Magazine article Gramophone

Ades: Dutilleux: Ravel: Ades Arcadiana Dutilleux Ainsi la Nuit

Magazine article Gramophone

Ades: Dutilleux: Ravel: Ades Arcadiana Dutilleux Ainsi la Nuit

Article excerpt

Ades * Dutilleux * Ravel

Ades Arcadiana Dutilleux Ainsi la nuit

Ravel String Quartet

Varese Quartet

NoMadMusic (F) NMM033 (66' * DDD)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Time was that Ravel's String Quartet went with Debussy's on disc the way Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto went with Bruch's. The Belcea Quartet's debut recording back in 2001 added Dutilleux's Ainsi la nuit to that classic coupling, and now the first release by Quatuor Varese--four graduates of the Conservatoire National in Lyon--pairs the Ravel and Dutilleux with Thomas Ades's Arcadiana, in a wonderfully satisfying way.

The first thing to say is that Quatuor Varese play exquisitely. For a quick taste of their sound, try the Ravel's second movement from about 1'50". The quiet, searching interplay of the inner parts, the delicate suggestion of a waltz rhythm, the tangy bite of pizzicato violin--this is an ensemble that matches a vast range of tonal colour to a sensitive and vivid musical imagination. NoMadMusic has captured them in a near--ideal chamber acoustic: enough bloom to sound attractive but close enough to feel the physicality of fingers on strings. …

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