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Roy Westbrook
MusicWeb International, January 2016

The Ives quartet plays splendidly throughout, sounding completely at home in the idiom, with many eloquent solos and truly chamber musical interplay. Porter can rarely have had more committed advocacy than these players bring to their work on this disc. The recorded sound is good, the players placed at just the right position in the sympathetic acoustic. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Gary Lemco
Audiophile Audition, November 2015

The Ives Quartet, an SF Bay Area ensemble, performs the music of Quincy Porter with a fervor and rhetorical familiarity of the style to ensure that we approach these and the remaining volume of quartets with due seriousness. © 2015 Audiophile Audition Read complete review



Ralph Graves
WTJU, October 2015

…the ensemble has a very rich, warm recorded sound that seems quite appropriate to these post-romantic compositions.

Highly recommended to anyone interested in exploring American repertoire. © 2015 WTJU Read complete review



Donald Rosenberg
Gramophone, October 2015

The Ives Quartet live up to their iconoclastic namesake by championing neglected repertoire. The musicians play Porter’s quartets with potent attack, flexibility and poetic ardour, giving full life to the varied moods and intricate gestures. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Alide Kohlhaas
The Seniors Review, October 2015

There is always pleasure connected with the discovery of a new composer, or a well known one’s unfamiliar work. Perfectly suited to the mood of a pleasant early fall day is the music by Connecticut-born Quincy Porter (1897–1966). The Ives Quartet chose the composer’s String Quartets Nos. 5–8 in a performance that makes me want to hear more of Porter and the Ives Quartet. Although the works date to the mid-1930s, they in no way appear dated. © 2015 The Seniors Review



Terry Robbins
The WholeNote, September 2015

…the performances by the Ives Quartet are of the highest quality. © 2015 The WholeNote Read complete review



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, August 2015

All four quartets are masterful examples of Porter at his best. They are not gushingly romantic nor are they wildly modernist, but they have a sort of “American Gothic” charm without having recourse to folksong structures or anything much in the way of referential Americanisms.

From the vantage point of today they hold up remarkably well, sounding neither archaic nor anachronistic, but rather very much a product of their time period. The Ives Quartet does a bang-up job and the music has an energized freshness that many will gravitate towards, I would think. Highly recommended. © 2015 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review




David Hurwitz
ClassicsToday.com, July 2015

Quartet playing like this elevates the music, and makes listening a particular pleasure. © 2015 ClassicsToday.com Read complete review



Infodad.com, June 2015

Porter’s chamber music is not as well-known as his orchestral works and not as influential, but this CD shows its strengths clearly and in well-balanced, idiomatic performances that fully explore the quartets’ sophistication and careful construction. © 2015 Infodad.com Read complete review




Blair Sanderson
AllMusic.com, June 2015

Here Porter’s mature music comes into focus, with its seriousness of tone and intensely worked counterpoint, and the blending of modal harmonies and chromatic dissonances becomes a distinctive characteristic of his sound. The Ives’ performances are lyrical and highly expressive, and the group demonstrates a fluency and skill that makes these recordings extremely valuable additions to Porter’s all-too-small discography. © 2015 Allmusic.com Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2015

‘This comes very high on my list of the most enjoyable 20th century quartet discs I have had the pleasure of reviewing,’ I wrote when the cycle’s first disc was issued. Quincy Porter was born in New Haven in 1897, his studies embraced time spent at Yale University as a pupil of Horatio Parker before moving to Paris to work with d’Indy. On his return to the States he spent time with Ernest Bloch, before reverting back to Paris. Never a prolific composer, he wrote just nine quartets that charted his progress from his attachment to tonality, to a time when he developed a very personal form of lyric atonality. He had been a professional violinist in his younger years, and had that innate ability to produce string music that is attractive and readily memorable. Throughout there is a pervading sense of sadness, the second movement of the Fifth being a most poignant passage, though it is the highly active movements, where there is much intricacy in the writing, that rivets attention. The opening of the Sixth, with its many solo passages, being a particular case in point. The Seventh dates from 1943, while the world was embroiled in conflict, its content moving into abstract thoughts as the harmonic language becomes more antagonistic than melodic, a mood that continues through to the pungent finale. Seven years later, in 1950, came the Eighth where sadness and anxiety is taken to a new level of intensity. Though technically demanding, the playing of the Ives Quartet is so accomplished that it removes any sense of stress in the performances. Inner details are crystal clear throughout, while the recorded sound is exemplary. We are now missing the Ninth, which I presume exists, and leaves hope there is yet more Porter discs to come from Naxos. Fervently commended. © 2015 David’s Review Corner





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