The Merel Quartet

 

„In an age remarkably rich in string quartets of high quality, the Merel Quartet is, in my opinion, one of the very best.“ 

-- Alfred Brendel

 

„An unforgettable interpretation“ writes the Neue Luzerner Zeitung (Lucerne), „The Merel Quartet’s exploration of Schubert’s inner turmoil, how they created a shadowy stillness in pianissimo, was breathtaking.“

 

Commended for their stylistic awareness, maturity of expression and command of form, the Merel Quartet have been captivating audiences since 2002.  An exceptionally communicative quartet, the Merels have received unanimous praise:  „This young ensemble’s music-making is extraordinarily precise and tonally exceedingly well-matched“ writes the Wiener Zeitung (Vienna) and the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Zürich) lauded the Merel Quartet for playing „...with utmost expressivity and a subtle sense of form, tone and rhetoric“. 

 

The Merel Quartet has performed extensively in Europe in venues like the Wigmore Hall, Tonhalle Zürich, the Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Ittingen Whitsun Concerts, Lucerne Festival, Salzburger Festspiele and Kunstfest Weimar. Known for their vivid performances, the quartet has excited audiences in Italy, France,  Germany, England, Poland, the Czech Republic and Switzerland. 

 

The quartet enjoys collaborations with artists like Ruth Ziesak, Juliane Banse, Jörg Widmann, Diemut Poppen, Natalia Gutman, Nobuko Imai, Thomas Demenga, Dénes Várjon, and Alfred Brendel.  Known for their versatility, the Merels perform an extensive repertoire spanning three centuries from Bach and Purcell through to contemporary masters like Kúrtag, Saariaho and Holliger. 

 

Frequent live radio performances on Swiss Radio SRF2 and Radio Suisse Romande as well as German Radio SWR2 have brought the Merel Quartet added recognition.  The quartet’s debut album including works by Schumann, Janacek and award-winning Swiss composer David Philip Hefti was praised as the „...outstanding CD-Premier of a first-rate quartet“ (Neue Zürich Zeitung am Sonntag).

 

Performances of works by Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn on the Merel’s second album also received high acclaim.  „Permeated with a feverish intensity, with close attention to detail and exquisitely balanced illumination of the voices“  and „..their sound, agile and transparent, with a wide range of tonal colors, is irresistible“ writes Thomas Bopp of Das Orchester.  Cathy Fuller, in her show „New and Notable Releases“ on Boston Public Radio WGBH  proclaimed „This is a stunning recording, brimming with life and longing and sustained by an intelligent sense of line.  The quartet’s devotion to bringing across each of the two quartets as complete unfolding constructions makes the experience all the more poignant.  Gorgeous.“