The Aeolian Quartet's epic cycle, originally released in the Seventies, was one of the gramophone's major contributions to Haydn's cause. Listening to the performances anew I find they have lost none of their freshness: they were based on the latest research, and the playing itself is always intelligent and thoughtful, with Emanuel Hurwitz's sweet-toned violin-playing a great asset throughout. (Misha Donat)
Amazing: Although the six string quartets Opus 3 by Manuel Canales Braulio (1747-1786) experienced their first publication in London, the composer is not listed in the New Grove (1980). The more important are the notes by the first violinist of the Munich Cambini Quartet in the booklet. Canales worked primarily at the Cathedral of Toledo and at the court of the Duke of Alba in Madrid. His quartets are influenced by Haydn and Boccherini, but also have a certain Spanish flair.
Few chamber music groups have as proud a history as the Smetana Quartet, or a history that evokes as much nationalistic passion. Founded during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, the group's very existence was an anomaly during an era when any manifestation of Czech nationalism was outlawed. They survived into the post-Nazi era, and went on to an acclaimed international performing career, making some of the finest chamber music recordings of the 1950s and 1960s…
Kuijken was born in Dilbeek, near Brussels. He was a member of the Alarius Ensemble of Brussels between 1964 and 1972 and formed La Petite Bande in 1972. Since 1971 he has taught Baroque violin at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and the Koninklijk Muziekconservatorium in Brussels. He is noted for using the older technique of resting the violin on the shoulder without a shoulder rest, rather than held under the chin. He is a member of the Kuijken String Quartet, which he formed in 1986. In recent years, he has also performed as conductor of symphonies of the Romantic era.
FonoForum 9/94: »Top-flight interpretation. The renderings of all six quartets are full of life and special verve. A true listening pleasure and a welcome addition to the repertoire in what is an exemplary performances
"Naturalness & sparkle are trump: Boccherini's quiet humor & fine-honed technique are heard at their best." FonoForum 6/95