Album: Debussy / Dutilleux / Ravel, String Quartets (Harmonia Mundi)

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The single string quartet is something of a French tradition.

Debussy, Fauré and Ravel wrote only one a piece, and though Henri Dutilleux (born 1916) continues to write music, his only quartet, Ainsi la Nuit, was completed in 1976. Written in seven brief movements, Dutilleux's shimmering textures suggest a bleaker landscape than the eternal summer of Ravel and Debussy.

A "super-group" among quartets, with each player an established soloist, the Arcanto Quartet's intonation is faultless, its blend fresh and exciting.