Cherubini Quartett

Mendelssohn: String Quartets 1-6

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Mendelssohn's string quartets seem to be "rediscovered" about every five years, which is surprising given their quality (they are arguably the best examples of the genre between Schubert and Brahms). Yet one of the great surprises of the early digital era was the set of Mendelssohn's quartets by the Cherubini Quartett recorded between 1989 and 1990. Reissued here as a set in 2007, the performances stand the test of time. Solidly constructed and intensely expressive with an irresistible sense of rhythm, the Cherubini's performances are instantly engaging. And with their depth of detail and control of form, they likewise reward repeated listenings. One might wish their ensemble a bit tighter in the more furious Prestos and Allegro vivaces, but even the finest of later performances do not best the Cherubini in Mendelssohn's singing Adagios. Produced by Gerd Berg, these early digital recordings have uncharacteristically close, warm sound. Although there are other performances of these works worth knowing, anyone who doesn't already know them couldn't do better than to start with the Cherubini Quartett's set.

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