The Maggini give clean, direct performances of the first two numbered quartets, not as intense as some but fresh and thoughtful, well coupled with the three colourful Divertimenti of 1936. The Maggini’s second CD is even finer than their first. They give a strongly characterized reading of Op. 94. The Poco adagio of the Quartettino is particularly searching, while the account of the Simple Symphony (which opens the programme) is as sprightly and sparkling as you could wish. First-class recording. The almost Mahlerian All Marcia is the musical source of the penultimate movement of the song-cycle, Les Illuminations, written six years later. This pair of Naxos discs all but trumps the opposition.
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