Each quartet bears a descriptive title. The first, Już sie; zmierzcha [Already dusk is falling], is named after the opening line of a motet by a Polish Renaissance composer. The second, Quasi una fantasia invokes Beethoven, acknowledged by Górecki himself as his muse for his first two string quartets. The title of the third quartet, songs are sung, comes from a line by the Russian poet Velimir Khlebnikov.
The Molinari Quartet has established itself as one of Canada's leading string quartets and has received nineteen Opus Prizes from the Quebec Music Council in recognition of its musical excellence. Critics describe the Molinari Quartet as an essential and prodigious ensemble, and Canada's answer to the Kronos or Arditti Quartet.
The Molinari Quartet's recordings on ATMA Classique include the complete quartets of Schafer, Schnittke, Kurtág, and Gubaidulina. These albums have received international critical acclaim including two Editors Choices by Gramophone magazine and rave reviews from The Strad, Fanfare, and Diapason, among others. The Molinari's recording of the complete Kurtàg quartets received a 2016 Diapason d'Or and the 2017 Echo Klassik award for 20th and 21st century chamber music.
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