Borodin - Shostakovich - Weinberg (2019)

Weinberg, Shostakovich, Borodin

Dragon Quartet, Ning Feng, Wang Xiaomao, Zheng Wenxiao, Qin Liwei

Alexander Borodin composed one of the most popular debut cd pieces in the romantic quartet repertoire, probably because it is a sort of love letter dedicated to Borodin's wife Ekaterina. (...) Dmitri Shostakovich composed an autobiography in music: After twenty-five years of 'inner emigration' he allowed himself once more to be personal, even if only in words to the wise. (...) And the third composer on this recording was was considered a well-kept secret of the Soviet Union for long for the western world: Moisei Vainberg, or (likewise in Russian) Mieczyslaw Weinberg. 

- Clemens Romijn (excerpt from liner notes)

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Dragon Quartet

The Dragon String Quartet, formed in 2012, is an ensemble of four celebrated,
young Chinese musicians: first violinist Ning Feng, second violinist Wang
Xiaomao, violist Zheng Wenxiao and cellist Qin Liwei.
Ning Feng and Qin Liwei, both internationally established Chinese soloists,
came up with the idea of forming a string quartet after a series of concerts that
brought them together. Wang Xiaomao is concertmaster of China National Ballet
Orchestra, Zheng Wenxiao is Principal Viola of Bavarian Radio Symphony
Orchestra (Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks).
The Dragon String Quartet performs around the world regularly, introducing
the masterworks of string quartet to the audiences, rediscovering rarely
performed but outstanding pieces, and promoting contemporary works,
especially the great pieces created by Chinese composers.
• Ning Feng plays a 1721 Stradivari violin, known as the ‘MacMillan’,
on private loan, kindly arranged by Premiere Performances of Hong Kong,
and plays on strings by Thomastik-Infeld, Vienna.
• Li-Wei plays a 1780 Joseph Guadagnini cello, generously loaned by
Dr and Mrs Wilson Goh

Ning Feng

Born in Chengdu, China, Ning Feng studied at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music and London’s Royal Academy of Music where he was the first student ever to be awarded 100% for his final recital. The recipient of prizes at the Hanover International, Queen Elisabeth and Yehudi Menuhin International violin competitions, Ning Feng was First Prize winner of the 2005 Michael Hill International Violin Competition (New Zealand), and in 2006 won first prize in the International Paganini Competition, following in the footsteps of violinists such as Kavakos, Kremer and Accardo.

Established at the highest level in China, Ning Feng performs regularly in his native country in recital, with their many local orchestras, and with major touring orchestras. Now based in Berlin and performing worldwide, Ning Feng has developed a reputation internationally as an artist of great lyricism and emotional transparency, displaying tremendous bravura and awe-inspiring technical accomplishment.

In recent seasons Ning has performed with orchestras such as the Budapest Festival Orchestra/Iván Fischer, Russian State Symphony/Vladimir Jurowski, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg/Tang and in halls such as Sydney Opera House, Moscow’s Great Hall, Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin Konzerthaus, Shanghai Oriental Arts Center and Beijing’s NCPA. In recital he has played in prestigious series and festival such as Vancouver Recital Series and Hong Kong International Chamber, Prague Spring, and Schleswig-Holstein Festivals.

In the 2013/14 season, Ning’s orchestral engagements include his debut with the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra with Ivan Fischer, a return to the Hong Kong Philharmonic/van Zweden both in Hong Kong and Taipei, his debut with the Asturias Symphony Orchestra/Carneiro and concerts in China, Singapore, Taiwan and Macau with the Kaoshing Symphony and NCPA Orchestras. In recital, Ning Feng will perform in cities such as Hong Kong, Moscow, Boston and across China, and with Igor Levit and Sebastian Klinger he will perform piano trios across Germany, including at the Heidelberg, Ludwigsburg and Mecklenburg Vorpommern Festivals. Other festival appearances include his return to the Menuhin Festival Gstaad and Kissinger Sommer Festival where he performs every year and where he will be an Artist-in-Residence in 2014.

