Calidore Quartet’s New Beethoven Release “Can Stand Comparison with the Best” and a “Triumphant Return” to the Kennedy Center

21 Feb 2023

BBC Music Magazine’s latest issue reviewed the Calidore Quartet’s Late Beethoven release, giving it the highest possible rating of five stars for both performance and recording quality. Misha Donat writes: “The New York- based Calidore Quartet gives meticulously detailed performances of Beethoven’s late string quartets, with playing of quite remarkable technical accomplishment. I’m note sure, for instance, that I’ve ever heard the tremendously challenging Op. 133 Fugue (the original finale of the Quartet Op. 130) done with greater precision and clarity, and it makes for quite overwhelming experience. Elsewhere in these life-affirming works, the Calidore players penetrate right to the heart of the music, giving warm and intensely lyrical accounts in particular of the variation slow movements that form the expressive heart of nearly all the quartets, and of the famous ‘Cavatina’ from Op. 130 which reportedly reduced Beethoven himself to tears […] The players have clearly thought long and hard about these masterpieces of the string quartet repertoire, and they have produced performances that can stand comparison with the best.”

Last week, the quartet returned to the Kennedy Center as part of the Fortas Series to perform works by Beethoven, Clyne, Walker and Janáček. “The Calidore String Quartet, since their remarkable Kennedy Center debut in 2018, has laid down a track record of sterling performances,” wrote the Washington Classical Review. “This performance showcased their exceptional ensemble cohesion, a careful melding of sound that avoids all harshness […] The group left no detail uncared for, including the careful styling of their mysterious unison tone when all four instruments came together.”