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Stephen Smoliar, March 2016

…[this] release does an impressive job of covering the many high points of Barshai’s achievements. The Mahler tenth is there again, this time with the Toyko Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra keenly responding to Barshai’s attention to every detail. K. 364 is there, too, with Barshai leading the Moscow Chamber Orchestra while sharing solo duties with Oistrakh. There is also a single CD of the Kogan-Barshai-Rostropovich string trio playing two of Ludwig van Beethoven’s early string trios with full appreciation of both the wit and the technique behind this music. © 2016 Read complete review

Carlos María Solare
The Strad, March 2016

…gorgeous solo playing from the likes of Kogan and Oistrakh, not to forget the staunch concertmaster, Evgeny Smirnov, who contributes among other things an imaginative reading of The Four Seasons. © 2016 The Strad Read complete review

Carlos María Solare
Journal of the American Viola Society, March 2016

The oldest recording in this set…features Rostislav Dubinsky; Barshai’s first wife, Nina; Barshai himself; and Valentin Berlinsky in a fresh reading of Shostakovich’s First Quartet that is quite free from the mannerisms that would creep into the Borodin’s later interpretations; the performance is immensely enhanced by the twenty-six-year-old Barshai’s heroic playing in the viola-led slow movement.

Throughout these recordings, Barshai emerges as a virtuoso in the grand manner. © 2016 Journal of the American Viola Society

Guy Weatherall
Classical Music, January 2016

Barshai’s death five years ago robbed the world of an influential figure and inspiring musician: violist, conductor, administrator, powerhouse. Through the energy and devotion of his widow Elena, this collection is indeed fitting. His championship of Shostakovich; his pedigree as quartet luminary; his work with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra—all are here. There is much that is ordinary though, too, and perhaps more objective curating would have produced a more consistent tribute. © 2016 Classical Music

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