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Mozart: Dissonances / String Quartets KV 421 & 465 / Divertimento KV 138 Import

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, September 27, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

After their multi-award-winning Virgin Classics debut with a CD of Debussy, Ravel and Fauré, a program of Brahms, and the pop-jazz collection `Fiction', the members of the Ébène Quartet turn to works that lie close to the very origins of stringquartet writing - Mozart's so-called `Haydn Quartets'.

Composed in 1785, the set of six quartets was dedicated by Mozart to his friend and mentor Haydn, the acknowledged `father' of the string quartet. The most famous of the set is the quartet in C major, KV 465, the `Dissonance'. It opens with a mysterious introduction, with layered harmonies creating the dissonance that gives the quartet its distinctive nickname. It is coupled with the quartet in D minor, KV 421 (another of the `Haydn Quartets) and the Divertimento in F major KV 138, written when Mozart was a teenager.

Pierre Colombet, first violin of the Ébène Quartet explains the ensemble's approach to Mozart: "We felt that, after Fiction, it would be a good idea to choose something really very classical, essential quartet music which went back to the roots of the quartet. It is such amazing music, so rich and filled with such subtlety; completely unpretentious, yet of such genius."

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Product Details

  • Composer: Mozart
  • Audio CD (September 27, 2011)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Erato Disques
  • ASIN: B0057JWXAY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,147 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 5, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Quatuor Ébène has done it again. After offering not only pristine and passionate performances of Ravel, Debussy, Faure, Brahms and their recent adventure into FICTION they return to the classics. This well recorded (very presence oriented) recital is all Mozart and it is understandable that this brilliant French quartet would elect to publicly cleanse the palette after the foray into music inspired by Hollywood.

But prepare yourselves: this recital contains some of the most eloquent Mozart chamber music recorded. The quartet known to most - and the one they include most often when they are producing programs for touring is the String Quartet No. 19 - the 'Dissonance' Quartet. The name of course come form the opening Adagio/Allegro where the master indeed did write music that would centuries later be considered clam and tonal. Here the dissonances seem mild and merely interesting in other hands, but given the tendency of this ensemble's search for new truths, here the dissonances seem very modern and alive.

The Haydnesque Quartet No. 15 is airborne and the quartet plays with such clarity of tone that the sound seems to all come form the same set of strings. The phrasing and the intercommunication among the lads is stunning. The same can be said for the less often heard Divertimento in F major - a much earlier work but one piece that easily becomes a favorite by the end of the program.

It is so rare when chamber music is so well recorded as it is with the Quatuor Ébène. The closest comparison with quality is of course the recordings by Renaud and Gautier Capuçon. But that is another category. It is satisfying to know that the young artists are playing so well and causing such a positive reaction to classical music as these lads. Grady Harp, October 11
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Confession: the Quatuor Ebene has rapidly become one of my favorite performing groups. This recording has sped that process. They have combined the chiseled, precise quality of good Mozart performance with the deeper lyricism that many groups miss. It is not a matter of "Romantic" style versus "Classical," but of being open to the balance of precision and song. Their playing is precise, elegant, energetic, and intelligently phrased. As with their other recordings, they seem to understand each composer at a deep level of style and emotion. One can only hope they choose to record many more Mozart quartets.
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Format: Audio CD
La musique de chambre constitue chez Mozart et chez Haydn des nouveautés de genre, les réussites n'en sont pas moins fréquentes et parfois majeures. Le quatuor dit "Dissonances" peut troubler par ses harmonies peu tonales, c'est ce qui constitue aussi toute son originalité. Un hommage est à rendre au jeune quatuor français Ebène qui fait preuve d'un grand rafinement et d' un engagement de tous les instants, écoutez l'andante du quatuor N°15, tant de simplicité dans ce cantabile, tant de pureté nous font toucher le Ciel. Pour parachever cette très belle gravure, un coup de chapeau à la prise de son, naturelle, dynamique et équilibrée (aucun instrument ne domine sur les autres), bien servie par une acoustique remarquable, ni mate ni réverbérée, à l'équilibre parfait. Une magnifique réussite.
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Format: Audio CD
The Alban Berg Quartet seemed marginally more animated to me than Quartuor Ebene. Nevertheless, Quartuor Ebene constitute a fine group of performers who exhibit plenty of virtuosity, dash, charm, precision, and poise.

John J. Puccio
Classical Candor
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