The Smetana Quartet play Prokofiev and Shostakovich

A while ago, I wrote here regretting the fact that I no longer had — from among the old, bashed-up, vinyl that got moved from loft to loft and was eventually given to Oxfam — a wonderful Supraphon LP of the great Smetana Quartet playing Prokofiev’s First String Quartet and Shostakovich’s Third. I must have bought this as a student half a century ago and remembered it as a very striking and deeply engaging introduction to the chamber music of these composers. Well, I’ve just discovered that — although there seems to be nothing about this on Supraphon’s own website — the recording is available as a very inexpensive download from Amazon (maybe from others too though not, it seems, from iTunes). It really is as good as I remembered, and is warmly recommended, and not just for reasons of nostalgia!

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