The Telegraph

November’s best classical concerts

“brilliantly performed”, “with perfect precision” 5*

Ivan Hewett: “November’s best classical concerts” in The Telegraph, 13. November 2016

The Guardian

Signum Quartet/BCMG review

“The [12th String Quartet by Kevin Volans] must be frighteningly difficult to coordinate and play, but the Signum performance seemed astonishingly assured.”

Andrew Clements: “Signum Quartet/BCMG review – a double bill of Kevin Volans world premieres” in The Guardian, 13 November 2016

The Strad

alla czeca

“The Signum’s playing is both clean in its clarity of ensemble and interpretatively full of freshness and life, and its ebullience of spirit in the exhilarating finale is infectious.”

Matthew Rye: “alla czeca” in The Strad, 2. January 2016

Süddeutsche Zeitung

alla czeca

“The gesture-rich Five Pieces by Erwin Schulhoff, one of the most interesting Innovators of the Twenties and Thirties who fell victim to the Nazis in 1942, come across brilliantly.”

Harald Eggebrecht: “Klassikkolumne”. In Süddeutsche Zeitung, 22. September 2015. Own translation.

concerti

alla czeca: “Existential utterance”

“Electrifying and profound […] The Signum Quartet tests the extremes, venturesome and headstrong. […] The string quartet as existential utterance – nothing banal here.”

Eckhard Weber: “Existenzielle Aussprache” in concerti, October 2015. Own translation 

Aachener Zeitung

alla czeca

The Signums make music in the best late romantic tradition, without even a suggestion of seeming old-fashioned. On the contrary: Dvořák’s music bursts with liveliness. One hasn’t heard something like this in a long time.”

ark: “Album Check 1: Alla Czeca”. In Aachener Zeitung, 9. October 2015. Own translation.

Spiegel Online

soundescapes: “In the miniature wonderland of strings”

“An exhilarating cocktail.”
“a refined fire, glowing, perfectly formed.”
“How wonderful it is when interpreters bring these ideas to life with such verve and intuition. […] An enthusiasm for playing which will perk up even hardened chamber music-grouches.”

 Werner Theurich: “Kammermusik: Im Miniatur-Wunderland der Streicher”. In Spiegel Online, 19. April 2015. Own translation.

deutschlandfunk.de

soundescapes: “Music to touch”

“Music to touch, music which does not merely ring in the ears but which is positively palpable. This is the new CD by the Signum Quartet. At times it feels like gossamer parchment paper, at times like coarse, dried wood, at times like brushed, cold steel.”

Maja Ellmenreich: “Die neue Platte: Musik zum Anfassen”. In deutschlandfunk.de, 3. Mai 2015. Own translation.

pizzicato.lu

soundescapes: “Fascinating nuances”

“Introspection and refined emotional nuances also define this reading of the Ravel quartet, in which we, as in the preceding works, marvel at the ensemble’s balance of sound, which transforms the music into a kind of sensual dream and portrays the delicacy of Ravel’s music completely.”

Remy Franck: “Faszinierende Nuancierungskunst”. In pizzicato.lu, 4. Mai 2015. Own translation.

Ostthüringer Zeitung

soundescapes: “Musical escapes”

“[…] the Signum Quartet, who under the allusion-rich title “soundescapes” has just released an extraordinary recording of sensual works which play with the flow of sound and colour. These are musical points of escape in many respects, as this recording is potentially addictive.”

 
Tatjana Mehner: “Musikalische Fluchtpunkte” In: Ostthüringer Zeitung, 7. April 2015. Own translation.

tagblatt.ch

soundescapes: “Fresh and exciting”

“The new CD of the Signum Quartet from Germany belongs in the premium class. This recording of Debussy’s String Quartet is characterized from the very first bar by an elastic and flowing style and an enormously rich tonal palette. The four players approach this impressionistic gem with a joyful sense of discovery – fresh and full of vigour.”

 
“Taufrisch und aufgregend” In: tagblatt.ch, 27.March 2015. Own translation.

classicalsource.com

Signum Quartet at Wigmore Hall

“The Signum members gave a full-throttled performance [of Beethoven’s Große Fuge op. 133], rising to its many challenges – not the least of which being stamina – with great aplomb. Potentially an impenetrable mess of contrapuntal complexity, here the fugal lines were brought out with dextrous virtuosity.”

 
Arnold Jarvist: “Signum Quartet at Wigmore Hall – Beethoven B flat/Opus 130 String Quartet with Grosse Fuge” In: classicalsource.com, 2 March 2015

seenandheard-international.com

Uplifting Lunchtime Beethoven from the Signum String Quartet

“Thoughtful intellectual analysis, complex musicianship, outstanding technical command, meticulous ensemble and a delightful level of imagination persuasively underpinned their Beethoven. […] the most uplifting lunchtime I have experienced for some time.”
 
