“It was a special privilege to hear the dynamic Alexander performances in Baruch College’s intimate 176-seat auditorium. Seldom have these anguished, playful, ironic and masterly works [Shostakovich quartet cycle] seemed so profoundly personal.”


“The intimacy of the music came through with enhanced power and poignancy in the Alexander quartet’s vibrant, probing, assured and aptly volatile performances. … The chance to experience all 15 [Shostakovich] quartets played in chronological order with such intensity and engrossing commitment in a perfect chamber music hall was a privilege.”


“The Alexander players expertly gave the erratic dances of the final missive [of Janáček’s “String Quartet No. 2 “Intimate Letters”] just the right sense of being offkilter. It is this rhythmic awkwardness that leads to the final thoughts of death, of being out of sync with the universe. This is extremely difficult music to pull off, but the Alexander ensemble rallied for a thrilling conclusion.”


“This is a group deep in its element, firm in its stride.”


“They played as a tight group, carefully responding to each other, balancing lines, mirroring attacks. At times, they were as ferociously impressive as a small group of precision fighter pilots going through aerial maneuvers at breakneck speeds.”


“They were, to put it simply, terrific of tone, virtuosity and balance. The general quality level, as well as all the particulars of communicative virtuosity, place the Alexander Quartet right up there with the best on today’s international scene.”


“The Alexander String Quartet is one of those estimable groups who treat both composers and audiences with uncommon respect. What commanded attention was the Alexander’s complete absorption in the piece at hand. You never got the feeling that these were mere score readings, but part of the organization’s living repertoire. Then, too, the Alexanders command an extraordinarily chameleonic sound. It can be buttery smooth and even viscous, in the old world European manner, or, it can turn spiky and urgent in the American style when a score demands that kind of attack.”


“The Alexander String Quartet combines the spark of youth with a singleness of purpose usually reserved for more seasoned ensembles. The musicians’ controlled exuberance was unflagging and consequently produced superlative accounts of Beethoven, Bartók and Mendelssohn.”


“The musicians’ controlled exuberance was unflagging and consequently produced superlative accounts of Beethoven.”


“Dream-come-true performances from the excellent Alexander String Quartet. As they did during the Haydn Quartet that opened the concert, the players impressed with their sure ensemble, lyricism, accurate pitch, handsome sound and technical fluidity.”


“The Alexander String Quartet, born in the 1980s, has developed a distinctive musical profile and bold performing style. In its concert Tuesday at Richardson Auditorium, the ensemble played an Old World program with a balance of nuance, intensity and style that some senior quartets could envy. Beethoven’s Quartet in C major (Op. 59, No. 3) asked the riskiest comparisons with senior quartets, yet this performance needed no explanation. The second movement and the minuetto that follows were played to emphasize the almost hypnotic inner intensity of the music. The hush in the hall attested to the almost perfectly executed floating passage and its expressive strength.”


“A performance of Mozart’s Quartet in C, K. 465, called the “Dissonant” Quartet, completed the Mozart tribute with a performance that balanced seriousness of intent with a lightness of texture, all of which imbued the music with a luminous clarity. … The Alexander musicians were so in control of the music’s emotional contours and lurches, and so spiritually attuned to Shostakovich’s message that they seemed not so much to be playing the music as breathing it.”


“The Alexander demonstrated a remarkable ability to sustain a long, slow line. … ‘Must it be?’ was played with the necessary sense of inevitability that Beethoven’s ringing, affirmative answer, both to the question, and to the contradictions of the human condition, ‘It must be!’ demands.”


“I have rarely heard a quartet create such orchestral sonorities, and with such little forcing of tone. The Alexander brought passion in spades to this reading of Schubert’s ‘Death and the Maiden’ quartet. This was a splendid ‘Maiden,’ in which vigor did not subdue finer points.”


