thu 20/02/2020

Borodin Quartet, Wigmore Hall | reviews, news & interviews

Borodin Quartet, Wigmore Hall

Borodin Quartet, Wigmore Hall

The name's the same, the poise remains but where's the spark?

Brand owners: new cellist Vladimir Balshin, old-timer Andrei Abramenkov, Ruben Aharonian and viola-player Igor Naidin

They're still bringing Beethoven and Shostakovich to London, enriching the mix a little with the cross-referencing of Alfred Schnittke, but the personnel of the Borodin Quartet have changed again. Patriarch cellist Valentin Berlinsky, there at the start over 60 years ago, passed on his bow to Vladimir Balshin before he died.  Balshin is a worthy successor, especially since Berlinsky's tone had become translucent to the point of dematerialising and his successor's is rich indeed, but is "Borodin Quartet" now more a brand name than a vital entity?

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