Mozart: The Final Quartets - Aptheosis, Vol. 1

Music critic Jerry Dubins offers a preview from his upcoming Fanfare review of our Mozart: The Final Quartets, Apotheosis, Vol. 2 recording:

“…the Alexander [String Quartet] offers a take on these works that is suffused with feelings of warmth, mellowness, and tenderness that come from maturity—maturity in this case of both the composer and the ensemble, which, but for two changes in personnel, has been together now for 38 years, longer than Mozart walked upon this Earth. …

The ensemble is as sure-fingered, as alert, and as responsive to the music as it has always been. … what I take away from these performances is a “knowingness,” a musical wisdom, if you like, that comes from a lifetime of experience. …

Playfulness and lightness of being are met by musings on more serious matters, sobering the former and heartening the latter in the encounter. At every turn of phrase, one hears in the Alexander’s readings how mirth turns to melancholy and melancholy to mirth, for in Mozart, especially in the works of his last year or so, they are two sides of the same coin. The players bring this out in ways that only the cumulative and shared experience of their years together can.

These are exceptionally beautiful performances—and recordings too that bring out every nuance and detail—of some extraordinarily beautiful music. I haven’t said much, if anything, about technical execution because what is there to say when it’s perfect in every aspect, and ideal in service to the composer and the music’s every wish? May the Alexander String Quartet and its set of Mozart’s last quartets live long and prosper. ”

—Jerry Dubins

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