- String Quartet in D major, M. 9
- String Quartet in E minor, Op. 121
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The one and only string quartet of César Franck and the one and only string quartet of Gabriel Fauré are only superficially alike. Franck's 1889 quartet is a big, four-movement, late-Romantic behemoth with lush sonorities, highly charged themes, and extremely sonorous climaxes, while Fauré's 1924 quartet is a lean, three-movement, post-Romantic introvert with clean sonorities, deeply inward themes, and intensely concentrated climaxes. Both works are given entirely sensitive and wholly appropriate performances on this 2008 Hyperion disc by the England's Dante Quartet. The Franck effort is massively formal and emotionally forward, with weighty tempos and warm harmonies. The Fauré is structurally balanced and emotionally reserved, with fleet tempos and molded harmonies. Separately, each performance is entertaining and convincing. Together, they are edifying and compelling. Recorded in lucid but evocative digital sound, this disc is as good as it gets in this repertoire.