|GINASTERA: String Quartet No. 1,
op. 20. DEBUSSY: String Quartet in G Minor, op.
10. WOLF: Italian Serenade. The Bergonzi String
Quartet (Glenn Basham and Tomasz Liebig, violins; Pamela McConnnell, viola; Ross Harbaugh,
cello). FLEUR DE SON FDS 57920 [DDD]; 54:03. Produced by John Monforte.
(Distributed by Qualiton.)
|The Bergonzi Quartet should be far better known, and if it
turns out more recordings like this one, it probably will be. The Ginastera Quartet
is a wonderful piece, full of Bartokian rhythms and string techniques, and a slow movement
that could be quite appropriately called "Nightmusic."
But there are also Latin American dance rhythms and an occasional
playfulness that make this an original and diverting piece. The performance is
exceptional, splendidly capturing the color and drive of this music. Debussy's
G-Minor Quartet is played with equal assurance in matters of style and technique.
The slow movement is particularly lovely, with beautiful viola playing in its central
section. The only let down comes at the end of the Finale where the concluding
tres vif seems a bit restrained. But this is a small criticism of a fine,
statisfying performance. The disc includes Hugo Wolf's Italian Serenade, and
although the principal tempo is a bit faster than usual, the charm and grace of the music
are well served in this buoyant reading.
The recorded sound is excellent. The acoustic is a bit dry,
but it is refreshing to hear four instruments sound like a quartet rather than an
orchestral section, as is the case on many chamber music recordings these days. This
disc can be heartily recommended, and I look forward to hearing more of the Bergonzi
Fanfare - July/August 1997