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Patrick Hanudel
American Record Guide, May 2017

Here the Kenari Quartet, a prize-winning ensemble formed in 2012 by four Indiana University college students, explores the legacy of the French saxophone quartet in the early to middle 20th Century.

The Kenari Quartet is one of the best young ensembles to appear in several years. The playing is very professional, fusing exceptional balance, blend, clarity, and control with superb technique, outstanding teamwork, and skillfully nuanced phrasing. The scores have room for more risk-taking in volume, color, and personality; and as the group grows together, some of that may evolve. Still, they form a fine-tuned machine humming with Gallic charm, and even the most fastidious listener will be swept down the Avenue des Champs-Elysees. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Stephen Barber
MusicWeb International, February 2017

The Kenari quartet is an American team, formed in 2012; this is their first recording. They play with enthusiasm, without vibrato and have taken great trouble to ensure that their tone is consistent across the four instruments. They seem very much at home with this all-French programme and I hope they will give us more. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Review Corner, February 2017

Though there are moments of solemnity, it’s mostly playful, with a real sense of fun for most of the album. It also sounds pretty cool, never staid but never getting close to a film-score type cliché of jolly brass music. There seem to be references to other famous classical works in places. © 2017 Review Corner Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, December 2016

France in the early part of the twentieth century had fallen under the spell of the sexy saxophone, the recently developed instrument epitomising night life in Paris. Fashionable composers were almost falling over themselves to write the smoochy and catchy compositions that bridged the gap between the world of ‘classical’ and ‘popular’, jazz giving them the ideal vehicle to embrace both worlds at once. The headline to this review is given in the emerging order, the earliest coming with Jean Francaix’s Petit quatuor dating from 1935. It was one of many works from the era that looked for ‘naughty’ new harmonies to titillate the ear, its three short movements using the saxophones as sleek new versions of the orchestral brass department, with a fun-packed knock-about finale. The musically elegant Gabriel Pierne is full of gentle wit in his 1937 variations on a tune you will readily recognise, while Eugène Bozza manages to sound happy in war-torn France in 1943. Florent Schmitt then belatedly took the saxophone quartet into the 20th century, his classically shaped score flirting with atonality, the scherzo buzzing about like angry bees. A moment of repose is added in the slow movement before the highly energised finale. Tonality returns in Pierre Dubois light-hearted quartet, its bijou four movements completed in 1955, the disc’s most recent and extended score, coming nine years later from Alfred Desenclos. Considered a conservative composer, in the context of this disc he is working in a modern tonality that constructs a fresh harmonic language. Composed for the famous Marcel Mule Quartet it also presents the disc’s most challenging score for the Kenari Quartet. Founded in the United States in 2012, they are a multi-award winning group who breath life into a most unusual disc. Premiere league sound quality. © 2016 David’s Review Corner

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