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The Strad Review

Review from The Strad, October 2007  West Cork Chamber Music Festival, June/July 2007

The formidable Kopelman Quartet presented works by fellow countrymen Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich with innate sensibility.  The conclusive coup for festival director Francis Humphrys was the Kopelman Quartet, led by the eponymous heavyweight Mikhail Kopelman, formerly first violin of the Borodin and Tokyo quartets.  When bows hit strings, Bantry House was transported to a place where music meets the soul and transcends all earthly concerns. The quartet could not have wished for a better playmate than Georgian pianist Elisabeth Leonskaja, whose nimble fingers made the piano speak with great eloquence in Tchaikovsky’s A minor Piano Trio and Shostakvich’s Piano Quintet.  Intense vibratos, a vast dynamic range and an instinctive sense of time and phrasing made every last bar drip with high drama, especially in Shosatakovich’s Eighth quartet, which never lost focus through the densely layered counterpoint.

Aline Nassif, The Strad