Enso String Quartet
Maureen Nelson, violin
John Marcus, violin
Melissa Reardon, viola
Richard Belcher, cello
"Thrillingly athletic performance"
--The Washington Post
With a 2010 Grammy Award nomination for "Best Chamber Music Performance," the New York City–based Enso String Quartet has quickly become one of the country's most exciting young ensembles. In addition to the success of their recordings, the Enso Quartet's live concerts have been highlighted by audiences and critics alike for having an "edge-of-the-seat vitality few groups maintain throughout a performance" (Houston Chronicle).
For their Fortas debut, they play a preview of their upcoming Naxos recording, String Quartets of the Great Opera Masters - Verdi, Puccini, and R. Strauss. According to Enso Quartet, each composer had quite different inspirations--Puccini wrote Chrysanthemums as an elegy for a friend; Strauss had been fascinated with and studied the string quartets of Haydn, Mendelssohn, and Schumann; while Verdi wrote his sole quartet at the request of some string players during postponed rehearsals of Aïda due to an indisposed lead soprano. The results show remarkable glimpses into the rest of their work: Puccini's is wonderfully lush, lyrical, and emotional; Verdi's shows a masterful display of different characters and moods; and Strauss's overflows with the typical effervescence and assuredness of his youthful compositions.