Fazil Say & casalQuartett – Ballads & Quintets

Artists: Fazil Say & casalQuartett

Title: Ballads & Quintets

Catalogue No.: SM 340

Release: 02.10.2020


With his extraordinary pianistic talents, Fazıl Say has been touching audiences and critics alike for more than twenty-five years, in a way that has become rare in the increasingly materialistic and elaborately organised classical music world. Concerts with this artist are something different. They are more direct, more open, more exciting; in short, they go straight to the heart.

On the CD now being released by Solo Musica together with the casalQuartett “Ballads & Quintets” there are two works by Fazil Say in addition to the Piano Quintet in E flat major op. 44 by Schumann. The casalQuartett, which has won numerous awards, has developed itself a unique sound and style that sheds new light on the heyday of the string quartet.

The 3 Ballads op. 12 for Piano Quintet were originally solo piano ballads, which were rearranged especially for this publication for piano quintet. The piano quintet “The Moving Mansion” breathes new life into stories of the past. The background is a spectacular tale about the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Backcover & Playlist & Video

casalQuartett – Beethoven’s World 1799 – 1851 (5 CD-Box)

Artist: casalQuartett

Title: Beethovens Welt 1799 – 1851 (5 CD-Box)

Catalogue No.: SM 283

Release: 25.09.2020


Throughout history, the cultural legacy of some geniuses has been of such universal magnitude that its aftermath has spread far beyond the narrow confines of the actual field of their activity. In a study of the University of Cambridge, which is dedicated to the ranking of the 100 most important, most influential personalities in history, Ludwig van Beethoven is ranked 27th.

Beethoven‘s place in the history of music over the following decades and centuries is not comparable to that of his immediate contemporaries. While the pianist Beethoven caused a furore and was admired at a young age, his works caused astonishment and confusion from the very beginning, and often met with frowning criticism. Of course, there were also other, more positive voices. While Beethoven was at the height of his career in the middle phase of his life until about 1815, in recent years, the resentments against his misunderstood late style and the supposedly increasing oddness of its author grew. Nonetheless, the respect shown to him by the international music community increased until the end of his life, culminating in a funeral that the city had never seen before.

The casalQuartett‘s five-part Concert & CD project explores the phenomenon of Beethoven‘s impact on his time, or, conversely, how other musicians influenced him. For however peculiar and original Beethoven was: Without his era, as it was, he too would have become someone else.

Backcover & Playlist & Videos

4 Videos zur Beethoven-Box:

Casal Quartett – Paul Müller-Zürich

Artist: Casal Quartett & Razvan Popovici

Title: Paul Müller-Zürich

Catalogue No.: SM 287

Release: 22.03.2019


“For me, tradition does not mean persistence, but transformation and growth. It might seem that a composer who still pays homage to tonality remains in such tradition-boundness out of comfort. It turns out, however, that the pursuit of tonal order constantly challenges him with new questions and decisions for which there are no recipes. ”
With his commitment to tonality, Müller-Zürich seemed to justify itself at a time when the avant-garde after the Second World War vilified all sound and harmony. In fact, however, his works are neither epigonal nor even retrogressive, but have their very own tone, which, a quarter of a century after his death, must be rediscovered. His large-scale string works (quintet with 2 violas 1919 & quartet 1921) are lush, colorful sound paintings full of passion and sophistication that can compete with Reger, Mahler and young Strauss. The later string trio from 1950 shines as a virtuoso, neoclassical bravura piece. With these three first recordings on CD, casalQuartett and Razvan Popovici set a magnificent sounding monument to the great Swiss.

Backcover & Playlist

Casal Quartett – Russian Treasures

Artists: Casal Quartett

Title: Russian Treasures – Titz – Glasunow – Tschaikowsky

Catalogue No.: SM 241

Release: 02.12.2016


From the very beginning, St. Petersburg – the gloriously petrified vision of Tsar Peter the Great, was a city of art and music. The highest paid employee in the Tsarist palace was a violinist from Nuremberg: Anton Ferdinand Titz. He dedicated his life to chamber music. With his colorful, brilliant quartets in the tradition of the ‘Wiener Klassik’ he himself founded a Russian tradition around 1800.
Decades later Alexander Glazunov made big sensation as a young composing dare devil. During his magnificent 1st symphony he also wrote the 5 Novellettes op. 15. The witty, energetic set of masterpieces is full of technical refinements and glamorous esprit, but also filled with deep emotional devotion. Within them one breathes the spirit and the joy of discovery of the Petersburg salons.
Russian chambermusic triumphed in Tchaikovsky’s successfull quartet debut and finally caught up with the musical capitals of Europe. Its overwhelming orchestral sonority meets Russian melos and passionate virtuos vitality. With its latest CD, the casalQuartett presents known and newly discovered gems from the musical treasure chest of Old Russia.


