Voices of Defiance: String Quartets by Ullmann, Shostakovich, Laks | Cedille Records CDR90000173

Voices of Defiance: String Quartets by Ullmann, Shostakovich, Laks

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Label: Cedille Records

Cat No: CDR90000173

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 13th October 2017

Contents

About

Voices of Defiance, the Dover Quartet’s second Cedille Records album, presents quartets of passion, hope, and resilience whose beauty defies the horrors that surrounded their creation.

“The young American string quartet of the moment” (The New Yorker) delivers an original, deeply felt program of three European composers’ distinctive responses to the destruction and despair of World War II.

Czech composer Viktor Ullmann’s powerful String Quartet No.3, written in the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1943, draws inspiration from Debussy’s impressionism and Schoenberg’s serialism. The ensemble’s muscular approach to Dmitri Shostakovich’s epic String Quartet No.2 from 1944 emphasizes its tragic qualities, befitting the album’s theme. A captivating discovery for most listeners, Szymon Laks’s lyrical String Quartet No.3, written in 1945 following his liberation from Auschwitz, revels in folk melodies from his native Poland in contrasting scenes of heartbreak and ecstasy.

Winner of a 2017 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the first prize and all special prizes awarded at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition, this “terrific quartet” (National Post) brings its “confident, sinewy playing of distinctive sound and ample nuance” to this recording of profound 20th century masterworks.

The Dover Quartet’s debut recording, Tribute: Dover Quartet Plays Mozart (Cedille Records CDR90000167) received
universal critical acclaim:

“How blessed we are to be living in a gol en age of string playing. The Dover Quartet now takes that to the next level, platinum.” — Fanfare

“This is glorious music-making and I enjoyed every minute of it. May the Dover Quartet endure for 45 years, as their mentors in the Guarneri did before them.” — Musical Toronto

“[A] deeply affecting debut disc. ... Mozart’s final string quartets ... are performed here with surpassing beauty [and] a glorious timbral richness.” — Sunday Times

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