Quartets - Released November 11, 2014 | Music and Arts Programs of America

Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or

Quartets - Released September 1, 2017 | naïve classique


Quartets - Released July 27, 2010 | Da Capo


Quartets - Released April 5, 2011 | Audite

Recorded between 2005 and 2009, and released as separate discs, the Mandelring Quartet's recordings of the complete string quartets of Dmitry Shostakovich have received considerable critical praise and a growing audience. Audite's 2011 box set of the cycle is sure to garner even more accolades, for this is really one of the finest contemporary sets available, and the convenience of having all five CDs together in a trimline box with a generous booklet adds value to an already stunning musical offering. The Mandelring Quartet plays with unflinching resolve, sympathetic expression, incisive attacks, and penetrating tone, which are all necessary in Shostakovich's sardonic and frequently bitter language. The group really digs into the music to reveal all the pain and grief that underlie the surface vitality and brilliance, and is especially impressive in the last five string quartets, which are some of the darkest works Shostakovich ever conceived. The recording is spacious and vibrant, and its lovely acoustic quality may seem to take away some of the quartet's edginess and immediacy, but the Mandelring Quartet still communicates everything it intends, and there are many awe-inspiring passages where the ensemble brings its full force to bear on the listener, sparing nothing. Highly recommended.

Quartets - Released March 2, 2018 | Warner Classics


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

Quartets - Released February 26, 2016 | naïve classique

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice

Quartets - Released August 7, 2015 | Audite


Quartets - Released October 27, 2009 | Chandos


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

Quartets - Released August 29, 2014 | Sony Classical

Distinctions Diapason d'or

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.

Quartets - Released March 5, 2013 | Cedille Records

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason

Quartets - Released March 3, 2015 | CPO

Hi-Res Booklet

Quartets - Released June 25, 2007 | Russian Compact Disc


Quartets - Released April 1, 2014 | Solo Musica

Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles de Classica

Quartets - Released August 2, 2011 | ATMA Classique

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio

Quartets - Released April 29, 2016 | CPO

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason

Quartets - Released January 1, 2000 | CBC