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Penguin Guide, January 2009

BOCCHERINI: String Quartets, Opp. 32 and 39 8.555042
BOCCHERINI: String Quartets Op. 32, Nos. 3–6 8.555043

The Quartetto Borciani offer an equally accomplished alternative on modern instruments, which have plenty of character and vitality and are always sensitive to Boccherini’s gentle touches of expressive melancholy. They include Boccherini’s later A major Quartet, Op. 39 (1787), which has a particularly touching Grave third movement, most affectingly played here. The Naxos recording is vivid and truthful and there are excellent notes.

Stanley Sadie
Gramophone, April 2002

"The range of invention in these four works, composed in [Boccherini's] compositional prime in 1780, is extraordinarily wide... Named after the leader of the much admired Quartetto Italiano, this group play in a manner close to their model, with passion, intensity and accuracy, and their soft playing is wonderfully smooth and controlled, with a fine, veiled sound -- try the slow movement of the G minor. In the quick movements they are a little sharper, more incisive in articulation than sometimes seems ideal for this music (they of course use modern instruments), but certainly the result is enormously spirited. And they make his textures alive and dynamic, almost percussive at times... This is very fine quartet playing and immensely endearing music; one can hardly ask for more."

David Hurwitz, January 2001

"This delightful disc presents absolutely first-rate performances of chamber music that deserves to be much better known. ...the Quartetto Borciani plays these quartets for all they're worth. In particular, they characterize the opening movements with as much gusto as the music can take. Even the initial Allegro comodo of the tepidly genial G minor quartet (Op. 32 No. 5) moves purposefully forward, while the same work's final Capriccio ad libitum captures the players (and the composer) in full fantastic flight. By contrast, slow movements are marvelously sustained and possess a genuinely Italianate singing tone--as in the heavenly and impressively large-scale Adagio from the D major quartet (Op. 32 No. 3). In sum, you won't easily hear a more persuasive case being made for this music, and Naxos' sonics are top-drawer. Come and explore!"

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