Magazine article Gramophone

Debussy * Szymanowski: Debussy String Quartet

Magazine article Gramophone

Debussy * Szymanowski: Debussy String Quartet

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Debussy * Szymanowski

Debussy String Quartet, Op 10 Szymanowski String Quartets--No 1, Op 37; No 2, Op 56 Meccore Quartet Warner Music Poland (F) 2564 60747-1 (61' * DDD)

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How do you like your Szymanowski: Romantic sunset or modernist dawn? On its second release, the Meccore Quartet--an impressive Polish ensemble --opts very much for the latter. These are performances that relish the sheer strangeness of this music: sharp angles, tangy dissonances, ml ponticello shivers and high energy. Very high energy, in fact, and the Meccores certainly have the virtuosity to sustain it. Listen to the control of Jaroslaw Nadrzycki's slightly metallic-sounding violin at the very opening of the First Quartet, and the bravura with which the group throw themselves at the dizzying slides from about 2'55" in the scherzo of the Second.

That's both the greatest strength and the most significant weakness of this disc. Virtuosity is a prerequisite for the Szymanowski quartets but it's not enough in itself, and there are too many moments here where the Meccores seem to be creating only a dazzling surface; too many details just thrown away in music where every note should speak. …

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