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 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 28, 2018 | Les Indispensables de Diapason

Distinctions Diapason d'or
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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 January 5, 2018 | BIS

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or
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Quartets - Released September 22, 2017 | harmonia mundi

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 May 13, 2016 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica
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Quartets - Released January 22, 2016 | Musical Concepts

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Quartets - Released October 16, 2015 | Musical Concepts

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Quartets - Released October 16, 2015 | Musical Concepts

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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 February 24, 2015 | Ars Produktion

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Quartets - Released October 17, 2014 | CAvi-music

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Le Choix de France Musique - 4 étoiles de Classica
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Quartets - Released October 13, 2014 | Evidence

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica
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Quartets - Released September 2, 2014 | Gramola Records

Booklet Distinctions Exceptional sound
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Quartets - Released November 5, 2013 | Musical Concepts

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Zia

Quartets - Released February 5, 2013 | Sono Luminus

Hi-Res Booklet
The Zia are a small Native American group in New Mexico who use a four-pointed symbol that refers to the four directions, as well as the four seasons and certain other concepts (you may have seen it on New Mexico's state flag). Here it indicates the international nature of the program, although the bulk of the music comes from the Western Hemisphere, the specialty of the Del Sol String Quartet. Bartók's influence looms large in the music of all these composers. In the opening Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout of Gabriela Lena Frank, a composer whose ancestry includes Chinese, Peruvian, and Lithuanian Jewish ancestry, there's also something of the tense South American modernist idiom of Alberto Ginastera. Frank moves back in the direction of Peruvian roots, however, in her use of the string quartet to approximate traditional instruments, which can be quite startling. The annotators of the album are correct in citing Lou Harrison as another inspiration for the other composers on this album and for their uses of ethnic material, but the String Quartet Set of 1979, where the primary models come from Renaissance dance music, does not quite fit with the rest of the program. The final three works, by Jose Evangelista, Reza Vali, and Elena Kats-Chernin, draw on Spanish, Persian, and Uzbek traditions, and all contribute to the creative stretching out of the string quartet that is brilliantly begun with the Frank work. A worthwhile exploration of the juncture where the intellectual medium of the string quartet meets the current enthusiasm for world traditions.