Extraordinary first press reactions to the new release with the Zehetmair quartet
Their third record on ECM New Series coupling Béla Bartók’s eminent fifth string quartet with Hindemith virtuosic fourth is awarded a Diapason D’Or this May. In his review for the French magazine Jean-Michel Molkhou praises “two outstanding interpretive achievements for an essential disc” and confesses to be “immediately absorbed by a mix of audacity and authority: In the Bartók the four musicians take all the risks and deliver what certainly is the most visionary rendering of the entire discography.” The Guardian’s Andrew Clements on the other hand is compelled by “a real rigour and intensity” and is firmly convinced that with the Hindemith “they really have set a new benchmark.”
Germany’s FonoForum is no less enthusiastic: “This is the record we’ll have to bear in mind when choosing the chamber music production of the year” writes Marcus Staebler while Carsten Fastner in Die Zeit notes a “perfect ensemble” and “most subtle nuances and shades”. Reviewers like Maja Ellmenreich on radio station Deutschlandfunk are particularly fascinated by the homogeneity and clearly recognizable timbral identity of the quartet, with new members Kuba Jakowicz and Ursula Smith already fully integrated. An interview with Thomas Zehetmair can be found here.