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Heritage

The Music of Madrid in the Time of Goya

Cuarteto Quiroga

Luigi Boccherini, Gaetano Brunetti, Manuel Canales, João Pedro de Almeida Mota, Cristóbal de Morales

SKU: COBRA0067

Year of release: 2019

String Quartet in E flat major, Op.24 No.3, G.191 16:43
1. Allegro moderato Luigi Boccherini 07:04
2. Adagio non tanto Luigi Boccherini 05:27
3. Minuetto Luigi Boccherini 04:11
String Quartet in B flat major, L.185 18:41
4. Allegro moderato Gaetano Brunetti 07:19
5. String Quartet in B flat major, L.185 - Largo amoroso Gaetano Brunetti 05:43
6. String Quartet in B flat major, L.185- Prestissimo Gaetano Brunetti 05:38
String Quartet in G major, Op.3 No.5 07:54
7. Allegro maestoso Manuel Canales 07:54
String Quartet in G major Op.3 No.5 12:27
8. Minuet Manuel Canales 03:50
9. Largo sostenuto Manuel Canales 03:44
10. Presto Manuel Canales 04:52
String Quartet in D minor, Op.6, No.2 21:48
11. Allegro João Pedro de Almeida Mota 08:46
12. Largo - Allegretto João Pedro de Almeida Mota 04:28
13. Minuetto (Allegro) João Pedro de Almeida Mota 04:07
14. Finale João Pedro de Almeida Mota 04:25
15. Kyrie [Missa Pro Defunctis] Cristóbal de Morales 02:08

About this album

Heritage

Most music lovers around the world identify the birth of string quartet with the name of the great Austrian composer Joseph Haydn, so called by musical tradition “the father of string quartet”. The collective cultural imaginary places string quartet, thus, as a central European phenomenon, with Vienna, Mannheim, and maybe northern Italy and the Bohemian lands, as epicentres of a musical earthquake which would shake the European music scene forever. Furthermore, when the expansion of quartet as totemic genre is studied, the names of London, Paris, Amsterdam, the court of Prussia and even the nordic Stockholm appear consistently in the picture, but one European capital is usually left behind as culturally peripheral: Madrid.

This CD tries to illustrate musically how, rather the opposite, Madrid, in the last third of the eighteenth century, became one of the most active capitals of the European string quartet scene. Around the Royal Court, the arts flourished, and while the now world renowned Francisco de Goya was chamber painter for the Royal Household – producing masterworks that have attained all the historic attention they deserve– a bunch of extremely talented, skilful and brilliant composers, such as Boccherini, Brunetti, Canales, Almeida and many others, actively and extensively composed a large catalogue of chamber music –specially string quartets– that unfortunately today, with no musical justification, has remained in oblivion or has been regarded with disdain.

This new CD by the internationally acclaimed, Madrid-based Cuarteto Quiroga, performing with gut strings and historically informed criteria, presents an eloquent anthology of the string quartet production in Goya’s Madrid –including two world premiere recordings– claiming its great musical value and its capital importance to fully comprehend the birth and expansion of one of the most important genres of our European cultural heritage.

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Media

Reviews

El País (May. 2019)

The Quiroga Quartet rescues unedited and unpublished piece by Boccherini, chamber musician of the family of Carlos IV. Exclusively for EL PAÍS this article and video.

Scherzo (Jun. 2019)

"This CD album was necessary (...) these are dazzling readings, performed in the strictest historicism, that come (...) to demonstrate the protean condition of this ensemble, capable of moving with identical (and insulting) ease and proficiency between contemporary repertoire and classicism, or in any other style." For the fifth time since we started our record career, Scherzo, one of the most prominent music magazines in Europe, awards with its prestigious label "Exceptional" our latest CD "Heritage: The Music in Madrid in the Time of Goya" (Cobra Records).

Opus Klassiek (Jul. 2019)

De op dit album vastgelegde vier kwartetten zijn in ieder geval boeiend genoeg om uitvoering en vastlegging te rechtvaardigen( daarom zijn ze ook ongetwijfeld door het Quiroga uitgekozen). Niet minder belangrijk is uiteraard de kwaliteit van het kwartetspel zelf. Welnu, die is verbluffend, zoals al bleek uit eerdere recensies op onze site. Streek- en stoktechniek is net zo volmaakt als de stemvoering en het zorgvuldig bewaarde evenwicht tussen de vier instrumenten. Er zit werkelijk niet het kleinste streepje licht tussen. Voeg daarbij een grote dosis spiritualiteit en spontaniteit en u weet dan dat dit kwartet zich in de hoogste regionen beweegt. Geen wens blijft onvervuld, de tempi zijn voortdurend raak, de onderliggende puls straalt de vereiste energie uit en de lyrische ontboezemingen in de langzame delen doen het hart smelten. - Aart van der Wal

