Cuarteto Quiroga

(9 press reviews)
Original Recording Format: DSD 64
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“All music is folk music; I ain’t never heard no horse sing a song.” The great Louis Armstrong’s lighthearted but lucid remark irrefutably under- mines the postmodern tendency to label every phenomenon and com- partmentalize – generally for some underlying ideological or commercial reason – the various different ways in which humanity expresses itself artistically. This reductionist trend has hit music particularly hard, with many styles having been undeservedly corralled into marginal spaces. The assumption seems to be that if bagpipes are involved it has to be “folk” music, if it’s a djembe then it’s “world” music, and guitars of course mean “POPular” music, but a Schubert-transcribed Ländler or a Haydn minuet automatically equates to “serious” or “classical” or “art” music. This assumption neatly sidesteps the fact that all composers were people – not animals, vegetables or minerals – and were therefore born into a particular sociocultural context and a particular place, ethnicity or nation. Had they been born elsewhere and nurtured by a different cultural substrate, their music would, inevitably, have been different. The musical works presented on this CD are not only the product of a particular place (true of every piece ever written, without exception), but also intentionally and unapologetically display their roots, taking folk-based materials as the earth from which they draw the neces- sary nutrients to cultivate bold, new avant-garde idioms. The journey begins with Bartók, a universal reference for all 20th- and 21st-century composers as regards this approach to composition, and places him alongside two truly fascinating gures of the Hispanic music world: Alberto Ginastera, an Argentinian of Catalan origins, and the Madrid- born Rodolfo Halffter, who left Spain for exile in Mexico at the end of the Civil War. The intriguing thing about the three works featured here is the amount they have in common, in terms of sonority, aesthetic and gesture, despite the fact that they stem from three different worlds. Comparing and contrasting these pieces is a fascinating listening ex- perience – above all, because it highlights their shared humanity, de- rived from their musical contact with the fertile Earth, mother to us all and source of our dreams and passions. Their speci c features reveal the universal nature of the different popular cultures of the world, whose diversity is the real treasure that humanizes all of us. 

Let yourself be carried away. Open your ears. Listen to the Earth. Immerse yourself in its sounds. Hear its music.


Please note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
String Quartet No.2, Op.17 - I.Moderato
String Quartet No.2, Op.17 - II.Allegro molto capriccioso
String Quartet No.2 Op.17 - III.Lento
String Quartet No.1, Op.20 - I.Allegro violento ed agitato
String Quartet No.1, Op.20 - II.Vivacissimo
String Quartet No.1, Op.20 - III.Calmo e poetico
String Quartet No.1, Op.20 - IV.Allegramente rustico
Ocho Tientos para cuarteto de cuerda, Op.35 - I.
Ocho Tientos para cuarteto de cuerda, Op.35 - II.
Ocho Tientos para cuarteto de cuerda, Op.35 - III.
Ocho Tientos para cuarteto de cuerda, Op.35 - IV.
Ocho Tientos para cuarteto de cuerda, Op.35 - V.
Ocho Tientos para cuarteto de cuerda, Op.35 - Vi.
Ocho Tientos para cuarteto de cuerda, Op.35 - VII.
Ocho Tientos para cuarteto de cuerda, Op.35 - VIII.
Drei Landler in B
Galician Folksong - Panxolina para o Nadal de 1829

Total time: 01:14:20

Additional information





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Acoustic Revive

Digital Converters


Editing Software


Mastering Engineer

Tom Peeters


Bruel & Kjaer

Mixing Board

Rens Heijnis custom made


The recording was originally digitized using the dCS 904, which operated at DSD64. 

The original session tracks were edited and rebalanced (which meant going through the mixer) in the only available format for that purpose; the Pyramix 352.8KHz/24bit PCM (DXD). Prior to the advent of direct digital delivery, the next step in the production process from 352.8KHz/24bit PCM would be the DSD64 edited master for SACD production. What we have done now is also make a direct conversion to DSD128 and DSD256 from that original DXD edited master, without going through any interim processing steps.

Those DXD to DSD conversions are not up-samplings, as they would be going from one PCM sampling rate to another, for they are different encoding systems. PCM is a digital value sample based system, and DSD is a digital bit density modulated system. Conversion from any PCM sample rate to any DSD bit rate system is a remodulation, not an up-sampling.

