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Elaine Fine
American Record Guide, October 2000

"These Norwegian string quartets present various styles in 20th Century music.

"Each composer gives a distinctive flavor to a specific style of writing. Klaus Egge's quartet from 1993 is rather nationalistic (though quite different from Grieg-he sounds like a Norwegian Bartok). It is inspired by the folk music of Greenland, and has material derived fragments of a lament sung by a starving Eskimo.

"Fartein Valen uses 12-tone techniques. ...In contrast to Valen, Johan Kvandal writes in classical sonata form and seems to be influenced a good deal by Shostakovich and Bartok. Kvandal is the son of David Monrad Johansen, another important Norwegian composer, and pays homage to his father in his elegant use of counterpoint and his incorporation of older musical forms juxtaposed with modern materials and techniques.

"The newest piece (1976-8) is the Quartet by Alfred Janson, a one-movement work that uses interesting modes, intervals, rhythmic organization, and a tad of minimalism. It is clean and lyrical, spacious and efficient, with exciting tone colors made from harmonics and ponticello effects. Though the music does become dense in its middle section, all the voices remain clear.

"The Oslo Quartet sounds terrific playing this music."

Tully Porter
The Strad, July 2000

"The young Oslo Quartet playsith conviction?The recordings are excellent."

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