This fine quartet, formed in 1993 when the members were conservatory students in Jerusalem, has made a series of recordings for Harmonia Mundi, none better than a pair of discs of Shostakovich quartets. No surprise, then, that Shostakovich’s eighth quartet stood out on this program, too, for the vigor of the interpretation, which kept one on the edge of one’s seat, and the overall quality of playing from all four musicians in dazzling coordination.
The mood swung back and forth from a glowing lament in the second movement to an airheaded gallop in the third and back to mournful tension in the fourth. The fifth movement, which brings the themes back together, was a tour de force of biting tone and rhythmic precision.
By Charles T. Downey, Washington Post