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Lynn René Bayley
Fanfare, May 2014

The sound quality of this disc is simply stunning: crisp, clear, almost razor-sharp in its realistic presentation of the string sound, and the equally crisp playing of Quartetto di Venezia makes it a pleasure to hear. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Greg Pagel
American Record Guide, May 2014

These performances are excellent. There’s plenty of energy and precision, and Venezia clearly has fun with the many character changes that often occur in Casella’s pieces. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Lucy Jeffery
MusicWeb International, February 2014

A quartet of the highest order, this CD exposes the extraordinary musical flair and technical skill of the Quartetto di Venezia as they perform the works of these two twentieth century Italian composers. They play with zeal and intelligence, making this is a disc to treasure. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Bob McQuiston
Classical Lost and Found, February 2014

A delicate balance of technical perfection and sensitive artistry characterize these remarkable performances by the Venice Quartet (Quartetto di Venezia). This is probably due in no small part to their past association with the Hungarian and Végh Quartets, as well as the Quartetto Italiano. With performing artists who are not only virtuosos in their own right but also produce a superb ensemble sound, they’re perfectly suited to this challenging music.

These studio recordings were made in Preganziol, Italy just northwest of Venice. They project a wide, up-front soundstage in a dry acoustic with the instruments well delineated and balanced. © 2014 Classical Lost and Found Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, December 2013

The Quartetto di Venezia are very suited to this music and render for us performances that are spirited and sensitive. Bravo. This is one fine disk. It is giving me a good deal to absorb and appreciate. Recommended. © 2013 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2013

Alfredo Casella remains one of the enigmas among 20th century composers, his chameleon-like penchant for changing his style of composition often perplexing. That is very evident in the Concerto per archi where he moves from overt atonality to a listener-friendly melody within the opening movement. Pastoral charm invades the two central movements, the finale echoing Stravinsky in his ‘neo-classicism’ mood. Throughout Casella uses the string quartet to such good effect that you are, at times, fooled into thinking you are listening to a small group of strings. Four years earlier, in 1920, his split personality was intensified in the Cinque pezzi. After an opening Preludio, with the Second Viennese School lurking in the background, we move through a quiet Ninna Nanna to a grotesque waltz inhabited by ghouls. They seem to drag us into their graves, only for the music to return to life in a final sexy Fox-trot. I guess that both works are difficult to play, the much experienced Quartetto di Venezia taking us way below the surface of the music with an enviable display of technique. The Concerto breve was completed in 1947, its three movements, fashioned in a readily approachable modern tonality, ending with a busy Rondo, that itself ends in a quiet sadness. Much recommended. © 2013 David’s Review Corner

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