Elias Quartet fly the flag for Britten

The Elias Quartet combine fleet-fingered speed with a strong sense of phrasing in an emphatic performance of Britten pieces

Composer: Britten
Repertoire: String Quartets Nos 2 & 3; Three Divertimenti
Artists: Elias Quartet
Rating:  5/5
Genre: Orchestral
Label: Sonimage SON 10903

The Elias Quartet has been making a name for itself recently as a young ensemble to watch. In recording this impressive disc of Britten’s music for string quartet, the players are up against stiff competition – not least from the mighty Belcea Quartet – but they more than prove themselves with imaginative, full-blooded playing and impeccable ensemble. Their performance of Quartet No.2 is both spacious and triumphantly dramatic and they fully grasp the sense of architecture of Britten’s devastating, late Quartet No.3 (written the year before his death), eloquently expressing the nightmarish humour, sense of struggle and, ultimately, haunting timelessness of the music.