One of the most grown-up review sites around

2021
54,514 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements



TROUBADISC

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas


FOGHORN Classics


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


New Releases

Naxos Classical


Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage



Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


 


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
String Quartet in D, Op. 44, No. 1 (1838) [27:32]
String Quartet in E minor, Op. 44, No. 2 (1837) [24:33]
Cecilia String Quartet
rec. 2015, St-Augustin-de-Mirabel Church, Québec, Canda
ANALEKTA AN29844 [52:22]

The bristling tremolos at the start of the D minor Quartet immediately command the listener's attention; as the incisive first theme vaults above them, you realize these will be gripping performances.

The Cecilia Quartet's playing is firm and unapologetic -- cellist Rachel Desoer's deep, resonant tones on the C string provide a particularly solid support -- and even the little notes are all precisely tuned. Yet they maintain an excellent chamber-music parity, with their distinct individual lines coming together in unified, full-bodied chords. They match their trenchant attacks with a similar boldness in exploiting register changes and playing off contrasting sonorities. Best of all, the players clearly enjoy their own virtuosity, bringing off rapid figurations with obvious relish: the running figures in the E minor's first movement are thrillingly executed.
 
The Cecilia's no-nonsense address and forthright rhythmic propulsion make for exceptionally focused, purposeful renditions of the outer-movement Allegros. Three of the D major's four movements do betray some lack of planning: the players creep slightly faster through the various episodes, so there's a slight hitch when the main theme has to return in the original tempo. It's a distracting but hardly catastrophic flaw, and it doesn't arise at all in the E minor.

The players also draw plenty of character from the inner movements, sometimes so as to belie expectations. In the D major, the designated Menuetto rocks gently, almost like a 6/8; instead, it's the graceful, modally ambiguous Andante espressivo that suggests a court dance. The Scherzo of the E minor is busy but light, unexpectedly prefiguring Saint-Saëns; the Andante is very andante ("going") indeed, flowing so the melody coheres easily.

These are taut yet warmly played performances. Next to the Cecilia's detailed, engaged interpretations, those in the Coull Quartet's three-disc survey (Hyperion) sound comparatively generic. Analekta’s pleasing recorded ambience only becomes obvious around forte cadences, otherwise subtly enhancing the players’ tone.

Stephen Francis Vasta
stevedisque.wordpress.com/blog



Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

 

Recordings of the Month

February

January


Linda BUCKLEY
From Ocean’s Floor

December


Conner Riddle Songs


Rodzinski Sibelius


Of Innocence and Experience