Boccherini owes his celebrity to more than just the infamous Minuet of the Quintet Op.11 No.5 - although that is included here too. This recording rights the balance with some elan: from the brilliant castanets of the Fandango to the much more Viennese style of the String Quartet, the musicians of the Cuarteto Casals and their guests demonstrate the infinite creative resources of the composer. It culminates in the Night Music of the Streets of Madrid, a vivid example of musical realism in which, as Boccherini put it, ‘the strict rules of counterpoint’ would be out of place!
Since its formation in Madrid in 1997, Cuarteto Casals has quickly achieved recognition as one of Europe’s most distinguished string quartets. The group came to public attention when it won first prize at both the 2000 London International Competition and the 2002 Brahms International Competition. It now performs regularly in the finest halls in London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Zurich, Amsterdam, Madrid, New York and Tokyo, and has appeared at such festivals as Salzburg and Lucerne. The quartet has accompanied the King of Spain on state visits and performed at the Royal Palace of Madrid on the royal family’s set of matched Stradivarius instruments.
Cuarteto Casals has premiered works by the Spanish composers Jesùs Rueda, David del Puerto, Jordi Cervelló and Miquel Roger, collaborated with György Kurtág and James MacMillan, and recorded Morphing by the French composer Christian Lauba. The quartet was honoured in 2008 with a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. Cuarteto Casals is currently in residence at the conservatory in Barcelona and has its own residency at the Auditori, where it now performs an annual series of concerts.
As cellist and founder of the renowned Artemis Quartet, Eckart Runge performs in the major concert series and festivals worldwide. Aside from conventional concert performances Eckart Runge also presents programmes on the borderline between different art forms including tango, jazz, cinema and theatre.
Carles Trepat began studying the guitar at the age of 13. He went on to win prizes at several major international competitions, including the Premio Tárrega at the Francisco Tárrega Competition in Benicásim and First Prize at the Fifth International Toronto Competition. Outside Spain, he has given concerts and recitals in France, Russia, Austria, the UK, Chile and Canada, notably at the Wigmore Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. He has appeared as a soloist with the English Chamber Orchestra, the London Festival Orchestra, the Orchestra of St John’s Smith Square, I Musici and I Solisti Veneti, under such conductors as Enrique García Asensio, Sir Neville Marriner, Friedemann Layer and Josep Pons. Carles Trepat’s discography includes works by Mompou, Quiroga, Tedesco and Albéniz.
“Boccherini was Italian-born but served the Spanish court, and he evoked the street scenes of Madrid with a soundscape worthy of Charles Ives in the programmatic String Quintet in C...Here the superb Cuarteto Casals dispatch it with atmospheric precision, and their whole disc is a delight...A reputation-changing disc for Boccherini.” The Observer