Bartok Bound - Vol. 1 (String Quartets Nos. 1, 2, 4) (2019)

Bartók

Ragazze Quartet

It's always a wonderful and thrilling experience to play Béla Bartók. It's got everything: the mysterious tension of a thriller, loving lyricism, warm string sounds, almost impossible techniques challenging any string player to rediscover his instrument, and exhilarating rhythms which could well be rooted in folk dance. His music has fascinated us for years, so now we've decided to record all six string quartets. 

For the coming years we've declared ourselves Bartók Bound. We delve deep into his music and present his quartets in all sorts of ways and all kinds of programmes. For young and old, in pubs or on the screen, and in concert halls of course. This album forms the first testimony. We wish to break a lance for Béla Bartók: as far as we're concerned his sound can't be heard often enough! 

- Ragazze Quartet

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Ragazze Quartet

The Ragazze Quartet is a young, Dutch string quartet, remarkable for its musical enthusiasm, talent,versatility and presentation. Its versatility in particular is unusual within the world of chamber music.The quartet collaborates with and performs alongside composers, other musicians – classical orotherwise – and artists working in a variety of disciplines. In such projects the Ragazze Quartetalways operates from its classical music core, while attempting to attain the ultimate crossover.

The different disciplines are approached entirely equally, but in so doing they complement andelevate one another.The quartet followed the two-year full-time curriculum of the Dutch String Quartet Academy(NSKA). There the members attended masterclasses directed by leading musicians from theinternational string quartet world, as well as lessons from their regular teachers Stefan Metz and MarcDanel. After completing the academy course the quartet was coached for a year by Luc MarieAguera, violinist in the Quatuor Ysaye; this was made possible by the Dutch Kersjes Foundation.In October 2007 the Ragazze Quartet toured Nepal, where, besides giving concerts, they metlocal musicians and shared musical ideas. Immediately after this tour, the Ragazze played in ‘TheDebut’, a concert series in all major Dutch concert halls.In March 2010 the quartet was invited to the Kronos Quartet workshop in New York City.

After an intense week the Ragazze performed several pieces from the Kronos repertoire in Carnegie Hall.The Ragazze Quartet performs regularly at chamber music venues throughout Holland (suchas the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Vredenburg Utrecht and Philipszaal The Hague) and abroad (including Paris, Prague, Geneva, Ljubljana and Rio de Janeiro).In 2012 the Ragazze Quartet signed a contract to record three CDs with the renownedChannel Classics label.The instruments played by Geneviève and Jeanita are kindly lent by the National MusicInstruments Foundation. In Haydn’s ‘Fifths’ quartet four classical bows made by Andreas Grutterwere used.

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Bartok Bound - Vol. 1 (String Quartets Nos. 1, 2, 4) (2019)

Bartók

Ragazze Quartet

    De Volkskrant

De vier vrouwen van het Nederlandse Ragazze Kwartet hebben de sleutels tot het veelzijdige Bartók-universum in handen: ze spelen met passie, precisie en een sterk gevoel voor kleur en structuur. Aan het energieke en bijzonder hechte samenspel is te horen dat Bartók de vier strijkers aan het hart gebakken is, aldus de recensent. En die hoopt op een spoedig vervolg van het Bartók-project van dit gezegende gezelschap. The four women of the Dutch Ragazze Quartet hold the key to the versatile Bartók universe: they play with passion, precision and a strong sense of color and structure. The energetic and very closely together playing proves that Bartók is close to the hearts of the four string players, the reviewer says, who hopes for a quick follow-up to the Bartók project of this blessed quartet.

    Klassieke Zaken

(...) Bartók lijkt hen op het lijf geschreven, want ook de gevaarlijkste passages, zoals versnellingen, scherpe dissonanten en schielijke overgangen vloeien probleemloos uit hun instrumenten. Dat de opname fraai is, hoeft bij dit label niet te verbazen.

    Gramophone

(...) These are extremely well-focused and well-recorded performances (...) If Vol 2 is as good as this, there’ll be cause to celebrate.

    De Volkskrant -

De vier meiden (dat betekent ‘ragazze’) hebben de sleutels tot het lastige en veelzijdige Bartók-universum in handen: passie, precisie en een sterk gevoel voor kleur en structuur. (...) Dat de opname excellent is hoeft bij het label Channel Classics geen betoog.

    BBC Music Magazine

(...) The Ragazze Quartet tackles Bartók with vitality and assurance in this first volume of the complete quartets. (...)

    Hong Kong HiFi Magazine

The music of this women's group shuttles between classical and modern, and this is already the fifth diamond report jointly launched with Channel Classics. Four years of cooperation and touring around the world, so that their tacit understanding is seamless, playing like a four-in-one.

    Opus Klassiek

Met durf alleen kom je in de muziekwereld niet ver, maar als er tevens sprake is van intense muzikaliteit en technisch vlekkeloos spel… Dat is in de uitvoering van deze drie kwartetten (de overige drie zullen ongetwijfeld volgen) volop voorhanden. (...)Tot slot is er de schitterende opname, maar ook het feit dat Jared Sacks, de eigenaar en producer van Channel Classics, in al die jaren erin is geslaagd om topmusici zijn ‘stal' binnen te loodsen, waarvan de meeste een langdurige verbintenis zijn aangegaan. Het moet daar goed toeven zijn en wij, muziekliefhebbers, profiteren ervan. Met volle teugen mag ik wel zeggen

Aart van der Wal

    Het Parool

(...) Bartók opnemen getuigt in dit repertoire van lef, want zijn zes strijkkwartetten behoren tot de allerbeste die er in elk geval in de twintigste eeuw zijn geschreven en inmiddels vastgelegd, door alle kwartetten van naam en faam. Van die intimiderende wetenschap lijkt het Ragazze Quartet geen enkele last te hebben. Ze spelen de stukken frank en vrij, met grote intensiteit en grote lyriek. (...)

Eric Voermans

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41419: Bartok Bound - Vol. 1 (String Quartets Nos. 1, 2, 4)
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Tracks.
1.
String Quartet no. 1 op 7 (Sz. 40) - I. Vonosnegyes
Bartók
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2.
String Quartet no. 1 op 7 (Sz. 40) - II. Allegretto
Bartók
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3.
String Quartet no. 1 op 7 (Sz. 40) - III. Introduzione - Allegro vivace
Bartók
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4.
String Quartet no. 2 op 17 (Sz. 67) - I. Moderato
Bartók
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5.
String Quartet no. 2 op 17 (Sz. 67) - II. Allegro molto capriccioso
Bartók
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6.
String Quartet no. 2 op 17 (Sz. 67) - III. Lento
Bartók
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7.
String Quartet no. 4 (Sz. 91) - I. Allegro
Bartók
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8.
String Quartet no. 4 (Sz. 91) - II. Prestissimo, con sordino
Bartók
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9.
String Quartet no. 4 (Sz. 91) - III. Non troppo lento
Bartók
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10.
String Quartet no. 4 (Sz. 91) - IV. Allegretto pizzicato
Bartók
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11.
String Quartet no. 4 (Sz. 91) - V. Allegro molto
Bartók
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