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Penguin Guide, January 2009

The Kodály Quartet are embarking with distinction on a complete Schubert cycle. Their playing has the same simplicity of style that they brought to early Haydn, yet the Schubertian colouring emerges immediately at the opening of the very First Quartet. This astonishingly confident work was written as early as 1810–11, yet it has a delightful, Ländler-like Minuet which calls for mutes, a graceful Andante and a busy, sparkling finale. No. 4, written two years later, opens with a grave echo of Mozart’s Dissonance Quartet and has a delicate slow movement in siciliano rhythm, while the cheerful finale returns to the mood of a rustic Austrian dance. No. 8 has a G minor slow movement, again obviously influenced by Mozart, which lightens its mood later, but it never shakes off its seriousness entirely until the Haydnesque dancing Minuet and energetic finale. Altogether a splendid beginning, very naturally recorded.

Pizzicato, March 2003

"Wunderschon und gleichzeitig charakteristisch ist in dieser Hinsicht das Andante des 1. Quartetts, das ich noch selten so fein und innig gehort habe, und ganz verbluffend sind die Klangwirkungen im Menuett des D-Dur-Quartetts.

Die Aufnahmequalitat ist wieder einmal uberzeugend."

Richard Wigmore
BBC Music Magazine, January 2003

"The Kodály Quartet is particularly good in D112, shaping the lyrical themes of the first movement with gentle flexibility creating a beautiful dusky sonority for the G minor Andante and giving the lusty minuet a real Schuhplattler earthiness. Crucially, too, the players relish the delicacy and wit of the finale. The Kodály's warmth and uncomplicated honesty of approach also work well in the earlier quartets."

Duncan Druce
Gramophone, December 2002

"The Kodály Quartet, always a notably well-balanced group, brings an elegant style and expressive warmth to all three works...Whether you're collecting all the issues in this series or just want to get to know some rarely played Schubert, you won't be disappointed."

James Jolly
Gramophone, December 2002

"The Kodály Quartet have built up an impressive Naxos catalogue and a loyal following. Their earlier discs of quartets by Beethoven and Haydn invariably drew the word 'honesty' from reviewers. There is no surface gloss here; this is good down-to-earth chamber music-making by a quartet who have worked together for the past 30 years. Of the works on this disc only the B flat Quartet, Dl 12, occasionally surfaces on disc so here's another useful Naxos survey in progress."

Jed Distler

"As with the previous three releases in Naxos' Schubert Quartet cycle, the Kodaly Quartet's tightly-knit ensemble values, sensitive balances, and excellent intonation distinguish the three early works encompassing Volume 4. The players admirably convey the sustained introspection throughout the B-flat quartet's Andante sostenuto and the Menuetto's landler-like lilt, while the opening Allegro's motoric triplet accompaniments are well shaped. Fine annotations, excellent sonics."

Kevin Sutton
MusicWeb International

"The Kodály Quartet is a tight ensemble. They play here with splendid verve and vigor, and their balance and intonation is superb. Particularly pleasing is their classical approach to these early works, while at the same time giving us a hint of the more romantic future that would lie ahead for the composer. Melodic passages truly sing here, and I was struck by this ensemble's ability to phrase like a singer. These are very well constructed performances and are a most pleasurable listen.

Naxos' engineers have captured the quartet in a warm, resonant sound and the balance between the instruments is lovely. This is a very natural sounding recording, not over-long on reverberation yet sufficiently warm. Notes by Keith Anderson are succinct and informative. Highly recommended."

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