A joyous jumble of encores from an ever-youthful quartet

Brodsky Quartet, Laura van der Heijden: Golden Oldies – More Favourite Encores

The Strad Issue: April 2023

Description: A joyous jumble of encores from an ever-youthful quartet

Musicians: Brodsky Quartet, Laura van der Heijden (cello) Julian Jacobson (piano)

Works: Works by Bach, Bazzini, Beethoven, Casals, Debussy, Elgar, Fauré, Joplin, Khachaturian, Poulenc, Shostakovich, Saint-Saëns, Satie and Zebeljan

Catalogue number: CHANDOS CHAN20230

The Brodsky Quartet has been together for 50-odd years and has released a compilation recording every decade. This year’s offering is full of fun arrangements of popular works. There are many piano pieces, which are fascinating. How different a melody sounds when it is sustained by a string instrument: the first movement of Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight’ Sonata is mysterious and disquieting, with an ultra-legato melody and gently lapping arpeggios; Debussy’s Prélude ‘Des pas sur la neige’ sounds infinitely sad.

There are two of Shostakovich’s pieces for violin and piano: the Elegy has seductive violins, and the Polka sounds like a dance played by a jaunty village band, with some snappy bounced spiccato. Leader Krysia Osostowicz gets a good workout in Debussy’s two Arabesques, and flutters through a Poulenc Prélude. Two other musicians make occasional appearances, Julian Jacobson and cellist Laura van der Heijden, with the latter fully entering into the spirit of a cheeky reworking of Saint-Saëns’s most famous piece, here rethought for two swans: Les cygnes.

In the greatest encore piece of them all the Brodsky players battle exuberantly through Khachaturian’s ‘Sabre Dance’, with swoops and biting down bows and, surely, big smiles on their faces. The recording does them full justice.


Best of Technique

In The Best of Technique you’ll discover the top playing tips of the world’s leading string players and teachers. It’s packed full of exercises for students, plus examples from the standard repertoire to show you how to integrate the technique into your playing.


The Strad’s Masterclass series brings together the finest string players with some of the greatest string works ever written. Always one of our most popular sections, Masterclass has been an invaluable aid to aspiring soloists, chamber musicians and string teachers since the 1990s.


This year’s calendar celebrates the top instruments played by members of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony, Australian String Quartet and some of the country’s greatest soloists.