Following on from its highly-acclaimed complete cycle of string quartets from the Viennese School, the Quatuor Diotima reaches new heights in its discography with a recording of some of the most significant works of the 20th century music: the six quartets of Béla Bartok, born out of the different artistic and political influences of the time. “These six quartets give us a genuine overview of the composer’s personal life, from his first disappointment in love to the heartbreaking farewell to his mother and his homeland. The evolution of his musical language is equally spectacular. Starting with a post-Romanticism imbued with folklore, still very present in the first two quartets, the Bartókian identity is fully asserted in theRead more great works of his maturity that are the Third, Fourth and Fifth Quartets, and culminates in the highly individual form of the Sixth Quartet, one great song of despair and nostalgia. […] There is a before and an after Bartók in the quartet world. He renews, reinvents all the issues of the genre, the question of the relationship between the voices of the quartet governing the forms, the search for the ‘little difference’, the search for heterogeneity in so homogeneous a medium.”
Quatuor Diotima offering a balanced blend of all the principal ingredients in serving up Bartok - precision, passion, a sense of mystery, a sense of humor. At the final reckoning this set shows the fuller appreciation of Bartók’s sound palette, its heady combination of profundity, invention, wit, vivid tone-colouring and searing emotion.