Ning Feng records for Channel Classics in the Netherlands. His most recent recording of the solo sonatas by Bartok, Prokofiev and Hindemith was released in August 2013. His previous disc, Solo, featuring works by Paganini, Kreisler, Berio, Schnittke and others, received a first-class review by Audiophile Audition: “You will be blown away by the artistry of this album, and blown away in great sound to boot. This is a stunning recording of solo violin works by a variety of composers… and there are really few violinists who are able to pull it off. Ning Feng is one of those who can, not only for his sterling playing but also because of the rabid intelligence behind the selection of pieces here. None of these works is anything less than enthralling, and a few approach the incandescent. Milstein’s arrangement of the Paganiniana has never been bettered… this is an unqualified recommendation of a wonderful album that demonstrates the highest artistic and programming skills possible.” His recording of the Bruch Scottish Fantasy and the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin will be released later in 2013.

Ning Feng plays a 1721 Stradivari violin, known as the ‘MacMillan’, on private loan, kindly arranged by Premiere Performances of Hong Kong.

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Borodin - Shostakovich - Weinberg (2019)

Weinberg, Shostakovich, Borodin

Dragon Quartet, Ning Feng, Wang Xiaomao, Zheng Wenxiao, Qin Liwei

    MusicWeb International, Review #2

(...) The Dragon Quartet displays its talent in a attractive and characterful account. (...) few quartets play as adeptly throughout, with such outstanding unity and precision. (...) The recording was made at Muziekgebouw Frits Philips, Eindhoven: excellent sound, first-class clarity, presence and balance. Clemens Romijn’s booklet notes are informative and easy to read. Brimming with character, these are beautifully judged performances, with especially impressive shaping of phrasing and dynamics.

Michael Cookson[read full review]

    MusicWeb International, Review #1

Buy this for the superb, and superbly performed, Weinberg Quartet, and the other works will give much pleasure. (...) As a programme, this is an interesting one. (...) Channel’s recording is wonderfully clear and detailed, doing justice to the innate qualities of this young quartet.

Michael Wilkinson[read full review]

    Klassieke Zaken

(...) Niet alleen bespelen de Chinezen – tevens succesvol als solist of als aanvoerder in een symfonieorkest – hun instrument op hoog niveau en is er uiterst gewetensvol en minutieus gewerkt aan de ideale balans en samenklank, ook slagen ze er wonderwel in om de inhoud en sfeer van de muziek helder, geloofwaardig én boeiend boven tafel te krijgen. In combinatie met de prachtige opnamekwaliteit van Channel Classics is deze cd echt een juweeltje. (...)

Wenneke Savenije


The young Chinese musicians of the Dragon Quartet here follow up their first disc for Channel Classics (of Schubert and Dvorák) with a programme of Russian quartets that confirms their right to be considered alongside the best of their Western counterparts. (...) Close but not oppressive recorded balance enhances the attractions of the disc, which, to say the least, makes an impressive calling card.

David Fanning

Borodin - Shostakovich - Weinberg (2019)

Weinberg, Shostakovich, Borodin

Dragon Quartet, Ning Feng, Wang Xiaomao, Zheng Wenxiao, Qin Liwei

Cables: Van den Hul
Digital Converters: Merging Technologies, HORUS
Editing Software: Pyramix Editing / Merging Technologies
Mastering Engineer: Jared Sacks
Microphones: Bruel & Kjaer 4006, Schoeps
Mixing Board: Rens Heijnis, custom design
Producer: Jared Sacks
Recording Engineer: Jared Sacks
Recording location: Muziekgebouw Frits Philips, Eindhoven, December 2017
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD 256

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40919: Borodin - Shostakovich - Weinberg
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String Quartet no. 2 in D major - I. Allegro moderato
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String Quartet no. 2 in D major - II. Scherzo - Allegro
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String Quartet no. 2 in D major - III. Nocturne - Andante
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String Quartet no. 2 in D major - IV. Finale - Andante-Vivace
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String Quartet no. 8 in C minor opus 110 - I. Largo
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String Quartet no. 8 in C minor opus 110 - II. Allegro molto
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String Quartet no. 8 in C minor opus 110 - III. Allegretto
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String Quartet no. 8 in C minor opus 110 - IV. Largo
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String Quartet no. 8 in C minor opus 110 - V. Largo
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String Quartet no. 5 in B flat major opus 27 - I. Melodia - Andante sostenuto
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String Quartet no. 5 in B flat major opus 27 - II. Humoreska - Andantino
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String Quartet no. 5 in B flat major opus 27 - III. Scherzo - Allegro molto
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String Quartet no. 5 in B flat major opus 27 - IV. Improvisation - Lento
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String Quartet no. 5 in B flat major opus 27 - V. Serenata - Moderato con moto
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