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Mozart: String Quartets dedicated to Joseph Haydn - K.428, 465 "Dissonanz" & 387 / Cuarteto Casals

Ensemble

Notes & Reviews:

When he dedicated a set of six quartets to Haydn in 1785, Mozart was acknowledging the latter's supremacy in this difficult genre. Inspired by the older composer's masterpieces, Mozart did more than just imitate him; he integrated Haydn's innovations into his own style, thereby producing a new milestone of Viennese Classicism. The three quartets played here by Cuarteto Casals are among Mozart's finest, and are truly masterpieces of the genre.

BBC Music Magazine, November 2014
The period players of Cuarteto Casals reveal an intimate uderstanding of the special qualities of Mozart's quartet style...virtually every phrase is brought to life and coloured by some variations of bow pressure or speed, or vibrato...The recorded sound is fine-grained and vibrant.

The Strad, November 2014
This triptych of Mozart performances is of the highest calibre, captured by a close recording whose revealing detail exposes no weakness among the players.

The Guardian, 4th September 2014
They launch into every movement with tremendous relish, on such a tide of rich, deep string tone that they could be playing Brahms or Dvorßk, and it comes with equally full-blooded, expressive inflections. It is very involving to begin with, as such musical generosity draws you into the performance - welcomes you almost. But after a while it all seems a bit too obvious and generalised.

Financial Times, 12th September 2014
They fit three of the "Haydn" quartets (including the "Dissonance") on to this single disc, thanks to generous playing-time and skipping some repeats, and the performances are strong-willed, bold in contrasts, almost Beethovenian in their mettlesome thrust.

Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2014
Cuarteto Casals shatter a glass ceiling of historic inhibitions and camouflage nothing. Enshrined herein is a rare order of musicianship.

American Record Guide, November/December 2014
Here we have three of the six quartets Mozart dedicated to Haydn. They are today considered the zenith of classical quartet. These marvelous readings make two things clear. First, they were indeed radical (in fact, some parts still sound modern, like the opening line of Quartet 16). Second, they endure not because of their innovations, but because they have character.



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