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Harry van der Wal
Harry’s classical music corner, April 2017

Carpe Diem is an excellent ensemble of enthusiast musicians. The fresh approach and their lively activity, and above all, musical integrity made every step a winning exercise in music making.

Well crafted and balanced music, this must be the food for thought for every String Quartet ensemble. Their sheer richness of melodies and their utter ability to stun by beauty is an amazing feat of Taneyev’s music. Both quartets are highly attractive melodically, and it has enough dramatic intensity coupled with a refreshing energy. Brilliantly written, so the outcome is always complimentary to your mood. Harmony and counterpoint are high on Taneyev’s list, and he makes good use of it. Romantic in nature, the music sort of embraces you, like a warm hug. If you get with that top performances and good sound, there is nothing left then to enjoy wholeheartedly. © 2017 Harry’s classical music corner

Christopher Segall
Nineteenth-Century Music Review, November 2014

TANEYEV, S.I.: String Quartets (Complete), Vol. 1 (Carpe Diem String Quartet) - Nos. 1, 3 8.570437
TANEYEV, S.I.: String Quartets (Complete), Vol. 2 (Carpe Diem String Quartet) - Nos. 2, 4 8.572421
TANEYEV, S.I.: String Quartets (Complete), Vol. 3 (Carpe Diem String Quartet) - Nos. 5, 7 8.573010

…the Carpe Diem String Quartet offers impassioned interpretations… [Their] performances should dispel any notion that Taneyev’s appeal ends with his precompositional structural planning, as they argue strongly for the quartets’ inclusion in the standard repertoire.

Violist Fujiwara’s solos stand out in particular…

By offering sensitive, passionate performances of these works, the Carpe Diem String Quartet compels listeners to hear past Taneyev’s purported didacticism and reconsider the emotional impact of his chamber music. I recommend these recordings highly. © 2014 Nineteenth-Century Music Review

Julian Haylock
The Strad, January 2014

The Carpe Diem players perform this music with the same devoted intensity as if they were rediscovering a lost work by Tchaikovsky…With its restless shifting of stylistic focus this is music that is by no means easy to keep on interpretative track, yet the players here communicate such delight in the Russian’s quirky inspiration that the ear is led effortlessly on. Well worth investigating. © 2014 The Strad Read complete review

Greg Pagel
American Record Guide, January 2014

…Carpe Diem plays both works with energy and precision. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

MusicWeb International, September 2013

…the Carpe Diems display a good deal of poise and commitment to Taneyev’s deserving cause…the Carpe Diem Quartet’s set is the one to have. Audio quality is very good in its way…and Anastasia Belina-Johnson’s booklet notes are interesting and well written. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Bob McQuiston
Classical Lost and Found, July 2013

…the Carpe Diem gives us superb accounts of both works with virtuosity to spare.

…the recordings present a wide soundstage in a sere studio environment. The string tone is musically bright, and the individual instruments clearly delineated revealing all the subtleties of these intricately structured quartets. © 2013 Classical Lost and Found Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, July 2013

It was to be the music of his pupils, Rachmaninov, Glière and Scriabin that removed Sergey Taneyev works, even in his lifetime, from the concert repertoire. He had been a piano student of Nikolay Rubinstein and composition pupil of Tchaikovsky, eventually becoming the influential director of the Moscow Music Conservatory. Yet, unlike his pupils, he could not stylistically move forward with the times, his elegant scores far removed from the rough-hewn music of his contemporaries. The two string quartets here recorded—which date from 1903 and 1880—belonging to a previous generation, and if today they are seldom played, I have an affection for them, having ‘discovered’ them many years ago. I would concede that at times they have an academic rectitude, but would counter that by pointing to the freshness of the bubbling happiness of the finale to the Seventh Quartet. It was a work from his youth that was not published till much later, hence its high number. The Fifth was written twenty-three years later, each movement thoughtfully shaped, the scherzo movement being most pleasing, with the short finale rounding off a score of so many delights. The American-based Carpe Diem Quartet has made a study of the composer, and, forgetting some moments of quirky intonation, they play the works with much affection, and I commend them to you. A transparent sound in a relatively dry acoustic of a natural quality. © 2013 David’s Review Corner

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