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Choir & Organ, January 2020

The performances by the Nordic Quartet are vivid and thoroughly well-prepared… these [are] invigorating accounts, sensationally recorded. © 2020 Choir & Organ




Nathan Faro
American Record Guide, July 2019

The texture here is stunning—the strings sound like many small voices trying to break free from a single entity, before snapping back into line. Simply put, this quartet is a psychological masterpiece. It is darkly ironic and fatalistic, but also profoundly tender and emotional. On every level, the music delivers, with assured performances from the Nordic Quartet. © 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Terry Robbins
The WholeNote, May 2019

…[The music] touches on a wide range of influences—Bartók, Stravinsky, serialism, minimalism, Ligeti—while always maintaining an individual character. It will be interesting to hear what the later quartets are like. © 2019 The WholeNote Read complete review



Andrew Mellor
Gramophone, May 2019

PGH is approaching that laconic simplicity and childlike mixture of wonder and naivety that would colour so many of his masterpieces. It’s like a stretch of gauze that reimagines the chirping of cicadas.

I relish the works to come and hope we’ll be hearing PGH’s ‘15th’ quartet work, All In One, which consists of Quartets Nos 12, 13 and 14 played at the same time. © 2019 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



David Denton
David's Review Corner, March 2019

The young Nordic String Quartet begin their complete recording of the fourteen string quartets by the leading Danish composer, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen. His works have been described as ‘childlike wonder meets cynical comment and cliché meets originality’, each new work taking the listener on an uncharted journey, the string quartets no exception. Starting out in1959, and in a world of brevity, the first essay in this genre was dark, forbiddingly atonal, and over in the short space of eight minutes. It has a bare texture that would make the originators of the Second Viennese School appear overly generous. Yet that score was extended compared with the Third which did not reach five minutes, though in that short space it was divided into five sections. Having composed the one-movement First, how could the same composer then write the outgoing four-movements of the Second Quartet where he had created a tenuous link with Bartok and, to a lesser, extent, Shostakovich in the pro-active finale. Eight years later and he moved back to brevity in the Fourth, a score where music seems suspended in air, as little happens in its six minute length. By contrast the Fifth opens with a energetic statement, and if that progresses to an ending of gloom, it has taken hold of you and will not let go. The Sixth, subtitled Parting, is laced with sadness as it moves inextricably to its sad conclusion. The performances carry that conviction and inner clarity such music requires to gain a place in the quartet repertoire, and is linked to the wide dynamic range the composer requires, Dacapo having provided the high quality recording that is required. In strongly commending it to you, I ask the question—why are they not offered in numerical order? © 2019 David’s Review Corner



Records International, March 2019

Characteristically unpredictable, inventive and provocative, Gudmundsen-Holmgreen’s quartets thus far (this is less than half of them) chart some elements of his compositional evolution, though such is his propensity for never repeating himself that it is hard to detect any linear progression. © 2019 Records International Read complete review



Lynn René Bayley
The Art Music Lounge, February 2019

These are splendid first recordings of these works, played with commitment and razor-sharp attacks by the Nordic Quartet. Recommended for those who like this highly unusual composer. © 2019 The Art Music Lounge Read complete review





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