About this project
Enso Quartet Records works by giants of the romantic Opera world!
Dear Friends, Chamber Music and Opera Lovers,
Our next recording project is underway! In late July we travelled to Toronto to record the String Quartets of the Great Opera Masters - Verdi, Puccini and R.Strauss. We’re so excited about how this will turn out. It’s fantastic music, and the sound from our incredible engineer Norbert Kraft is superb. The more we’ve played these pieces the more excited we are to share them with you on our new album!
We stumbled across Verdi’s sole string quartet when our good friend Sarah Rothenberg asked us to play it for Da Camera of Houston. We had never even heard the quartet before we began work on it, and immediately fell for it and couldn’t believe it hadn’t been featured more in the string quartet repertoire. Also on Da Camera’s program for that concert was an old favorite of ours by Puccini, “Crysanthemums” - a piece that we played while we were in residence at Rice University and have performed regularly since then. We immediately thought these two pieces could be the start of a follow-up recording to our Grammy-nominated Ginastera String Quartets album. We looked for another great operatic composer from the romantic era and found that Richard Strauss also wrote only one string quartet. This quartet is also very rarely performed, but its neglect is unwarranted. It's a gem - sparkling with effervescence and gorgeous melodies! It was settled. Three giants of the romantic opera world - Verdi, Puccini and Strauss - who each wrote fantastic quartets that compliment each other beautifully to make a really compelling evening of chamber music.
Each composer had quite different inspirations - Puccini wrote “Chrysanthemums” as an elegy for a friend, Strauss had been fascinated with and studied the string quartets of Haydn, Mendelssohn and Schumann, while Verdi wrote his quartet at the request of some string players during postponed rehearsals of Aida due to an indisposed lead soprano! The results show remarkable glimpses into the rest of their work - Puccini’s is so wonderfully lush, lyrical and emotional, Verdi’s shows a masterful display of different characters and moods, and Strauss’s overflows with the typical effervescence and assuredness of his youthful compositions.
Having recorded classical albums (Pleyel) and chamber music from the mid-20th century (Ginastera), we are very excited to be adding some late romantics to our discography. This is repertoire that we believe in and have loved performing, and we’re sure that we’ll be as proud of the result of this album as we are of our previous ones. To see the extended version of the short film posted above and learn more about this project, click here.
Here is where your support is crucial to complete this new album – gone are the days of musicians being paid to make recordings...we're asking for your contributions to help us cover our costs which include recording venue and engineering costs for the album. We are confident that this will be a special recording, and are very grateful in advance to anyone and everyone who believes in us and is prepared to help us reach our goal.
The great thing about Kickstarter is that we're not asking for your money with nothing in return. We've put together some fun rewards to show our gratitude for your support, so please pledge at any amount that feels comfortable with your wallet. We would like to give a special and hearty thanks to Naxos for their continued support in releasing our recordings, Norbert Kraft and Bonnie Silver, our amazing sound engineers in Toronto and to all the presenters we've worked with for their continued support of our live performances and inspiring us to explore new ideas.
We hope that you will join us in this exciting project!
Enso String Quartet – Maureen, John, Melissa and Richard
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