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Musical World

Tokyo String Quartet

  • String Quartet


Tokyo String Quartet press reviews

Tour of Australia performing Haydn, Beethoven, Mendessohn and Brahms
“Musical integrity, rather than theatricality, lies at the heart of the Tokyo String Quartet's approach and it is more than worthy of its status as one of the world's great quartets.”
The Australian, June 2009

Janáček String Quartet Number 2 “Intimate Letters”/ Auckland Town Hall
“The Tokyo String Quartet had such a unity of purpose and ensemble that journeying through the shifting emotional states of this volatile score had the immediacy of a night at the theatre, or relaxing under the spell of a master tale-teller.”
The New Zealand Herald, June 2009

Beethoven/Mendelssohn/Carl Vine / Wellington Town Hall
You can count on not much more than one hand the string quartets that are considered capable of creating magical and soul-moving experiences. The Tokyo Quartet is certainly one.
The Dominion Post, June 2009

"If the Tokyo String Quartet isn't the world's greatest chamber music ensemble, it's hard to imagine which group is."
The Washington Post

"Few string ensembles sound as graceful in Mozart as the Tokyo Quartet. In the opening passages of the B flat major quartet, K589, it seemed that Martin Beaver's sweet, refined violin sound carried down through the viola and into that of the cello without any noticeable change. This made for an elegant and eloquent performance…"
The Guardian

"Breathless pianissimos, a full spectrum of impressionistic colours and extraordinarily intense passion demonstrated that the new-look Tokyo is going to be every bit as outstanding as its predecessor".
The Strad

"What was so impressive was the way the Tokyo Quartet handled every aspect of Beethoven's artistic evolution so surely, yet remained true to its own artistic profile as well.  The [Grosse Fugue, Op.133] was so beautifully done.  It was played more accurately than this writer has ever heard it".
The New York Times

"Not merely in balance, but in intimate details, in phrasing, and that kind of breathing together that the best quartets achieve, their playing had all the marks of greatness".
The Washington Post

"There can be few recordings of this music as breathtakingly polished as this one".

Beethoven Middle String Quartets / BMG 60462-2
"The Tokyo Quartet's set of the middle-period quartets is among the most impressive to have appeared in recent years.  Their technical finesse, spot-on intonation and superb ensemble are all the more impressive for being at the service of the music".

"Alert and unanimous as ever, the Tokyo String Quartet played to a full house last night.  The particular achievement was their Beethoven (Op. 127).  Every movement developed with depth and composure.  This was quartet-playing of the highest order".
The Financial Times

"All of the emotional and explosive qualities of Beethoven's music were present, but were also shrouded in boundless tenderness and universal wisdom.  The Tokyo Quartet, at this moment one of the best string quartets in the world, approached Beethoven with unprecedented respect, technically almost perfect and musically with staggering insight and utterly refined".
 NRC Handelsblad, Hamburg

"The two new players are entirely worthy of the tradition they inherit; this was quartet playing of the highest order…wonderfully expressive flexibility (Ravel)…near-miraculous shading…dazzling display of antiphonal exchanges (Beethoven)…TRULY FABULOUS PLAYING".
The Times

Ravel, Haydn, Beethoven / Queen's Hall, Edinburgh
"T for Tokyo, T for terrific… superb musicianship…Technique but not trickery, passion but not sentiment - a brilliant and illuminating account".
The Scotsman

Webern / Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
"The performance of Webern's Op.5 was scarcely short of miraculous…an uncanny ability to balance the demands of the acoustic reality…The distinction of the interpretation was the beauty in the phrasing and colouring of those elegiac melodic lines which are as expressive as a whole movement by anyone else".
The Guardian

Brahms / Barbican Centre, London
"Brahms Op.51/2 exuded warmth and cameraderie, the phrasing of its glowing melodies and the articulation of its lively rhythms perfectly integrated into an interpretation which displayed the special qualities of this superlative ensemble at their most persuasive and convincing."
Daily Telegraph

Schleswig-Holstein Festival
"Quartet playing of the greatest perfection."
 Die Welt

Brahms Clarinet Quintet / Stoltzman / BMG 68033-2
"In terms of sheer sonority, the Tokyo Quartet is probably unsurpassed.  What makes it so especially outstanding here is the absolute identity of sound, spirit and musical function."
Classic CD

Ravel & Debussy / BMG 62552-2
"This is playing of entrancing refinement, but beauty is never achieved at the expense of musical truth."
Classic CD

Bartók complete quartets / BMG 68286-2
"The Tokyo have the edge; their searing intensity, acute sense of colour and total commitment to each score combine for maximum impact."