding a sense of foreboding to the texture and engaging in whimsical dialogues during a work full of terseness and piercing power. Fashioning a Symphony for Strings from the Tenth Quartet soon after its premiere, Barshai graphically charts its movement from innocence lost and then tentatively regained.

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