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Edward Bhesania
The Strad, November 2013

The Ying presents this dance-like original finale [Barber’s op 11 String Quartet] with fleet-footed panache, and the disc continues to the end with the same uninhibited yet polished playing. Barber’s even earlier op 1 Serenade benefits from the Ying players’ balanced ensemble and fluidity of expression. Dover Beach, absorbingly sung by Randall Scarlata, is searching and evocative and if Howard Hanson’s Concerto da camera for piano quintet may amount to little more than an interesting novelty, his String Quartet comes over as a neglected masterpiece.

This is a highly recommended release, and not only to self-confessed fans of American music. © 2013 The Strad Read complete review



Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, September 2013

I thoroughly enjoyed this impressive disc greatly assisted by the assurance of the members of the Ying Quartet who are clearly committed advocates for this music of their home country. © MusicWeb International Read complete review



Walter Simmons
Fanfare, September 2013

This is the latest release from the remarkable Ying Quartet…the sound quality…is extraordinarily full, rich, and clear.

This is a remarkable new release that will delight enthusiasts of American neoromanticism. © 2013 Fanfare Read complete review



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, August 2013

The Ying Quartet play the music like they were born to it, with expressive depth of feeling yet a keen ear for the many dynamic nuances the music offers. They are first-rate and so is this recording. A fine showcase of music generally not often enough performed, presented with sheer artistry. © 2013 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review




WQXR (New York), August 2013

The longtime quartet residence at the Eastman School of Music offers this collection of American 20th-century Romanticism, featuring a few rare gems. Most notable is Barber’s String Quartet, Op. 11, whose slow movement is better known as the Adagio for strings. The Yings include Barber’s original finale to the piece, which the composer later rejected and replaced with the current finale; for comparison’s sake we also get the more famous account. Decide for yourself. Also on the collection is Barber’s Serenade for string quartet, Op. 1, and his familiar setting of Dover Beach, plus a quartet and piano quintet by Howard Hanson, and, most unusually of all, a transcription of Randall Thompson’s choral piece Alleluia. A welcome set from a fine ensemble. © WQXR (New York)



Laurence Vittes
Gramophone, July 2013

The bold, eloquent performances, recorded in immaculately audiophile sound, make a claim for the lost American generation of Hanson and Barber, and three works here deserve special mention. © 2013 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Greg Cahill
Strings Magazine, July 2013

Audiophiles will appreciate the inclusion of a hi-def Blu-ray audio disc version of this reflective program…Music lovers will appreciate the emotionally arresting rendering of these great American anthems.

American Anthem is…one of the year’s most powerful chamber-music recordings. © 2013 Strings Magazine



Greg Pagel
American Record Guide, July 2013

…rare talent is on display here.

Barber’s familiar quartet shows the Yings’ precise technical skill and deep artistry.

…baritone Randall Scarlatta delivers a splendid performance complemented sensitively by the quartet.

The Yings and Nieman play with the utmost taste, and the result is haunting. © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide




Lawrence D. Devoe, MD
Blu-rayDefinition.com, June 2013

Unlike much of the 20th century American music, all of these works are quite accessible and fall easily on the ear. Through the vehicle of the string quartet, each composer’s inner voice becomes readily apparent, an excellent introduction for those new to this music.

These pieces, superbly played and getting deluxe sound recording, make strong cases for each one. Of course, the Barber Adagio and the Thompson Alleluia will be headliners, as they should be, but there is much enjoyment to be had in the remaining selections. An excellent way to access some 20th century Americana in the comfort of your listening room that Sono Luminous transforms into a compelling sound stage. © 2013 Blu-rayDefinition.com Read complete review



Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, June 2013

“American Anthem,” [the Ying Quartet’s] latest album, includes works for string quartet by Samuel Barber, Howard Hanson, and Randall Thompson. The Barber is the best-known, if for no other reason than the fact that one of its movements—the central Adagio—has long had a life of its own in a transcription performed all over the world. The famous Adagio is beautifully conceived and executed by the Yings, building smoothly and inexorable to its stunning climax and then slowly fading away.

Two other Barber jewels are present on this disc: the lightly invigorating Serenade, Op 1 and the sublimely beautiful setting of Matthew Arnold’s poem Dover Beach. The vocal part…is stunningly realized by baritone Randall Scarlata…

Hanson’s plainspoken emotion, heard through his typically rugged rhythms and racing scalar melodies, comes through brilliantly in this performance [of his sole String Quartet, Op. 23]. It is followed by a fine account of Hanson’s majestically expressive Concerto da Camera, in which pianist Adam Neiman makes his presence felt.

…Randall Thompson’s choral Alleluia…is given by the Yings in their own arrangement for string quartet. It makes a fitting conclusion to a great album… © 2013 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review




John Sunier
Audiophile Audition, April 2013

Another audio-only Blu-ray winner from Sono Luminus.

The Ying Quartet brings together two very important American figures writing for the quartet format, in a program they have put together which is truly expressive of the American spirit in classical music. Then they round out the album with a special arrangement of the choral Alleluia of Randall Thompson, which also beautifully fits into the general theme.

The Ying Quartet performs all the works with great feeling, and the fidelity is clear and detailed. © 2013 Audiophile Audition Read complete review




James Manheim
Allmusic.com, April 2013

The Ying Quartet…has a reputation for fresh programming in the often moribund string quartet field, and this release is no exception…this collection of American 20th-century Romanticism hangs together beautifully and lives up to its title. A superior release of American chamber music. © 2013 Allmusic.com Read complete review




MaestroSteve
Cinemusical, March 2013

The Ying Quartet is simply marvelous in this recording providing a real richness and depth of tone. The performances are wonderfully shaped and there is a sense that these musicians really love this music deeply and are committed to its effects on the audience. Carefully thought out tempos and a great overall balance within the quartet create some amazing results all wonderfully captured by the Sono Luminus engineers. This is a must have for American music fans hands down. © 2013 Cinemusical Read complete review






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