After the success of their 5 previous DSD releases from Cobra Records at NativeDSD, the internationally acclaimed Cuarteto Quiroga returns with And There Was Light! (Und es ward Licht!). A double album joining forces with the world-renowned violist Veronika Hagen to depict musically one of the most fascinating periods in music history: the birth and triumph of string quartet as genre.
With it, the advent of a new era. In which a new generation of Europeans saw in this pure, instrumental music an art that emanated from reason and thought but spoke directly to the feelings. And so had the power to persuade and convince, perfectly combining the syntactic and structural force of language with the free semantic poetics of the imagination. Music to illuminate a new world, music to instruct and seduce. A universal, democratizing music, modern and enlightened.
To illustrate this journey to the musical Aufklärung the carefully selected repertoire focuses on four masterpieces by Haydn and Mozart written all in C-major, the symbolic key of Light, the key chosen as well by Haydn himself to depict the moment of Creation in his most famous oratorio, with the luminous cry of “Und Es Ward Licht!”.
This recording explains and celebrates a musical process which, child of its time, ended up shaping a way of writing and making music that would guide generations of composers, performers and music lovers, and whose ethical and aesthetic reflections still gleam brightly today.
The four works of this double album are beacons of light that relate to and intersect with one another – as listening to them conveys with great eloquence – their beams of light triangulating a musical map that defines the new era of modernity. A journey from darkness to light, from ingenuity to genius, from the human to the sublime. A journey to the very roots of Europe’s musical and cultural identity.
This is a Pure DSD release. Recorded to Stereo, 5 Channel and Binaural DSD 256. It is made available in other DSD bit rates using the Signalyst HQ Player 4 Pro mastering tools by NativeDSD Mastering Engineer Tom Caulfield.
Aitor Hevla – Violin
Cibran Sierra – Violin
Josep Puchades – Viola
Helena Poggio – Violoncello, Bird Whistling (Track 2)
Veronika Hagen – Viola
Special Guest, Mozart String Quintet in C Major (Tracks 13-16)
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 01:55:04
Acoustic Revive Microphone Cables & Interlinks
Bruel & Kjaer 4003, Neumann modified by Rens Heijnis
|Original Recording Format|
DSD 256 (Pure DSD)
|Original Recording Format|
WestVest 90 Church in Schiedam, The Netherlands on February 19 & 20, 2020 (Mozart Quintet), October 25-28, 2020
|Release Date||August 20, 2021|
If the transparent textures and the subtle nuances bring a lot of elegance to this reading, the youthful momentum, the mischievous lines and the sparkling flights reveal the malice of Haydn: you have to listen to the Finale of the Quartet op. 74 n1 all in spurts and fireworks, or the Trio from the Quartet op. 33 n3 suddenly surrounded by birdsong!
The Mozartian spirit is not to be outdone, especially in the Andante cantabile of the Quartet n19, sublime in its balance and grain, drunk with singing, or in the final Allegro of the String Quintet K.515, impulsive, smiling , lightweight…this new album seduces, charms and interests.
I am delighted each time I listen to this album. I am entranced by the superb musicianship, and I am in awe of a performing group that can so compellingly well interpret and present music of composers across five centuries with such broadly varying musical traditions. In this sixth album for Cobra Records, Cuarteto Quiroga returns to music of the Enlightenment with works by Haydn and Mozart.
The Cuarteto Quiroga perform with modern instruments but they bring to their performances of Haydn and Mozart a sympathy for historically informed musical practice using minimal vibrato and a light delicate touch. What makes these performances so special to me are the precise ensemble work, the high energy, and that ineluctable ability to apparently read each other’s thoughts—a virtual mind-meld—in the realization of their creative objectives. They are just a joy to hear…
I said at the outset about this most recent album that “it’s a stunner.” Why? The performances are excellent, of course. But it is the sound quality that truly made me sit up straight and listen. This is one of Tom’s few Pure DSD256 releases. The sonics have a transparency that only Pure DSD256 releases deliver…
…As with so many of Tom’s excellent recordings, we have a very happy combination of superb acoustic venue (the Westvest90 Church, Schiedam, The Netherlands) and masterful recording skills that both support and enhance the performance. Just gorgeous recordings.
Brilliant and muscular playing, technically flawless, impeccable, and clear vocals, discreet or absent vibrato (…).
The Cuarteto Quiroga testifies to a great unity, radiating joy and light from the first notes of Opus 33 n3 ‘L’Oiseau’. Joined by the violist Veronika Hagen, their ample, sharp reading of the Quintet KV 515 reveals in an exemplary way the melodic contrasts of an exceptional work of audacity and intensity.
I’m impressed from the first bars of this album. And not for the first time.
With the recordings of Cuarteto Quiroga released to date in DSD on ‘our’ Dutch quality label Cobra Records – from master producer and recording engineer Tom Peeters – this happens to me time and time again.
The impassioned playing of this quartet, which has four beautiful instruments, moves you deeply with the works now played from the ‘father’ of the string quartet – Joseph Haydn.
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