Magazine article Gramophone

Haydn * Schubert * Widmann: 'Vivere'

Magazine article Gramophone

Haydn * Schubert * Widmann: 'Vivere'

Article excerpt

Haydn * Schubert * Widmann

'Vivere'

Haydn String Quartet, 'Fifths', Op 76 No 2 Schubert String Quartet No 14, 'Death and the Maiden', D810 Widmann String Quartet No 3, 'Jagdquartett'

Ragazze Quartet

Channel Classics (F) *** CCSSA34613 (69' * DDD/DSD)

Death-themed debut on disc for the Dutch quartet

There is an exciting combination of influences in this first recording of the all-female Dutch quartet, although the fact that the word 'crossover' appears in their booklet-notes should be reported as lost in translation: the heritage of string quartet-playing is too authentic in it, and there is too much skill behind the kaleidoscoping of colours from phrase to phrase that loses nothing in its perfection of ensemble in the process. In fact, their blend is as familiar, unified and single-voiced as any long-established quartet--even those in the Endellion mould. Their emphasis of certain key points in phrases does, though, have a quality that is undeniably incongruous (even if it is to your taste), and although there is nevertheless great intensity in their playing, it can be hard to connect with the sense that that fervour represents musical intent, rather than simply living in the moment. …

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