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Chiara String Quartet - Bartok by Heart (2016)

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Chiara String Quartet - Bartok by Heart (2016)

FLAC (log,tracks+cue), Lossless | Label: Azica Records | Classical | 02:34:35 | 706 Mb

Tracklist

CD 1

String Quartet No. 1, Op. 7
01. I. Lento
02. II. Allegretto
03. III. Introduzione: Allegro

String Quartet No. 3
04. Prima parte: Moderato
05. Seconda parte: Allegro
06. Ricapitulazione della prima parte: Moderato
07. Coda: Allegro molto

String Quartet No. 5
08. I. Allegro
09. II. Adagio molto
10. III. Scherzo. Alla bulgarese
11. IV. Andante
12. V. Finale: Allegro vivace

CD 2

String Quartet No. 2
01. I. Moderato
02. II. Allegro molto capriccioso
03. III. Lento

String Quartet No. 4
04. I. Allegro
05. II. Prestissimo, con sordino
06. III. Non troppo lento
07. IV. Allegretto pizzicato
08. V. Allegro molto

String Quartet No. 6
09. I. Mesto - Vivace
10. II. Mesto - Marcia
11. III. Mesto - Burletta: Moderato
12. IV. Mesto

Following on the success of its 2014 album, Brahms by Heart, the Chiara String Quartet performs the six string quartets of Bela Bartok entirely from memory for this 2016 Azica release. The time wasn't so long ago when Bartok's demanding quartets were among the most difficult chamber pieces, and memorizing them would have seemed imprudent, if not impossible. Yet this youthful ensemble has thoroughly mastered the technical side of the quartets as well as any contemporary ensemble has, and the feat of memorization seems rather more of a positive selling-point than an ill-advised stunt. The Chiara plays with high energy and the freedom to experiment with expression, though their excessive use of portamento at the opening of the String Quartet No. 1 is unfortunate. For the most part, the Chiara has a strong feeling for Bartok's moods, particularly in the fragile "night music" movements of the String Quartet No. 4 and the String Quartet No. 5, though the group is most vigorous and exciting in the Allegro molto capriccioso of the String Quartet No. 2, an ideal track for sampling Bartok's bracing sonorities and the Chiara's powerful playing.--Blair Sanderson

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