"Zemlinsky is a nest of paradoxes: intense yet elusive, opulent but also sensitive and subtle, he can be difficult to grasp on first, or even second hearing. The Escher Quartet achieves a near-impossible balance, especially in the complex Quartet No. 2, clarifying its structure without betraying its fragile heart, while the Brahmsian First is a joyous surprise."
BBC Music magazine - January 2015
Recording of the Year
"...Another cycle completed albeit of just 2 discs. Performances to enhance the stature of artists, composer and music. Surely now the Zemlinsky string quartet cycle of choice and a must-buy for any interested in 20th century chamber music."
Nick Barnard - MusicWeb-International.com - December 2014
"... The Eschers play impeccably and with emotional depth ... the balance is always perfect, with each instrument leading and following as required."
Greg Pagel - American Record Guide - November/December 2014
"...In every way the Escher impressed me as one of Naxos’s best finds in their continual search for new talent..." - Huntley Dent
"...[Thanks] to Naxos’s clean recording, one hears every note by every instrument ... [and] it suits Zemlinsky to a tee.[The Second quartet] ... maintains a strong whiff of Romanticism, more so than any other I know, and becomes wildly impassioned at appropriate moments... this is all Zemlinsky, all the time. A keeper!" - James H North
"...excellent performances ..." - Jerry Dubins
Fanfare - November/December 2014
"... The Escher Quartet is clearly very comfortable in all of Zemlinsky’s multiple voices and advocates powerfully for the chamber music of this unjustly neglected master of the string quartet... Naxos is to be congratulated for putting out this disc and for championing the music of Alexander Zemlinsky, whose quartets will hopefully reach a wider audience. Recommended."
José Luis Bermúdez - Classical Net - September 2014
The Strad Recommends
"This disc completes the Escher Quartet’s Zemlinsky cycle so effectively ... The two works make a complementary pair and draw upon different areas of the Escher’s skills as an ensemble. Balance and recorded sound are exemplary and add lustre to a powerful pair of performances."
Matthew Rye - The Strad - October 2014
Classical CD of the Year
"This second disc is as impressive, and includes a superb performance of the Second Quartet ..."
Andrew Clements - The Guardian - June 2014
Recording of the Month
"...For anyone with an interest in string quartets as a form, these works should be compulsory listening. For anyone interested in the art of string quartet playing this disc is little short of sensational—remarkable expressive and musical range achieved with a technical security and near perfect ensemble that transcends any criticism. A disc of the year."
Nick Barnard - MusicWeb-International.com - August 2014
"After a first very successful disc with the last two Zemlinsky Quartets, the Escher String Quartet gives an impressive account of the two first quartets, the feverish second with its gripping atmospheres being the highlight of this superb CD." *****
Remy Franck - Pizzicato.lu - 28 August 2014
"... a performance that probes the depths and surges forwards with a sense of inevitability that, given what the century had in store, is ’authentic’ in the truest possible sense."
Rob Cowen - Gramophone magazine - September 2014
Performance ***** Recording *****
"... this recording is a remendous achievement by any standards."
Erik Levi - BBC Music magazine - September 2014
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