These first complete recordings of the string quartets of Schoenberg, Berg, Webern and Zemlinsky have won numerous international awards and been hailed as landmarks in the discography of 20th-century music. Impeccable ensemble, superbly blended timbre and pure intonation ….This set [Schoenberg, Berg, Webern] is indeed a wonderful achievement (MusicWeb International). Febrile intensity and faultless proportioning of each formal structure [Zemlinsky] (Guardian).
Enthusiasts of microtonality have long been frustrated by the limited number of recordings that document this fascinating area of modern music. Fortunately for them, a landmark set has been released on Bayer Records by the Stamitz Quartet, presenting all 16 string quartets and a handful of shorter pieces by Czech composer and microtonal pioneer Alois Hába. His string quartets are firmly rooted in Western chamber music, so his chordal formations, rhythmic patterns, independent voice leading, and melodic shapes are quite similar to features of post-Romantic and early modern quartets. Yet Hába's music has this remarkable difference: his scales ……Blair Sanderson @ AllMusic.com
Over the past four decades, the Arditti Quartet have collaborated with almost all the great composers of our time, many of whom, from Elliott Carter to Karlheinz Stockhausen, Giacinto Scelsi to Harrison Birtwistle, have written pieces specifically for the group. But none of the Ardittis' associations have been as long-lasting and productive as that with Brian Ferneyhough. Since they gave the first performance of his Second String Quartet in 1980, Ferneyhough has ……..Andrew Clements @ The Guardian
I am very happy to have taken a chance and picked this up. Malipiero's string quartets are tonal and full of drama, yet avoid bland melodies or redundancy. In listening to these 8 works I was reminded a little of Bartok's first two quartets (before the full-on angular innovations), as well as the Debussy/Ravel quartets (Malipiero apparently spent a bit of time in Paris). While it would be debatable to suggest these works are in the same league as those, listeners who enjoy this medium with occasional dissonant spice will warm to these…..410 @ Amazon.com
Britten had a great affinity with chamber music from an early age it provided him with the perfect medium for experimenting with and assimilating a wide variety of musical styles and techniques. Featuring his works for string quartet, this set is a fitting tribute to one of the 20th century's most accomplished chamber music composers.
The name of Paul Dessau (1894-1979) probably summons up rather vague aural images of not unWeill-like music for Brecht's later plays. Dessau's American meeting with Brecht in 1942 was certainly a decisive event, helping to explain why the composer spent his last 30 years in the German Democratic Republic. Yet Dessau also met Schoenberg in America, and as these quartets reveal, his musical engagement with the ideals of that great iconoclast was no less complex and protracted than his involvement with Marxism……..from gramophone.net