Classical Music Home
Email Password  
Not a subscriber yet?
Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

James Manheim, November 2010

The rather odd title of this release by Switzerland’s Casal Quartet certainly describes the musical contents, which collectively are enough to leave the listener who really goes along for the ride emotionally wrung out. The album presents works from three centuries—beginning with the 19th—that seem to take their energy from inner psychological turmoil, mastered by the application of musical form. The title also describes the performances, which can be fairly described as violent, and which, especially in the case of Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 11 in F minor, Op. 95, attempt to recapture the shocking quality the music had at its premiere, which had to wait for several years in the case of the Beethoven. The Casal Quartet’s performance of that work is worth the price of admission here, with extreme slashing attacks, tempo fluctuations, and tonal distortion all straining against the incredible compression of the music in Beethoven’s tersest compositions. The Janáček String Quartet No. 1, “Kreutzer Sonata,” of 1923 is loosely based on Leo Tolstoy’s story of the same name, but is a good deal more sympathetic to the protagonists than Tolstoy’s grimly Christian-vengeful fable. The Casal Quartet’s heated approach works less well here, for it tends to disturb the music’s narrative aspect. However, it’s hardly boring. The final String Quartet No. 1, “Geborstener Satz” (Burst Movement), of Swiss composer Dieter Ammann, offers Bartók expanded into the realm of extended technique; it has nowhere near the depth of the first two pieces, but it provides a slam-bang finale. The project gets demerits for cheesy graphic design, but even that somehow contributes to an X factor associated with the in-your-face aesthetic of the whole thing. Well worth hearing, especially for the Beethoven.

Famous Composers Quick Link:
Bach | Beethoven | Chopin | Dowland | Handel | Haydn | Mozart | Glazunov | Schumann | R Strauss | Vivaldi
4:41:54 PM, 25 May 2016
All Naxos Historical, Naxos Classical Archives, Naxos Jazz, Folk and Rock Legends and Naxos Nostalgia titles are not available in the United States and some titles may not be available in Australia and Singapore because these countries have copyright laws that provide or may provide for terms of protection for sound recordings that differ from the rest of the world.
Copyright © 2016 Naxos Digital Services Ltd. All rights reserved.     Terms of Use     Privacy Policy
Classical Music Home
NOTICE: This site was unavailable for several hours on Saturday, June 25th 2011 due to some unexpected but essential maintenance work. We apologize for any inconvenience.