As in its Schubert recording in 2018, the Quatuor van Kuijk likes to delve into a composer's youthful output and then measure his evolution by confronting it with his mature works. Hence, after recording two of Mozart's early string quartets in 2016, the French group, here joined by violist Adrien La Marca, voted Revelation at the Victoires de la Musique Classique in 2014, now offers the String Quintets K515 and K516. These two large-scale works dominate Mozart's instrumental output in the year 1787, which ended with the premiere of Don Giovanni. They show us a composer at the height of his creative powers, in a genre to which he had not returned for fourteen years and which he herebrought to a high degree of formal perfection.
Gramophone Magazine Awards Issue 2020
They repeatedly strike an incredibly fine emotional balance, and make it sound as if it’s the most natural thing in the world. There’s nothing precious or overwrought about these accounts: they’re buoyant, intelligent readings, vividly recorded…Time and again, they seem to me to catch this music exactly where it speaks most powerfully: balanced perfectly – poignantly – between laughter and tears.