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Richard Whitehouse
International Record Review, January 2012

The first Quartet in G major, is an absolute charmer, especially the delightful finale and Second, more probingly serious… © 2012 International Record Review



Sensible Sound, August 2002

If you enjoy string quartet music, then at the Naxos budget price it would most certainly be worth your while to take a chance on these seldom-heard compositions. The sound quality is excellent, the performances are polished, and this disk is an excellent way to introduce yourself to some rewarding music that you most likely have never heard before.



Peter J. Rabinowitz
Fanfare, August 2002

"The much-admired Maggini Quartet, whose Vaughan Williams CD won a Gramophone Award last year, provides appropriately opulent performances that bring out the music's haunting beauties...without buffing away its roughness or cushioning the impact of its rhythms. The engineering is expert, too. One can only hope that the Third Quartet - Bax's longest - is on the Maggini agenda. In the meanwhile, this release is strongly recommended."



Lehman
American Record Guide, June 2002

"These are certainly excellent and well-recorded renditions and at Naxos's price a super bargain."



Harry Long
Classic Images, June 2002

The Bax String Quartets are a study in contrasts...Where the first seems mindlessly lightweight the second seems freighted with more ideas than it can sort through. Needless to say it is also the more challenging to the listener. The Naxos CD features sensitive and expressive renditions of both pieces by the Maggini Quartet.



Jacob Stockinger
The Capital Times and Wisconsin State Journal, April 2002

"These are terrific follow-ups, even if the quality of the music is uneven. There's not a lot that remains undiscovered in the string quartet repertoire, but for many listeners these works will be genuine finds."



Bill Marsh
The Delian, March 2002

"Once again the Magginis turn in a stellar performance of two of Bax's three string quartets."



Geoffrey Norris
The Telegraph, November 2001


Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International

"An innocent and sun-dappled work, it comes as a surprise to hear that the First Quartet was written during the last year of the Great War. Its three movements bubble along smilingly or serenely, throwing off great tunes and harmonic teases with abandon. The Maggini's swoop and etch, dance and spin the music with every appearance of carefree ease. This is joyous, life-embracing music written in a sunny Dvorakian dazzle. You must hear this! The outer movements develop an authentic Wienerisch bustle and in the Rondo a spectral quality and (at 3.10 track 3) one of the loveliest tunes in all music. If you are not very careful (and why should you be) you will find yourself whistling the themes from the First Quartet.

This is the First Quartet's second CD recording and both are fine though the best sound is with the Naxos [...]

The Second Quartet is at the other pole from the First. It is a work for Bax connoisseurs rather than those wanting to find a way into the Baxian heritage. Coeval with the Second Symphony it lacks that work's melodic treasury but shares its vertical complexity of line. It is by no means an ingratiating work and the contrast with the First Quartet is stark. I must not give the impression that it is without attraction but the complexity takes its toll and it does not speak with immediacy. Oddly enough it made me think of the music of Eugene Goossens especially his By the Tarn and First Quartet [...]

The liner notes are by Lewis Foreman so we are guaranteed readability, facts and opinions firmly founded on evidence.

One of last year's top ten classical discs. Roll on the Naxos/Maggini Third Quartet - a work of symphonic impact and scale."






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2:40:22 AM, 5 August 2015
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