Brahms - String Quartets 1 & 2 | Naxos 8573433

Brahms - String Quartets 1 & 2


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Label: Naxos

Cat No: 8573433

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 8th July 2016



Brahms’s two String Quartets, op.51, were the first he published but, completed in his 40th year, are very much mature masterpieces. He was very conscious of the tradition that lay behind the quartet genre, and the spirits of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert ensured that he took the greatest of care when preparing his own quartets. Each perfectly proportioned movement of these works creates its own unique expressive narrative, exploring bitter-sweet tonalities and thematic treatment ranging from tender lyricism to dramatic intensity.

The New Zealand String Quartet celebrates its 29th season in 2016, and its distinguished international reputation has been enhanced through acclaim for their recordings for Naxos. These include three volumes of Felix Mendelssohn’s quartets, the first volume (8570001) of which was made a Gramophone Recommends title. This multi-faceted quartet is equally at home with the intensity of Alban Berg’s quartets (8557374) given a 10/10 score by who marveled “at the individual players’ virtuosity, but you also have to appreciate that the relatively warm yet pleasingly “edgy” quality to the sound and the oneness of spirit in the interpretations come from the highest-order functioning of the well-integrated collective parts of a mature, vital body – that is, a string quartet that’s been together a long time, each member sharing life and breath in the music they make together.”

New Zealand String Quartet:
- Helene Pohl (violin)
- Douglas Beilman (violin)
- Gillian Ansell (viola)
- Rolf Gjelsten (cello)

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