To celebrate its twenty years of existence, the internationally acclaimed Cuarteto Quiroga returns with its new album Atomos: The Art of Musical Concentration – their 7th release in Stereo, 5 Channel Surround and Binaural DSD at NativeDSD. This album represents a personal tribute to the genre and its literature from its origins to the present day, offering a unique perspective.
The album “Atomos” features works by three of the most important and historically influential composers in string quartet history: Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Béla Bartók. Additionally, it includes a world premiere recording of “Secreta,” a recent masterpiece by one of the absolute greatest living composers of our time, György Kurtág.
The aim of “Atomos” is to illustrate how these composers, in their pursuit of the nucleus of musical expression, sought to compress sound to a particle incapable of further division—an atom (ἄτομος)—giving birth to some of the most striking musical achievements in this exceptional repertoire. The ability to convey a lot in a short space of time while maintaining idiomatic subtlety and constructing a complete narrative structure is indeed a quality of extraordinary and transformative rarity. This concision enhances the strength of the message, making compression the most genuine gesture of revolutionary vision in linguistic, narrative, and poetic terms. Brevity, in this context, enhances the eloquence of the message.
Throughout this fascinating journey into the art of musical concentration, these four extraordinary composers reveal, through the works recorded here, what is most remarkable in music and life—the ability to pare oneself down to the minimal essence and allow the music to speak for itself with the most persuasive eloquence and the most moving kind of beauty.
Aitor Hevia – Violin
Cibrán Sierra – Violin
Josep Puchades – Viola
Helena Poggio – Violoncello
Recording Session Video by NativeDSD’s David Hopkins & Jonas Sacks
This album has been reviewed in our blog by music reviewer Rush Paul. Go To Article
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 00:58:28
Merging – HAPI
Brüel & Kjaer 4003, Neumann modified by Rens Heijnis
|Original Recording Format
|August 8, 2023
This past January I wrote about the marvelous recordings released by the Spanish string quartet, Cuarteto Quiroga. In that article I shared my impressions of six superb albums they released from 2011 to 2021 on the Cobra Records label…
Over the past few days I’ve been listening to their most recent release, Atomos: the art of musical concentration—music of Haydn, Beethoven, Bartók and Kurtág. And once again I am beside myself with excitement about their performances and the quality of the recording. They have again created a masterpiece of an album.
The Quiroga play with a perfection of ensemble, a combined delicacy of articulation, a uniformity of intonation, and an endless reservoir of technique—it is an unalloyed joy to hear them play. And to hear whatever music they choose. Their albums are always intellectually challenging, educationally rewarding, and emotionally deep.
In this album they deliver to us the gift of immaculate Haydn, ethereal Beethoven, intense but ever musically interesting Bartók, and the challenge of Kurtág. All in one delicious package…
As always in their albums, Cuarteto Quiroga brings to us not just a recital of compatible musical works. They bring an education, an insight, a discovery of mysteries. And for this I am always grateful for their albums, to be listened to all the way through, to be treated as an integral work of art unto itself for the message these marvelous artists have to share.
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