Thursday, August 2, 2012

Theme russe

“The Kuss Quartet's new record, 'Theme russe', consists mostly of a number of appetising morsels, not so much a meal as hors d'oeuvres...Tchaikovsky provides the only substantial work, his First Quartet, played with a lively dance lilt in the Scherzo and a gentle eloquence with the arrangement of a genuine Ukrainian folksong” --Gramophone Magazine, July 2012

“An intelligent, rewarding and well-recorded programme from this superb German-based quartet. The main work, Tchaikovsky's first quartet, comes at the end and is one of the finest recent performances on disc.” --Classical Music, 21st April 2012 *****

An enchanting programme of Russian music for string quartet from the acclaimed Kuss Quartet. The multiple-composer 'Variations on a Russian folk song' has composers such as Scriabin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Glazunov and Lyadov rub shoulders with lesser-known names such as Vitols, Blumenfeld, Ewald, Winkler, Sokolov and Artsybuschev – each composer contributing a variation.

Selections from Tchaikovsky’s 'Album for the Young' frame two 20th-century works: Stravinsky’s effervescent 'Concertino', and Schnittke’s spare and sombre 'Canon in memoriam Igor Stravinsky'. • Tchaikovsky’s ever-popular First String Quartet concludes an ingeniously constructed programme.

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