Signum Quartett - Reviews

Due to the copyright restrictions in Germany and Switzerland these are only a few reviews which we are explicitly allowed to use. Unfortunately, for this reason a large number of press reviews may not be used at the moment.

  • The Guardian - Birmingham

  • “The quartet must be frighteningly difficult to coordinate and play, but the Signum performance seemed astonishingly assured." (Andrew Clements, 13.11.16)

  • The Strad

  • “How can the Signum Quartet sound so cohesive? [...] This was evident from the first bars of Beethoven’s op. 18/6, a vivacious opening, with the quartet impressive in the first movement’s dotted rhythms. In the Adagio, the unison sequence emanated as if from a single instrument, and during the scherzo’s rhythmic glee, I wrote in my notes: ‘So much fun!’” (Bruce Hodges, 18.3.16)

  • The Strad - CD Alla czeca

  • „The Signum’s playing is both clean in its clarity of ensemble and interpretatively full of freshness and life, and its ebullience of spirit in the exhilarating finale is infectious.” (Matthew Rye, 2.1.16)

  • Pizzicato - CD Alla czeca - Supersonic Award

  • “Thrilling performances of a coherent and exciting program.” (Alain Steffen, 1.12.15, www.pizzicato.lu/hervorragende-aufnahme-mit-wunderbarer-musik/)

  • MDR Figaro - CD Soundescapes

  • “With this project the Signum Quartet again stands for an overwhelming joy of playing, precision, a keen sense of rhythm, and not least for a sense for colours and nuances. These readings meaningfully unify exacting analysis, earnestness and intoxicating moments.” (Martin Hoffmeister, 20.04.15, www.mdr.de/mdr-figaro/musik/take-five624.html)

  • Pizzicato - CD Soundescapes „Supersonic Award“

  • “The Signum Quartett adds another outstanding recording to its Capriccio Series. With an impressing palette of colours and nuances they give the music of Debussy and Ravel the awe and mystery that familiarity has sometimes dimmed, an in-between they convince with a beautiful performance of Thomas Adès’s marvellous Arcadiana Quartet.” (http://www.pizzicato.lu/faszinierende-nuancierungskunst/?utm_source=Pizzicato.lu&utm_campaign=b7ddd9abce-Pizzicato_Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_21bef0aae9-b7ddd9abce-780445)

  • Concerti - CD Soundescapes

  • “The resulting sound is concentrated, shimmering, ethereal, at the same time crystal clear and yes, also beguiling.” (Eckhart Weber, April 2015, www.concerti.de/de/2860/cd-rezension-signum-quartett-romantisch-und-postmodern.html)

  • The Irish Times - WestCork Festival

  • “Haydn, the man who first put the string quartet as a medium on the map, has had an altogether rougher ride. So it was a real pleasure to hear Germany’s Signum Quartet bring unforced muscularity and melancholy to his Quartet in F minor, Op 20 No 5. Played as finely as this, it becomes a kind of perfect dark jewel.” (01.07.15, www.irishtimes.com/culture/music/the-gloss-and-gutsiness-of-west-cork-chamber-music-festival-1.2268257)

  • Thomas Adès on the CD Soundescapes

  • “I am most excited by this new recording by the Signum quartet of my first quartet ‘Arcadiana’. It is a thrill to have this magnificent recording, and to find my piece in the perfect context of the two great masterpieces by Debussy and Ravel. It is an honour for a composer of my generation to be presented in such company. Bravo and many thanks to the Signum Quartet!“ (April 2015)

  • www. seenandheard-international.com - Wigmore Hall London

  • “Thoughtful intellectual analysis, complex musicianship, outstanding technical command, meticulous ensemble and a delightful level of imagination persuasively underpinned their Beethoven. [...] the most uplifting lunchtime I have experienced for some time.” (Leon Bosch, 10.03.15, seenandheard-international.com/2015/03/uplifting-lunchtime-beethoven-from-the-signum-string-quartet/)

  • www. classicalsource.com - Wigmore Hall London

  • “The Signum members gave a full-throttled performance [of Beethoven's Grosse Fuge op. 133], rising to its many challenges – not the least of which being stamina – with great aplomb. Potentially an impenetrable mess of contrapuntal complexity, here the fugal lines were brought out with dextrous virtuosity.” (Arnold Jarvist, 02.03.15, classicalsource.com/db_control/db_concert_review.php)

  • Gramophone - CD No.3

  • “Schnittke’s Third Quartet from 1983 is an ideal vehicle for this ensemble and comes over impressively in a well-judged recording.”

  • The Strad - CD No.3

  • “The Signum Quartet players have a nice way with Berg’s shifting musical landscapes [op.3], their pacing sure, their palette broad, wonderfully gentle at times, muscular at others. Bartok’s Third Quartet receives a deft performance, with supple melodic lines and tremendous gritty in the Allegro second movements. […] This is an engaging performance, assimilating a diverse collection of styles into a compelling whole, beautiful and complex.”

