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Penguin Guide, January 2009

The Piano Quartet No. 2 (1943–4) is dedicated to Fauré, with whom Enescu studied in the 1890s. Indeed, it has something of the subtlety and finesse of late Fauré and, like the Quintet, is a work of real substance which rewards the serious listener. This music does not try to impress with effect or originality but by its continuity of thought and finely paced musical development. The Solomon Ensemble play well but the balance is not ideal:  there is not enough air round the sound and the first violin is placed too reticently, hence the reservation. Strongly recommended all the same, particularly at its competitive price.



Fine
American Record Guide, August 2003

"The Solomon Ensemble does a very good job...They play very beautifully and gracefully."



Kevin Sutton
MusicWeb International, June 2003

"So what can one expect from this disc of mature chamber music? Works that are as captivating as the very best black and white photography. There are subtle variations of shadow and light. Bold gestures stand out against a stark background; wonders lurk in the shadows that require a certain bravery to explore. This is chamber music in its ideal guise, every instrument playing a vital role, but no single player monopolizing the center stage.

And what of the playing? These are performances of uncommon aplomb. The Solomon Ensemble gets to the heart of these works, and these renditions are captivating from the very first note. The listener is drawn into this recital in the way he might expect to be captivated by a film noir. He is afraid of the dark, but defiantly curious as to what lies under its cloak. Perfectly balanced and breathlessly atmospheric, this is some of the finest music making that I have heard in some time. With the substantial number of discs that I receive, there is little time for repeated listening. This disc has captivated my attention for some days now and I have returned to it often, the thrill never leaving me.

Naxos has given us yet another superbly recorded performance, with a warm, present sound that is never harsh or shrill. Balances between the instruments are captured beautifully, and there is a fine bloom to the sound. Particularly pleasing to these ears is the fact that the piano, while ever setting the rhythmic pace, is never thunderous or overbearing. Keith Anderson and Richard Whitehouse have composed dual sets of program notes, which are concise and informative.

This is yet another jewel in the Naxos crown, and if they keep up this pace, that diadem will be too heavy for Mr. Heymann's head."



Calum MacDonald
BBC Music Magazine, June 2003

"It's wonderful to find a young British ensemble coming together to play and record these pieces, which have long deserved wider currency. The Solomon players clearly love the music, and their performances are as agile as Enescu's fantastical imagination demands."



Hubert Culot
MusicWeb International

"If you know and love, say, Enescu's string quartets and cello sonatas, you will know what to expect of these substantial, if sometimes intricate works, and you will need no further recommendation. The merits of this disc are all the more compelling given that the present performances are really very fine. These players obviously put their hearts into such committed and convincing readings of works that do not yield all their secrets in a single hearing."





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