“The crisp, lively, and emotionally committed performance style of the Alexander Quartet has almost become a trademark in my home. I look forward to each and every one of their discs as if they were old friends coming to visit, and this one is no exception. From the first notes of the Schumann Quintet, the quartet and pianist Yang are in the thick of it, projecting the music with their customary vigor yet sensitive enough to relax the tempo a shade for the quieter episodes. Quite simply, this is a quartet that does not mess around. Call them whatever you like: the eye of the tiger, the eye of the storm, but they are in there pitching from note one and they simply do not let up until the last note of the last movement of any work they approach. …
“Yang plays with that rare combination of lyrical flow, rhythmic excitement, and a deep-in-the-keys touch that make her an exceptional fifth member of the group, not just an extra added attraction. … The last movement practically dances on the head of a pin: this quintet simply can’t contain its joy in playing this music.
“Turning to the Brahms … The way I hear it—and this, of course, is only my impression—Alexander looks at a score and “sees” the notes as if in 3D relief, suggesting accents and phrasing that the players then put into practice when rehearsing. Their approach reminds me of such conductors as Rodzinski, Toscanini, Munch, or Gielen, a straight-ahead reading in which one hears inner voices as if X-rayed, yet never loses the lyrical flow of the music or its ability to surprise the listener with innumerable small details.
“If you enjoy these two works, you owe it to yourself to hear what the Alexander Quartet and Joyce Yang make of them.” —Lynn René Bayley, Fanfare Magazine
Look for the full review at www.FanfareMag.com!