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NX 2163

HINDEMITH, P.: String Quartets, Vol. 1 (Amar Quartet) - Nos. 2 and 3

The Classical Shop
release date: July 2012

Originally recorded in 2012


Amar Quartet


Amar Quartet


Schweizer Radio DRS, Radiostudio Zurich, Grosser Saal, Zurich, Switzerland

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Total Time - 64:39
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HINDEMITH, P.: String Quartets, Vol. 1 (Amar Quartet) - Nos. 2 and 3

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String Quartet No. 2 in F minor, Op. 10

1 I. Sehr lebhaft, straff im Rhythmus 6:15
2 II. Thema mit Variationen: Gemachlich 10:32
3 III. Finale: Sehr lebhaft 16:26

String Quartet No. 3 in C major, Op. 16

4 I. Lebhaft und sehr energisch 10:28
5 II. Sehr langsam - Ausserst ruhige Viertel 13:09
6 III. Finale: Ausserst lebhaft 7:49
  Amar Quartet Ensemble

Paul Hindemith wrote seven String Quartets, all of which reflect the experience and practical assurance of a distinguished violinist and, later, violist. No 2 was written in 1918 whilst he was a soldier on active duty. It’s a bracing, dynamic and pithy work with a clever series of variations which parody romantic excess, and a virtuosic finale. No 3 followed early in 1920 and was an instant success, a thrilling example of Hindemith’s concise imagination at work. This passionate quartet, with its richly varied material, is one of his supreme chamber masterpieces.

 "...the Amar  performance raises the music to previously unsusoected heights. Naxos’s sound is warm and deep ..."

James H North - Fanfare - May/June 2013

 "... This recording was made by another Amar Quartet, founded in 1995 and given the name with the blessings of the Hindemith Institute. The taping was done at the studios of Swiss Radio in Zurich and is a model for the clarity, body, and rich sound that good string quartet recording demands. The new Amar has responded brilliantly."

William Bender - American Record Guide - November/December 2012

                   Artistic Quality 10            Sound Quality 10

"...full of good music and certainly worth the serious consideration of chamber music aficionados...I strongly doubt that Hindemith’s own quartet played these pieces nearly this well. He was by all accounts a rather dry performer, whereas this particular Amar Quartet invests the music with considerable warmth and manages to maintain a remarkably attractive ensemble tone even in the two finales where everyone is going crazy. If they keep up this standard, there is little doubt that this will become the reference edition in this music, and perhaps will win for it the friends that it surely deserves. The engineering is ideal, and does the performances proud." 

David Hurwitz - - June 2012

"...These inventive pieces are brought stunningly to life by the young Amar Quartet..."   *****

Julian Haylock - BBC Music Magazine - September 2012

"[Paul Hindemith’s] String Quartets ... have not received the exposure they deserve. Hopefully this excellent new recording by the Amar Quartet, the first in a projected release of all seven of Hindemith’s quartets, will generate enough interest and in turn shed more light on this composer’s output. The String Quartet No. 2 in F minor, Op. 10…clearly demonstrates this composer’s no-nonsense approach to music, where the brain rules the heart, and melodic and harmonic development are more important than emotive expression…this quartet begins in a style steeped in tradition and a positive outlook…The final movement is an impressive display of complex counterpoint, intricate tonal development, all very well counter-balanced by a beautifully lyrical central section, expertly rendered here by the Amar Quartet. The final two minutes alone of this quartet should be enough to convince anyone of this composer’s talents. The String Quartet No. 3 in C major, Op. 16 ... opens Lebhaft und sehr energisch (Lively and very energetic) ...The cohesiveness of the music belies its extremely complex counterpoint. The Amar Quartet members shine in this movement. The final movement is characterized by innovative ideas and techniques, marked by an intricate layering of all four lines, giving the music a larger-than-life demeanour. Anna Brunner (Violin), Igor Keller (Violin), Hannes Bärtschi (Viola) and Péter Somodari (Cello), are the musicians who constitute the Amar Quartet. They’ve already released a dozen recordings ... and based on what I hear in this present Naxos recording, they can carry their name with pride."

Jean-Yves Duperron - Classical Musical Sentinel - June 2012

"The Amar Quartet give an excellent account of these works—it is hard to believe Hindemith’s old team could have done it better. All four members face and pass many technically challenging passages, and succeed also in imbuing Hindemith’s not always outwardly expressive works with a good deal of warmth and intensity. Sound quality is very good throughout. If this first disc is anything to go by, this will be a must-have cycle for all lovers of 20th century music."

Byzantion - - September 2012


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