22 July 2011
This Czech programme suits the infectious bounce and fizz of the Sacconis, who bring Dvorák's songful "American" quartet to vivid life and drive along the dance-like second movement of Smetana's Quartet No 1 with an irrepressible swing. But it's not all party hats and streamers: Smetana's story was a tragic one, ending in the nightmare of deafness. His quartet carries the title "From My Life", and the sensitive Sacconis bear solemn witness to his sorrowful journey into silence. Equally, they create a reverential stillness in Suk's Meditation on an Old Czech Hymn, a single-movement work of fervent yet dignified Czech nationalism, written as the first world war doused all the festive lights across Europe.
22 July 2011
...a sensational and revealing new recording... Here is a superlative disc from the Sacconi Quartet, on their own label, with a treasure trove of top-drawer performances from the rich Bohemian repertoire. I absolutely love their warm, deeply idiomatic performance of Dvorak’s American Quartet, probably the best-loved and most recorded piece in all Czech chamber music. Competition is fierce in this corner. In recent times there have been new recordings of the piece from the Wihan Quartet (too reverberant and leader-dominated for this palate) and the Pavel Haas Quartet (outstanding, but aggressively in your face). To these ears the Sacconi’s version is a better choice: spacious, unforced, but losing none of the pell-mell exhilaration in the finale. And I have never heard a more characterful and sympathetic account of Smetana’s First Quartet, with a brilliant performance of the Scherzo, whose middle section is almost hilarious in its portrayal of rustic dancing. And Josef Suk’s haunting Meditation on an old Czech hymn is a beauty.
22 June 2011
The Sacconi, a fast rising British string quartet...bring something fresh and distinctive. Dvorak's American Quartet has a light touch and springy rhythms that suit the music perfectly. ... I loved Suk's Meditation on an Old Czech Hymn St Wenceslas.
22 November 2010
...a beautifully shaped reading of the second of Beethoven's op.18. Then with pure youthful exuberance came Ravel's Quartet, a score these players have recently recorded and which here sizzled with their enviable technical prowess, the pizzicato second movement exploding with the brilliance of fireworks.
22 September 2010
The Sacconi stand out from the crowd, the critics unstinting in their praise for the British newcomers.
22 June 2010
These are fascinating works, and the players respond intelligently to ideas that must have startled the more conventional Parisians...This is good Haydn playing.
22 April 2010
Haydn’s urbanity provided an excellent foil for the Smetana quartet that followed. Entitled by its composer ‘From my Life’ this autobiography-in-music was given the most dramatic and intense performance I have ever heard...The whole performance received a vociferous ovation; it was a remarkable achievement by these marvellous young players.
The festival sensation, the young Sacconi Quartet completely bowled over a packed audience. The chemistry between these four young players is tangible and magical.The Scotsman
A beautiful blend of sound ... highly engaging.The Times
An exceptional ensemble ... a unanimous sense of musical breath and a meticulous attention to detail.Musical Opinion
A quartet of genuine substance.The Daily Telegraph
Great power and sweetness ... intimate closeness.The Spectator
Enviable technical prowess.The Strad
The finest I have ever heardEdward Clark, British Sibelius Society
A triumphant performanceThe Observer