Maurice Ravel, DEBUSSY: String Quartet No 1 / RAVEL: String Quartet in F / Introduction and Allegro

Gavin Borchert

By Gavin Borchert

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Seductive quartets from two French masters.

Almost invariably paired on disc with Ravel's 1903 Quartet, Debussy's 1893 Quartet in G Minor was actually modeled on, of all works, Grieg's sonorous quartet in the same key — an influence most noticeable, perhaps, in Debussy's sweetly tuneful slow movement. Evanescent color and rhythmic animation mark both works, with Debussy perhaps more interested in sensuous lushness and Ravel in transparent textures. With just the addition of two winds and a harp, Ravel turns the string quartet into a chamber orchestra in his seductive Introduction and Allegro.