The Strad (Aug. 2019)

Already much lauded for their gloriously impeccable string playing, the Quiroga Quartet players deliver elegant performances with a potentially enterprising choice of repertoire. Focusing on the court life of the Borbón royals, Infante Don Luis and Carlos IV, the programme speculates that these featured composers may well have crossed paths with Goya. But the main point of this release is to explore their musical contribution to the Spanish Enlightenment. All these composers penned substantial numbers of quartets, donning the classical style of central Europe which was widely disseminated through printers and booksellers in Madrid. - Joanne Talbot

Pizzicato (May. 2019)

Cuarteto Quiroga presents widely unknown quartets from Madrid, composed in the last third of the 18th century, two of them, the quartets by Boccherini and Brunetti being world premiere recordings! Cuarteto Quiroga plays on gut strings according to all the rules of historical performance practice. And if this results in a quite characteristic, somewhat sharp sound, the four musicians adopt here a pleasantly classical style, with a very homogeneous sound, an almost ideal balance of wide overview and loving refinement of the details, of spontaneity and discipline, so that one can fully enjoy the music, especially since it is of great vitality through appropriate accentuations and rich dynamics. - Remy Franck

NRC (May. 2019)

"Onze geschiedenis kent donkere perioden: burgeroorlog, Franco-dictatuur, inquisitie. Er bestond lang een weerzin om terug te kijken. Wij wilden de andere kant van de geschiedenis tonen: in die duisternis scheen de lamp van de Verlichting. Dat bewijzen deze strijkkwartetten van Boccherini, Brunetti, Canales en Almeida.”...De technische scholing van het Cuarteto Quiroga is Midden-Europees, maar in temperament verklankt het kwartet onvervreemdbaar de Spaanse aard, vindt tweede violist Sierra.„De levenslust die je voelt stromen in de straten van Madrid, de wil de dag tot op de laatste druppel uit te persen – die sfeer vloeit door onze aderen.” Het kwartet bewees het afgelopen week tijdens een energiek en afwisselend recital in de Rotterdamse Doelen. „We geloven erin dat magie naar boven komt in het aangezicht van rampspoed”, zegt altviolist Puchades. „We studeren hard, we kennen de noten van binnen en buiten, zodat we de grenzen en het gevaar kunnen opzoeken. Langs de rand van de afgrond liggen de mooiste vergezichten.” - Joost Galema

de Gelderlander (May. 2019)

Het Cuarteto Quiroga speelt op darmsnaren en weet de muzikale sfeer goed te treffen. Bij Boccherini is die elegant, maar het viertal vervalt hier gelukkig niet in popperigheid. De aanzet is eerder ferm zonder al te stoer te worden...In het Adagio con tanto valt bovendien de verfijnde timing en het uiterst accurate samenspel op. De een jaar later dan Boccherini geboren Brunetti ()schreef meer dan vijftig strijkkwartetten. Het hier uitgevoerde kwartet werd rond 1785 gecomponeerd en opgedragen aan koning Karel IV. Met zijn beheerste luchtigheid en zijn eigenwijze modulaties smaakt het beslist naar meer. De finale bruist ondertussen van de energie...De Portugees João Pedro de Almeida Mota tekent tenslotte voor het langste stuk van dit album: het Strijkkwartet in d, opus 6, nr. 2. Het staat met één voet nog in de ‘Sturm und Drang’ periode en krijgt van de spelers een meeslepende interpretatie === The Cuarteto Quiroga plays on gut strings and knows how to hit the musical atmosphere well. With Boccherini it is elegant, but fortunately the foursome does not fall into drowsiness. The approach is rather firm without becoming too tough ... In Adagio con tanto, you also notice the refined timing and the extremely accurate interaction. Brunetti (), born a year later than Boccherini, wrote more than fifty string quartets. The quartet performed here was composed around 1785 and dedicated to King Charles IV. With its controlled airiness and its stubborn modulations, it definitely tastes like more. The final is buzzing with energy ... Finally the Portuguese João Pedro de Almeida Mota is responsible for the longest piece of this album: the String Quartet in d, opus 6, no. 2. It stands with one leg still in the 'Sturm und Drang' period and gets a compelling interpretation from the players.

Technical Specifications

SpeakersKeF 105.3
Digital To Analog ConverterHAPI
Mastering EngineerTom Peeters
CablesAcoustic Revive
MicrophonesBrüel & Kjaer 4003, modified by Rens Heijnis
Recording FormatDSD256
Analog To Digital ConverterMerging, HAPI
Recording DateDecember 218
Recording LocationAcademiezaal, St-Truiden, Belgium
Recording EngineerTom Peeters
ProductionMediatrack