- String Quartet No. 14 in F sharp major, Op. 142
- String Quartet No. 13 in B flat minor, Op. 138: Adagio - Doppio movimento - Tempo primo
- String Quartet No. 12 in D flat major, Op. 133
- String Quartet No. 15 in E flat minor, Op. 144
- String Quartet No. 11 in F minor, Op. 122
- String Quartet No. 6 in G major, Op. 101
- String Quartet No. 7 in F sharp minor, Op. 108
- String Quartet No. 3 in F major, Op. 73
- String Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op. 68
- String Quartet No. 9 in E flat major, Op. 117
- String Quartet No. 5 in B flat major, Op. 92
- String Quartet No. 1 in C major, Op. 49
- The Tale of the Priest and His Servant Balda, animated film score, Op. 36
- String Quartet No. 10 in A flat, Op. 118
- String Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Op. 110
- String Quartet No. 4 in D major, Op. 83
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Successor to the great string quartet tradition of Beethoven, the 15 string quartets of Dmitry Shostakovich span the composer's long, tumultuous, and at times oppressed career. From the somewhat detached "First Quartet" completed in 1938 to the stark, somber beauty of the "Fifteenth Quartet" of 1974, Shostakovich, like Beethoven, advanced his own techniques and the standards for the genre with each subsequent quartet. Complete cycles of the Shostakovich quartets are a huge undertaking, which the Shostakovich Quartet began in 1978 and did not complete until a decade later. This Alto five-disc set brings together the complete recordings. The ensemble brings a great many positive attributes to its performances. Chiefly, it is steadfast in its emotional restraint, control of tempos, and consistency of tone across the cycle despite changes in recording technology during its ten-year project. A broad dynamic spectrum is used to impressive effect, with pianissimos so controlled and so hushed as to raise hairs on listeners' necks. The group's understanding of each score and the political and emotional context in which each quartet was written is evident in their insightful interpretations. Where the Shostakovich Quartet's performances are not completely even across all five discs is in intonation. Earlier recordings, which consist primarily of the later quartets, are meticulously in tune. Some performances of the earlier quartets, recorded later, allow intonation to slip, particularly in instances where the score becomes especially frenetic.