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Carlos María Solare
The Strad, June 2015

Hétu’s music is player-friendly to a degree, be it in the light-hearted atmosphere of the Shakespeare-inspired Sérénade with flute, the fugal climax of the First Quartet or the constantly changing textures of the Sextet’s variations. The New Orford Quartet and guests seize their numerous individual and collective chances to shine with evident relish and gratitude. © 2015 The Strad Read complete review

Mark L. Lehman
American Record Guide, March 2015

…absolutely splendid modern-but-mainstream string quartets, well worth buying…my response to them goes far past admiration; they have elicited a powerful emotional response…I’ve listened to them more than a dozen times now, both with and without the scores, and find them more moving and more impressive each time I hear them. © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Hubert Culot
MusicWeb International, December 2014

This is a splendid release on all counts. The New Orford String Quartet and their colleagues strongly commit themselves to these often quite beautiful works. Their neatly prepared readings are all caught in excellent sound. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, December 2014

Jacques Hétu was one of North America’s most frequently performed composers in the second half of the 20th century, having been trained in Canada and France. Belonging to that group who have kept an umbilical chord with tonality, his forward looking mentors, Dutilleux and Messiaen were also influential in the first phase of his life. Numbering among the works from that era were the austere Adagio and Rondo and the extended First String Quartet, a score where the threads of music twist and turn as they wind themselves around one another. Requiring a multitude of dynamic inflections, it becomes technically very demanding in the fiery finale. The Second Quartet arrived almost twenty years later, in 1991, the language less inclined towards atonality as long melodic lines develop, though they retain Hétu’s affection with intertwining strands. Though quite short, I would much commend it to both listeners and performers, the central vivace a place for technical brilliance, while the final Andante overflows with grief at the recent death of Hétu’s mother. Following the vivacious 1992 Scherzo, the one-movement Sextet, his last score for strings before his death in 2010, had moved to a texture of lush beauty with a vivacious conclusion. Lastly the Serenade, a work of many different moods, is scored for flute and string quartet, Timothy Hutchins, joining the excellent New Orford String Quartet. First class engineering for a most desirable release. © 2014 David’s Review Corner

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, November 2014

This is music we who have a commitment to the modern and the new should know, a disk we should have. The performances are no less effective than the music Hétu constructs so impressively.

Jacques Hétu deserves your attention. © 2014 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

Bob McQuiston
Classical Lost and Found, November 2014

…the Canadian-based New Orford String Quartet…give exemplary performances of everything.

…the recordings are demonstration quality. They present a lucid sonic image commensurate with these chamber forces. The strings are perfectly positioned, and their tone is musically bright. Mr. Hutchins’ flute is beautifully captured and balanced against the quartet in Serenade. © 2014 Classical Lost and Found Read complete review

David Olds
The WholeNote, October 2014

The latest release in the Naxos Canadian Classics line is an important addition to our recorded legacy.

…according to its Naxos bio “the New Orford String Quartet is dedicated to promoting Canadian works, both new commissions and works from the past 100 years.” With the quality of their playing, this is good news indeed for Canadian composers. © 2014 The WholeNote Read complete review

Ettore Garzia
Percorsi Musicali, October 2014

Naxos fills a gap by publishing the complete work of Hétu on chamber strings, where you can admire the “regularized strangeness” that characterized his style. In every hidden corner of the score, it reveals a constructed form, which assembles…strength, anguish and the loss of consciousness…a pleasure for the ears. © 2014 Percorsi Musicali Read complete review

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