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09 September 2016 / News
Our brand new CD release for Naxos, Brahms String Quartets Nos. 1 and 2, is the first in a series of three in the pipeline covering the string quartets and quintets of Johannes Brahms and has received glowing reviews in the first weeks of its release. Here is an extract from the review in ‘Classics Today’, regarded by founder and Head of Naxos, Klaus Heymann as “the most important classical review platform in the United States”:
There is no holding back in these performances: the NZSQ literally attacks and wrestles Brahms’ scores to the ground – a positive, friendly intervention, for the good of all concerned. These performances should not disappoint any listener, whether you hate Brahms or love his music, because they take you out of the realm of preconception and just deliver aggressive, uninhibited, and yes, passionate expressions of these scores, respectful of the composer while always working to realize the fullness of the music that Brahms struggled so long and hard to create.
Closer to home, New Zealand Herald reviewer William Dart gives it a 5/5 and the verdict “Homegrown Brahms shows Kiwi quartet at its best”, while the verdict in the Otago Daily Times, was “Treat for chamber music fans.”
We recorded this disc back in 2014 at St Anne’s Church in Toronto with producers Bonnie and Norbert Kraft. Reviewers have mentioned the sense of creative collaboration that comes from many years of playing together as an ensemble, so it is wonderful to listen back on the work we did on this recording with our long-term colleague Doug Beilman as second violinist.
Rolf has this to say about the two quartets on this recording:
“Brahms discarded over twenty string quartets before he finally felt satisfied to publish his two Opus 51 quartets in C minor and A minor respectively. On an emotional level, these magnificent works complement each other beautifully. The C minor's passionate outer movements and soaring romantic slow movement form an ideal contrast to the poetic, introspective and probing A minor quartet with its brilliant finale. These works bridge the gap of quartet masterpieces from late Beethoven and Schubert to those of Bartok and Shostakovich.”
We’ll have copies of the CD for sale at our concerts on the Chamber Music New Zealand QuintEssence tour, and you can also contact us at the NZSQ office to order a copy firstname.lastname@example.org
We are extremely grateful for the financial support we received from Peter and Carolyn Diessl, and from Victoria University of Wellington, which made these recordings possible. We do hope you’ll explore this wonderful music with us!
10 April 2019 / NewsAs part of Chamber Music New Zealand’s Encompass Series, we’ll be performing five concerts across the country between 27 April and 5 May. Each concert will include the late New Zealand composer Jack Body’s piece Bai Sanxian. Read More
10 April 2019 / NewsYou don’t have long to wait now before our 2019 National Tour! In June and July we’re coming to some of the country’s loveliest historic and modern venues, so be in quick to secure your spot for a warming mid-winter experience. Read More
28 February 2019 / NewsWe’re incredibly excited to announce we’re hitting the road even earlier than usual this year for our 2019 National Tour! Our first concert will be in Featherston on 28 June, then it’s off to another eight cities to give twelve more concerts. Read More