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Debussy: String Quartet; Saint-Saëns: Quartet no. 1; Ravel: String Quartet / Modigliani Quartet

Notes & Reviews:

At the dawn of the twentieth century, Paris, more than any other city, experienced the metamorphosis of the arts as they cast away the constraints of tradition and embraced freedom and experimentation. The vibrations of colors and light on the canvases of Monet, Seurat and their contemporaries were transmuted into sounds in the output of Debussy, whose String Quartet opened the way to a new aesthetic. Ten years later Ravel was to crystallize its style, as if to follow Debussy's conception through to its conclusion. Between these two jewels of the French repertoire the Modigliani Quartet performs Saint-Saëns' String Quartet No.1, revealing it as a tremendously appealing work, brimming with charm, humor and elegance.

American Record Guide, July/August 2013
These are the best recordings of the Debussy and Ravel quartets I've heard. What strikes me immediately is the warmth, balance, exquisite phrasing, and buoyant rhythmic lift. In brief, these stunning players truly understand impressionism and the importance of making every element sound. In addition, the gorgeous instruments played by the Modigliani Quartet, formed in 2003 by four French students who are utterly musical and beyond technique, are like adding sweet cream to their playing. I can't wait to hear more from them.


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