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Don O’Connor
American Record Guide, September 2017

Performances of both pieces are excellent. The styles greatly differ, but the Villiers is at home in both. Their intonation is firm, with rhythms and phrasing reinforcing the structural integrity of both works. They do a good job on the Delius variant movements, to the point of making them sound more resonant than his published ones. The sound is close up, so the details, especially in the Elgar, register securely with the listener. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, August 2017

The Villiers Quartet bring out the beauty and transcendence of these two pivotal works. I am left after hearing the recording multiple times with a feeling of deep satisfaction with the rightness of both music and performance. So I recommend it to you without hesitation. © 2017 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

Remy Franck
Pizzicato, July 2017

The Villiers Quartet certainly has the measure of the subtle phasing and the beautiful melodic lines of the quartets by Elgar and Delius, and the musicians deliver very sensitive, overall appealing performances. © 2017 Pizzicato

Andrew Achenbach
Gramophone, July 2017

Ripely captured by the microphones, the Villiers Quartet are on dedicated form and their reading of the work as we know it today is likewise a laudable one, if without quite the recreative spark, immaculate coordination and sheer authority of those distinguished versions from the Fitzwilliam Quartet or the Britten Quartet. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Blair Sanderson, June 2017

The Villiers Quartet has a strong feeling for these poignant works, and its warm tone and rich textures work well in this repertoire… © 2017 Read complete review

Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, June 2017

This is a desirable chamber release with convincing and stylish playing from the Villiers Quartet who offer endearing expression and impeccable intonation throughout. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Detlef Krenge
BR-Klassik, June 2017

The Villiers Quartet plays carefully and accurately without pathetic additions is the emotional intensity of both compositions redrawn. This would be fully in the sense of Delius been. Set the four musicians a lot of value on a beautiful, homogeneous sound and wonderfully smooth transitions. With this CD consolidates the Villiers Quartet its reputation as one of the most promising young English ensembles. © 2017 BR-Klassik

John France
MusicWeb International, June 2017

The Villiers Quartet play Delius’s String Quartet and the additional movements with magical and nuanced effect.

Both works have been recorded several times by a variety of prominent ensembles. The present disc is sympathetically played, with the Villiers Quartet providing a sensitive and learned reading of both works. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2017

Even to those who are kindly disposed to the music of Frederick Delius, his very beautiful string quartet, with his musical fingerprints on every bar, is little known. Begun in 1916, while Delius and his wife lived in that part of France that was well away from the conflict of the First World War, its premiere the following year left him most unhappy, and he immediately set about revising it. He began by adding a scherzo to the existing three movements, and then reworked the outer movements. The score of that first version was never destroyed, and the two outer movements are here recorded for the first time as an adjunct to the performance of the revised quartet. Play the two versions one after the other, and the differences are not of any great magnitude, and I confess I enjoyed his original first movement more than the revised one. All very interesting, but the greatest joy comes in the performances, the Villiers undoubtedly one of the finest British string quartets to emerge in recent years. They have an in-born feel for Delius, his often long phrases shaped with a deeply felt affection for the music. Elgar’s String Quartet has in recent times enjoyed a revival in British concert venues, this being the second recording to appear on Naxos. If Delius was, by nature, often introverted, Elgar had been outgoing until he suffered a nervous breakdown brought on by the war. Composing this work in 1918 was part of his rehabilitation, there is a feeling of nostalgia for times long past that finds expression in the long opening movement. The central movement is given the Italian title, Piacevole, a term best translated as ‘enjoyable’, while the finale is a mix of energy and deep sadness. In every way this is a superb issue, the sound quality is of exquisite beauty, and reinforces the inner detail achieved by Villiers. © 2017 David’s Review Corner

Fiona Maddocks
The Guardian, April 2017

The Villiers Quartet, formed in 2011 and specialists in English music (among other things; they are an inquisitive ensemble), play the Delius with zest and passion. Their Elgar, too, is febrile and bold. Fresh playing all round… © 2017 The Guardian Read complete review

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