Béla Bartóks collected String Quartets.
Presenting the collected quartets of Béla Bartók on CD is a feat no Scandinavian string quartet has done before the Vertavo. This cycle is the very yardstick for a professional string quartet as for challenges both musical and technical. The work of Béla Bartók (1881-1945), both as a composer and an ethnomusicologist, has earned him a position as one of last century´s most important musical personalities. Bartók´s six published String Quartets, written between 1908 and 1939, represent the central pillar of his life´s work and reveal the inmost essence of his creative development. They represent his most ´absoulte´ music: his characteristic powers of invention are embodied at their most ´abstract´ and refined, along with all his explorations and development in the fields of harmony, rhythm, musical architecture and instrumental sonority. Yet the Quartets are also unmistakably personal, deeply-felt utterances of a profound, sophisticated and highly sensitive musical thinker. Challenging and emotionally intense, the quartets at first seemed among the composer´s most difficult and rebarbative works, and they are certainly his most uncompromising. But they rapidly won acceptance as one of the essential quartet cycles of the 20th century, and their cardinal significance remains unchallenged.
The previous release from the Vertavo String Quartet, featuring music by Debussy and Grieg, is still doing very well around the world – not least was it awarded a Diapason d´Or in France. It is especially the unique ability these musicians display when it comes to giving music a fresh and new performance, unsurpassed in homogenity and concentration, which brings out the superlatives from critics all over the world.