The Quatuor Hermès makes its recording debut with a highly ambitious programme, an ideally complementary pairing.
First revealed to the public at the 66th Geneva Competition, the Quatuor Hermès makes its recording debut with a highly ambitious programme: one of Haydn’s finest quartets and one of Beethoven’s most formidable, an ideally complementary pairing. The exercise is eminently successful, for the young French quartet gives wonderfully stylish performances, sleek and elegant in Haydn, fiery and passionate in Beethoven. One is fascinated by the artistic mastery of such young musicians, who manage to find the quintessence of works so well-known that they can seem hackneyed: the moments of sheer delight abound in this release, which may be taken in regular doses!
String Quartet No.5 Hob.III :35 in F minor, Op. 20
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No.12 in E flat major Op. 127
TOTAL TIMING: 59'09
The Hermès Quartet was founded in 2008 on the initiative of four students from the class of Zoltán Tóth and Reiko Kitahama (Ravel Quartet) at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Lyon.
Ever since its formation it has made frequent concert appearances, notably at the Salle Molière in Lyon (Musicades), in the Bayer cultural season in Germany, and at the Festival de Radio France et de Montpellier. It was invited by the violinist Gidon Kremer to perform at the Lockenhaus Festival in Austria, where its prestigious partners were the violist Kim Kashkashian and the members of Kremerata Baltica. The quartet has also taken part in several programmes on France Musique, including ‘Génération Jeunes Interprètes’ and ‘Un mardi idéal’.
The Hermès Quartet won First Prize and the Coup de Cœur Breguet Prize at the Geneva International Music Competition in 2011. In October 2009 it had already taken several awards at the Lyon International Chamber Music Competition (First Prize, SACEM Prize for the interpretation of Henri Dutilleux’s Quartet Ainsi la nuit, Press and Audience Prizes, and Coup de Cœur Bayer Cropscience). Its other distinctions include First Prize at the Ensemble Music Competition of the FNAPEC (Paris) in 2010, the Prize of the Rotary Club of Saint-Jean-de-Luz at the Académie Maurice Ravel in 2011, and the Prize of the Fondation Charles Oulmont. The musical identity of the ensemble and the cohesion of its members have been strengthened by working with such musicians as Miguel da Silva (Ysaÿe Quartet), who supported them right from the start, Eberhard Feltz, Arnold Steinhardt (Guarneri Quartet), Valentin Erben and Hatto Beyerle (Alban Berg Quartet), and Walter Levin (LaSalle Quartet). The Hermès Quartet is currently engaged in postgraduate study with the Artemis Quartet (Berlin University of the Arts, Chapelle Musicale Reine Élisabeth in Brussels) and the Ysaÿe Quartet (Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional, Paris).