Britten - The Complete String Quartets | Challenge Classics CC72655

Britten - The Complete String Quartets


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Label: Challenge Classics

Cat No: CC72655

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 2

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 4th September 2015



This specially priced 2CD set by the Brodsky Quartet contains their celebrated recordings of the complete String Quartets written by Benjamin Britten. It finally assembles all of these 2001 recordings in one set.

The Brodsky Quartet is a major player at the forefront of international chamber music scene, and has been performing and recording since 1972. Uniquely, though, they have pushed back the boundaries of string quartet playing, with exciting new commissions and bold collaborations with Elvis Costello and Björk, musicians who are better known in the rock and pop fields.

Pushing back the boundaries is not confined to their repertoire. While the tradition all over the world is for string quartets to perform sitting down, the Brodsky Quartet plays standing up, making performances a unique experience: "…that they choose to stand when playing drives the music and gives a real edge to their performance. The intensity of concentration and communication between the players reaches out from the stage right into the audience" (BBC Radio 3).

The Brodsky Quartet has enjoyed working and performing with some of the world’s most outstanding musicians, including Maria Joao Pires, Joanna MacGregor, Dimitri Ashkenazy and Anne Sofie von Otter. They have also worked closely with composers such as John Tavener, Witold Lutoslawski, Peter Sculthorpe, Django Bates, Julian Nott and Dave Brubeck.


The spontaneity of the playing of the Brodsky Quartet immediately grips the listener, with the gleamingly luminous opening of the D major Quartet bringing a raptly concentrated pianissimo, and this degree of intensity pervades the whole set of performances. The Three Divertimenti of 1936 are equally vividly characterized, the flimsy central Waltz delectably slight and transparent and full of charm. The recording could hardly be more real and present.
Penguin Guide 2009

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