Through his far-reaching endeavors as composer, performer, educator, and ethnomusicolgist, Béla Bartók emerged as one of the most forceful and influential musical personalities of the twentieth century. Born in Nagyszentmiklós, Hungary (now Romania), on March 25, 1881, Bartók began his musical training with piano studies at the age of five, foreshadowing his lifelong affinity for the instrument. Following his graduation from the Royal Academy of Music in 1901 and the composition of his first mature works – most notably, the symphonic poem Kossuth (1903) – Bartók embarked on one of the classic field studies in the history of ethnomusicology. With fellow countryman and composer Zoltán Kodály, he traveled throughout Hungary ……..From Allmusic
Vitamin takes on the brood and sway of Depeche Mode with this string quartet tribute, running through nine of the band's songs with the aid of violin, cello, acoustic bass, viola, and a bit of percussion. Like most string interpretations of pop music, the album can grow tedious over the long haul. However, there's plenty to like incrementally, especially for fans. Highlights include "Personal Jesus," with its hint of mouth percussion during the breakdown, and the violins aping the tradeoff vocals of "Master and Servant." There are a few glaring omissions – "Everything Counts" and "Policy of Truth" among them. Even still, Depeche Mode completists should get a kick out of the novelty and slight decadence of this collection.
Over the past four decades, the Arditti Quartet have collaborated with almost all the great composers of our time, many of whom, from Elliott Carter to Karlheinz Stockhausen, Giacinto Scelsi to Harrison Birtwistle, have written pieces specifically for the group. But none of the Ardittis' associations have been as long-lasting and productive as that with Brian Ferneyhough. Since they gave the first performance of his Second String Quartet in 1980, Ferneyhough has ……..Andrew Clements @ The Guardian
The Végh Quartet was not only one of the finest string quartets from mid-twentieth century Europe, but its style was never subjected to radical change over the years from personnel changes because the four original players remained members for 38 of the 40 years of the ensemble's existence. Its style evolved in subtle ways, of course, but its essential character endured until 1978: the quartet was Central European in its sound, with a bit more prominence given to the cello in order to build tonal qualities from the bottom upward. The Végh Quartet was best known for its cycles – two each – of the Beethoven and Bartók quartets. It also performed and recorded many of the Haydn quartets, as well as numerous other staples of the repertory by Mozart, Schumann, Brahms, and Debussy. For a group that disbanded in 1980, its recordings are still quite popular, with major efforts available in varied reissues from Music & Arts, Archipel, Naïve, and Orfeo.
The recordings, made by Bavarian Radio between 2001 and 2005, are, if anything, classier still, with equally classy annotations by Shostakovich scholars Frans Lemaire and David Fanning.
Since fact and speculation are for once carefully defined, you won't see here the incautious revisionism of so much Shostakovich commentary.