Press

Press quotes

The press about our North American debut (January of 2018):

Chicago Tribune (Alan Artner):

“Chief among the characteristics of Friday’s performances were an extraordinarily refined sound combined with an architect’s developed sense of relations between parts and a whole. Both proclaimed artistic maturity in an ensemble not a decade old.”

Chicago Classical Review (Lawrence A. Johnson):

“The Dudok Kwartet’s light, silvery sonority and graceful style proved well-suited to Mozart, and the musicians charted the ebb and flow with vivacious, lightly articulated playing and bracingly clean intonation. […] The Dudok Kwartet Amsterdam is clearly a talented ensemble on the rise and one looks forward to their next visit to Chicago.”

Classical Voice North America (Kyle Macmillan):

“The Dudok’s first-rate players possess all the chops they need, but that technical prowess is always subjugated to the group’s artistry and is never an end in itself. […] The Dudok Kwartet has no further concerts in North America scheduled at the moment. But when word gets out, expect that to change. And change quickly.”

Third Coast Review (Louis Harris):

“The players blended perfectly, coming together for an exciting finish. […]  They were very tight and disciplined in the tumultuous opening movement, creating excellent contrasts with the quieter, reflective passages. Mendelssohn poured his heart on sleeve in the slow third movement […]. The intimate passion came through wonderfully with the Dudok Kwartet’s performance.”

On Labyrinth

 

‘★★★★★ (performance) ★★★★ (recording) The Dudok Quartet responds brilliantly to all theses facets of the Ligeti’s persona, and their performance can fully stand the comparison with the Arditti Quartet’s 1994 recording, which was supervised by the composer. In the work’s haunting ending, with its flickering violin tremolos underpinned by delicate sustained octaves from the two lower players, I find this new version if anything superior.’
BBC Music Magazine

‘[…] the combination of Ligeti and Mozart’s lively 14th string quartet works like a surprise. During Ligeti your attention is drawn towards the melodic diversions, and in Mozart you suddenly hear a chromatic master of form. Dudok approaches both composers with the same devotion and wealth of sound, without weakening stylistic details.’
NRC Handelsblad

‘Rarely one sees musical worlds that are so distant from another. But, just as rarely, musicians are able to give full weight to this music. The quartet convincingly transforms their warm and ethereal Mozart-sound into the more contemporary qualities called for by Ligeti.’
Nederlands Dagblad

‘Mozart uses rhythmic and dynamic ruses to confuse us in his String Quartet No 14 in G major and wrong-foots us completely with a double fugue, while Ligeti employs thickets of micropolyphony to obscure the way through his frightening String Quartet No 2, cogently played by these imaginative players.’
The Observer

Disc of the Week (23-27 January 2017)
Classic FM Nederland

‘Mozart’s string quartet in G major K.387 sounds as you would wish any Mozart to sound: nimble, melodious and with a difficult to realize playful seriousness. The second string quartet by György Ligeti, in which he forcefully stretched the boundaries of the genre in 1968, is an experience of the highest order.’
Het Parool

on Métamorphoses

Editor’s Choice “Into an era rich in really fine young quartets comes an impressive debut from Amsterdam-based Dudok Quartet, with a programme as thoughtfully conceived as it is played. Ligeti’s first work of early maturity receives an outrageously fearless performance, even placed against no less technically gifted but more experienced ensembles. The Dudok Quartet’s gift is to hear Ligeti in Ligeti even when he couldn’t hear it in himself […] The First Quartet is Tom and Jerry in black and white, the Second is their Technicolor reincarnation, but the Dudok give us remastered Ligeti, blacker and whiter than ever before. Haydn’s Op 54 No 2 is even more prodigally original, and perhaps even Hans Keller would be satisfied with the ‘invention without concession’ displayed by the members of this young Dutch quartet, and especially its leader Judith van Driel. The slow movement is a tour de force of controlled improvisation, grave and focused. […] Not since the Elias Quartet’s Mendelssohn (Alto, 5/07) has the debut disc of a quartet kept inviting me back to think more and listen harder.”

