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The Diotima Quartet’s new diapason d’or award-winning release of chamber music by the English/French composer George Onslow, featuring two world premiere recordings, is their first for Naïve.
The Diotima Quartet’s new release, Onslow, has recently been awarded the diapason d’or and features a programme devoted entirely to the work of the much admired and often overlooked romantic composer, George Onslow. Nicknamed ‘the French Beethoven’ by his contemporaries, George Onslow was a British-French romantic composer who composed more than 60 quartets and quintets. These works are being rediscovered and published thanks to the support of the Bru-Zane Foundation in Venice. Of the three quartets recorded here, Op. 55 is probably the most concertante, but also the most virtuosic for the four instrumentalists, who engage in dialogue throughout. The Diotima Quartet tour extensively throughout the world and are the recipients of countless awards for their recordings including: Coup de Coeur of the Académie Charles Cros and a Diapason d’Or of the Year 2004 in the ‘Discovery’ category (Lachenmann/Nono); Diapason d’Or 2008 (Janácek quartets); Choc du Monde de la Musique (Lucien Durosoir quartets). They make their debut on ECM New Series in March with music by Thomas Larcher, and have a Scottish residency, with concerts in Edinburgh and Aberdeen, between 21-24 February.
George Onslow: String Quartet No. 28 in E flat major, Op. 54
I. Introduzione: Adagio - Allegro moderato
II. Andante con variazioni, "Preghiera"
III. Scherzo: Allegro
IV. Finale: Allegro non troppo
George Onslow: String Quartet No. 29 in D minor, Op. 55
II. Scherzo: Presto
III. Adagio cantabile
IV. Finale: Allegro vivace
George Onslow: String Quartet No. 30 in C minor, Op. 56
I. Allegro maestoso ed espressivo
II. Minuetto: Moderato
III. Adagio cantabile e sostenuto
IV. Finale: Vivace
22nd April 2010
“It's a fascinating historical snapshot, beautifully rendered by the Diotima, who lavish immense care on every bar.”
“The playing has an airy, unemphatic brilliance that's perfect for the more showy passages, and an unusual purity of sound. Stylish use of portamento enhances any tender, expressive moments...this is outstanding quartet playing, making a powerful case for a neglected composer.”