, June 2012
This is the second disc for Capriccio by the mainly-German Signum Quartet. It follows a well-received recital of String Quartets by the underrated Austrian composer Ludwig Thuille…
Both discs open with Hugo Wolf’s sunny, celebrated ‘Italian’ Serenade, and both include Anton Webern’s hauntingly beautiful Langsamer Satz (‘Slow Movement’). The Alfama recital included a couple of surprise treats for the listener, youthful pieces not typical of the later, famous master: Rachmaninov’s Romance in G minor and Schoenberg’s Schubertian Presto in C.
Wolfgang Rihm’s own Quartettsatz is actually a full quartet, his Ninth…is a typically imaginative, episodic, invigorating piece full of late 20th-century drama and sound which the Signum Quartet, who have performed it in concert on several occasions, navigate with great panache. They compare favourably with the reading of another German quartet, the Minguet, available on volume 3 of their valuable recording of Rihm’s complete Quartets (Col Legno 20213, 2005). For comparison, if that is the word, the Signums follow Rihm with Schubert’s glorious Allegro assai in C minor, D.703, the founding father—and possibly crowning jewel—of the genre.
…the Signum Quartet are first-rate company for all their competition, playing with passion and intelligence, as well as terrific attention to detail in the score and to each other. There is a depth and maturity to their interpretations which does full justice to the poignancy and intensity of pieces like Crisantemi and the Webern and to the power and virtuosity of the Rihm and the Ives.
Sound quality in this studio recording is very good. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review