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“All music is folk music; I ain’t never heard no horse sing a song.” The great Louis Armstrong’s lighthearted but lucid remark irrefutably under- mines the postmodern tendency to label every phenomenon and com- partmentalize – generally for some underlying ideological or commercial reason – the various different ways in which humanity expresses itself artistically. This reductionist trend has hit music particularly hard, with many styles having been undeservedly corralled into marginal spaces. The assumption seems to be that if bagpipes are involved it has to be “folk” music, if it’s a djembe then it’s “world” music, and guitars of course mean “POPular” music, but a Schubert-transcribed Ländler or a Haydn minuet automatically equates to “serious” or “classical” or “art” music. This assumption neatly sidesteps the fact that all composers were people – not animals, vegetables or minerals – and were therefore born into a particular sociocultural context and a particular place, ethnicity or nation. Had they been born elsewhere and nurtured by a different cultural substrate, their music would, inevitably, have been different. The musical works presented on this CD are not only the product of a particular place (true of every piece ever written, without exception), but also intentionally and unapologetically display their roots, taking folk-based materials as the earth from which they draw the neces- sary nutrients to cultivate bold, new avant-garde idioms. The journey begins with Bartók, a universal reference for all 20th- and 21st-century composers as regards this approach to composition, and places him alongside two truly fascinating gures of the Hispanic music world: Alberto Ginastera, an Argentinian of Catalan origins, and the Madrid- born Rodolfo Halffter, who left Spain for exile in Mexico at the end of the Civil War. The intriguing thing about the three works featured here is the amount they have in common, in terms of sonority, aesthetic and gesture, despite the fact that they stem from three different worlds. Comparing and contrasting these pieces is a fascinating listening ex- perience – above all, because it highlights their shared humanity, de- rived from their musical contact with the fertile Earth, mother to us all and source of our dreams and passions. Their speci c features reveal the universal nature of the different popular cultures of the world, whose diversity is the real treasure that humanizes all of us.

Let yourself be carried away. Open your ears. Listen to the Earth. Immerse yourself in its sounds. Hear its music.


String Quartet No.2, Op.17 - I.Moderato
String Quartet No.2, Op.17 - II.Allegro molto capriccioso
String Quartet No.2 Op.17 - III.Lento
String Quartet No.1, Op.20 - I.Allegro violento ed agitato
String Quartet No.1, Op.20 - II.Vivacissimo
String Quartet No.1, Op.20 - III.Calmo e poetico
String Quartet No.1, Op.20 - IV.Allegramente rustico
Ocho Tientos para cuarteto de cuerda, Op.35 - I.
Ocho Tientos para cuarteto de cuerda, Op.35 - II.
Ocho Tientos para cuarteto de cuerda, Op.35 - III.
Ocho Tientos para cuarteto de cuerda, Op.35 - IV.
Ocho Tientos para cuarteto de cuerda, Op.35 - V.
Ocho Tientos para cuarteto de cuerda, Op.35 - Vi.
Ocho Tientos para cuarteto de cuerda, Op.35 - VII.
Ocho Tientos para cuarteto de cuerda, Op.35 - VIII.
Drei Landler in B
Galician Folksong - Panxolina para o Nadal de 1829

Additional information


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Recording Type & Bit Rate



Bruel & Kjaer


Acoustic Revive

Digital Converters


Recording Engineer

Tom Peeters

Mastering Engineer

Tom Peeters


The recording was originally digitized using the dCS 904, which operated at DSD64. 
The original session tracks were edited and rebalanced (which meant going through the mixer) in the only available format for that purpose; the Pyramix 352.8KHz/24bit PCM (DXD). Prior to the advent of direct digital delivery, the next step in the production process from 352.8KHz/24bit PCM would be the DSD64 edited master for SACD production. What we have done now is also make a direct conversion to DSD128 and DSD256 from that original DXD edited master, without going through any interim processing steps.
Those DXD to DSD conversions are not up-samplings, as they would be going from one PCM sampling rate to another, for they are different encoding systems. PCM is a digital value sample based system, and DSD is a digital bit density modulated system. Conversion from any PCM sample rate to any DSD bit rate system is a remodulation, not an up-sampling.
We feel there is an audio advantage to this process in using the original files so we give you the choice and you can decide.

Mixing Board

Rens Heijnis custom made


Tom Peeters

Editing Software


Recording location

WestVest90 Schiedam, The Netherlands

Recording Software



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Press reviews

Positive feedback Jan 2023

In Terra, Cuarteto Quiroga explore music inspired by the essentially popular nature of music . As the booklet notes quote Louis Armstrong: “All music is folk music; I ain’t never heard no horse sing a song.” Music innately depends on associations between people, else it cannot be transmitted or having meaning. Thus, Cuarteto Quiroga chooses to share compositions of Béla Bartók, Alberto Ginastera and Rodolfo Halffter to provide some musical reflections on this thought.

Bartók’s String Quartet No. 2 (1917) is a monumental example of the fusion of “folk” materials with the modern musical language. It was written not long after Bartók’s immersion in the collection of folk music samples in Hungary and Romania. Rather than quoting traditional tunes, however, Bartók incorporates their syntax—he is updating and reinventing. Their performance is very fine; as fine as any that I have in my music library by other superb interpreters. 

The same is true of Ginastera’s First Quartet (1948), which features gaucho rhythms, the emblematic guitar chords of the pampas and many other characteristics of the sound world of rural Argentina, and of Halffter’s fabulous Ocho Tientos (1973), a work in which the influence of Spanish music’s dazzling Renaissance past coexists with a multitude of attractive rhythmical and tonal elements drawn from the rich mosaic of Iberian music.

Throughout, the Cuarteto Quiroga perform with high creative energy, excellent ensemble, precise inflections and contrasts. It is no wonder that they won Spain’s National Music Award 2018 for this album. It deserves a much broader listening audience. You will NOT be disappointed with any of the performances found here. They are superb. Highly recommended!


“I will say that the Quiroga’s are growing at a formidable speed. And I get the impression that they are doing it both individually and in a group. Their performance in this recording is simply prodigious. They sound incredibly well, and they are a source of music from the first second.”
“No me extenderé mucho más, solo diré que los Quiroga están creciendo a una velocidad formidable. Y me da la impresión de que lo están haciendo tanto individualmente como en grupo. Sus interpretaciones en esta grabación son sencillamente prodigiosas. Suenan increíblemente bien, y son un manantial de música desde el primer segundo.”


Aan de voortreffelijkheid van het Quiroga kwartet hoeft (weer) geen twijfel te bestaan.


Their playing is bold and powerful, but not savage, in that these performances are well-planned and highly controlled, sophisticated instead of primitive.

The Strad

Powerful passions smoulder in a folk-inspired programme…Motor rhythms drive three of the movements in Ginastera’s First Quartet. The Allegro violento ed agitato opening, with its syncopated melodies, is played with appropriately ferocious energy. Guitar-like pizzicatos feature in the mostly quiet second movement, and there is splendid playing in the intricate ligree writing of the nale. The slow third movement features an eloquent soliloquy from cellist Helena Poggio. Many of Halffter’s attractive tientos are light, syncopated dances, played with grace and style. – TIM HOMFRAY

Scherzo y Ritmo

“The Bartok performance of the Quiroga’s is masterful, it’s like an abandoned landscape, a nocturne that goes beyond the night, a flow that exceeds everything without the need for special effects.”

Pizzicato 5 out of 5

In the album Terra, the Quiroga Quartet combines works by the Hungarian Bela Bartok with compositions written by the Argentinian Alberto Ginastera and the Spaniard Rodolfo Halffter. Their compositions have absorbed elements from the traditional music without direct quotation. Cuarteto Quiroga’s performances demonstrate superlative skill and polish and sound remarkably fresh.


Het Nederlands label Cobra bracht alweer een opvallende cd uit, dit keer met Strijkkwartetten vanuit verschillende, plaatselijke culturen.
Met een productie van een achttal cd’s per jaar zal het Nederlands label de wereldmarkt niet beheersen. Maar kwalitatief kunnen hun cd’s met veel andere concurreren. De programma’s van hun cd’s zijn nl. altijd vanuit een originele en interessante uitvalhoek samengesteld. Elk van hun cd uitgaven heeft altijd wel een of ander verruimend en verrijkend thema of uitgangspunt met een duidelijke boodschap. Dit is niet anders met deze opvallende Terra cd.

Luister, september 2017 5.5555555555556 out of 5

Het viertal speelt werkelijk voortreffelijk en bereikt een wonderbaarlijke toon. Men hoort ook geen moeite of gezwoeg en daar is slechts één reden voor te bedenken: techniek vormt geen enkele belemmering. Het is een waanzinnig gedetailleerde opname met een springlevend kwartet tegen een gitzwarte achtergrond.

Opus Klassiek

“Drie kwartetten uit twee continenten (Europa en Zuid-Amerika), maar tegelijkertijd drie verschillende werelden die qua gestiek, esthetiek en klankweelde een wereld met elkaar delen. Dat met overtuiging over het voetlicht brengen lukt alleen een topensemble en dat is het Spaanse Cuarteto Quiroga zonder enig voorbehoud.”
“Volksmuziek en kunstmuziek, zij gaan door alle continenten heen. En uitgevoerd zoals hier klinkt het gewoon werelds!”
“Three quartets of two continents (Europe and South America), but at the same time three different worlds that share a world with one another, aesthetically and sound wise.
Bringing this repertoire convincingly is only possible by a top ensemble, which is the Spanish Cuarteto Quiroga without any reservations.”
“Folk music and art music, they go through all continents. And performed like here it just sounds perfect!”


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