Mendelssohn: Quartets Nos. 1 & 4 / Escher String Quartet

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Founded in 2005, the Escher String Quartet is still a young ensemble as string quartets go. It has nevertheless become established as one of the most exciting quartets around, both in its home country, the U.S.A., and elsewhere, recently being shortlisted for a BBC Music Magazine Award. With their début disc on BIS, the Eschers launch a three-disc cycle of Mendelssohn’s string quartets, including the unnumbered String Quartet in E flat major and – on coming instalments – the four pieces for string quartet Op.81.


This is full-blooded quartet playing in the grand, classic manner; extrovert and eloquent. Rich tone, good balance and a particularly noteworthy expressiveness from the first violin, Adam Barnett-Hart, who offers that rare ability not only to sing but also to speak through the instrument.

– BBC Music Magazine

The Escher are fervent advocates of the E flat Quartet, imbuing the slow movement with a luxuriant warmth. There's no doubting the players' musicianship or technical ability, which are caught with admirable immediacy.


The Eschers sound warm, relaxed and responsive to all of Mendelssohn’s expressive nuances. They lavish full, red-blooded tone on the slow movement of the genial Quartet No 1, and in the restless Quartet No 4 they keep the momentum striving forward, with first violinist Adam Barnett-Hart spinning long, seamless phrases.

– Guardian (UK)

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: BIS-1960

  • UPC: 7318599919607

  • Label: BIS

  • Composer: Felix Mendelssohn

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Escher String Quartet