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John J. Puccio
Classical Candor, September 2017

“Tribute: Dover Quartet Plays Mozart” is their debut album, and it couldn’t have worked out better for them. They made the album in tribute to their mentors and inspiration, the Guarneri Quartet (1964–2009), who fifty years earlier recorded the same two Mozart quartets included on this disc. In addition, the Dovers have added Mozart’s K. 406 Quintet, with none other than a member of the (now disbanded) Guarneri Quartet, Michael Tree, on viola. It’s a happy conflux of music and players.

The “Prussian Quartets” are largely sweet and melodious, which is how the Dover Quartet plays them. One hears in their approach the influence of their advisers, the Guarneri Quartet, whose own style critics often characterized as rich, warm, refined, and smooth yet uniquely individual, spirited, impassioned, and always executed with flawless technique. I would use these same words to describe the Dover Quartet’s playing, and, if anything, even more so. The playing is remarkably precise yet vibrantly alive.

The last selection is Mozart’s String Quintet No. 2 in C minor, K. 406, written in 1787. …With every instrument distinctly individual yet blending perfectly as a whole, the playing of the piece makes a touchingly delightful final tribute to the Guarneris and Mozart. © 2017 Classical Candor Read complete review



Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, March 2017

The Dover’s players definitely project a collective intelligence, style, and flair of their own.

This is music-making not of the highest order but of the next order. On a number of occasions, I’ve remarked on how blessed we are to be living in a golden age of string playing. The Dover Quartet now takes that to the next level, platinum. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Paul Orgel
Fanfare, March 2017

For their debut recording, entitled Tribute, the accomplished, young Dover Quartet has chosen to record two of Mozart’s three, late “Prussian” Quartets. …Their playing of these products of Mozart’s late, distilled style is unmannered, clean, and shapely. …it’s the Dover’s first violinist, Joel Link, whose playing makes the strongest impression here, …Link plays with appealing warmth of tone, and his clear phrasing and well-sustained sound provide musical leadership to the ensemble that’s focused, but never overbearing. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Donald R Vroon
American Record Guide, March 2017

No matter what anyone says, no two quartets sound alike. This group formed at Curtis, and the players were all enamored of the Guarneri Quartet and coached by Guarneri members. This disc, they proudly announce, comes 50 years after the first release by the Guarneri, and the second viola player in the quintet here is Michael Tree of the Guarneri Quartet. But the sound of this group is more treble-dominated and less rich than the Guarneri sound. If you like a bright, cheerful sound you may like this. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide




David Hurwitz
ClassicsToday.com, February 2017

In these days of complete everything and “big box” releases, it’s delightful to find a single disc release of select works that permits as to savor them individually, just for themselves. Designed in tribute to its mentors, the Guarneri String Quartet (whose violist Michael Tree makes a special guest appearance in the C Minor Quintet), the Dover Quartet couldn’t have managed the gesture more graciously. © 2017 ClassicsToday.com Read complete review



Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, February 2017

The Dover Quartet and Michael Tree do a wonderful job of realizing all the moods, biting as well as beautiful, troubling and consoling—in a work that ends, unexpectedly, in an outburst of joy that the previous events would scarcely have predicted. That’s Mozart for you! First-rate support from producer/engineer Judith Sherman in the sound booth captures the total commitment of a gripping performance. © 2017 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review



Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, January 2017

The Guarneri Quartet’s influence can be heard everywhere in the Dover’s playing—in the smooth, velvety tone; in the cleanness of execution; and in the respectful, but not reticent, interpretive approach which always puts Mozart first. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review



Paul E. Robinson
Musical Toronto, December 2016

The Dover Quartet and Michael Tree get more out of this music than I can remember hearing in any previous performance. But they do it not by being different. One never feels that the music is being pushed or pulled to try to make it more exciting or more profound. They know exactly when to take their time—tempo a little slower, pauses a little longer—and when to push ahead. This is glorious music-making and I enjoyed every minute of it. © 2016 Musical Toronto Read complete review




Steven Ritter
Audiophile Audition, November 2016

It’s perhaps a little unfair to compare this release with that of the mentors, but the Dover comes out very well. Tempos are a little quicker here, as has been the custom for a number of year now, and the Guarneri has an unmatched sense of tonal beauty that was one of their hallmarks, perhaps never to be equaled—you certainly knew when you were listening to them, even blindfolded. The Dover is very, very close to that sort of quality of tone, and their rhythmic incisiveness is even more pronounced, also a hallmark of this wonderful age of string playing that we seem to be living in. I would say that these are lightly assertive readings of tremendous control, providing the energy our days demand but with a throwback to the burnished sound of many of the quartets of old.

This is a smart debut from a quartet that has a brilliant future ahead of it, and Cedille producer and engineer Judith Sherman has given it her best effort from the Rehearsal Hall at the Curtis Institute in a marvelously detailed and warm recording. © 2016 Audiophile Audition Read complete review




Infodad.com, October 2016

There is nothing delicate about late Mozart—elegant, poised and perfectly balanced, yes, but there is an underlying robustness to the music that performers sometimes overlook. …The Andante here is all wistfulness, the Minuetto has more strength than would be expected, and the finale’s contrasts between soft and loud passages are handled with consummate skill. …The amazing richness of the first movement of this performance actually does recall Guarneri readings: this is the warmest-sounding movement on the disc. …The performance is exemplary, and the entire CD is evidence that the Dover Quartet is a new ensemble that any lover of string quartets will want to discover as soon as possible. © 2016 Infodad.com Read complete review



Stephen Smoliar
The Rehearsal Studio, October 2016

…this album is definitely a good one. The Dover players have clearly learned much from their teachers, and it is difficult to fault the elegantly polished sonorities they bring to their three Mozart selections. They also display a keen sensitivity to any marks on the score pages beyond the notes themselves, concerned with such matters as dynamics, articulation, and phrasing. The group is now faculty quartet in residence at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University; and, both individually and collectively, it is clear that they are poised to serve as the next generation of teachers and coaches. © 2016 The Rehearsal Studio Read complete review



Bob Neill
Positive Feedback Online, October 2016

The Dover Quartet, proteges of the famous Guarneris at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, took me completely by surprise with their utterly unaffected but almost shockingly eloquent way with Mozart. According to the Guarneri’s Arnold Steinhardt, they struck him in the same way once they achieved their maturity.

They appear to be the next new and quite possibly great thing. © 2016 Positive Feedback Online Read complete review



Lisa Flynn
WFMT (Chicago), October 2016

The Dover Quartet makes its recording debut with an all-Mozart album honoring the young ensemble’s teachers and coaches, the Guarneri Quartet. ‘Tribute’ recalls the Guarneri’s own all-Mozart debut album 50 years ago, which featured Mozart’s final two string quartets. The Dover’s album adds Mozart’s Quintet, K 406, performed with Michael Tree, the Guarneri’s founding violist and one of the Dover’s most valued mentors. © 2016 WFMT (Chicago)





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