SIBELIUS | SMETANA
Sibelius: String Quartet in D minor (Voces Intimae)
Smetana: String Quartets No. 1 in E minor (From My Life) and No. 2 in D minor
'The Dante Quartet, which has already produced first-rate Hyperion discs of French works by Franck, Fauré, Debussy and Ravel, expands its recording horizons here and at the same time shows how acutely it can summon up and crystalise the stylistic personalities of two markedly different composers.
Different they might be, but the three quartets on this programme share a quality of intimacy and soul-searching that the Dante captures poignantly and powerfully, not overstating the issue but finding a mode of expression that encapsulates shifts of mood from extremes'
Geoffrey Norris, The Telegraph
'The Dante Quartet can scarcely be faulted in terms of passionate attack. Each performance is eloquent, intense and emotionally gripping...the urgency of all the fast movements is compelling'
'The Dante Quartet has developed into a force to be reckoned with...Each player contributes bag-loads of personality, drawing out the chill winds of Sibelius and the earthy rhythms of Smetana's Czech polkas, against which the onset of the composer's hearing-loss - depicted by a high-pitched violin whine - is all too heart-rending'
'The members of the Dante Quartet...offer an intense, dynamic and fully committed version of Smetana's 'From My Life', seizing the air immediately, giving a dramatic, even orchestral account of it...These performances are superb - the Dante Quartet players really have the ability to bring music alive and sustain the listener through these examples of quartet repertoire that may still be finding homes'
International Record Review