Ever listened to an album by a band that was so good, you bought other albums by the same band, thinking they would all be good? Wasn’t it disappointing when they weren’t?
That was the fear which fueled my reluctance to explore the string quartets of Dmitri Shostakovich.
Kronos Quartet introduced me to Shostakovich’s Quartet for Strings, No. 8, and it rocketed to the top of my favorite classical music works on first listen. (Kronos’ Black Angels is an essential album for anyone who wishes to explore the repertoire of the 20th century.)
I loved the Eighth Quartet so much, I didn’t want to spoil it by potentially being disappointed by the other 14 quartets in his catalog. Of course, I would turn out to be wrong.