Notes and Editorial Reviews
The Auryn Quartet plays these works with such sovereign ease that in places they sound positively casual. But don't let this fact give any impression of complacency on the part of the players--rather the performances reveal a certain aristocratic elegance that serves these works particularly well. In the Ravel, for example, note the purity of intonation in the unison octaves of the first movement's second subject, or the finale's almost insolent vitality. The Debussy, as befits its more passionate idiom, commands a correspondingly more dramatic approach, but never at the expense of the conversational quality that great quartet playing always preserves. The group's give and take in the scherzo
displays a particularly memorable species of relaxed charm, with the ensuing Andantino truly "doucement expressif", as the composer directs.
Fauré's elusive late masterpiece conceals numerous harmonic surprises below its outwardly placid surface, a fact that the Auryn Quartet surely understands. Listen to the subtle but always impeccably clear voicing of the central Andante's delicate web of lyrical polyphony, and to the players' ability to float the rhythms of the concluding Allegro across the bar lines. In sum, these are performances of remarkable distinction and polish, captured in state-of-the-art sonics. Another winner from this small but almost invariably excellent label. [5/31/2003]
-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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