Follow three composers on a journey through early 20th-century Europe, reflecting on various experiences including the life of a student, the rush of bullfighting, and the folklore of Scandinavia on the debut Navona Records release by the Skyros Quartet, INTROSPECTIVE ODYSSEY.
Written while he was a student, the Three Divertimenti by Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) creates a dazzling and witty display of youthful enthusiasm. Weaving a narrative tone poem set in Spain, Joaquín Turina (1882-1949) presents an exotic showpiece in La Oración del Torero (The Prayer of the Bullfighter), with a distinct flamenco flair through the idiom of French post-impressionism. Subtitled "Voces Intimae" ("Intimate Voices"), Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) wrote these words on the manuscript over three dark and hushed chords in the third movement, marking the center of String Quartet in D minor, Op. 56. The composer combines post-romanticism, 20th-century modernism, and Scandinavian folksongs influenced by the Kalevala, the national epic poem of Karelia and Finland. The captivating and emotive interpretations by the Skyros Quartet show them as a versatile, fastidious, and passionate group, versed in performing a number of musical styles and traditions.
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review
"To hear all three of these works so well done is a rare treat. The Skyros Quartet make more of the music than some others have done. They take to each piece with a ravishing, articulate, sonically appealing approach that has passion more than sentiment, fully coherent phrasing and a sort of introspective reading that is true to the album's title. They give you plenty of reasons to appreciate the works anew." (Full review)
INFODAD.COM: Family-Focused Reviews
"...a chance for the Skyros Quartet to throw itself with aplomb into short characteristic pieces that offer plenty of opportunities for display and plenty of chances for listeners to enjoy themselves." (Full review)
"The quartet plays these three works with enthusiasm and precision. Although each composition is very different in origin, the combination makes for a fine program. Sonically, this is a very fine disc. Recorded in Engel Hall in Lincoln Nebraska, the strings sound very smooth, with a nice stereo spread across the two front channels." (Full review)