Five-star listening for when the lights go out

Five-star listening for when the lights go out

Album Of The Week

norman lebrecht

October 08, 2021

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

With the fadeout of two landmark string quartets – Germany’s Artemis in disarray and America’s Emersons to retirement – France’s Quatuor Ebène probably head the current list of the world’s best. Four crack musicians who play mostly standing up and are forever pushing out boundaries, their album releases are always an event and often a surprise.

This new recording pairs two nocturnal masterpieces …

Read on here.

And here.

En francais ici.

In Czech here.

In The Critic here.


  • NYMike says:

    Although very good, the Ebéne Qt. is at least equalled by the US Escher Qt. Their CDs of Zemlinksy, Mendelssohn, Barber and Ives are at the very least the equal of any extant quartet’s.

  • MR says:

    Lee Konitz and Michel Petrucciani, only 19 at the time, recorded a momentous version of ‘Round Midnight at the Bosendorfer Showroom in Paris. The composition of this sublime jazz ballad appears to have been influenced by the Kindertotenlieder of Gustav Mahler.

  • pvl says:

    The name of the quartet sounds obscene in some foreign language.

    • M2N2K says:

      Ну и что? Considering that there are approximately 6500 languages in the world, probably any word might sound obscene in at least one of them.

  • Larry W says:

    Quatuor Ébène has firmly established itself as a top-notch professional string quartet. It appears that much of that success can be attributed to their jazz moonlighting. Classical musicians are largely taught to reproduce rather than recreate the great music of the past, tending to forget that every piece had a first performance.

    Improvisation, at the heart of great jazz, is spontaneous and intuitive. That spirit of disciplined freedom can be translated into great classical chamber music playing. To that end, the Ébène has succeeded. Fabulous.