Bartok: Complete String Quartets Heath Quartet

Cover Bartok: Complete String Quartets

Album info



Label: Harmonia Mundi

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Chamber Music

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


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  • Bela Bartok (1881-1945): String Quartet No. 1, Sz. 40:
  • 1I. Lento09:06
  • 2II. Allegretto. Introduzione10:07
  • 3III. Allegro vivace10:20
  • String Quartet No. 3, Sz. 85:
  • 4I. Prima parte. Moderato04:45
  • 5II. Seconda parte. Allegro05:34
  • 6III. Recapitulazione della prima parte. Moderato02:55
  • 7IV. Coda. Allegro molto02:20
  • String Quartet No. 5, Sz. 102:
  • 8I. Allegro07:58
  • 9II. Adagio molto05:52
  • 10III. Scherzo. Alla bulgarese05:29
  • 11IV. Andante04:44
  • 12V. Finale. Allegro vivace07:33
  • String Quartet No. 2, Sz. 67:
  • 13I. Moderato09:51
  • 14II. Allegro molto capriccioso08:03
  • 15III. Lento09:08
  • String Quartet No. 4, Sz. 91:
  • 16I. Allegro06:15
  • 17II. Prestissimo, con sordino03:12
  • 18III. Non troppo lento05:53
  • 19IV. Allegretto pizzicato03:01
  • 20V. Allegro molto05:51
  • String Quartet No. 6, Sz. 114:
  • 21I. Mesto. Più mosso, pesante - Vivace07:40
  • 22II. Mesto. Marcia07:40
  • 23III. Mesto - Burletta. Moderato07:16
  • 24IV. Mesto06:48
  • Total Runtime02:37:21

Info for Bartok: Complete String Quartets

A monument of chamber music: The string quartet was of central importance to Bartók throughout his career. His six quartets were written (between 1907 and 1939) at crucial turning points in the composer's creative development. From the elegiac tone of Quartet no.1 (reflecting an unhappy love affair) to the sadness and wry parody of no.6, composed on the eve of World War II, by way of the mirror forms and atmospheric 'night music' of nos.4 and 5, they represent perhaps the biggest interpretative challenge in the genre alongside the Beethoven quartets. A challenge triumphantly met here by the Heath Quartet. Future plans include complete cycles of Jörg Widmann's string quartets at Kilkenny Festival, Berlin's Boulez Saal and Wigmore Hall, as well as numerous appearances at summer festivals in the United Kingdom and beyond. Their debut recording of Tippett's string quartets (Wigmore Hall Live) received widespread acclaim and won the Gramophone Chamber Disk of the Year in 2016. A subsequent release on Harmonia Mundi of Tchaikovsky Quartets 1 & 3 was selected as Disk of the Week by both The Sunday Times and BBC Radio 3.

"an unqualified triumph … as a former Tippett scholar I rejoiced at the gleaming new insights provided at every twist and turn of sustained arguments … an essential set for any true music lover." (The Strad)

"Russian interpreters have tended to dominate this repertoire in the catalogue, so it's good to hear these outstanding young British musicians in still relatively neglected works...the Heath players pour out Tchaikovsky's grief for his friend with a depth of tone and virtuosity – in the allegros – that matches the finest Russians on disc. A notable debut." (Sunday Times)

Heath Quartet:
Oliver Heath, violin
Cerys Jones, violin
Gary Pomeroy, viola
Christopher Murray, cello

Heath Quartet
The dynamic and charismatic Heath Quartet are fast earning a reputation as one of the most exciting British chamber ensembles of the moment. In May 2013 they became the first ensemble in 15 years to win the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artists Award. Formed in 2002 at the Royal Northern College of Music they were selected for representation by YCAT, were awarded a Borletti-Buitoni Special Ensemble Scholarship and in 2012 won Ensemble Prize at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Their recording of Tippett’s string quartets (Wigmore Live) received widespread acclaim and won the 2016 GRAMOPHONE Chamber Disk of the Year. A subsequent release on Harmonia Mundi of Tchaikovsky: Quartets 1 &3 was selected as Disk of the Week by both The Sunday Times and BBC Radio 3. The Quartet’s complete Bartók cycle (recorded live at the Wigmore Hall) is due for release in May 2017. Future highlights also include a return to the Berlin Konzerthaus, performances in Austria with Michael Collins, complete cycles of Jörg Widmann’s string quartets at Kilkenny Festival, Berlin’s Boulez Saal and Wigmore Hall, as well as numerous appearances at summer festivals in the United Kingdom and beyond.

Notable performances of the previous seasons have included a complete Beethoven Cycle at Kilkenny Festival, a John Tavener premiere at the BBC Proms, concerts at the Beethovenfest Bonn, Mecklenburgh-Vorpommern Festival, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and their debuts at the Musée d’Orsay and Louvre Auditorium in Paris. Regular visitors to the United States the quartet also recently made their debut in New York at both Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Centre, and continue their residence at Middlebury College, Vermont. In the UK they have also performed at the Barbican, Bridgewater Hall, Sage Gateshead, Perth Concert Hall and Queen’s Hall Edinburgh. And in Europe they have appeared at the Kissingen Winterzauber and Schwetzinger Festivals as well as deSingel Arts Centre in Antwerp, Vara Konserthus in Sweden, Berlin Konzerthaus, Esterházy Palace, and the Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna.

The Heath Quartet regularly enjoy working with a host of talented collaborators including Anna Caterina Antonacci, James Baillieu, Ian Bostridge, Adrian Brendel, Michael Collins, Colin Currie, Stephen Hough, Richard Lester, Aleksandar Madzar, Anthony Marwood, Hannes Minnaar, Mark Padmore, Lawrence Power, Carolyn Sampson, plus even venturing into the world of jazz with a ‘Wigmore Late’ concert together with saxophonist Trish Clowes and pianist Gwilym Simcock.

Strong exponents of contemporary music, the Quartet have also worked with several leading composers including Hans Abrahamsen, Louis Andriessen, Brett Dean, Anthony Gilbert, Sofia Gubaidulina, Steve Mackey. They took part in the European première of Steve Mackey’s ‘Gaggle and Flock’ for string octet, the world première of John Musto’s ‘Another Place’ with Carolyn Sampson at the Wigmore Hall

The Heath Quartet members are teaching staff at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Booklet for Bartok: Complete String Quartets

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