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Reviews

Inhuman perfection
This astonishing performance blows away any and all previous recordings of this magnificent work. Ilya Kaler, probably the greatest living violinist, is only one component here of a musical collaboration that makes Tashi sound arid by comparison. Yes, the two Louanges are breathtaking and sensitive almost beyond comprehension (hallelujah Janice Weber!!!), but there is not a moment anywhere here where any performer fails to achieve transcendence. (The filler Theme and Variations for violin and piano, from 1932, are also a major revelation.)”
   —Amazon.com, Michael Celbar

“these are no ordinary performers…For starters, the ensemble is wonderfully recorded. Each player shines in the extended solo passages. More than that, the unison in VI is breathtaking. By avoiding any vibrato, the sounds of clarinet, strings, and piano mesh into one perfect whole. It’s brilliant. The players explore the stillness of the piece to great effect. Tempos are ‘inexorable’ (to use the composer’s word) when necessary, but the stillness goes beyond tempo choices. In music without a consistent time signature there is a danger of sounding aimless. Not here. The performers manage to make the music sound like it is unfolding rather than wandering.
—American Record Guide, Jason Sundram

“The ensemble is excellent, particularly in the unison-passage movements. I was especially impressed with Danse de la fureur, which is as quick and as accurate as any I’ve heard. Each of the musicians also makes a fine showing in solo capacity as well, particularly Cohler in Abîme des oiseaux (duration 9:29).”
   —Fanfare Magazine, Robert Kirzinger

“This new Quartet recording is striking in its precision, rhythmic vitality and presence, and its ability to capture the composer's timeless ecstacism. The cleanly realized unison playing, such as in the sixth movement...is exciting, and the intonation is impeccable, which is true throughout the piece. The recorded balances are fine throughout the disc…[Mr. Cohler’s] phrasing and breath control in the solo ‘Abyss’ movement is amazing…a stellar entry into the crowded field.”
   —The Clarinet Magazine, William Nichols

“I am using your CD as a model. It's absolutely stunning. I was so impressed by how perfectly in sync and in tune the sixth movement is and also by how delicate is the first movement…The recording is absolutely incredible. The whole thing sets a new standard for recordings of that piece. Congratulations!”
   —Rebecca Rischin, Author of “For the End of Time”

“Ongaku recording tops them all
 The recent release of Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time is spectacular both in performance and sound quality. Janice Weber's formidable playing is astounding, her subtle, nearly-inaudible pianissimos ethereal. The magical slow movements capture the mysticism of the work more than my previous recording . The solo violin, cello and clarinet moments are superb. This is a five-star performance.”
   —Amazon.com, Richard E. Cross

 
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