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Richard A. Kaplan
Fanfare, September 2012

The D-Minor Quartet is an expansive work…After a noble Adagio and a restless Scherzo, the D-Major Finale is highly contrapuntal…The entire quartet features the first violin as primus inter pares, a natural consequence of Spohr’s being a virtuoso violinist who led the ensemble for which his quartets were written. The New Budapest…is again highly proficient, making the strongest case for this music whose craft sometimes exceeds its invention.

Marco Polo’s recorded sound is without fault, and the booklet notes by Keith Warsop of the Spohr Society of Great Britain are authoritative as usual. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2012

Louis Spohr was one of the world’s most prolific composers of string quartets, the thirty-six scores spread over fifty years, the first completed when he was twenty. He followed in the footsteps of Haydn, but hardly changed in style throughout his life, his later works already out of date when they were written. His detractors cite his vast output as being a case of too little inspiration spread over too many works. Yet at his most inspired he was outstanding, and when it lacked memorable melodic invention, it was still full of passing pleasures. A number were written as a Quatuor brilliant, which was a form of violin concerto with a string trio accompaniment, and was popular among touring virtuoso  performers. The Nineteenth Quartet was the fourth of his works written in that genre, and is here receiving its premiere recording. The opening Allegro moderato is of lyric proportions; the second a soulful melody leading to a vivacious final Rondo. The natural requirement is of a brilliant quartet leader, Jaroslav Krasnikov of the Moscow quartet having all the agility and technique required… The scherzo of the Twenty-second is the outstanding part of a score that is far more interesting in content. The performance comes from the estimable Budapest group, their handling of the final Presto full of life and happiness. I doubt there will be a glut of recordings, and the Twenty-second is alone well worth the disc’s modest price. © 2012 David’s Review Corner

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