Bartók: Complete String Quartets

Chandos Records

 CHAN 10992
 Multiple Set of 2 CDs
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Originally recorded in:
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October 2018
Béla Bartók
Arcadia Quartet
Jonathan Cooper
Rosanna Fish
Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk
String Quartet
Bartók - Complete String Quartets
Béla Bartók - Romanian Folk Dances
String Quartet No. 1, Op. 7, Sz. 40 III. Introduzione. Allegro - Allegro vivace
String Quartet No. 2, Op. 17, Sz. 67 II. Allegro molto capriccioso
String Quartet No. 3, Sz. 85 Prima parte. ModeratoString Quartet No. 3, Sz. 85 Prima parte. Moderato
String Quartet No. 4, Sz. 91 IV. Allegretto pizzicato
String Quartet No. 5, Sz. 102 V. Finale. Allegro vivace
String Quartet No. 6, Sz. 114 IV. Mesto

For its very first recording on Chandos, the Arcadia String Quartet presents what has been at the very heart of its musical career and influences: the complete string quartets by Bartók. With the music of the Hungarian composer, the members of this Romanian ensemble, neighbours of his birthplace, have won such major career-shaping competitions as Osaka, the Wigmore Hall, and Hamburg.

Bartók’s attachment to the string quartet – as to no other genre – was to the keystone of the Viennese tradition, but with the aim of moving the medium out of its native city a little, into the countryside of alternative tonalities and rhythms. The six mature works he wrote are being revealed here with all the singular patterns, mixed modalities, bitterness, lamentations, and, at times, bright folk influences which they contain.

Béla Bartók Complete String Quartets released by Chandos Records (2018).

To order, stream or download: https://lnk.to/ArcadiaFA

For our very first recording on Chandos, we present what has been at the very heart of our musical career and influences: the complete string quartets by Bartók. To order or download: https://lnk.to/ArcadiaFA
There is also a surprise if you go to www.chandos.net – bonus track, available for download only!

WQXR | New York&’s Classical Music Radio Station: The Best Classical New Releases of October 2018
“(…) it is often argued that no composer did more advance the string quartet than Béla Bartók. The Arcadia Quartet’s vibrant take on Bartók’s six quartets is prima facie evidence for this claim. Every quartet worth its salt has recorded at least one of Bartók’s, but the young Romanian ensemble takes pains to distinguish the composer’s most radical innovations — his peculiarly symmetrical notion of form, liberal use of extended technique and incorporation of hard-driving Hungarian folk rhythms — where other groups smooth them over. These works have a monstrous quality to begin with, and the Arcadia’s electrifying performance gives them an almost Frankensteinian sentience, groaning (the Fifth Quartet’s spectral Adagio), shrieking (the Third’s piercing Coda) and howling (the Fourth’s vicious finale) their way to, hopefully, inspiring the next great compositional mind to upend this medium.”
by Zev Kane, WQXR, USA, October 28, 2018

Gramophone: BARTÓK Complete StringQuartets (Arcadia Quartet)
“(…) if I was asked to recommend a Bartók cycle to a first-time listener intimidated by his spiky reputation, I’d send them straight to the Arcadia Quartet.”
by Richard Bratby, Gramophone, UK, November 2, 2018

Musicweb International: Bartók – RECORDING OF THE MONTH
“They show a great deal of control and focus throughout this recording, as well as a mastery of even the tiniest detail of phrasing.”
by Stuart Sillitoe, Musicweb International, November 27, 2018

Our Bartók recording receives a 4 star review from BBC Music Magazine
“…a beautifully balanced performance.”
by John Allison, BBC Music magazine, Christmas Issue 2018

TransCentury Communications: A LIFE IN STRINGS
“(…) the players have an overarching sense of the music’s style and of Bartók’s concerns at this point in his life, and there is an inexorable quality about the way the Arcadia Quartet moves through the work, finding considerable depth even though this is the shortest piece in the Bartók quartet cycle.”

“(…) The overall poetic quality of the performances is perhaps their most notable feature, but the players’ sensitivity to the quartets’ drama and humor is also highly attractive, and their involvement in the material is practically tangible.”
by TransCentury Communications, December 27, 2018

Musicweb International review of Béla BARTÓK (1881–1945) Complete String Quartets
“For some the Arcadia Quartet might just be too civilized. But it is a compelling and very beautiful cycle that elbows its way to a place at the crowded top table.”
by Roy Westbrook, Musicweb International, December 31, 2018

Limelight gives a four star review: BARTÓK: COMPLETE STRING QUARTETS (ARCADIA QUARTET)
“This is wonderfully imaginative playing – a more relaxed approach than the high-tension of some recent rivals. The expansive tempi allow room for savouring some extraordinary textures and sonorities, letting sounds resonate and hang in the air. Their lovely tonal blend, captured in a typical Chandos warm acoustic, is in the classic East-European soft-grained tradition but doesn’t sugarcoat these modernist icons. The primal savagery is conveyed with foot-stamping energy and earthy colours, while melancholia and wistful longing pervade the atmospheric slow movements.”
by Warwick Arnold, Limelight, Australia, January 8, 2019

4 star review by ClassicalSource
“This is an excellent set of the Bartók String Quartets …”
by Tully Potter, ClassicalSource.com, January 14, 2019