The Quatuor Voce is fifteen years old! To celebrate this anniversary, the four musicians present an album focusing on two composers, Mozart and Schubert, but only one number: 15! This milestone, an age imbued with both ardour and maturity, is therefore embodied in the respective fifteenth quartets of these two geniuses of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Mozart composed his Quartet No. 15 in 1783, as the second in the set of six quartets dedicated to Haydn. Schubert wrote his Quartet No.15, his last work in the genre, in 1826. He composed it in only ten days but did not live to hear its first performance, which took place twenty-three years after his death.
The Quatuor VoceRead more offer a notably Gallic interpretation, favouring sweetness and richness of tone over the more Germanic virtues of attack and forward propulsion. The Voce clearly enjoy the range of sounds both works require, the Schubert’s opening movement especially demonstrating a range from gossamer tremolandos in the opening movement to the fullest possible sonority.
Their performances are richly satisfying, with a perfect sense of tempo. They well understand the desperation pervading Schubert’s final string quartet, the second movement’s violent outbursts have frightening intensity — but also its heartbreaking beauty.