The young Germans' fresh accounts of these Mozart gems really do impress

The Gramophone | 12/05

Klenke Quartett - Mozart Streichquartette 387/421

We live in interesting times as regards the performance of classical music. Period players have had a wide influence but most string quartets, at any rate, are still played on modernised instruments. The Klenke Quartet give a fine illustration of what a fresh, historically informed approach can achieve. The tone is clear, bright and unforced; Mozart's fortes are taken as indicating ordinary, strong playing and not projected in a way that demands that every note should be loud. Piano and pianissimo usually signal a change in tone quality, and the Klenke realise that a change of dynamic doesn't always have to be sudden. Even more importantly, the performance of these two wonderfully expressive works realise their drama, dialogue and repartee in the most natural way. I enjoyed especially the high spirits and wit of K387's fugal finale, and the beautifully poised account of K421's Minuet in which the descending motif is phrased so eloquently it's easy to imagine it with words, in an operatic ensemble.

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