FINE ARTS QUARTET RECORDS RARE MOZART

From Naxos News

In the Studio: Alon Goldstein and the Fine Arts Quartet record Mozart Piano Concertos in rare transcriptions August 1, 2019

Members of the Fine Arts Quartet teamed up once again with pianist Alon Goldstein and bassist Alexander Bickard for a recording of rare 19th-century chamber versions of Mozart’s Piano Concertos, this time of Nos. 9 and 17. This is the third in their series for Naxos; the first two comprised Concertos Nos. 20 and 21 (8.573398) and Nos. 23 and 24 (8.573736). Alon Goldstein is one of the most original and sensitive pianists of his generation, admired for his musical intelligence and dynamic personality. Scheduled for release in 2020, this latest recording was again produced and engineered by multiple GRAMMY-Award winner Steven Epstein.

The internationally renowned Fine Arts Quartet (violinists Ralph Evans and Efim Boico, violist Gil Sharon, cellist Niklas Schmidt), was founded in Chicago in 1946. This year, the Quartet celebrates its 73rd anniversary and continues to live up to its reputation as “one of the gold-plated names in chamber music.” (Washington Post)

This latest project for Naxos, their seventeenth release for the label, features seldom heard chamber transcriptions of two of Mozart’s magnificent piano concertos, K. 271 and K. 453. The orchestral parts were arranged for string quartet and double bass by the 19th-century German composer and conductor Ignaz Lachner.

Naxos is delighted to have been associated with the Fine Arts Quartet since 2006, when the ensemble made its first release for the label, a recording of Robert Schumann’s Three String Quartets, Op. 41. It received the American Record Guide’s Critic’s Choice award and was described as “one of the very finest chamber-music recordings of the year.”

From that auspicious beginning, a happy association between artists and label has continued with a steady stream of acclaimed performances of eclectic chamber works. December 2019 will see their next release that features Beethoven’s monumental Grosse Fuge and a collection of rareties: the brilliant but forgotten original versions of his quartets Op. 18 No. 1 and Op. 131; plus several miniatures, including his virtually unknown Preludes and Fugues.

The Fine Arts Quartet (Ralph Evans, Efim Boico, Gil Sharon, Niklas Schmidt) joined by Alon Goldstein & Alexander Bickard The recording sessions took place July 28–30, 2019 at the Dorothy Young Center for the Arts at Drew University, New Jersey in the US.

Fine Arts Quartet Background & Discography

FINE ARTS QUARTET RECORDS BEETHOVEN QUARTETS

FROM NAXOS NEWS

In the Studio: The Fine Arts Quartet records Beethoven

Recording sessions for The Fine Arts Quartet’s sixteenth Naxos production took place in Germany at the Christuskirche, Berlin-Oberschöneweide from 26 to 29 November 2018. The all-Beethoven programme, scheduled for release in 2019, has the monumental Grosse Fuge as its centrepiece, complemented by an intriguing group of rarities: Beethoven’s brilliant, yet forgotten original versions of his quartets Op. 18, No. 1 and Op. 131, plus a number of miniatures, including his virtually unknown Preludes and Fugues.

Founded in Chicago in 1946, the internationally renowned Fine Arts Quartet (violinists Ralph Evans and Efim Boico, violist Gil Sharon, cellist Niklas Schmidt) celebrated its 72nd anniversary this year, continuing to live up to its reputation as “One of the gold-plated names in chamber music.” (Washington Post)

The ensemble made its first recording for Naxos in 2006. Featuring Robert Schumann’s 3 String Quartets, Op. 41, it received the American Record Guide’s “Critic’s Choice” award and was described as “One of the very finest chamber-music recordings of the year.” From that auspicious beginning, a happy association between artists and label has continued to produce a steady stream of acclaimed performances of eclectic chamber works.

Fine Arts Quartet background and Naxos discography

Fine Arts Quartet Announces New Members

Hilda Woolf, manager of the Fine Arts Quartet in France and the UK, issued the following announcement in 2017:

"It is a great pleasure to announce that the renowned Fine Arts Quartet (FAQ), one of the world's most enduring and recorded quartets, will soon be joined by two exceptional and experienced chamber musicians: violist Gil Sharon (Amati Ensemble) and cellist Niklas Schmidt (Trio Fontenay). As the legendary FAQ celebrates its 72nd anniversary, violinists Ralph Evans and Efim Boico, who have performed together for 35 years, are thrilled to welcome such dedicated and accomplished artists who have been frequent guest artists with the FAQ over the years. Upcoming events with the new members include a European tour in the summer of 2018, concerts at the San Miguel de Allende Festival in Mexico and International Mendelssohn Festival in Hamburg, and a new recording, the Quartet's 16th for the Naxos label. The FAQ has recorded over 200 works, with their latest, a recording of Mozart, due to be released by Naxos in September, 2018."

Fine Arts Quartet in 72nd season

 

The Strad: Two new members among big changes for Fine Arts Quartet in 72nd season

"The Fine Arts Quartet is drawing to the end of a 55-year residency at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, with its final concerts as part of the arrangement taking place at the Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts on 27 and 28 January.

At the same juncture, its current violist Juan-Miguel Hernandez and cellist Robert Cohen will be leaving the group, and will be replaced by Gil Sharon and Niklas Schmidt respectively. ‘As the legendary FAQ celebrates its 72nd anniversary, violinists Ralph Evans and Efim Boico, who have performed together for 35 years, are thrilled by the incoming new members’ positive energy, enthusiasm, and dedication,’ the quartet’s management told The Strad.

The incoming musicians are both experienced chamber specialists: Gil Sharon, as a violinist, founded and lead the Sharon Quartet and Netherlands-based Amati Ensemble, while Niklas Schmidt was a founder member of the Trio Fontenay.

Ralph Evans is only the second leader in the Fine Arts Quartet’s history..."

Read more at thestrad.com

 

Mozart Piano Concertos CD released

Naxos releases Mozart's two most famous Piano Concertos with pianist Alon Goldstein, the Fine Arts Quartet and Rachel Calin.

To make Mozart’s Piano Concertos K. 466 and K. 467 more accessible to the public, the 19th-century composer Ignaz Lachner left the piano parts untouched and made splendid transcriptions of the orchestra parts for just string quartet with added bass. These chamber versions of two of Mozart’s greatest and most popular concertos sound almost as natural as if Mozart had transcribed them himself.

Standing ovation at the Kennedy Centre

The Fine Arts Quartet receives a standing ovation at their sell-out performance on December 11th. "...a powerhouse of American chamber music..." the Washington Post reported, going on to say "The Fine Arts Quartet turned in a superb and absolutely impassioned performance — a seamless and astute reading from its slashing opening chords to its galloping, heart-racing finale."

New Schumann Recording released

The Fine Arts Quartet, with pianist Xiayin Wang, has recorded three chamber music masterpieces by Robert Schumann: the Piano Quintet, Piano Quartet, and Piano Trio (Fairy Tales). The sessions, which took place December 13-16, 2010 at the American Academy of the Arts and Letters in New York, were produced and engineered by Grammy® Award winner Steven Epstein. This CD, the Fine Arts Quartet's 11th recording for the Naxos label, was released in September, 2012. See Naxos News story about the recording session.

Festival Season

During the months July-September 2011, the Fine Arts Quartet appeared in many renowned international festivals, among them: Ottawa's Music and Beyond Festival,  Amalfi Coast Music & Arts Festival, Lille's Festival Clef de Soleil,  Festival des Arcs, Musicales Internationales Guil Durance, Festival Pablo Casals de Prades, Sion Festival,  and the George Enescu Festival in Bucharest.