HD-Vinyls 24/96 (EMI/Melodiya) Dmitri Shostakovich – The 15 String Quartets (Borodin Quartet, Sviatoslav Richter)

front-small-boxsetAll thanks for these gems go to Jean-Luc
There are too many superlatives that one could use to review this set. The music is made to sound both ravishing and frightening. These performances are among the very best that are available on recorded format, if not THE very best, and are something of a reference work because the Borodins worked so closely with Shostakovich throughout his life, and the composer shared many exclusive insights with them. In fact, the Borodins frequently performed Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet with Shostakovich himself at the piano, and there was a very famous concert that they all gave of that work in Gorky in 1964 which was the composer’s last public peformance as a pianist. People in the audience cried, hugged each other and held hands as Shostakovich walked off stage…

Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer: Borodin Quartet, Sviatoslav Richter

Vinyl (1979-83)
Number of Discs: 7
Format: Flac
Label: EMI/Melodiya
DR-Analysis: DR 14
Size: 7.87 GB
Scan: yes
Server: FileFactory


…The Borodins’ recordings were the first publicly available recordings of the quartets in many countries, including USSR, Germany, USA and Japan, and Shostakovich wrote to them in December 1964 after hearing recorded performances by them and said “Accept my deep gratitude for your superb performance of my quartets.” That is certainly a top recommendation!! The Borodin Quartet here is the second reformation of the quartet. The second reformed quartet was established in 1972 and had 2 members from the original band – Shebalin (viola) and Berlinsky (cello). The original Quartet undertook a complete recording of the Shostakovich quartets but only got to quartet 13. All of their recordings are available in an excellent set that has been issued by Chandos, who have remastered them. It is much admired. The complete set recorded by the second reformed Quartet (all 15 quartets) is what is reissued here. These recordings date from 1978 to 1983. They have long been quite difficult to get. Melodiya had previously issued them as a complete set, but that went out of production quite a while ago, and as a result that issue is now at a premium price (if you can get it). This new reissue is the same set, and I expect will probably be snapped up by Shostakovich enthusiasts pretty quickly. It is interesting to note the differences between the way the 2 quartets perform the works – there are some interesting differences of tempi and colour. The new Melodiya issue is excellently recorded and the sound quality is superb, very warm and immediate throughout. Included is the Piano Quintet, with Sviatoslav Richter at the piano, who also collaborated with Shostakovich. That is a live recording from the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory in 1983.

Analyzed folder: /96k Shostakovich – Complete String Quartets – Richter, Borodin Quartet
DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
DR13        -0.87 dB     -20.00 dB     A Piano Quintet G-Minor Op. 57.aif
DR14        -0.48 dB     -19.83 dB     B String Quartet No. 8 C-Minor Op. 110.aif
DR14        -0.43 dB     -20.31 dB     C1 String Quartet No. 1 C-Major Op. 49.aif
DR16        -0.69 dB     -22.28 dB     C2 String Quartet No. 13 B-Flat Minor Op. 138 (5. Adagio).aif
DR13        -0.65 dB     -18.39 dB     D String Quartet No. 2 A-Major Op. 68.aif
DR13        -0.56 dB     -18.43 dB     E String Quartet No. 3 F-Major Op. 73.aif
DR13        -0.73 dB     -19.56 dB     F String Quartet No. 4 D-Major Op. 83.aif
DR15        -0.45 dB     -21.65 dB     G String Quartet No. 5 B-Flat-Major Op. 92.aif
DR14        -0.91 dB     -20.60 dB     H String Quartet No. 6 G-Major Op. 101.aif
DR15        -0.55 dB     -20.28 dB     I String Quartet No. 9 E-Flat-Major Op. 117.aif
DR13        -0.09 dB     -19.11 dB     J String Quartet No. 10 A-Flat-Major Op. 118.aif
DR16        -0.88 dB     -22.77 dB     K1 String Quartet No. 7 F-Sharp-Minor Op. 108.aif
DR16        -0.40 dB     -22.54 dB     K2 String Quartet No. 11 F-Minor Op. 122.aif
DR14        -0.40 dB     -20.08 dB     L String Quartet No. 12 D-Flat-Major Op. 133.aif
DR15        -0.32 dB     -21.09 dB     M String Quartet No. 14 F-Sharp-Major Op. 142.aif
DR16        -0.68 dB     -22.96 dB     N String Quartet No. 15 E-Flat-Minor Op. 144.aif
Number of files:    16
Official DR value:    DR14

  • Composer – Dmitri Shostakovich
  • Cello – Valentin Berlinsky
  • Viola – Dmitri Shebalin
  • Violin – Rostislav Dubinsky, Yaroslav Alexandrov
  • Piano – Sviatoslav Richter

Ripping Info


If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music.
Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.
My rips are almost rough rips.

  • Software: iZotope RX 4 Advanced, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Super light de-clicking with iZotope, significant clicks manually removing, no de-noising
  • DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
  • Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5

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