Gramophone, Peter Quantrill

 

“[…] all three composers benefit from the rich, warm default sound of the Dudok Quartet, aided by the bloom and depth of the recording.[…] The first movement of Haydn’s quartet is bright, energetic and full-toned, pressing forwards with an abundance of joie de vivre. The Hungarian connection is most evident in the Andante, with Judith van Driel playing the quasi-improvised first violin part with the rhythmic freedom and keening expression of a gypsy fiddler. […] Ligeti’s quartet flows surely through its 21-minute span, the playing vivid and passionate, matching expressive freedom with tight control […] Brahms’s intermezzos have an engaging air of melancholy, played with nice touches of schmaltz, before the jolly Ballade, with its lilting central dance, rounds off this satisfying disc.”

The Strad, Tim Homfray

 

***** “Ligeti’s ingenious insanity is approached with an open mind and the results are astounding. How do they recreate this work so meticulously while evoking a world of chaos at the same time? The Dudoks show their possibilities to play with fine sense for vibrato and color in Haydn’s quartet opus 54 number two. The final, genius movement of this quartet is miraculously successful. A top-Haydn. Last but not least: own arrangements of late piano works by Brahms. All has been beautifully conceived and played magnificently. The transition from Ligeti to Brahms works magically well. Bravo!”

Trouw, Peter van der Lint

 

**** “Haydn by Dudok Quartet beautifully colored […] Ligeti’s Métamorphoses nocturnes features as an indestructible pillar beneath their debut disc. The Dudok Quartet lay out cunningly the melodic lamentations and obstinate scouring he had put into this 1956 work. […] The Dudoks linger and hesitate in a masterful manner in [Brahms] Intermezzo opus 116 nr.4.”

de Volkskrant, Guido van Oorschot

 

**** “Powerful, exciting and poetic are keywords that reoccur in many of the Dudok Quartet’s concert reviews. They are also entirely applicable to this debut disc.” […] “Whoever performs this music so well, ranks among the top chamber musicians.”

Nederlands Dagblad, Roel Sikkema

 

**** “Young Dudok Quartet ingeniously arranges Brahms.” […] “The quartet plays Ligeti venomously and full of inspiration, their dynamics in Brahms are beautifully balanced.”

NRC Handelsblad, Merlijn Kerkhof

 

**** “The Dudok Kwartet shows a very healthy dose of accomplished achievement in this debut disc. The recording has the fresh liveliness of a concert. The four young Dutch string players eagerly take on Haydn’s opus 54 no.2 with both hands. The solemn adagio with it’s quasi-improvised sections is a real experience. A beautiful feat of storytelling is offered in Ligeti’s first string quartet ‘Metamorphoses Nocturnes’, which is packed with expressiveness. The Brahms piano pieces are so cleverly arranged by the players themselves that they sound as though they are works from original string quartet repertory.”

De Telegraaf, Thiemo Wind

 

“This recital disc reflects their refreshing nonconformity” […] “The Dudoks have a lithe, lively sound and alert sense of structure and detail: a group to watch.”

The Observer, Fiona Maddocks

 

Concert reviews

“[…] The Dudok Quartet, that had already displayed a remarkable sense for contrapuntal structures in Haydn, delivered an overwhelming vindication of Pfitzner [in his string quartet op. 36 in C-sharp minor]: they disclosed unfamiliar soundscapes to the excitedly listening audience, passionately, with a great feeling for the darker timbres of this music, but above all with extraordinarily transparent and highly expressive playing throughout. […] Luckily the ORF was there – this broadcast may not be missed by anyone interested in music from the first half of the 20th century. There is no recording of this important work that even slightly approaches this interpretation.”

Die Presse, Wilhelm Sinkovicz, August 2015

 

“ The young Dudok Quartet immediately drew all the attention […] towards the thrilling finale, Haydn culminated into sheer exuberance. The Dudoks performed like true pioneers in Pfitzner’s quartet: the work, in both character and architecture reminiscent of Beethoven’s late quartets, digs deep emotionally and was played with such a clear overview and so much expression that it left the audience yearning for more. […] The quartet returned after the intermission with Brahms’ string quartet op. 51 no. 2 and left no doubt that they are in fact an exceptional ensemble, of whom we will hear much more in the future!”

