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Don O’Connor
American Record Guide, July 2017

…the playing and interpretations are excellent, as is Naxos’s sound. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Harry van der Wal
Harry’s classical music corner, May 2017

The last volume in this series, and a successful close. …Taneyev is never an easy customer to perform, and neither did Taneyev his utmost to please anyone apart from himself. Sometimes it is like squeezing a stone for water. Never easy to adapt, but worthwhile if you can. © 2017 Harry’s classical music corner Read complete review

Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, May 2017

The Carpe Diem String Quartet continues to maintain its high level of technical execution, tonal beauty, and intensely communicative manner of playing that have been on display in previous volumes of this Taneyev survey. …Buswell, who has enjoyed a distinguished career as a violinist, here switches to viola to join Charles Wetherbee, Amy Galluzzo, Korine Fujiwara, and Carol Ou in the quintet. The additional viola adds dimensional depth to Taneyev’s writing in the quintet, and the instrument in Buswell’s hands lends yet additional richness and warmth to the Carpe Diem’s beautifully balanced and perfectly projected ensemble profile. No composer could hope for more dedicated, sympathetic, and musically intelligent and sensitive players to be advocates for his music than Taneyev could have hoped for in the Carpe Diem Quartet. Very strongly recommended. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

Daniel Morrison
Fanfare, May 2017

This release is an affirmation of Taneyev’s importance as a contributor to the Russian chamber-music repertoire and a reminder that his efforts in this area deserve to be better known. The superb playing of the Carpe Diem Quartet should help to convince those who hear these performances of the validity of this proposition. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

Mark Novak
Fanfare, May 2017

…the Carpe Diem Quartet does its level best to lift the music to a high plane, and largely succeeds with its superb ensemble and top notch intonation.

The playing of the Carpe Diem Quartet is wonderful.

These performances are likely to be standard-bearers in this repertoire for some time to come. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

Antti Häyrynen
Rondo Classic, April 2017

Sergei Taneyev’s serious-minded Russian romanticism flourishes it’s best in chamber music… © 2017 Rondo Classic

Matthew Rye
The Strad, April 2017

The Carpe Diem players, here joined by violist James Buswell, reveal their teamwork in an ardent, often forceful account that finds room for tenderness and even melancholy, but which maintains a strong sense of structure and musical process.

The recordings, made in different venues, largely elucidate the varied textures admirably… © 2017 The Strad Read complete review

Marc Rochester
MusicWeb International, March 2017

Certainly the Carpe Diem Quartet convey the mood of youthful vigour and open-hearted virility in their performance of the Eighth Quartet. They do not not shy away from Taneyev’s decisive gestures and “manly earnestness”, something which occasionally becomes a byword for a certain limited imaginative scope. The music is spirited and uncomplicated, and in this performance fresh and very enjoyable.

With the Quintet, we are in a totally different world. Here the richness of the texture and thickening of the sound is the result of far more than just an extra viola added to the mix.

…the performances are beyond reproach in their technical command of the scores, and they bring very much to life an area of the chamber music repertory which has been largely overlooked. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review

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

Quartet No. 8 is filled with marvelous contrapuntal inventions, sounding for all generalities as a sort of Russian Beethoven in the late romantic-pre-modern zone. Anyone who might appreciate previously unknown, extraordinarily crafted and spirited quartet-quintet gems will readily take to this volume 5 in particular and all five in general, from what I have heard of them.

Taneyev is but one, yet nevertheless an important one of the too little examined treasures of the Russian 20th century as a whole.

Recommended for chamber music fans and Russophiles! © 2017 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

Bob Stevenson
MusicWeb International, December 2016

TANEYEV, S.I.: String Quartets (Complete), Vol. 5 (Taneyev Quartet) - No. 2 NF9937
TANEYEV, S.I.: String Quartets (Complete), Vol. 5 (Carpe Diem String Quartet) - No. 8 / String Quintet No. 2

I chose to compare the Carpe Diem’s performance with that of the eponymous Taneyev Quartet on the Northern Flowers label. Apart from in the first movement, the latter has significantly longer timings, but they don’t sound slower; the reason for this is that they observe several repeats that the Carpe Diem does not. …The Carpe Diem Quartet sounds just that bit more secure throughout. The older Russian recording is still perfectly respectable, but sounds thin by comparison with the resinous recording of the Naxos disc. Unless you must have the repeats the Carpe Diem Quartet is, then, the clear winner. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, December 2016

With this fifth disc, we come to the end of the complete string quartets by Sergey Taneyev, the composition pupil of Tchaikovsky who lived into the twentieth century. It was that latter fact that proved his downfall, as music by then had moved into the world of Schoenberg and his pupils, while Taneyev was still wedded to the style of his mentor. His own proteges at the Moscow conservatory—Rachmaninov, Gliere and Scriabin—did not help as they only added to the sense that his music belonging to yesteryear. Had he been more active in promoting his works they may still have survived, but without that effort they now only belong to the byways of the repertoire. Please put that to the back of your mind, the Eighth Quartet, his penultimate work in the genre, is, by turn, pleasing, dramatic and of rustic origins. The dolefully second movement is replete with the Russian melancholy that was once fashionable, and leads to a Minuet that brings cheer before the joyful final Allegro molto. The Second String Quintet, a late work completed in 1905, adds a second viola and thickens the middle-ground, the score taking on a more symphonic feel than any of the quartets, while its forty minutes adds to the music’s impressive structure. It begins very forcefully with thematic material that readily lodges in the memory, big sweeping chords in the lower instruments driving the movement forward. He was less fortunate in finding something to say in the slow movement, but restores interest in the Will-o’-the-wisp scherzo, pungency mixed with muscular strength contributing in equal quantity for a powerful conclusion. In this, the Carpe Diem String Quartet are joined by the famous violinist, James Buswell, but here in the unfamiliar role of second viola. I sometimes question the quartet’s violin intonation, but I am grateful for their high degree of intellectual involvement throughout this series. The recording is of high quality. © 2016 David’s Review Corner

Records International, December 2016

After nine years, this cycle comes to an end with another of the early, unnumbered quartets from 1883, infused with the spirit of Haydn and Mozart and harmonically adventurous, and the 1905 quintet, a monumental (43 minutes here) work with a complicated, five-voice fugue in the finale. © 2016 Records International

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