Recordings

Sir Charles Villiers STANFORD

String Quartet No. 5 in B flat, Op. 104 In memoriam Joseph Joachim

String Quartet No. 8 in E minor, Op. 167

Joseph Joachim

Romance, from Drei Stücke für Violine und Klavier Op.2 No.1

(SOMM CÉLESTE SOMMCD0160)

This is an excellent disc in every respect – valuable and rare repertoire, superbly performed and presented in warm and detailed sound supported by insightful documentation. More excitingly, it would appear to be the first volume of a survey of all eight of Stanford’s string quartets.

Nick Barnard, MusicWeb International

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Kodály

String Quartet No 1 in C minor, Op 2
String Quartet No 2, Op 10
Intermezzo for String Trio
Gavotte

(Hyperion CDA67999)

 

“If I were to name the composer whose works are the most perfect embodiment of the Hungarian spirit, I would answer, Kodály,” said Béla Bartók of his friend and fellow campaigner for a definition of a national musical identity. The Dante Quartet give us a glimpse of Kodály’s rapid stylistic development in these crisply defined performances. The charming Intermezzo from 1905 shows the influence of Vienna still apparent in the young composer, but by 1908 he was finding his true voice with the pungent, folk song-inspired first quartet, played here with unapologetic vigour by the Dantes. Quartet No 2 combines the pentatonic influence of Debussy with more than a dash of Magyar pepper, the Dantes bringing the tumult of the finale to a gloriously rumbustious close.”

Stephen Pritchard, The Guardian

Sibelius – Smetana

Sibelius – String Quartet in D minor (Voces intimae)
Smetana – String Quartets No 1 in E minor (From My Life) No 2 in D minor

(Hyperion CDA67845)

“The Dante Quartet, which has already produced first-rate Hyperion discs of French works by Franck, Fauré, Debussy and Ravel, expands its recording horizons here and at the same time shows how acutely it can summon up and crystalise the stylistic personalities of two markedly different composers.

Different they might be, but the three quartets on this programme share a quality of intimacy and soul-searching that the Dante captures poignantly and powerfully, not overstating the issue but finding a mode of expression that encapsulates shifts of mood from extremes… more

Geoffrey Norris, The Telegraph

Ian Venables – Invite to Eternity

Four Songs with String Quartet (arr Graham J Lloyd)

String Quartet, Op 32 with Andrew Kennedy – tenor

(Signum Classics SIGCD204)

Debussy – Ravel

Debussy – String Quartet in G minor

Ravel – String Quartet in F major; Violin Sonata

with Simon Crawford-Phillips – piano

(Hyperion CDA67759)

“They find all manner of shading and delicacy in the Debussy; their Ravel is a miracle of feather-light tone and seamless phrasing.”

Financial Times 2010

Franck – Fauré

Fauré – String Quartet in E minor

Franck – String Quartet in D major

(Hyperion CDA67664)

“The Dante Quartet imparts with two masterpieces, written by Franck and Fauré at the ends of their lives, a poignant fervour that these pieces have not enjoyed for a long time.”

Diapason, France October 2008

“One feels the four musicians are participants on a turbulent voyage through the organised wilderness of Franck’s score, making musical observations inspired by their surroundings. This makes for an electrifying performance.”

Musical Criticism 2008

“It is a measure of the outstanding quality of the Dante Quartet that both works [Franck and Fauré quartets] are projected as vividly and immediately as they are. There’s such a passionate involvement about their playing, such belief in the music’s outstanding qualities, which not only makes light of the structural challenges of the Franck, but treats the rarified world of the Fauré as if it were the most naturally expressive thing imaginable.”

The Guardian 2008

“The Dante is one of those rare quartets where you can sense the personalities of the individual players as much as appreciate the common bond that ties their interpretations together. This latest disc of Franck and Fauré marks the beginning of a new relationship with Hyperion, which could not have begun on a better note.”

Daily Telegraph 2008

Janáček

String Quartets Nos 1 & 2

Violin Sonata

with Krysia Osostowicz – violin and Ferenc Rados – piano

(Meridian CDE 84560)

“These [performances of the Janáček quartets], by the superb Dante Quartet, are suitably impassioned. I have heard more savagely abrasive interpretations, but none of greater intensity and tenderness, none more alive to the lyricism that coexists with Janáček’s harshest inventions.”

Sunday Times 2008

“The Dantes capture the ecstatic intensity of Janáček’s vision with an equally moving vulnerability.”

Financial Times 2007

“These incandescent readings bring a wealth of interpretative insight… performances to be relished again and again.”

BBC Music Magazine 2007

Lyapunov – Gretchaninov

Lyapunov – Piano Sextet Op 63

with John Thwaites – piano

and Leon Bosch – double bass

Gretchaninov – String Quartet No 3

(Dutton CDSA 6880)

Edmund Rubbra

String Quartets No 1 Op 35 and No 3 Op 112

Improvisation for Solo Cello

Sonata for Cello and Piano Op 60

with Pierre Doumenge – cello and Michael Dussek – piano

(Dutton CDLX 7123)

Edmund Rubbra

String Quartets No 2 Op 73 and No 4 Op 150

Lyric Movement for String Quartet and Piano Op 24

with Michael Dussek – piano

Meditations on a Byzantine Hymn, O Quando in Cruce for two violas Op 117a

Judith Busbridge, Krysia Osostowicz – violas

(Dutton CDLX 7114)

The [Dante Quartet’s] previous coupling of [Rubbra’s] Quartets Nos 2 and 4 was shortlisted for a Gramophone Award, and if anything this newcomer [Quartets 1 and 3] attains an even greater level of accomplishment and perception.”

Gramophone Feb 2003