Tesla’s tri­umph with rav­ish­ing Ravel

Ju­lian Hay­lock ap­plauds an out­stand­ing de­but by a ris­ing string quar­tet

BBC Music Magazine - - Chamber -

Haydn • Ravel • Stravin­sky

Haydn: String Quar­tet in C, Op. 54 No. 2; Ravel: String Quar­tet in F; Menuet sur le nom d’haydn

(arr. Sny­der); Menuet an­tique

(arr. Sny­der); Menuet in C sharp mi­nor (arr. Sny­der); Stravin­sky: Con­certino Tesla Quar­tet

Orchid Clas­sics

ORC100085

63:02 mins

The Tesla prove equally per­sua­sive in Ravel and Haydn

Ravel’s tan­ta­lis­ing stylis­tic conf lu­ence of an­cient and modern comes bub­bling to the sur­face in the Tesla Quar­tet’s cap­ti­vat­ing ac­count of his only String Quar­tet. Whilst lack­ing noth­ing in espres­sivo in­ten­sity and Gal­lic charm – those mag­i­cal open­ing phrases are ex­pe­ri­enced as a se­ries of ten­der mu­si­cal pul­sa­tions – the Tesla en­sure that Ravel’s flights of tex­tu­ral in­ge­nu­ity are also sub­tly high­lighted. Ev­ery­thing ap­pears to emerge from a heat-haze, with plenty of f lesh on the Assez vif ’s pizzi­catos, ex­quis­ite tremolan­dos that in­sin­u­ate the pic­to­rial and a slight cush­ion­ing of the fi­nale’s more erup­tive cli­maxes, cap­tured in ex­em­plary sound by tech­ni­cal dream-team An­drew Keener and Si­mon Eadon. Pro­vid­ing the ic­ing on the cake are three Ravel min­uet bonuses, ex­pertly ar­ranged by the quar­tet’s leader Ross Sny­der.

The Tesla prove equally per­sua­sive in the se­cond of Haydn’s Op. 54 quar­tets, suc­cess­fully avoid­ing the po­ten­tial in­ter­pre­ta­tive pit­falls of over­pro­ject­ing Haydn’s avun­cu­lar cre­ative per­son­al­ity or fall­ing back on allpur­pose, neat-and-tidy clas­si­cism. Ev­ery­thing ap­pears to evolve nat­u­rally out of what has gone be­fore with a ra­di­ant warmth and af­fec­tion that proves in­creas­ingly con­ta­gious on re­peated lis­ten­ing. They even ap­pear to have found a way of mak­ing the mo­toric im­pulses of Stravin­sky’s 1920 Con­certino sound im­pos­ingly con­ge­nial. An out­stand­ing record­ing de­but.

PER­FOR­MANCE ★★★★★

RECORD­ING ★★★★★

Shim­mer­ing stuff: the Tesla Quar­tet tri­umph in their first record­ing

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