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Phillip Scott
Fanfare, May 2017

The FAQ (that’s Fine Arts Quartet, not Frequently Asked Questions) consists of violinists Ralph Evans and Efim Boico, violist Juan-Miguel Hernandez, and the distinguished cellist Robert Cohen, who has been playing in the Quartet since 2012. In these performances, recorded live in France in 2013 and 2015, they respond to every mood and rise to all demands, which in the case of the clarinet part in the Del Tredici piece are often hair-raising. The recording gives the instruments a close balance, sometimes resulting in a piercing high note from the clarinet, but the sound is always warm and clear. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Nick Barnard
MusicWeb International, April 2017

…Lethiec is absolutely in his element and he is supported by theatrically exciting playing by the Fine Arts.

…a valuable disc capturing excellent live performances of these two very individual works. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Jed Distler
Gramophone, February 2017

Clarinettist Michel Lethiec prefers tonal variety to uniformity, and he is not afraid to bring an occasional astringent edge to a curvaceous melody or extra heft to low sustained notes in support of string solos. The Fine Arts Quartet respond in kind in a live performance that is less suave and controlled than the Tippett Quartet…yet more edgily inflected. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2016

Recorded at Pablo Casals Festivals, the Fine Arts Quartet performs two clarinet quintets from the unexpected sources of Bernard Herrmann and David Del Tredici. Maybe including Bernard Herrmann in the American Classics series is almost naughty, he being a devout Anglophile continually looking for inspiration across the Atlantic. He visited there as often as possible, the quintet being inspired by English writers, painters, and his own travels around the country. So think of Vaughan Williams, and you will have some idea as to the content, the three movements pastoral by nature, the clarinet set as a soloist with strings providing the framework. It dates from 1967 and comes towards the end of his life and the year after he had recorded his unperformed opera, Wuthering Heights, in London. If Herrmann belongs to the early twentieth century, Del Tredici is very much in today’s view of tonality, the very extended Magyar Madness, completed in 2006, lasting little short of three-quarters of an hour. The title of each movement—Passionate Knights; Interlude: Contentment; Magyar Madness, ‘Grand Rondo a la Hongrois’—is a guide to the content, the final movement, an extended and exuberant Rondo, particularly likeable. The Fine Arts Quartet, in its most recent format with the viola chair taken by Juan-Miguel Hernandez, is joined by the famous French clarinettist, Michel Lethiec, and the playing throughout is most pleasing. The recorded sound is exemplary… © 2016 David’s Review Corner





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