Bartók: The String Quartets8:00, 23rd August 2017
Harmonia Mundi HMM90766162 (2CD)
Recorded at the same time as its acclaimed Wigmore Hall cycle and following on from its superb Tippett set (Wigmore Hall Live, CM February 2016), this is another winner from the Heath Quartet. While each piece is impeccably prepared, balanced and executed, theirs is no one-size-fits-all approach: the relentless logic of the earlier quartets are celebrated with as much intensity as the whirlwind of the Fifth and otherworldly grief of the Sixth. While listeners will retain favourites for individual works – Takács, Végh, Emerson, etc – this is an utterly convincing and very welcome cycle.