Quatuor Arthur-Leblanc  


Le Soleil, Richard Boisvert

"...le quatuor a réussi à faire avaler un répertoire qu'on croit habituellement réservé à une élite. Avec eux, la musique prend vie...nous étions avec bonheur suspendus à leurs archets."

Toronto Star, John Terauds

"Quatuor Arthur-LeBlanc...presents the best kind of classical music – thoughtful as well as emotionally engaged." (for the complete review, click here)

Victoria Times Colonist, Deryk Barker

"... a thoroughly idiomatic and engrossing performance, it should arguably have come with a government warning: performances this good are likely to lead to addiction, even among first-time listeners ... my abiding impression is of being swept away by the fire of the performance, definitely one of the finest I have ever heard."

Le Devoir, François Tousignant

"Sans peine, les archets nous mènent dans les méandres beethoveniens (op. 131) avec une unité de ton et d'ensemble remarquable...intelligence dans le phrasé, sonorité particulière de l'ensemble, chaude et pleine."

Globe & Mail, Ken Winters

"... imaginative and refreshing artistry ... this performance ... was a wonder, dizzying yet very splendid."

Radio-Canada FM, Midi-Culture, François Tousignant

"Arrive le Quatuor Arthur-LeBlanc...le moment de grâce."

Ottawa Citizen, Richard Todd

"When musicians can make you hear with new ears a score as familiar as Mozart's Quartet in D, K. 575, it must be said that they are passing from excellence to greatness."

"The gentle elegance and soft sunshine of the interpretation was beyond praise. It was as beautiful a performance as you are likely to hear."

"The LeBlanc Quartet was full of passion and steam, not to mention virtuoso ensemble playing; high level of musicianship."

"The performance proved, if proof were needed, that the Leblancs are one of Canada's finest chamber ensembles."

Toronto Star, John Lehr

"...unity of feeling and execution"

Voir, François Desmeules

"...le nec plus ultra canadien."

Globe & Mail, Elissa Poole

"New Brunswick has a secret, and it's a string quartet - a very good string quartet - called Quatuor Arthur-LeBlanc."

The Gazette, Arthur Kaptainis

"Quatuor Arthur-LeBlanc plays Haydn, Murphy and Grieg: top notable-10 list of the year in classical music...silky sound and strong expression give this disc a distinctive edge."

Globe & Mail, Philip Anson

"...the superb Moncton based Quatuor Arthur-LeBlanc."

Otto Joachim

"Their sense of intonation is impeccable, their ensemble playing one of the best...very high caliber."

Kelly-Marie Murphy

"...great champions of my music, I feel truly honored and privileged to have worked with them. I know them to be artists of the highest caliber with a strong commitment to Canadian music and culture."

Quatuor Arthur-Leblanc rocks

Toronto Star

Nov 14, 2007

John Terauds
Classical Music Critic

Four young New Brunswickers are treated like rock stars when they tour China and Japan, but barely register a ripple among chamber-music diehards in Toronto.

But we should heed the Asians. Quatuor Arthur-Leblanc, which played at the Jane Mallett Theatre for Music Toronto last night, presents the best kind of classical music – thoughtful as well as emotionally engaged.

There are no theatrics here, either in stage behaviour or in inflated contrasts and dynamics. Rather, this quartet shapes every part and every phrase into a cohesive, compelling whole.

As one of two ensembles-in-residence for Music Toronto this season, you should make a point of catching their next Toronto performance, on March 25.

Last night's program registered high in natural intensity, containing Dmitri Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 4 as well as Franz Schubert's String Quartet No. 14, better known as "Death and the Maiden." It started with the Vivace from André Prévost's String Quartet No. 1.

One of the unifying elements was the rock-solid musical and technical core needed to carry off this difficult music. This is something violinists Hibiki Kobayashi and Brett Molzan, violist Jean-Luc Plourde and cellist Ryan Molzan have in abundance.

They presented the difficulties with smoothed edges and elegant phrasings. It was the soapstone equivalent of rock-solid – and all the more beautiful for it.

The group has been working hard recently on Shostakovich's Quartets, and this was probably the most subtle interpretation possible of his characteristic passages from tension to release. A few times, the music was almost too pretty to have come from the pen of that fraught Soviet-era composer.

The quartet gets its name from a great Acadian violinist and composer, Arthur Leblanc, who died in 1985. In a funny twist of fate, the quartet laded a residency at the University of Laval in Quebec City, a place where Leblanc, known for his poised playing, taught as well.

But he never got to play in Asia.