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Dean Frey
Music for Several Instruments, March 2018

Charm is the keynote, and the Szymanowski Quartet brings the charm. …there’s plenty of variety in mood and tempo, and it all makes for a very pleasant hour and a quarter. Recommended. © 2017 Music for Several Instruments Read complete review

John Dutterer
American Record Guide, November 2017

Little is known about Maximilian d’Osten-Sacken, save that he was descended from German-Baltic aristocracy and that he died of tuberculosis at age 24. The Berceuse included here is his only surviving work, but it is a worthy remembrance of him; delicate and quietly plaintive, it sounds exactly like the sole work by a consumptive composer, and it is my favorite piece of the bunch.

Felix Blumenfeld’s Sarabande and Nikolai Sokolov’s moody Scherzo also rank among the high points, and Alexander Kopylov’s downright rousing polka ends the album on a positive note. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Raymond Tuttle
Fanfare, September 2017

No ensemble orders these 16 pieces in the same way. The Szymanowski Quartet starts rather seriously, with Glazunov’s Prelude and Fugue. Given their interpretations, this seems fitting. Like the Dantes and the Vertavos, they end with Kopylov’s giggly Polka.

This music does not place many demands on listeners or on performers, although it does require the latter to be charming. Charming, but reserved, describes what the Szymanowski Quartet is… © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

Stuart Sillitoe
MusicWeb International, May 2017

There is some lovely music here. Yes, some of the pieces can be described as salon music, but others—such as the Scherzo in D Minor by Sokolov—show real mastery of the medium.

This is a disc that offers the listener enjoyment throughout, whether it be the more salon-like music of VÄ«tols’ Menuet and Lyadov’s Mazurka, or the more important works such as those by Borodin, whose Scherzo is probably the best known piece here—it was used in the second movement of his unfinished Third Symphony—and by Rimsky-Korsakov.

The Szymanowski Quartet give a performance that is more detailed and a little slower than the Dantes. This also gives some of the pieces a little more gravitas, and the recording is cleaner and brighter. …It is detailed and much appreciated, especially when it comes to the lesser-known composers. This is a series of pieces guaranteed to lift your spirits, and a recording to match. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Records International, May 2017

This batch of short pieces for string quartet, all written by a group of composer-friends for Friday concerts in 1899 at the St. Petersburg home of the music publisher and philanthropist Mitrofan Belaieff, gets recorded once every decade or so and, since we didn’t offer the last one in 2006, we’re offering this one. Salon morsels from the great and famous and from the “Who’s-he”’s of the period. © 2017 Records International

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