"... The performances on the current Naxos CD are top-notch, as is the recording. The three works are appealing enough and certainly of sufficient interest to warrent recommendation, especially given a release so affordably priced."
Jerry Dubins - Fanfare - May/June 2012
"The Fine Arts Quartet give the full treatment to this rich saccharine music, and also include Ysaye’s Harmonies de Soir for string quartet and orchestra, all real rarities."
Peter Spaull - Liverpool Daily Post - January 2012
"As soon as cellist Wolfgang Laufer makes his first entry into the A Minor Quartet (1919) of Fritz Kreisler (1875–1962), we realize that the beloved Viennese master violinist possessed a decided melodic gift, rife with “orientalisms” and shifts into modal harmony.
The first violin part, here realized by Ralph Evans, enjoys a strong concertante presence, the texture’s often approximating a concertino status. When the cello joins the violin in the first movement: Fantasia duet, we can almost hear Kreisler and Casals in the Brahms Double Concerto. The Scherzo chimes in spiccato figures a step away from Tambourin Chinois. The phrase endings virtually melt into Viennese schlag, the viola (Nicolo Eugelmi) plying his own version of an Eastern chant over a drone bass. The unassuming Romanze: Allegretto conveys an easy sentimentality, rather a Hollywood sweetness appropriate for a Nelson Eddy/Jeanette MacDonald lyric. The last movement, Retrospection (Rueckblick) canters rather gaily in rustic syncopations, reminiscent of Brahms when cavorting in a gypsy mode. The Fine Arts players indulge in rubato and generous old-world slides Kreisler likely assumed would be a matter of course.
Gary Lemco - Audiophile Audition - February 2012
"...The Fine Arts Quartet…are nearly all singled out for their exceptional merit, on display again in this latest recording, where their technical prowess and expressive power are tested time and again by three composers that knew more than anyone what string instruments were capable of. Kreisler’s ‘sound’ is stamped on his writing as much as it was on his playing, but the Fine Arts have the good taste not to over-sweeten the rubato or portamento. By way of contrast, this is Otis Klöber and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Europe’s first recording for Naxos, and…they acquit themselves nicely...."
Byzantion - MusicWeb-International - April 2012
"...A skilfully crafted and beautiful four-movement score [Kreisler’s String Quartet in A Minor] brought vividly to life by the Fine Arts Quartet, which, through its liberal use of vibrato, enhances the warmth on which the music thrives…This disc is a real discovery that I can recommend without reservation.’
David Denton - The Strad - March 2012
Performance **** Recording ****
"It was an inspired idea to programme music by three of the finest violinists of the last century…The Fine Arts Quartet rise with aplomb to its many interpretative and technical challenges, sustaining a glorious richness of tone, coupled with a portamento-inflected cantabile espressivo that sits hand in glove with the music’s Romantic opulence."
Julian Haylock - BBC Music Magazine - February 2012
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