Written by Richard Morrison
Published on Saturday 14 February 2015
The main interest here is Jonathan Morton’s new string-orchestra arrangement of Shostakovich’s Second String Quartet, with Morton himself leading the excellent Scottish Ensemble and playing the haunting, Jewish-inflected violin solo in the slow movement. This wartime music (1944) has an epic, tragic and at times terrifying quality anyway, which this clever expansion underlines, and the performance is properly tense and volatile. Plus a wiry performance of Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings – sinuous rather than lush, but superbly virtuosic.