Although the string quartet was a rarely used form in 19th-century Russia, Tchaikovsky and Borodin both produced superb, inventive compositions in the genre. Tchaikovsky's String Quartet No. 1 in D, Op. 11, is notable for its imaginative freshness and world-famous Andante cantabile movement. His Quartet No. 2 in F, Op. 22, displays remarkable fluency and skilled craftsmanship, while Quartet No. 3 in F-flat Minor, Op. 30, combines austerity with deeply felt intensity and vigor.
Borodin's two string quartets are characterized by his impeccable craftsmanship and expert understanding and use of his instruments. The popular String Quartet No. 2 is especially known for the luxuriant richness of its third movement "Nocturne." Now all five works are available in this handsome, inexpensive edition. Reprinted from authoritative scores.