The Hollywood String Quartet (HSQ) was an American string quartet founded by violinist/conductor Felix Slatkin and his wife cellist Eleanor Aller. The Hollywood String Quartet is considered to be the first American-born and trained classical music chamber group to make an international impact, mainly through its landmark recordings. These recordings have long been regarded as among the most outstanding recorded performances of the string quartet repertoire.
The Ariel Quartet, distinguished by its virtuosic playing and impassioned interpretations, makes its debut recording pairing two giants of the string-quartet world, Bela Bartok and Johannes Brahms. Both composers stand as significant pillars of the youthful Quartet’s two-decade-long journey. The Ariel Quartet earned its glowing international reputation early on, having formed in Israel when its members were students in middle school. The Ariel now serves as the Faculty Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music Debut. This release is the first in a projected series pairing the quartets of Bartok and Brahms. “…a blazing, larger-than-life performance…” (The Washington Post) “…the sum of the quartet is indeed greater than its parts…”(The Strad)
Busoni embodied an essentially recreative approach to the music of the past. His Bach transcriptions reveal an absolute command of intricate polyphony and a limpid clarity. Mozart stood as an aesthetic and technical exemplar while Cramer’s little-known Etudes are adapted for modern piano technique. Busoni preserved the Lutheran austerity of Brahms’s Chorale Preludes for Organ, Op. 122 whereas in the Mephisto Waltz No. 1 he augments Liszt’s heady writing with a super-virtuosity of his own. Wolf Harden I one of the most versatile pianists of his generation. He has enjoyed great success in the Trio Fontenay, an ensemble that he founded in 1980 and with which he has toured to all the world’s major music centres. Harden devotes himself not only to chamber music but, with the same success, to the solo piano repertoire.