  • www.classicalsource.com - BBC Proms - 26 August 2013

  • “String Quartet No.3 by Maconchy unfolds continuously through five sections. It begins with the slow undulation of a motif built upon the interval of a second. The two violinists brought a mellow sonority to this passage whenever it appeared by playing high up on the G-string in emulation of a viola’s tone. This section is succeeded by a more dynamic one in which the seconds were inverted to form a sequence of lunging sevenths. After the Signum Quartet’s relaxed presentation of the opening, its members preferred not to venture into too violent a manner for the faster sections. This meant that there was a consistency of emotional purpose throughout the performance, bringing the forlorn serenade-like central section within its ambit completely naturally.” (Curtis Rogers, 26.8.13)

  • The Independant - BBC Proms - 26 August 2013

  • “The Signum Quartett and Hadland excel in Brahms. Owing more to the influence of Bartok than to that of her tutor Ralph Vaughan Williams, its vibrant eloquence [Elisabeth Maconchy’s string quartet No.3] was beautifully rendered by the Signum Quartet, who were then joined by Christian Ihle Hadland for a stunning account of Brahms’s Piano Quintet in F major.” (Michael Church, 26.8.13)

  • The Boston Globe

  • “... subtle and balanced...”

  • www.classical-scene.com - Boston

  • “The Signum Quartet is a distinctive German ensemble with a youthful energy and an Old World sound. … Violinists Kerstin Dill and Annette Walther, violist Xandi van Dijk and cellist Thomas Schmitz gave a touching performance [of Haydn’s op.76/2] that brought out the dark colors and rhetorical resonances of this music. Haydn’s humor, particularly evident in the finale, is deeply humane and imbedded in the structure of the music: he effectively sets up little musical jokes for later punctuation.”

  • www.classicalsource.com - Wigmore Hall London

  • “This performance suggested the spontaneity of the music flowing as if from a writer’s pen. The balance between the musicians was extremely good, emphasising Schumann’s equal treatment of the four instruments […]. The depth of detail [in Brahms’s op.51 No .1] was vigorously explored; not only through virtuosity but with wit, too.”

  • Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Sommerliche Musiktage Hitzacker - with Eckart Runge

  • “The absorption with which the young musicians from the Signum Quartet and the cellist Eckart Runge perform the Trio in the Scherzo from Schubert’s String Quintet is uncanny. An impressive onset of tranquillity in the noisy merriment: withdrawal for prayer or an excerpt from life? A ringing exclave is created here, in which that which is said no longer finds an addressee in normal social intercourse.” (Jan Brachmann, 7. August 2012)

  • The Irish Examiner - Westcork Festival

  • “I only heard the Signum quartet twice. On the first occasion, they played Schumann’s 2nd quartet in F with a warmth of tone, affection for the music, and unanimity of expressiveness that was of the highest international quality. Clarinettist, Christoffer Sundqvist joined them on the second occasion, playing Weber’s marvellously entertaining Quintet for Clarinet and Strings. The playing was superb, all of the players revelling in this perfectly imagined work.”

  • Fonoforum - CD Quartet Movements

  • “A powerful recording with its very own distinctive signature.” (Marcus Stäbler, March 2012)

  • Ensemble - CD Quartet Movements

  • “A magnificent recording by a brilliant quartet – with an equally well thought out programme idea.” (Carsten Dürer, January 2012)

  • EADT 24 - Aldeburgh Festival

  • “The Signum’s playing had the lightness of touch, and just the right amount of exaggeration to the dance rhythms to bring out all the music’s wit and charm. [...] The changing moods of its episodic stucture are full of energy and imagination, and the Signum’s superb playing made it an exhilarating experience.”

  • Pizzicato - CD Thuille (Supersonic Award)

  • “This CD confirms the excellent impression made by the sensually playing Signum Quartet, which should already be counted among the best ensembles of this generation and which does not need to hide behind even renowned star quartets such as the Hagens or Emersons.”

  • www.musicalcriticism.com - Aldeburgh Festival with Leon Fleisher

  • „...a beautiful sound balance, some wonderful interplay in the inner parts and a fine sense of line that always kept the music moving forward. The players were listening to each other very carefully (and producing some beautiful sound), they caught the rhythms and the Wagnerian overtones of the work and, in the final Allegro [of Brahms’ Piano Quintet in f minor], pianist and quartet let down their guard and, as one, went in for uninhibited, visceral excitement in the coda. It made a splendid ending to a memorable Festival evening.”

  • www.wheresrunnicles.com - Aldeburgh Festival with Leon Fleisher

  • “After the interval Fleisher was joined by the young Signum quartet for Brahms’ Piano Quintet in F minor. It was simply stunning and they played it with an incredible intensity. The ensemble and Fleisher blended very well, seeming completely in unison with their interpretation, something not always the case with such scratch groups. The quartet themselves proved an extremely tight ensemble, they also seemed able to play with one voice rather than four, something that always marks out my favourite chamber groups. The slow movement was beautiful, but it was the climaxes of the first and third movements that were especially thrilling.”