Even though Franz Joseph Haydn is widely credited as the father of the string quartet, the Casal Quartet makes a startling claim that the honor may belong to Franz Xaver Richter, whose seven String Quartets, Op. 5, seem to have determined the character of the genre, from their first performance by Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf's quartet in 1757. Richter's quartets preceded Haydn's and Boccherini's earliest efforts by several years, suggesting that they were likely influential. Furthermore, the sophistication and polish of his Op. 5 suggests that he may well have composed other such quartets, though if he did, they are lost.
Finally, Mendelssohn's string quartets are hitting the big time. Over the past decade, there have been more and, for the most part, better recordings of his quartets that at any time in history. Think of the Alban Berg Quartet's brilliantly bracing recording or the Quatuor Mosaïques' fervently soulful recording. Of course, there have also been some fairly mediocre recordings – think of the Emerson's recklessly energetic recording – and merely passable recordings – think of the Henschel's hastily enthusiastic recording.
”… an outstanding project of landmark proportions…MDG has produced an excellent warm, intimate, life-sized recording. The composer provides his customarily thorough and enlightening notes … Highly recommended.” (Fanfare)
It would be difficult to imagine a finer account of this extraordinary work than that of the Melos Quartet and their distinguished guest. The flow of the music is magnificently sustained, its colour and inner life marvellously felt. There is a spontaneity to the playing that perfectly complements the profound whimsicality of Schubert's journeys to remote tonal regions, along with a sensitivity ideally suited to the meditative quality of the composer's lyricism. The recording is warm and spacious, richly nuanced, and admirably balanced.
Italy's retro bike race is a cycling classic. Running on gravel roads with 80's bikes, woolen jerseys and fueled by rich Italian food and wine, the glorious L'Eroica race captures the golden era of cycling. The film follows cycling greats of the past, and some of the younger enthusiasts for an excellent view of the magical land and race.
"A triumphant start to what heralds to be one of the best Shostakovich quartet cycles imaginable. (…) Highly recommended." 5/5 ~sa-cd.net
"While the Petersen Quartet has recorded all sorts of repertoire since it signed with Capriccio in the middle '90s, this disc of French quartets from the fin de siècle is still something of a departure. Because while Beethoven and Schubert and Shostakovich all require the same sort of earnest commitment and intense attitude, Milhaud, Lekeu, Chausson, and Ravel are an entirely different bouillabaisse. (…) Capriccio's super audio sound is as clean and detailed as its conventional sound, but even deeper and warmer." ~allmusicguide