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James M. Keller
Chamber Music, March 2015

ISASI, A.: String Quartets, Vol. 1 (Isasi Quartet) - Nos. 0 and 2 8.572463
ISASI, A.: String Quartets, Vol. 2 (Isasi Quartet) - Nos. 3 and 4 8.572464

The performances are praiseworthy. …the Isasi Quartet displays comfort in its ensemble skills, has an attractive default tone, shows considerable variety in textural finesse, and paces each of these pieces with persuasive logic. © 2015 Chamber Music



Stephen Estep
American Record Guide, May 2014

The playing is spectacular… © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide




Remy Franck
Pizzicato, March 2014

ISASI, A.: String Quartets, Vol. 1 (Isasi Quartet) - Nos. 0 and 2 8.572463
ISASI, A.: String Quartets, Vol. 2 (Isasi Quartet) - Nos. 3 and 4 8.572464

Much of the music by Basque composer Andrés Isasi was influenced by his studies in Berlin and has a very evident German touch. So, don’t look for anything Spanish here, but listen to a very fine and rich late romantic music played with much passion by the excellent Isasi Quartet.



Guy Rickards
Gramophone, March 2014

Isasi’s style is gently late Romantic, anachronistically so for the 1920s, but the works are well put together…and have a true sense of dialogue. In four conventional, well-defined movements, the Fourth runs—in this performance—for just under 30 minutes. The Third lasts but 20, its three spans following a moderately paced-faster-slow format. The brief couplings are entertaining trifles, the Aria possibly a lost movement of the fragmentary, undated Seventh.

The Isasi Quartet have changed half their line-up since the first volume… The performances are still executed as well as the previous group although intonation is a touch edgier than before. Naxos’s sound is cool and natural. © 2014 Gramophone



Robert McQuiston
Classical Lost and Found, January 2014

The revival of Spanish composer Andrés Isasi’s…music continues with this latest installment from Naxos in their ongoing survey of his complete works for string quartet. Those who found the first CD in this series…a rewarding romantic disc of discovery will definitely want it! All of the selections are world premiere recordings.

…the Isasi Quartet makes a strong case for their namesake’s music, giving us technically polished, moving accounts of these scores. They leave you waiting expectantly for Naxos’ final installment devoted to this rewarding niche of late romantic chamber music. © 2014 Classical Lost and Found Read complete review



Byzantion
MusicWeb International, December 2013

…these are all premiere recordings, but it is hard to imagine a more natural, sympathetic reading.

Richard Whitehouse supplied the notes back then and he is still going strong, offering for the present programme illuminating background detail and musicological descriptions of these imaginative, appealing works. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, December 2013

Isasi’s Fourth Quartet is a work of romantic lyricism. Its world grows directly from that of Schubert and Dvoƙák yet with a richer weave. Its second movement, Romanze, mixes in a degree of Bachian songfulness. After a smiling Scherzo we get a joyous Rondo finale touched with the harmonic density of the first movement. There’s even some of the eerie complexity of the instrumental writing in Warlock’s Curlew. Contrast this with Number 3, the first movement of which is flecked with darker material and even tragic tints. Even so the language is very much in keeping with its coeval successor. Another flighty bucolic scherzo precedes the touchingly sentiment-imbued Adagio molto espressivo which for now must serve as a finale.

Then follow what amount to three quartet miniatures: An Aria which has a repose caught delightfully between Bach and Finzi, a huskily flickering Macchiato Scherzetto and a Preludio entitled Jinete de Abril (April Horseman)—becalmed and calming.

The essential and helpful notes are by Richard Whitehouse. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2013

Born in Bilbao in 1890, Andres Isasi was a prolific composer in many genre, though his Germanic musical education did not endear him to audiences in his homeland. Writing in a tonal world, his Third and Fourth Quartets come from 1921…The Fourth, which opens the disc has strong and purposeful outer movements surrounding a lyric Romanze and a busy Scherzo. The Third appears to be incomplete as it contains only three movements, but I find this dismembered torso some of the finest music from Isasi…its melodic content is readily likeable, and with the jog-trot scherzo coming second, I am happy to accept the following Adagio as a sad finale…such expertly crafted music is very worthy of your attention, and the German-based quartet obviously support that high regard with warm-toned playing captured in…[a] fine recording. © 2013 David’s Review Corner





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