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Ravel & Debussy: String Quartets

Syrinx for solo flute
String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10

Ravel: String Quartet in F major

Introduction & Allegro for Harp, Flute, Clarinet and String Quartet

Chilingirian Quartet

Both the Debussy and the Ravel quartets receive bold, strong readings from the Chilingirians. The Debussy is especially ardent and virile, not at all the delicate wash you may expect. There is tenderness in the slow movement though. Philip De Groote's gutsy cello is especially distinctive, a rock solid voice that underpins the performance.

The Ravel receives a more conventional reading. The famous pizzicato second movement is light and sprightly, with strong rhythmic pointing. Levon Chilingirian's tone in the big sweeping violin statement in this movement is not as sweet as some, but his intensity is winning. Tempi are well chosen throughout and ensemble is tight.

These performances compare well with my reference recording from the Alban Berg Quartet, also on EMI. The Chilingirians do not match their Austrian colleagues in sheen and sheer dazzle, but they do not aim to. Their readings of these quartets are more red-blooded, making these performances excellent alternative accounts for the library, though they remain idiomatic enough to be a good recommendation for new initiates.

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  • Seller location: Lower Hutt City, Wellington, NZ

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