Leon Bosch: “Uplifting Lunchtime Beethoven from the Signum String Quartet” In: seenandheard-international.com, 10 March 2015

Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Wild hunt”
Jörg Widmann and friends at the Prinzregententheater

“Because it, designated Jagdquartett, re-enacts a conspiracy of the three upper strings against the cello as a societal metaphor, it falls more within the realm of concept art. The acoustic signals of the violent string cascades chased the wild shouting of the players until the bow hairs of the instruments of the splendid Signum ensemble were flying and the exhausted and fatally wounded cellist was hunted down.”
 
Klaus P. Richter: “Wilde Jagd” In: Süddeutsche Zeitung, 10 December 2014
“The high point is nevertheless the Bartók quartet, whose gigantic contrasts are plumbed by the Signum Quartet with exquisitely expressive playing and with awe-inspiring tonal acuity in the dissonances.”
 
KLK: “CD Tipp” In: Süddeutsche Zeitung, 18 June 2014, own translation

Badische Zeitung

An explosion of emphasis

“To hear Haydn played like this is unusual yet refreshing and invigorating as the four are technically capable of anything, to which also belongs their ability to return immediately to intimate and tranquil piani.”

Nikolaus Cybinski: “Eine Explosion der Emphase” In: Badische Zeitung, 17 February 2014, own translation

“Yet this CD is worth it solely for the interpretation of Schnittke’s Third Quartet: In a breathlessly gripping account, the Signum Quartet retraces the composer’s grappling search for a valid standpoint on the stockpile of history, through which he has thoroughly sifted.”

Doris Kösterke: “No. 3” In: Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, 01/ 2014, own translation

The Independent

BBC Proms 2013: “Signum and Hadland excel in Brahms

“Owing more to the influence of Bartok than to that of her tutor Ralph Vaughan Williams, its vibrant eloquence [Elisabeth Maconchy’s String Quartet No.3] was beautifully rendered by the Signum Quartet, who were then joined by Christian Ihle Hadland for a stunning account of Brahms’s Piano Quintet in F minor.”

Michael Church: Classical review: Elder and the Halle deliver a majestic Parsifal, the Signum and Hadland excel in Brahms. In: independent.co.uk. 26. August 2013.

Gramophone

No. 3

“…the Signum Quartet respond [to Berg op. 3] with an almost fulsome warmth of tone – perhaps assuming some hidden romantic programme, a Bergian Verklärte Nacht?

Arnold Whittall: Review. In: Gramophone, September 2013.

Fonoforum

No. 3: “Prowling and scraping”

“It is no longer enough to play “merely” outstandingly to assert oneself against the tough competition. An individual profile is demanded. The German Signum Quartet demonstrates this with their bold choice of programmes, as is the case with their most recent CD.”

Marcus Stäbler: “Pirschen und Schaben” In: Fonoforum, August 2013. Own translation

Ensemble

No. 3: “3 times 3”
“The expressive range which the Signum Quartet audibly savours is astonishingly broad. […] With precision, lightning quick responses and an unwavering sense of style, the four musicians make this music to a gripping listening experience and prove how exciting the chamber music of the first half of the 20th century can be.”

Anna Renczikowski: “3 mal 3” . In: Ensemble, August/ September 2013. Own translation

Pizzicato Magazin

No. 3: “Three times four = brilliant”
“This is a CD which elicits pure enthusiasm. Only a pity that it is already finished after 51 minutes. The Signum Quartet plays the three works of the 20th century with such conviction that one can only be amazed. When has one heard the Berg Quartet played so analytically as well as with such deep musicianship? When does a recording allow us to experience the music making so vividly? “
 
Alain Steffen: “Drei mal vier = genial”. In: pizzicato.lu, 03.10.2013. Own translation

br.de

Quartet Movements

“That all of this has an inner rightness, that the intrinsic, the essentially artistic prerequisites are not only met but are grounds for euphoria, all this can be heard on the wonderfully composed programme of their recent CD of quartet movements (…) What a roller coaster ride of ardent emotions (…); Colours, intensities!”

Helmut Rohm: Quartettsätze. In: br.de. 9. January 2012. Own translation

ndr.de

Quartet movements of the 19th and 20th centuries

“The Signum Quartet enlivens the music’s emotional characters with a considerable palette of expression (…) A powerful recording with an entirely individual stamp.”

Marcus Stäbler: Quartettsätze des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts. In: ndr.de. 4. January 2012, own translation

kulturradio.de

“Quartet Movements”

“On the one hand sophisticated and technically mature, on the other hand one can sense an inquisitiveness and astonishment – one can almost hear the musicians agape again and again at the unexpected sounds they themselves are producing. Maturity and experience are paired here with a delight in risk taking.” .”

Volker Michael:”Quartet Movements”. In: kulturradio.de 6. January 2012. Own translation.

Pizzicato Magazin

“With responsibilty and joy”
Ludwig Thuille – String Quartets

“This CD [of Ludwig Thuille’s string quartets] confirms the outstanding impression made by the Signum Quartet, which must already be counted among the best ensembles of its generation and need not hide behind renowned star quartets such as the Hagens or Emersons.”

Alain Steffen: “Mit Verantwortung und Freude”. In: Pizzicato Magazine, 12/2010. Own translation.

 

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