Amazingly Precise

Marcolini Quartet Presented Works by Rival Composers

„…the group’s mellow sound, the amazingly precise ensemble playing, the unity of musical concept and variety of color … And so this interpretation brought out the particular charm of Beethoven’s “Harp Quartet” (op. 74): The themes and motifs blended together into a unified whole. The pizzicati in the first movement, which evoke the sound of the harp, continue from the beginning to the coda, creating fantastic effects through the intense and compelling artistic energy of the musicians, as do the carefully organized intensifications of the Presto: A unique work with remarkable artists. Thunderous applause…“

Hildesheimer Anzeiger, 10 June 2009


An Ensemble to be Reckoned With

Rivals in the Concert Halls

„The Marcolini Quartet opened the Soirée Season. The evening began with Haydn’s ‘Sunrise Quartet’ … Already in the first movement, the spark of the Allegro con spirito jumped from the players to the audience; every aspect of the work, from tenderness to exuberance, came fully to life … Hearing a piece by Krommer today (here op. 74.3), one could mistake it for early Beethoven; in its pathos and drama the work is in no way inferior. The Marcolini Quartet attended to all of the work’s dramatic aspects, from the melancholy yet furious first movement, through the almost threatening Adagio and tumultuous Minuet, flowing finally into an Allegretto that transforms the drama of the beginning into wild and defiant joy … Before the first movement of Beethoven’s Opus 74 (named the Harp Quartet by the publisher) was even finished, a member of the audience was unable to suppress an enthusiastic comment … and following the enormous energy of the Presto and variations, the applause made it clear that this was the high point of the evening … The fiery temperament of the first violinist (Jörg Buschhaus), together with the tender expressivity of the second violin (Frauke Pöhl) and the enthusiasm of the violist (Stefan Schmidt) combined to create a harmonious sound which was supported by the warm, flexible playing of the cellist, Martin Fritz. An ensemble to be reckoned with.“

Fürther Nachrichten, 29 September 2009


One of the Finest Master Concerts

Quartet Offers Feast

„…The Marcolini quartet … was a joy with its exceptionally refined, homogeneous, and simply marvelous sound. Such a unified sense of sonority is an unmitigated feast … the artists impressed with spirit and vitality … one of the finest master concerts…“

Schwäbische Post, 25 June 2007


…in the Presto-Scherzo and its brilliant Trio as if overcome by rapturous exhilaration…

Both Moving and Exhilarating

„…In Franz Krommer’s D Minor Quartet, however, Jörg Buschhaus, Frauke Pöhl, Stefan Schmidt, and Martin Fritz demonstrated their real intentions. Beethoven’s despised rival … wrote music overloaded with ideas, but also with a strong identity and simple beauty. And because we have so rarely had the chance to become acquainted with this music, the work came alive for us like a freshly painted canvas and we were brought closer to this little known composer… And so the quartet (Beethoven’s op. 74) began surprisingly with wonderfully subdued playing; the pizzicato chirped, the passages without vibrato permitted a simplicity of expression which is hardly possible with today’s often overly intense habits of sound production. As if liberated … the four musicians allowed themselves to be carried along by the spirit of the composition; in the Presto-Scherzo and its brilliant Trio, it was as if they were overcome by rapturous exhilaration. As a kind of release, the music flowed into the Variation movement of the Finale; one kind of beauty gave way to another …Lest the initially skeptical attitude expressed earlier [in this review] toward the concept of historical performance practice be misconstrued as a critique of these four musicians, let it be noted: here we witnessed performers overcome by the spirit of the composer, and this beyond any historicizing self-limitation.“

Oberbayerisches Volksblatt, 16 October 2008


„…in a surprising and impressive concert…“

Marcolini Quartet delighted audience

„Historical performance practice is everywhere in musical life today … and it has now reached the string quartet, the crowning achievement of chamber music. What this means could be heard on Saturday in a surprising and impressive concert in the Stunde der Musik series in Sanitz. The Marcolini Quartet performed … using the bowing technique of the period, a sparing application of vibrato, and the concise articulation that avoids any all-too-comfortable flow of the music. The notes do not puff themselves up or burst with oversaturated, prideful emotionality. Already in the Mozart quartet one was pleasantly aware of the absence of both a throbbing depth of feeling and fluttering frivolity, which is not to say that meaning and intention were absent. The performers played as if having a musical conversation; not senseless chatter, but rather a discussion in which the manner in which words are spoken – with art and proportion – is just as important as their content. This way of playing revealed its full suggestive strength in the Beethoven quartet, which achieved a compelling intensity, most impressive perhaps in the Adagio, without ever losing sight of its historical horizon. And here the deeper meaning of historical performance practice became truly audible. It is in no sense a purely regressive innovation. Performed in this way, historical works no longer stand in the shadow of pieces that followed, but shine in the light of the music that came before, able to reveal their unique and exciting newness, creating a stimulating experience that does not merely confirm our entrenched habits.“

Norddeutsche Neueste Nachrichten, 13 February 2006.
(Heinz-Jürgen Staszak)