“The gem of the evening was Janáček’s Quartet No. 1. The Alexander players reveled in the heightened expressive qualities of Janáček’s intense score. Riding its many technical challenges with seeming ease, the ensemble made much of the supercharged harmonies and speech-like motifs. With Ravel’s exquisite Quartet in F major, the Alexander Quartet has great affinity. This was a caring, colorful interpretation, in which not a measure went by without definition and character.”


“Impressive power and lyricism.”


“The Alexander Quartet’s direct and non-rhetorical approach [to Shostakovich] finds the individual character of each score, allowing the music to speak for itself, forcefully and eloquently. … Their voicings, shadings, and attacks are dramatic, colorful, and totally convincing in context. Most important, they are well-matched players, bringing an equanimity, and thus clarity, to inner voices, counterpoint, and contrasting rhythms.”


“An extraordinary set [of recordings of Mozart’s quartets dedicated to Haydn]. … Some of the most arresting playing of these works that I have encountered.”


“The quartet manages to combine a robust, cohesive ensemble tone with a lively sense of color and a deep, unshakable poise. It was a performance in which the care that went into their preparation was completely subsumed in the conviction of the living moment. One could only agree with Yehudi Menuhin’s unrestrained assessment: ‘It was unbelievably good Beethoven — in conception, musicality, balance of voices, respect for the score, humor, pathos, emotional projection. There was absolutely nothing that was missing.’”


“They have much more of a European approach, in the sense that ensemble balance and a natural flow of ideas appears to matter more to them than overt virtuosity. In Mendelssohn’s F minor quartet, Op. 80, they managed to convey the emotional intensity without resorting to any of the hardness of tone or forced tempi so often employed by young ensembles to peddle passion.”


“The ensemble’s strength resides in its discipline and polished precision — in neatly articulated rhythms, unfussy phrasing and bright but smoothly blended sound.”


“Stunning Ensemble: On the evidence of their Beethoven Op. 59, No. 2, this is a group whose synthesis of strongly characterized individual voices is resilient enough to take inspiring risks, and sophisticated enough to see them through with imagi¬native sensitivity.”

— THE TIMES (London)

“They attained a rare sense of mystery and expectation in the elliptical moderations and silent bars of the first movement, summoned warmth and severity for the slow movement and a compelling gusto for the finale. Every change of tempo was geared perfectly to the dramatic implications of the music. The Alexander Quartet is destined for greatness.”


“These musicians have a sophisticated grasp of quartet-playing. They perform with an in-built awareness of each colleague’s line, in terms of both phrasing and colouring. Tones are blended, there is a delicate facility to the bowing and a unanimous ebb and flow to the delivery. They also have a sensitive ear for balance, gradating their sound-levels tactfully. Such general urbanity was much in evidence for Beethoven’s overblown A major Quartet from his Op. 18. Most memorable for compositional quality was the Andante’s charming Viennese mix of inwardness and self-confidence, but the Alexander’s committed integrity of approach was a joy.”


“Spontaneity, Pleasure and Courage with the Alexander String Quartet
With unusual enthusiasm and refined musicality, the members of this sympathetic quartet try together to recreate the essence of the music. They make music with a remarkable joy in playing. They attempt to really say something with every note.”

— NRC HANDELSBLAD (The Netherlands)

“And it’s Beethoven who carries them to their maximum-literature more solid, loaded with the past as well as the future, with violence as well as tenderness. This work allows them to be in the very center of their sensitivity. Splendid sonorities from each player (the first violin with a marvelous purity of line responds to a superb cello), perfect balance of purpose, perfect communication in the group, technical clarity, and unusual intensity; the golden rules of the quartet are brought together to perfection. And along with this, intelligence to bring forth the magic. Beethoven has rarely been so cast with elegance, with density, and with fullness. An example of interpretation beyond what’s in fashion, beyond musical egocentricity, in the very heart of a truth which flows from the mother spring.”

— LA TRIBUNE DE GENEVE (Switzerland)

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