Albums

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Quartets - Released January 11, 2019 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Choc de Classica
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Quartets - Released October 5, 2018 | Chandos

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 étoiles de Classica
For its very first recording on Chandos, the Arcadia String Quartet presents what has been at the very heart of its musical career and influences: the complete string quartets by Bartók. With the music of the Hungarian composer, the members of this Romanian ensemble, neighbours of his birthplace, have won such major careershaping competitions as Osaka, the Wigmore Hall, and Hamburg. Bartók’s attachment to the string quartet – as to no other genre – was to the keystone of the Viennese tradition, but with the aim of moving the medium out of its native city a little, into the countryside of alternative tonalities and rhythms. The six mature works he wrote are being revealed here with all the singular patterns, mixed modalities, bitterness, lamentations, and, at times, bright folk influences which they contain. © Chandos
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Quartets - Released September 7, 2018 | CPO

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Quartets - Released June 8, 2018 | Paraty

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 étoiles de Classica
This new album seems to confirm that the Girard Quartet, born of a litter of great French musicians, is now all grown up. Founded by members of the Ysaÿe Quartet, the Girard Quartet won the Geneva Competition in 2011, after taking the Prize of the Maurice Ravel Academy in Saint-Jean-de-Luz. Currently residing at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium, they also work with the Singer-Polignac Foundation. The title of their fourth recording, "The Starry Sky" is borrowed from Philippe Hersant's Fourth Quartet, Der gestirner Himmel, written in 2012 "in response" to Beethoven's Quartet op. 59 n° 2 specifically the slow movement conceived as "a meditation on the harmony of the spheres, before the starry sky in the silence of the night." Like Beethoven, who of course features on this record, Hersant is expressing here, through a long, single movement, his "aspiration for a union of heaven and earth", through a resolutely accessible language which holds out its hand towards the Beethovian model, borrowing from it a few rhythmic and thematic cells, and to the late Romanticism of the Schönberg of the Verklärte Nacht, another great nocturnal meditation. Note also the magnificent cohesion of the Girard Quartet, as well as its accumulated power of expression and its superb ensemble sound, bolstered by the use of four instruments made between 2014 and 2016 by the Parisian manufacturer Charles Coquet, whose work is inspired by the great artisanal producers of stringed instruments from centuries gone by. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Quartets - Released May 18, 2018 | Gramola Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Quartets - Released April 20, 2018 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica
On the occasion of the bicentenary of Charles Gounod’s birth, this first complete string quartet (including two unpublished ones) on period instruments reveals an unknown part of his production, dominated by vocal music. Composer of the very end of the 19th century, Gounod and his five quartets are the worthy heir of the Viennese classicism tradition. The lyrical accents of the Quartet in G minor or the airy lightness of the Scherzo of the Petit Quatuor evoke nothing less than the names of Schubert and Mendelssohn. The musicians of the Quatuor Cambini-Paris (Julien Chauvin, Karine Crocquenoy, Pierre-Éric Nimylowycz and Atsushi Sakaï) gracefully reproduce these pages, full of gravity and sweetness. © Aparté/Little Tribeca
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Quartets - Released January 26, 2018 | La Dolce Volta

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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
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Quartets - Released November 3, 2017 | CPO

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Quartets - Released November 3, 2017 | Stradivarius

Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Quartets - Released September 29, 2017 | naïve classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
This 2017 release by Austria's Quatuor Mosaïques is actually the second in a series; the first box, covering Beethoven's early quartets, appeared in 1994. Whether they thought about the difficult late quartets for 23 years or other projects simply intervened, this volume has been worth the wait. (The middle quartets are apparently still to come.) As before, the Quatuor Mosaïques uses gut strings and historically authentic bows, as well as a tuning slightly below the usual A=440. There are few recordings of Beethoven's quartets made on instruments with aspects of historical construction (not really "historical instruments," for plenty of players use old instruments), and the result is immediately distinctive. The level of vibrato is low, but not outlandishly so. Instead, the most unusual aspect of the performances are their fluidity and grace, made possible by the gentle sound of the strings and by bows that do not dig into the attacks the way modern ones do. Beethoven's quartets are known for their extremity: the almost unplayable Grosse Fuge, Op. 133 (which here is made quite a bit more manageable by the historical bows), the vast and almost unthinkable modal slow movement of the String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132, the bizarrely humorous String Quartet No. 16 in F major, Op. 135. Yet such extremity is balanced by passages of great simplicity: Beethoven offers a plethora of straightforward, hummable, folkish tunes, of which the most famous one is not in a quartet but in the finale of the Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125. Here, note the effect that the Quatuor Mosaïques' light touch has on the seven-movement String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131, which loses its ponderous qualities and emerges as a kind of suite. The group takes its tempos on the fast side in the main, and in a few places they seem to skate over the surface of the music rather than plumbing its great depths. But in the Grosse Fuge and the Op. 132 slow movement they are very strong. Recommended, and beautifully recorded.
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Quartets - Released September 22, 2017 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Quartets - Released September 8, 2017 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
It’s in a small comic filled with self-derision that the Modigliani Quartet describe their background, from the founding of the quartet in 2003 to its beginnings at the Berliner Philharmonie in 2017: First Prize Winners of the Young Concert Artists in New York, which opened the doors of the Carnegie Hall to them in 2006, Grand Prix Winners of Académie Charles Cros two years later with Haydn, artistic directors of the Evian Festival in 2014… An impressive and international pedigree for this quartet originally founded by four students of the Conservatoire de Paris keen to try their hands on the greatest chamber music repertoire. This new recording of the sole three quartets of Schumann, works created in one go in 1842 – two years after 1840, “the year of the Lied”, and one year before the two chamber masterpieces that are the Piano Quartet and the Piano Quintet. It’s true that in these quartets, Schumann doesn’t stray too far from Beethoven and even less from Mendelssohn (posthumously dedicatee), maybe the consequence of an inevitably more linear and contrapuntal writing, not as harmonic as the addition of a piano would allow. The fact remains that the Modiglianis capture these three singular works and restore their lines rather than looking for a dense, symphonic and pianistic texture that is not theirs. © SM/Qobuz
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Quartets - Released March 10, 2017 | Berlin Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Quartets - Released February 24, 2017 | RCA Red Seal

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Quartets - Released February 26, 2016 | naïve classique

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Quartets - Released April 29, 2016 | CPO

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
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Quartets - Released October 15, 2015 | Mirare

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama

Quartets - Released June 10, 2015 | INA Mémoire vive

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique
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Quartets - Released June 2, 2015 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica
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Quartets - Released April 6, 2015 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason