Chausson • D’indy

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Chausson; D’Indy
LABELS: Hyperion
WORKS: String Quartet in C minor (compl. D’Indy)
PERFORMER: Chilingirian Quartet
CATALOGUE NO: CDA 67097

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Chausson’s chamber music has been served extremely well by Hyperion. The Chilingirian Quartet contributed to two earlier releases, most notably in a phenomenal account of the masterful Concert (CDA 66907). Both discs deservedly won many plaudits and it is hard to imagine that they could be surpassed. Now the Chilingirians maintain this high standard with incisive accounts of Chausson’s incomplete String Quartet and the First Quartet by Vincent d’Indy. The first movement of the Chausson was written in 1898 and performed at Eugène Ysaÿe’s house. Chausson had added the second movement and was revising the third when he died in a cycling accident in June 1899. D’Indy worked on the third movement to provide a satisfactory conclusion to the work, and there is little doubt that the Quartet would have ranked as one of Chausson’s finest achievements had he lived to write the intended fourth movement. It is only necessary to sample the natural ebb and flow with which the Chilingirian explores the nuances of the slow movement to confirm that it is in a different league from the only readily available competition, the comparatively wooden Ludwig Quartet (Naxos). D’Indy’s First Quartet is equally rare in the catalogue. It is a difficult work to perform successfully, lacking the panache of the Debussy and Ravel quartets. The Kodály Quartet (Marco Polo) plays the music, but is not a convincing advocate for d. The insight and imagination of the Chilingirian makes a persuasive case that this music should be given greater recognition. Recommended.

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Christopher Dingle