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BBC Music Magazine, January 2015

Zemlinsky is a nest of paradoxes: intense yet elusive, opulent but also sensitive and subtle, he can be difficult to grasp on first, or even second hearing. The Escher Quartet achieves a near-impossible balance, especially in the complex Quartet No. 2, clarifying its structure without betraying its fragile heart, while the Brahmsian First is a joyous surprise. © 2015 BBC Music Magazine

Nick Barnard
MusicWeb International, December 2014

Another cycle completed albeit of just 2 discs. Performances to enhance the stature of artists, composer and music. Surely now the Zemlinsky string quartet cycle of choice and a must-buy for any interested in 20th century chamber music. © 2014 MusicWeb International

Greg Pagel
American Record Guide, November 2014

The Eschers play impeccably and with emotional depth…the balance is always perfect, with each instrument leading and following as required. © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, November 2014

excellent performances… © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

James H. North
Fanfare, November 2014

[Thanks] to Naxos’s clean recording, one hears every note by every instrument…[and] it suits Zemlinsky to a tee.

[The Second quartet]…maintains a strong whiff of Romanticism, more so than any other I know, and becomes wildly impassioned at appropriate moments.…this is all Zemlinsky, all the time. A keeper! © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Huntley Dent
Fanfare, November 2014

In every way the Escher impressed me as one of Naxos’s best finds in their continual search for new talent. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Matthew Rye
The Strad, October 2014

This disc completes the Escher Quartet’s Zemlinsky cycle so effectively…

The two works make a complementary pair and draw upon different areas of the Escher’s skills as an ensemble. Balance and recorded sound are exemplary and add lustre to a powerful pair of performances. © 2014 The Strad Read complete review

José Luis Bermúdez
Classical Net, September 2014

The Escher Quartet is clearly very comfortable in all of Zemlinsky’s multiple voices and advocates powerfully for the chamber music of this unjustly neglected master of the string quartet.

Naxos is to be congratulated for putting out this disc and for championing the music of Alexander Zemlinsky, whose quartets will hopefully reach a wider audience. Recommended. © 2014 Classical Net Read complete review

Rob Cowan
Gramophone, September 2014

…the Eschers follow the LaSalle’s example with a performance that probes the depths and surges forwards with a sense of inevitability that, given what the century had in store, is ‘authentic’ in the truest possible sense. © 2014 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Remy Franck
Pizzicato, August 2014

After a first very successful disc with the last two Zemlinsky Quartets, the Escher String Quartet gives an impressive account of the two first quartets, the feverish second with its gripping atmospheres being the highlight of this superb CD. © 2014 Pizzicato

Nick Barnard
MusicWeb International, August 2014

For anyone with an interest in string quartets as a form, these works should be compulsory listening. For anyone interested in the art of string quartet playing this disc is little short of sensational—remarkable expressive and musical range achieved with a technical security and near perfect ensemble that transcends any criticism. A disc of the year. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Stephen Smoliar, July 2014

…what makes this Naxos volume particularly interesting is the degree of transition that separates Opus 4 and Opus 15; and, in the course of appreciating that transition, the serious listener may also come to appreciate better what Schoenberg was doing during that same period of his own life. © 2014 Read complete review

Andrew Clements
The Guardian, June 2014

This second disc is as impressive, and includes a superb performance of the Second Quartet… © 2014 The Guardian Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2014

The Escher String Quartet’s second volume of the quartets of Alexander Zemlinsky takes us back to the beginning of a productive career that is now almost forgotten. Here in his First Quartet from 1896 he was still enjoying the influences of times past, the melodic input both warm and pleasing on the ear. Seventeen years later he seems to have accepted the influences of the Second Viennese School in the very extended Second Quartet. But there is still melody interwoven, the opening movement a very powerful statement where we hear influences of Schoenberg’s Wagnerian orientated Verklarte Nacht. That in itself creates passages of intense beauty in a second movement that comes straight from the pages of Tristan und Isolde. Cast in five movements, the third is fast and goes straight into an Andante, the calm coming to an end with an agitated Allegro molto section. The sad finale follows without a break. As a whole it is worth far more than many quartets from that period that have become embedded in the familiar repertoire. Often very demanding…these are two heartfelt performances from the Escher, and I ardently commend them to you. © 2014 David’s Review Corner

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