Beethoven: Complete String Quartets
The Dover Quartet launches the first album in its new three-volume complete Beethoven quartet cycle with the six Opus 18 quartets. Often cited as the epitome of the classical string quartet as developed by Haydn and Mozart, the Opus 18 quartets foreshadow Beethoven’s future innovations. This is the Dover Quartet’s third Cedille Records album.
The Dover Quartet unveils the second installment in its Beethoven quartet cycle on Cedille Records. The three-disc set includes the Op. 59 “Razumovsky” Quartets, infused with Russian folk tunes; the graceful “Harp,” Op. 74, named for its plucked string figures; and the intense Op. 95 “Serioso,” a forward-looking experiment. This is the Dover Quartet’s fourth Cedille Records album.
The celebrated Dover Quartet, the young, Grammy-nominated ensemble brimming with prestigious awards and residencies, concludes its critically acclaimed, three-volume Beethoven cycle with the composer’s five monumental, revolutionary Late Quartets and imposing Grosse Fuge.
“The Dover performances sparkle and thrill. Their virtuosity is immediately apparent.”
“Meticulously balanced, technically clean-as-a-whistle and intonationally immaculate…it is their collective sensitivity to mood and atmosphere that leaves a lasting impression.”
—Julian Haylock, The Strad
“The Dover effortlessly tap into the cleverness, wit, and unbridled sense of fun that continue to make these works compelling a quarter millennium after Beethoven’s birth.”
—Zev Kane, WQXR
If he were alive today and hadn’t lost his hearing yet, Beethoven would find it hard to believe that his quartets could be played with such perfection of execution, such beauty of tone, such nuance of expression, and such keen understanding of his music’s meaning and intent.”
—Jerry Dubins, Fanfare
“In these new recordings, Dover Quartet pulls out all the potential this music has to offer. Their performance is crisp and sharp throughout. In some places, they shed new light on those quartets that have never resonated with me. . . I can’t wait to hear the rest of the Dover Quartet’s Beethoven string quartet cycle.”
—Lou Harris, Third Coast Review
“The Dovers stand out from the pack by playing with utterly perfect intonation, a near-telepathic sense of ensemble, and a lovely balance of passion and clarity…”
—Rick Anderson, CD Hotlist
A 2021 digital-only release in partnership with Brooklyn Duo, Encores comprises ten movements from beloved string quartets from Mozart to Shostakovich.
The Schumann Quartets
Released in October 2019 on Azica Records, this recording comprises Schumann’s three string quartets. Written in 1842, the three quartets mark the apotheosis of his development as a composer.
Nominated for a 2021 Grammy Award!
“The four musicians of the Dover Quartet unite all the cardinal virtues of modern quartet playing…The quartet’s new Schumann CD is a reference for me. Within the perfect, finely listened-to chamber music set-up, the quartet captivates with the very robust solo approach.”
—Michael Schwalb, WDR 3 Tonart
“Violinists Joel Link and Bryan Lee, violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, and cellist Camden Shaw are a superb match, supremely unified in sound and musical intention. Their warm blend and crisp articulations are both made fully evident in this recording full of ring and clarity, produced by Alan Bise and engineered by the late Bruce Egre.”
—Jarrett Hoffman, ClevelandClassical.com
Voices of Defiance
Voices of Defiance, the Dover Quartet’s second Cedille Records album, presents quartets of passion, hope, and resilience whose beauty defies the horrors that surrounded their creation.
The Dover Quartet delivers an original, deeply felt program of three European composers’ distinctive responses to the destruction and despair of World War II. Czech composer Viktor Ullmann’s powerful String Quartet No. 3, written in the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1943, draws inspiration from Debussy’s impressionism and Schoenberg’s serialism. The ensemble’s muscular approach to Dmitri Shostakovich’s epic String Quartet No. 2 from 1944 emphasizes its tragic qualities, befitting the album’s theme. A captivating discovery for most listeners, Szymon Laks’s lyrical String Quartet No 3, written in 1945 following his evacuation from Auschwitz and liberation from Dachau, revels in folk melodies from his native Poland in contrasting scenes of heartbreak and ecstasy.
“One of the most powerful new releases to cross my desk.”
—David Allen, New York Times
“Undoubtedly one of the most compelling discs released this year.”
—Barbara Jepson, Wall Street Journal
“Dover Quartet’s technical artistry is a given, but there’s also that chamber quartet ‘X-factor’ that can’t be forced. Undoubtedly, their ensemble synergy is luminous in this recording. These are historic compositions, and this recording is among the most important releases of this or any other year.”
—Lewis J. Whittington, Concertonet.com
“The main work here, the Second Quartet by Shostakovich, is heard in a haunting performance, sending chills down the spine especially in the extremely dreary Romance. I can’t remember any other quartet playing this music like the ‘Dovers’ do.”
—Remy Franck, Pizzicato
Tribute: Dover Quartet Plays Mozart
The Dover Quartet makes its recording debut with an all-Mozart album on Cedille Records honoring the soaring young ensemble’s illustrious teachers and coaches, the Guarneri Quartet.
The Dover’s debut album recalls the Guarneri’s own all-Mozart debut album on RCA Red Seal 50 years ago (1966), which featured Mozart’s final two string quartets—in B-Flat, K. 589, and F, K. 590. The Dover’s album on Cedille adds Mozart’s Quintet in C Minor, K. 406, performed with none other than Michael Tree, the Guarneri’s founding violist and one of the Dover’s most valued mentors.
“This deeply affecting debut disc is a tribute to the renowned Guarneri Quartet…Mozart’s final string quartets, the second and third of his‘Prussian’ three, with their lyrically enhanced cello lines, are performed here with surpassing beauty, a glorious timbral richness governed by what feels a continuous thoughtfulness.”
—Paul Driver, Sunday Times (London)
“This is music-making not of the highest order but of the next order. On a number of occasions, I’ve remarked on how blessed we are to be living in a golden age of string playing. The Dover Quartet now takes that to the next level, platinum.”
—Jerry Dubins, Fanfare
“The Dover Quartet and Michael Tree get more out of this music than I can remember hearing in any previous performance. But they do it not by being different. One never feels that the music is being pushed or pulled to try to make it more exciting or more profound. They know exactly when to take their time…This is glorious music-making and I enjoyed every minute of it.”
—Paul E. Robinson, Musical Toronto