Schulhoff, Dvorak - Cesko (2015)

Schulhoff, Dvorak

Ragazze Quartet

On Cesko we go on a musical journey across Europe to the extraordinary land of Bohemia (popularly known as Cesko, though officially the word actually means Czech), the homeland of two composers we have come to love so much. It doesn’t seem to matter that we hardly know their country: the indescribable energy of
the music, with its folk melodies and harmonies, revealing the essence of a nation steeped in a deep cultural history, takes us there instantly. These composers are the much celebrated and revered Antonín Dvo?ák, along with the younger and lesser-known Erwin Schulhoff, whose life and career was tragically cut short by the Nazi regime. Both were masters in harnessing the old to the new, fusing a rich musical heritage with the influence of new worlds. Their works take us through the full range of emotions, from the tranquil to the fiery, from the elated to the melancholic. A reflection of human life.

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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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Schulhoff, Dvorak - Cesko (2015)

Schulhoff, Dvorak

Ragazze Quartet

    Music Emotion

(..) Fraai materiaal, zowel artistiek als met betrekking tot de opnamekwaliteit. (...)

    Noordhollands Dagblad

(...) Prachtig opgenomen vuurwerk om stil van te worden. (...)

    De Volkskrant (50 best cd's of 2015, no.32)

Alleen al in de fluitende klank van een flageolettoon vindt het kwartet nuances die lopen van sprookjesachtige spinrag tot elektronisch aandoende synthesizerklank. Samen zetten de strijkers akkoorden neer, alsof hun handen worden bediend door één brein.

    The Wholenote

(...) a terrific string quartet CD (...) affection for the music (...) passion and dynamic range in their playing (...)

    Opus Klassiek

(...) verzorgde toonvorming in het hartbrekend mooie Adagio (...) een schitterende opname (...)


(...) keen inflections, luminous textures, and a constent sense of mobility (...) their biggest strenght is an added quota of spontaneity, which keeps ypu constently engaged. (...) The playing throughout is full of character (...) as one-off, innovative all Czech programme, the Ragazze Quartet’s Channel Classics CD is mightly impressive.

    Katholiek Nieuwsblad

(...) Fijnzinnig uitgevoerd

    The Guardian (Observer)

The playing of the wittingly named all-female Ragazze Quartet is fresh, light in texture, nimble and just occasionally a little ragged, but always spirited. (...) Dvorák’s ample and high-energy Quartet no 13 in G major completes this exhilarating disc.

    De Telegraaf

(...) Met een breed palet aan expressieve middelen en klankkleuren maken zij Schulhoff’s beeldende Eerste strijkkwartet tot een spannende belevenis. (...)

    De Volkskrant -

Het strijkkwartet van de Tsjech wordt in hun handen een stuk met fysieke, ritmische kracht die bij het Ragazze diep van binnen komt.

    De Gelderlander

Van Dvorák spelen de gedreven jonge vrouwen van het Ragazze Quartet het Eerste Strijkkwartet en Esquisses de Jazz. Vooral die schetsen zijn in deze geconcentreerde bitterzoete aanpak een schot in de roos. Zelfbewust en sexy als nooit tevoren.

An adventurous programme of musical contrasts (...) realished to the full by each of the four excellent members of the Ragazze Quartet (...) Ragazze’s performances of the ‘Esquisses de Jazz’ are brilliantly excecuted, full of deadpan humour (...) Jared Sacks’s lustrous 5.0 DSD recording places the four players with startling vividness and positional accuracy across the sound stage, while the surround channels add their ususal ambient glow.

    Luister -

(...) intelligent opgebouwd programma (...) ritmische opwinding en ingetogenheid komen superieur tot klinken (...) trefzeker en intens (...)


(...) opmerkelijke eensgezindheid (...) Het Ragazze Quartet neemt de tijd om het Strijkkwartet no. 13 van Dvorak breed uit te meten en gebruikt de juiste dosering waardoor het werk in diepgang wint. (...) een doortimmerd en indrukwekkend album.

Schulhoff, Dvorak - Cesko (2015)

Schulhoff, Dvorak

Ragazze Quartet

Cables: van der Hul
Digital Converters: Grimm A/D
Mastering Engineer: Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment: B&W 803d
Microphones: Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board: Rens Heijnis custom made
Producer: Jared Sacks
Recording Engineer: Jared Sacks
Recording location: Deventer Holland
Recording Software: Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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36815: Schulhoff, Dvorak - Cesko
01:03:37   Select quality & channels above
String Quartet no. 1 - Presto con fuoco
00:02:18   N/A
String Quartet no. 1 - allegretto con moto
00:03:27   N/A
String Quartet no. 1 - allegro giocoso alla slovaca
00:02:55   N/A
String Quartet no. 1 - Andante molto sostenuto
00:06:35   N/A
String Quartet no. 13 in G - Allegro moderato
00:09:13   N/A
String Quartet no. 13 in G - Adagio ma non troppo
00:10:33   N/A
String Quartet no. 13 in G - Molto vivace
00:06:08   N/A
String Quartet no. 13 in G - finale - andante sostenuto
00:10:41   N/A
Esquisses de Jazz - Rag
00:02:05   N/A
Esquisses de Jazz - Boston
00:02:48   N/A
Esquisses de Jazz - Tango
00:01:50   N/A
Esquisses de Jazz - Blues
00:01:49   N/A
Esquisses de Jazz - Back bottom
00:01:51   N/A
Esquisses de Jazz - Charleston
00:01:24   N/A

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