From the first moment of Franz Joseph Haydn's "String Quartet in D major (Op. 50, No. 6)," the Belcea Quartet played with an innate richness of tone that seemed to pour out at will. The dynamic foursome was in complete mastery of the notes on the page, allowing for complete attention to interpretation of Haydn's exquisite, undulating phrases and the delicate interplay between the four players.With an intuitive awareness of one another, each musician inhabited the music much the same way a skilled stage actor inhabits his or her character. The sound couldn't have been more synchronous if the quartet had been one musician.
Led by the fleet-fingered first violinist Corina Belcea-Fisher, the quartet attacked every note of Sergei Prokofiev's "String Quartet No. 1 in B minor (Op. 50)" with fiery gusto. The musicians exploited the melodic resonance of a superior arsenal of 16th and 17th century instruments to spellbinding effect, executing the boisterous rhythms, agitated harmonies, and crystalline melodies with unparalleled vivacity.
The Belcea Quartet proved to be the ideal interpreter of Franz Schubert's "String Quartet No. 14 in D minor (D. 810), also known as "Death and the Maiden." The musicians demonstrated impeccable exposition of Schubert's youthful compositional energy and supreme gift for sumptuous melodies. Truly a force to be reckoned with, the Belcea Quartet plays classical music with refreshing power and immediacy.
Daniel J. Kushner, The Post-Standard, 14 March 2009
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