Arts-Scène Diffusion

The Complete String Quartets

Dimitri Chostakovitch

The Complete String Quartets

Fuga Libera, 2005

Quatuor Danel 
Marc Danel et Gilles Millet, violins  
Tony Nijs, viola 
​Guy Danel, Cello 

The Danel Quartet's complete Shostakovich recording is the result of a long association with a body of works unique in the history of the twentieth-century string quartet. Right from the very start, the Quartet, now the most active and most prestigious of its kind in Belgium, acquired a close familiarity with the quartets of the Russian composer. It was in the course of many work sessions with members of the Borodin Quartet (Berlinsky, Shebalin and Kopelman) and the Beethoven Quartet (Druzhinin) - the two groups that gave the first performances of these masterpieces in the USSR, as well as with the composer and musicologist Krzysztof Meyer, and also through their many complete performances, that the Danel Quartet forged its own identity, now arrived at full maturity. The box set released today, by continuing the many successes of the Quartet in prestigious international competitions (Evian, London, Florence), sheds a particular light on the special mention "for the finest performance of a quartet by Shostakovich" gained by the young quartet in 1993 at Saint Petersburg, during its success at the International Dimitri Shostakovich Competition, where it won First Prize. This passion and this experience, matured over more than a decade, was magnificently caught in Munich from 2001 to 2005 by the microphones of the Bayerischer Rundfunk, co-producer of the project. The result is now with us, a year before the centenary of the composer's birth, which is being marked by several complete performances given by the Danel Quartet in Europe and Japan. For this monumental edition, Fuga Libera has prepared some delicacies in addition to the main course! The two main Western specialists of Shostakovich, the Belgian Frans Lemaire, the author of some remarkable studies published by Fayard, and the Briton David Fanning, of Manchester University, were asked to provide entirely new presentations of the works. The production has also benefited from the invaluable support of the composer's widow, Madame Irina Shostakovich, and, in the person of its director Emmanuel Utwiller, of the 'Dimitri Shostakovich' Contemporary Music Documentation Centre ('Ple Universitaire Lonard de Vinci' in Paris), that houses a precious iconographic archive, some of the finest pieces of which are reproduced in the booklet. The Dimitri Shostakovich Centre was also the instigator of the new printed edition of Shostakovich's quartets, which the Danel Quartet chose for this recording.The Complete String Quartets in 5 CD



David Gutman, 2006

This is a remarkable set [...] With consistently sweet sounds, pronounced yet carefully matched vibrato and lithe, intimately drawn interpretations, the Danel offer something else again [...] I found their Gallic wit and finesse adding a new dimension to familiar music. You’re never hit with anything more visceral and rosiny than the argument can stand, but neither is there any lack of commitment and fire [...] In the conventional intégrale I would certainly rate them above many bigger names.

Christophe Huss,, 2005

Quel choc, quel monument! Les Borodine ont trouvé leurs successeurs. Les Danel reprennent le flambeau en le portant encore plus haut, grâce à leur sonorité. Ceci n'est pas une "excellente intégrale de plus", c'est, au sens propre, radical et exclusif, "l'intégrale de référence" des Quatuors de Chostakovitch.

Benjamin Grenard,, 2005

Le quatuor Danel, à la bonne école des Borodine et de Droujinine, est vraisemblablement aujourd'hui le meilleur interprète des quatuors à cordes de Chostakovitch. Cette nouvelle intégrale, parue chez Fuga Libera, vient le démontrer et devient du même coup le témoignage décisif d'un héritage revécu et réapproprié aux sources du sens chostakovien.


Shostakovich, String Quartet No.1 in C major, Op. 49 (extract)

4th movement: Allegro

Shostakovich | String Quartet n°7 (extract)

1st movement: Allegretto