“We are fortunate to have a clutch of young, extremely talented string quartets in action …but none except the Ebène Quartet can sing four-part harmonies, improvise solos on [jazz] standards, shred with conviction on the surf-rock classic ‘Misirlou’ and uncover the unique sound world of Fauré, Debussy and Ravel.” - National Public Radio
In their newest album, entitled Fanny & Felix Mendelssohn, the Quatuor Ebène deliver another recording filled with innovation and virtuosity – here exploring the music and relationship between the brother and sister composing duo Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn. The immense outpouring of respect the quartet has for the Mendelssohns is brilliantly displayed in this release. They capture the Felix and Fanny both showed in these amazing pieces as well as their youthful, yet elegant and masterful talents.
Felix’s Quartet in A Minor, Op 13, was completed in 1832. The quartet contains an allegro vivace, adagio non lento, allegretto con moto, and presto finale. Each movement is unique in its own way and portrays Felix’s powerful voice as a composer. In 1834, Fanny composed the string Quartet in E flat Major. This string quartet contains an eloquent opening Adagio, C minor Allegretto, slow, yet intense, intense Romanze in G minor, and a challenging Allegro moderato finale. Lastly, Felix wrote The Quartet in F Minor, Op. 80, months following Fanny’s death. The piece contains an anguished Allegro vivace assai, dark Allegro assai, moving Adagio in A flat major, and Finale that expresses extreme grief up to its anguished closing bars. This powerful piece would prove to be Felix’s final piece as he died months after its completion.
All in all, Pierre Colombet, Gabriel Le Magadure, Mathieu Herzog, and Raphaël Merlin Frenchmen of Quatuor Ebène do not cease to impress their audience, by creating a strong, yet pristine, performance to showcase the Mendelssohns greatest works.