Wed 1 Jun 2016

DEBUSSY String Quartet FRANCK Piano Quintet

[...] The Quartet casts down the gauntlet with an implacably assertive opening statement in the Franck, setting the stage for an Orpheus-and-the-Furies-style dialogue with the piano. It’s a compelling approach to a movement that, on occasion, can become an uncertain, diffuse prologue to the main event of the Lento and Allegro non troppo. But what begins as a dialogue between strings and piano soon becomes a discourse among five musicians, urgently argued with lacerating intensity. The cohesion brought to this emotional caldron, one feels, could only be the result of complete unity of purpose shared by five musical minds.

Embarking on the slow movement brings almost visceral relief, even knowing that the lyric narrative about to unfold is one of the saddest in the literature. Delicacy and finesse produce colours and textures as vividly beautiful as they are emotionally impactful. But as much as we might like to linger in this sensual melancholy, in less than no time we’re swept up on to the magic-carpet ride of the finale, where kinetic exhilaration fuels the kaleidoscopic flight over varied terrain. I’m not sure I’ve had another experience of this work that imparts its affective essence so authentically while keeping its architectural ingenuity and grace always in view.

To Debussy’s luminous and under-appreciated String Quartet of 1893 the Takács bring all their intelligence, skill, taste and virtuosity. While every measure of this performance affords pleasure, the pizzicato shower of the scherzo and the touching tenderness of the Andantino are special treats. Very highly recommended. (Recensione completa)

The New York Times

Tue 17 Feb 2015

Takacs Quartet and the Viennese Masters Play at Alice Tully Hall

From even the most prominent of string quartets, a program of Schubert, Mozart and Beethoven might come across as stolid. After all, there are so many foursomes around now that scoff at every kind of boundary, from the JACK and the Kronos to the Ébène and the Danish. But the Takacs Quartet always shows that there is, and must be, room for insightful, intense performances of major works. That was its achievement in a superb appearance at Alice Tully Hall on Thursday: revealing the familiar as unfamiliar, making the most traditional of works feel radical once more....
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The New York Times

Tue 21 Jan 2014

Takács at Carnegie Hall: Taking On a Master and His Many Complexities

The Takács Quartet played Bartok, long one of its specialties, in two superb concerts over the weekend at Zankel Hall. Not only was the music making excellent, but I was also reminded throughout the performances of the clean, resonant acoustics of this subterranean space, which is celebrating its 10th season....
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