Quartets - Released March 2, 2018 | PentaTone

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Franz Schubert's songs sometimes found their way into his instrumental works, perhaps most famously in the fourth movement of the Piano Quintet in A major, D667, "Trout," which was based on Die Forelle, D550; the Wanderer Fantasy in C major, D760, which was inspired by Der Wanderer, D489; and the second movement of the String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, D810, which was based on Der Tod und das Mädchen, D531. Digging a little deeper into Schubert's oeuvre, the Signum Quartett explores less obvious relationships, though no less significant, because the mixing of songs and instrumental works was common at his private concerts for his friends, the Schubertiades. This 2018 release on PentaTone Classics, Aus der ferne, presents a handful of Lieder in arrangements for string quartet by the group's violist, Xandi van Dijk, and two lyrical chamber works, the String Quartet No. 8 in B flat major, D112, and the String Quartet No 13 in A minor, "Rosamunde." Listening to this hybrid SACD doesn't require any special research or careful bar-by-bar analysis, because Schubert's melodies are plainly evident and the Signum Quartett plays with great warmth and a light, lyrical spirit, so the program works exceptionally well as pure music, intriguing as the connections between the songs and the quartets are.

Quartets - Released January 26, 2018 | La Dolce Volta

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Two years after its very well received recording of three Schumann quartets, Quatuor Hermès – created about ten years ago – is turning its attention to three staple French masterpieces: Ravel and Debussy’s quartets (two iconic figures of their − relatively young − generation who have been coupled on disc again and again, but who would complain?) surrounding Dutilleux’s quartet Ainsi la nuit (Thus the Night). Three very unique quartets, as each of their composers only wrote a single one. For the record, Debussy’s quartet still belongs to the 19th century as it was composed in 1893 in a language formally borrowing from Franck (even if the chord progressions already feel like classic Debussy), while Ravel’s inaugurates the 20th century in 1903 with Faurean notes in abundance… On the other hand, Dutilleux waited to achieve maturity (1976) to write his. An inescapable monument of 20th French chamber repertoire, played with finesse and transparency by Quatuor Hermès, cementing their place among the elite quartets of our time. © SM/Qobuz

Quartets - Released February 24, 2017 | RCA Red Seal

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Quartets - Released November 18, 2016 | harmonia mundi

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Quartets - Released July 1, 2016 | Alpha

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Shortly after he arrived in Vienna in 1782, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart began composing his six "Haydn" Quartets, inspired by recent contact with his new friend, Franz Joseph Haydn. Not only had Haydn composed an important set of string quartets in 1781, which Mozart studied closely, he also played violin in a quartet with Mozart as violist. These influences led Mozart to compose his String Quartet No. 16 in E flat major, K. 428, and his String Quartet No. 19 in C major, K. 465, "Dissonant," which bookend the Divertimento in D major, K. 136, on this 2016 release from Alpha Classics. The Quatuor Van Kuijk, a French string quartet in spite of its Dutch name, deliver exciting and engaging performances of the string quartets, finding the right blend of flashiness and warmth that characterize Mozart's newfound maturity. Yet the youthful Divertimento is treated with comparable brilliance, if slightly less ardor, and all three works make a delightful program, showing important aspects of the development of the Classical style. The recordings are focused and detailed, though the acoustics of Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Waterloo create an aural halo that at times softens the Quatuor Van Kuijk's edge.

Quartets - Released February 24, 2015 | Ars Produktion

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