Tobias: String Quartet No. 1 in D minor; String Quartet No. 2 in C minor

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COMPOSERS: Tobias
LABELS: BIS
WORKS: String Quartet No. 1 in D minor; String Quartet No. 2 in C minor
PERFORMER: Tallinn String Quartet
CATALOGUE NO: CD-704
Rudolf Tobias (1873-1918) studied under Rimsky-Korsakov before becoming Estonia’s first significant composer. Though I had heard his graduation piece, the concert overture Julius Caesar (1896), these quartets came as a revelation. The First, publicly premiered in June 1992 by the Tallinn Quartet, is an epic of rare substance and charm, while its successor displays a Beethovenian resilience and monumentality. ‘In aspiration for great things lies satisfaction’, wrote Tobias at the head of the manuscript; one can only conclude that his ideals would have been brilliantly vindicated by these polished and eloquent accounts. Another major discovery from BIS and, as usual, magnificently recorded. Michael Jameson

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