We feel there is an audio advantage to this process in using the original files so we give you the choice and you can decide.


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Original Recording Format


Tom Peeters

Recording Engineer

Tom Peeters

Recording location

WestVest90 Schiedam, The Netherlands

Recording Software


Recording Type & Bit Rate


Release DateMay 26, 2017

Press reviews

Positive Feedback

Bartók’s String Quartet No. 2 (1917) is a monumental example of the fusion of “folk” materials with the modern musical language. Cuarteto Quiroga’s performance is very fine; as fine as any that I have in my music library by other superb interpreters.

The same is true of Ginastera’s First Quartet (1948)… and of Halffter’s fabulous Ocho Tientos (1973)…

Throughout, the Cuarteto Quiroga perform with high creative energy, excellent ensemble, precise inflections and contrasts. It is no wonder that they won Spain’s National Music Award 2018 for this album. It deserves a much broader listening audience. You will NOT be disappointed with any of the performances found here. They are superb. Highly recommended!

Musicalifeiten, okt 2017

Aan de voortreffelijkheid van het Quiroga kwartet hoeft (weer) geen twijfel te bestaan.

The Strad, nov 2017

“Powerful passions smoulder in this folk-inspired programme”, “Powerful account” #Bartók “with extreme colours, pagan vehemence & keen tragedy”
#Ginastera “appropriately ferocious energy… splendid playing”
#Halffter “played with grace & style”

Musiweb-international, nov 2017

Their playing is bold and powerful, but not savage, in that these performances are well-planned and highly controlled, sophisticated instead of primitive.

Stretto, okt 2017

Het Nederlands label Cobra bracht alweer een opvallende cd uit, dit keer met Strijkkwartetten vanuit verschillende, plaatselijke culturen.
Met een productie van een achttal cd’s per jaar zal het Nederlands label de wereldmarkt niet beheersen. Maar kwalitatief kunnen hun cd’s met veel andere concurreren. De programma’s van hun cd’s zijn nl. altijd vanuit een originele en interessante uitvalhoek samengesteld. Elk van hun cd uitgaven heeft altijd wel een of ander verruimend en verrijkend thema of uitgangspunt met een duidelijke boodschap. Dit is niet anders met deze opvallende Terra cd.

Pizzicato, okt 2017 5 out of 5

In the album Terra, the Quiroga Quartet combines works by the Hungarian Bela Bartok with compositions written by the Argentinian Alberto Ginastera and the Spaniard Rodolfo Halffter. Their compositions have absorbed elements from the traditional music without direct quotation. Cuarteto Quiroga’s performances demonstrate superlative skill and polish and sound remarkably fresh.

Scherzo y Ritmo, okt 2017

“The Bartok performance of the Quiroga’s is masterful, it’s like an abandoned landscape, a nocturne that goes beyond the night, a flow that exceeds everything without the need for special effects.”
“De Bartok uitvoering van de Quiroga’s is meesterlijk, het is als een verlaten landschap, een nocturne die verder gaat dan de nacht, een stroom die alles overtreft zonder dat er speciale effecten voor nodig zijn.”


I will say that the Quiroga’s are growing at a formidable speed. And I get the impression that they are doing it both individually and in a group. Their performance in this recording is simply prodigious. They sound incredibly well, and they are a source of music from the first second.

Opus Klassiek, july 2017

“Drie kwartetten uit twee continenten (Europa en Zuid-Amerika), maar tegelijkertijd drie verschillende werelden die qua gestiek, esthetiek en klankweelde een wereld met elkaar delen. Dat met overtuiging over het voetlicht brengen lukt alleen een topensemble en dat is het Spaanse Cuarteto Quiroga zonder enig voorbehoud.”
“Volksmuziek en kunstmuziek, zij gaan door alle continenten heen. En uitgevoerd zoals hier klinkt het gewoon werelds!”
“Three quartets of two continents (Europe and South America), but at the same time three different worlds that share a world with one another, aesthetically and sound wise.
Bringing this repertoire convincingly is only possible by a top ensemble, which is the Spanish Cuarteto Quiroga without any reservations.”
“Folk music and art music, they go through all continents. And performed like here it just sounds perfect!”


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Cobra Records 69 albums

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