Kleine Zeitung, August 2015

 

“[…] The brilliant finale of the concert was created by the Amsterdam-based Dudok Quartet in their performance of Shostakovich’s fifth string quartet […] The entire human spectrum of the composer sounded in very expressive ways: from the lively waltzing entertainment-composer until the breathtaking fear of Stalinist terror. The whistling of the Räthischen Bahn, coming from a nearby train-station, though usually so familiar, acted now as a signal from a healed world that seemed terribly far away at this moment; everyone was mesmerized by the focus and compassion that was found in the playing of this young Dutch quartet. It was hardly a surprise that the audience broke out in a heartfelt and enthusiastic applause; in this case it was more than justified. ”

Südostschweiz, August 2015

 

“[…] There’s also ample opportunity to discover talent at the [Davos] Festival, such as the Dudok Quartet from Amsterdam, who gave a wonderfully transparent and homogeneous account of Brahms’ second string quartet.”

Badische Zeitung, August 2015

 

“[…] Haydn’s quartet opus 76 no. 4 sounded fresh and novel. The quartet played every motive, no matter how small with extraordinary beauty, stringing these jewels together with inescapable coherence. They juxtaposed strong contrasts en maintained a homogeneous sound at the same time. […] The Dudok Quartet performed Ligeti’s string quartet overwhelmingly and with such a clear concept that it’s striking significance became apparent also when it would have been a listener’s first acquaintance with the piece. Fascinating, unsettling, played brilliantly and with passion.”

Haarlems Dagblad, January 2015

 

“[…] The Dudok Quartet has evolved substantially since they reached the finals of the competition [in Bordeaux] in 2013. They played Ligeti’s first string quartet, in fact a symbiosis of the works for quartet by Berg and Bartók, with seldomly heard power and poetic precision. There were no moments of intellectual dryness or banality: the Dudok Quartet played lively, respiratory and with concentrated and astute lyricism”

Diapason, Patrick Szersnovicz, July 2014

 

 “[…] The Dudok Quartet offered an exciting concert the next day: these Dutch aren’t afraid of anything! After impressively powerful and precise performances of Ligeti and Xenakis, the Dutch played Mozart’s KV 589 perhaps not quite perfect but with an amazing wealth of timbre and superimposed rhythms, as if it was written in the 20th century. Despite it’s intoxicating grandeur here and there, the String quartet op. 16 by Albéric Magnard cannot escape all criticism. The Dudoks however daringly expressed it’s sensuality and expressionistic energy, which is somewhere in between Reger and Roussel.”

Diapason, Patrick Szersnovicz, May 2013
[click here to view Mr. Szersnovicz opinion after the finals of the competition Quatuors à Bordeaux]

 

“The members of the Dudok Quartet showed an original vision in all of their interpretations, taking commendable risks that are unknown during a competition.”

Okarinamusique.com, May 2013

 

“… In contrast, the Dudok Quartet could score points with vivid energy and excitement. The quartet emphasized sharp accents and virtuosity, but their mastery of the extreme tempi was technically perfect. They played Haydn’s quartet op. 76 no. 5 transparently and with contrapuntal understanding, sometimes with willful phrasing that disregarded the smaller nuances, but always convincingly presenting the entire dramatic arch.” … “Their Mendelssohn op. 80 was played wildly and with dramatic flair. The slow movement was magnificent.”

Carsten Dürer, Ensemble Magazine für Kammermusik, January 2013

 

“They personified the three very different pieces honestly and without frills, with technically adequate and clean playing. Sometimes whispering softly, at others widely cheering, and always playing from the very heart of the music. Their playing was consumed with eagerness.”

Eindhovens Dagblad, January 2012

 

“The Dutch performance was of another level: their “Death and the Maiden” was unequivocally lyrical and dynamical, excellently and passionately played.”

Mój Radom, Polen, December 2011