After winning the 2016 Naumburg Chamber Music Competition, the Telegraph Quartet, SFCM’s quartet-in-residence, has been on an upward trajectory in every manner of artistry and recognition. With the release of their debut album, Into the Light (Centaur Records) in September, their profile has only expanded, garnering critical praise for their stunning musicianship and choice of repertoire.
An album of hidden masterpieces by Anton Webern, Benjamin Britten, and Leon Kirchner, Into the Light has whetted the appetite of listeners for more from this forward-thinking group. Below are some highlights of what critics are saying.
“Just five years after forming, the Bay Area’s Telegraph Quartet has established itself as an ensemble of serious depth and versatility, and the groups terrific debut recording only serves to reinforce that judgment. The programming—a collection of comparatively little-known works by Webern, Britten and the late American modernist Leon Kirchner—bespeaks a wonderful boldness of spirit, and the performances, which are vibrant and full of exploratory fervor, follow through beautifully. … In all of [the album], the ensemble boasts a playing style that is both strong-willed and tender.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
"The perfectly crafted unity of their playing, as in the vivid triplets that begin Kirchner’s First Quartet, is as striking as are the smashing pizzicato notes and electrically sparking ponticello that enliven the whole disc."
—San Francisco Classical Voice
“An impressive beginning for an adventurous group, this 2018 release puts the Telegraph Quartet on the map.”
“This is a compelling music, and the Telegraph Quartet’s rhythmic acuity, rapid tempos and intense lyricism is stunning. … The performance is intense, flawlessly executed and filled with the exuberance of youth that the composer intended.”
“The Telegraph Quartet’s realization of these “jewels” (Stravinsky) is crystalline and thoroughly engrossing.”
—The Whole Note
“This quartet seems to have an affinity for romantic gesture and singing melodies and listeners will doubtless want to hear this work multiple times.”
—New Music Buff
“Nuance is everything in a work of Webern, and the Telegraph Quartet bring out a mind-boggling variety of the same in their dedicated performance.”
—Phil’s Classical Reviews