This deeply affecting debut disc is a tribute to the renowned Guarneri Quartet, with whom the Dovers studied, and whose violist, Michael Tree, joins them in the third of three Mozart items: the great Quintet in C minor, which he adapted from his wind octet Serenade, K388. The other pieces — Mozart’s final string quartets, the second and third of his “Prussian” three, with their lyrically enhanced cello lines — are performed here with surpassing beauty, a glorious timbral richness governed by what feels a continuous thoughtfulness.
This is music-making not of the highest order but of the next order. On a number of occasions, I’ve remarked on how blessed we are to be living in a golden age of string playing. The Dover Quartet now takes that to the next level, platinum.
The entire CD is evidence that the Dover Quartet is a new ensemble that any lover of string quartets will want to discover as soon as possible.
The Dover Quartet and Michael Tree get more out of this music than I can remember hearing in any previous performance. But they do it not by being different. One never feels that the music is being pushed or pulled to try to make it more exciting or more profound. They know exactly when to take their time . . . This is glorious music-making and I enjoyed every minute of it. May the Dover Quartt endure for 45 years, as their mentors in the Guarneri did before them.