Oceans of Time by Billy Hart
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Here is Mendelssohn at his most dazzling and exuberant. The Octet, written at the incredible age of 16, combines a youthful, carefree attitude with astonishing technical mastery and expressive variety; the quartet, written 13 years later, frames two serene, wistful movements with two bursts of sunshine. The playing is fabulous. The corner movements of the Quartet are brilliant but never hectic, the middle ones lovely and expressive; the Guarneri's beauty of tone and transparency of texture are fully on display. In the Octet, the eight players, resisting the usual temptation of trying to make every voice important, weave a wonderfully clear tapestry of lines; take-overs are seamless, phrasing and expression unanimous. The individual and collective sound shimmers and glows; a sense of rapport and mutual enjoyment warms the heart. --Edith Eisler