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Classique - Released August 25, 2011 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Quatuors - Released March 10, 2014 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet + Video Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Hi-Res Audio
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Quatuors - Released June 15, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classique - Released March 15, 2019 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
After "Inventions", "Revelations" is the second volume in a complete set of the Beethoven quartets that breaks new ground: it aims to regroup the works according to their position within the three broad creative divisions of the composers life the formative years, the heroic period and the late period. This programme assembles the median quartets, in other words the works that prolonged and consolidated the stylistic innovations outlined at the beginning of each of these creative periods. © harmonia mundi
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Classique - Released August 25, 2014 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Classique - Released March 15, 2019 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
After "Inventions", "Revelations" is the second volume in a complete set of the Beethoven quartets that breaks new ground: it aims to regroup the works according to their position within the three broad creative divisions of the composers life the formative years, the heroic period and the late period. This programme assembles the median quartets, in other words the works that prolonged and consolidated the stylistic innovations outlined at the beginning of each of these creative periods. © harmonia mundi
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Quatuors - Released August 28, 2012 | harmonia mundi

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Spain's Cuarteto Casals, like its namesake, has a passionate but not especially Romantic style, with a big sound, clean attacks, and daring approaches to large-scale structure. They're always impressive, but perhaps never have their talents been so effectively deployed as in this release pairing one of Franz Schubert's very early quartets with his last one, the String Quartet in G major, D. 887, written in 1826. Even in the early String Quartet in E flat major, D. 87, composed when Schubert was 16, the group is exceptional. Published in 1830, this quartet was misdated in the 19th century and thought to be from much later in Schubert's career. The Cuarteto Casals' performance is one of the few to get to why. Even the booklet notes rather undervalue the work, which is full of small surprises like the duple-meter trio of the Scherzo, and a certain restless quality that captures Schubert's ambition and puts the work properly in a realm with the big early songs. The G major quartet here is truly shattering, with the agonized opening and large, misshapen first movement splaying out into the piece-long uncertain alternation between G major and G minor and reaching hair-trigger tension with some almost atonal exclamations in the slow movement. The booklet annotator, along with many other commentators, likens the work to the String Quintet in C major, D. 956, but actually it's a different and altogether more emotionally painful piece. This too the Cuarteto Casals gets. Harmonia Mundi's engineers, working in Teldex Studios in Berlin, opt for an intense, hard sound, close up but not over the edge. It's perfect, and it rounds out an extraordinary release.
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Classique - Released March 15, 2019 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet
After "Inventions", "Revelations" is the second volume in a complete set of the Beethoven quartets that breaks new ground: it aims to regroup the works according to their position within the three broad creative divisions of the composers life the formative years, the heroic period and the late period. This programme assembles the median quartets, in other words the works that prolonged and consolidated the stylistic innovations outlined at the beginning of each of these creative periods. © harmonia mundi
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Classique - Released May 26, 2014 | harmonia mundi

Cuarteto Casals, named after the great Spanish cellist, reveals a different side of Joseph Haydn in its recording of his six String Quartets, Op. 33 -- a younger, fresher, friskier, and altogether livelier side of the man fondly known as Papa Haydn. As with their recording of Mozart's early quartets, Cuarteto Casals approaches music of the classical period with admirable energy and obvious affection. One gets sprung rhythms, buoyant tempos, poised balances, alert ensembles, and above all, extraordinary beauty of tone. The Spanish group's attacks and releases are clean, and the tone is rich, full, and blended, but the best aspect of the performances is the manifest fondness for the music. The "Joke" Quartet is wryly witty, the "Bird" Quartet slyly silly, and the B minor Quartet achingly lyrical and deeply soulful, especially in the central Andante. Some listeners may prefer the incisive accounts of the Kodaly Quartet or the probing readings of the Quatuor Mosaïques, but there is much to enjoy in these lithe and lovely performances. Harmonia Mundi's digital sound is close, warm, and enveloping.
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Classique - Released June 15, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet
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Classique - Released June 15, 2018 | harmonia mundi

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Classique - Released September 15, 2009 | harmonia mundi

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Classique - Released January 19, 2009 | harmonia mundi

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Classique - Released August 22, 2008 | harmonia mundi

The three string quartets of Johannes Brahms are difficult beasts to master. On the one hand, they contain some of the densest, richest harmonization in the repertoire. This can be quickly followed by moments of utter transparency and serenity. The Cuarteto Casals, however, only delivers on one half of this sonic spectrum. When it comes to the lighter sound quality as heard, for example, in the beginning of the third movement of the A minor quartet or the fourth movement of the B flat major quartet, the sound quality produced by the Cuarteto Casals seems just about right. Problems arise in thicker textures. Whether arising from balance issues within the quartet or from recording engineering issues, balance is extremely problematic. The cello's sound is unpleasantly muddy, the second violin and viola practically inaudible, and the first violin far too bright and thin. The quartet makes curious musical decisions, as well, often choosing tempos that are entirely too fast, altering tempos when no such changes are called for in the score, and incessantly elongating preparatory beats. The CD also includes Brahms' piano quintet, perhaps one of the finest works written for that instrumentation. The issues heard in the string quartets are still present; the inclusion of the piano only adds one more instrument whose sound quality is indistinct and fuzzy, particularly in the lower registers. With so many fine recordings of each of these works available, this album is likely one best left behind.
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Classique - Released June 12, 2012 | harmonia mundi

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Cuarteto Casals in the magazine
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