Tchaikovsky: String Quartet No. 2 in F, Op. 22 / String Sextet in D Minor, Op. 70 "Souvenir de Florence"
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The internationally celebrated Vermeer Quartet, known for its extensive, major-label recordings of standard repertoire, has turned to its hometown record label, Chicago's Cedille Records, for a program of important yet surprisingly neglected Tchaikovsky works. The disc offers Tchaikovsky's profoundly moving Quartet No. 2, available on CD for the first time outside a multi-disc set, and the eloquent Souvenir de Florence, performed in its less-often recorded -- but more intimate and effective -- original version for string sextet. The Vermeer's members are Shmuel Ashkenasi, violin; Mathias Tacke, violin; Richard Young, viola and Marc Johnson, cello. For the sextet, they're joined by Rami Solomonow, principal violist of the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra, and John Sharp, principal cellist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The quartet, formed in 1969 at the Marlboro Festival, has since performed at virtually all the world's most prestigious festival and in every major city in North America and Europe. The Vermeer is "acclaimed for solid performances of repertory of all period, " notes the New Grove Dictionary of American Music.
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