[ Naxos / CD ]
Release Date: Sunday 20 April 2008
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With their often turbulent and dark-hued openings, poignant slow movements, elfin Scherzos reminiscent of the music for A Midsummer Night's Dream, and tense, thrilling last movements of perpetual motion, Mendelssohn's String Quartets are works of considerable emotional range and mastery of form. This first disc of the complete String Quartets ranges from the youthful No. 1, Op. 12 (actually the second of the published quartets) to the great, tragic String Quartet No. 6, Op. 80, Mendelssohn's last major work, composed after the death of his sister.
"Three cheers for all concerned! This excellent quartet, recorded in the ideal acoustic setting of Holy Martyr's Church in Bradford, Ontario comes across as a symphonically rich group with tight ensemble, perfect intonation and a pulsing energy most suitable to Mendelssohn. As the first in a projected complete traversal of he quartets, forthcoming discs in the series will be welcomed by all chamber music lovers." Giv Cornfield, May 2008
"The sound of this disc has an ample resonance, yet with little loss of clarity; it suits the group's generous expressive style. The deep feeling they bring to movements such as the Adagio of No 6 and the first Allegro of No 4 belies any lingering thoughts of Mendelssohn as a superficial composer." Gramophone
String Quartet No. 6 in F minor, Op. 80
String Quartet No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 12
String Quartet No. 4 in E minor, Op. 44, No. 2