Our new Brahms: String Quartets recording received a MusicWeb International Recommended distinction and new review from critic Ralph Moore.
“The joy of this quartet’s playing is immediately apparent in the ferocious opening movement of the C minor quartet: they play with all the verve, drive and passion you could wish for but never at the expense of homogeneity or intonation – and the sustained warmth and depth of their string tone are a constant delight. … Balances, too are always cunningly contrived – kudos to the sound engineers here – and rather than summoning the presence of Beethoven, ever looming over Brahms’ shoulder, there is something about the pathos of their playing which constantly recalls Schubert’s desperate striving for beauty in the face of heartbreak. … The three quartets each themselves inhabit very different worlds and the Alexander Quartet evinces the chameleon properties required to embrace each discrete ambience effectively. This is mature, relaxed Brahms, secure in his métier as the successor to his musical antecedents, and exudes a kind of rustic playfulness which anticipates Mahler… This is quartet playing of the highest order; just listen to the way the concluding F major chord glows. The finale is based upon six variations, not a form which always prompts excited anticipation in my breast, but Brahms’ wit and invention carry the day.… This newer recording will be welcomed by the legion devotees of the Alexander String Quartet as testimony to their supremacy as dedicated musicians and consummate communicators.”—Ralph Moore, MusicWeb International