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Irish Times

Mozart: String Quartets In C, K157; In B Flat, K458; In B Flat K589

By Michael Dervan

The Jerusalem Quartet adopts what you might call a full-on approach to Mozart. The tone is luscious and anything but vibrato shy. The speeds are unpressured, and the players like to convey the way their four lines mesh together, producing rich blends of sound, and capturing the internal frictions of passing moments in a way that makes the music come across as always eventful. Some listeners will doubtless find the manner a bit too measured, and perhaps a bit too rich, especially in the Quartet in C, K157, written sometime before the composer's 17th birthday. But the playing avoids the pitfall of sounding sweet and cloying. It's just painstakingly thorough, carrying the message that every moment can be made to count, that even the slightest detail can be engrossing. And in the two later works that pays rich dividends.

February 4, 2011

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