Quartett Nr. 3 a-Moll  Anton Ferdinand Titz
Siciliano affetuoso – Allegro di molto agitato 6:45
Romance 3:59
Polonaise 4:29
Novelettes op. 15 Alexander Konstantinowitsch Glaszunow
Alla Spagnola 6:35
Orientale 3:48
Interludium in modo antico 4:25
La Valse 6:05
All’ Ungherese 7:59
Quartett Nr. 1 D-Dur op.11 Peter Ijitsch Tschaikowsky
Moderato e semplice 10:53
Andante cantabile 6:48
Scherzo: Allegro non tanto 3:50
Finale: Allegro giusto 9:00

Casal Quartett – Genesis 1757 – F. X. Richter

Artists: Casal Quartett

Title: Genesis 1757 – F. X. Richter – Sieben Streichquartette op. 5

Catalogue No.: SM 184 – 2 Hybrid SACDs

Release: 09.06.2014


Franz Xaver Richter (1709-1789) – The true inventor of the string quartet?

An ominous foreboding, blood in the snow, a corpse in winter …
These is the story of a tragic incident which took place near the court of the Duke of Hildburghausen in 1757, and forms part of the unusual credentials of a man who avoided a fatal end only by a hair’s breadth because he chose to play string quartets. In his memoirs, the violinist and composer Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf recalls refusing an invitation to take a ride in a horse-drawn sleigh due to a premonition. As a consequence, while Dittersdorf was playing first violin with his brothers in the court orchestra, a young man sitting next to the coachman on the sleigh ride was killed due to reckless driving. Stimulated with high-quality coffee and indulging in the finest tobacco, Dittersdorf named the celebrated composer of that era whose works they were playing that evening: Franz Xaver Richter, the Mannheim master of counterpoint and a composer of the most exquisite chamber music and symphonies.

Recent research by musicologists shows it is safe to assume that those works were very likely the seven quartets of opus 5, which are now to be released for the first time in a complete recording on the SOLO MUSICA label. Two exceptional CDs have been compiled, in cooperation with the SWR broadcasting company, featuring the casalQuartett from Zurich, an ensemble that won an ECHO Klassik award in 2010. As was the case on their previous two “BIRTH of the STRING QUARTET” CDs, this release features some almost unknown examples of stunningly beautiful string quartets played on four unique instruments by Jacobus Stainer, one of the most-sought-after European violin-makers of the 18th century. This release represents a milestone in the string literature, bringing to life works written 250 years ago, and it makes the case for a well-earned revival of one of the founding fathers of the string quartet.


Quartett C-Dur op. 5/1
Quartett g-Moll op. 5/5b
Quartett D-Dur op.5/6
Quartett A-Dur op. 5/3
Quartett Es-Dur op.5/4
Quartett B-Dur op. 5/2
Quartett G-Dur op.5/5

Casal Quartett – Birth Of The String Quartet Vol. 2

Artists: Casal Quartett

Title: Birth Of The String Quartet Vol. 2

Catalogue No.: SM 143

Release: 24.10.2011


For the first time recorded entirely on Jacobus Stainer instruments.
Telemann, Guillemain, Haydn, Mozart. The German classic-magazine “Fono Forum” wrote 2010 about “Birth Of The String Quartet Vol. 1: “An overwhelming hearing experience“. Summer 2010 this product was winning the prestigious ECHO KLASSIK award for „Best recording in Chamber music 17/18th Century“.Never before a String Quartet had four valuables instruments of the violin maker Jacobus Stainer from the 1650 century available, never before a String Quartet has sounded in such a way.With VOL. 2 of this series the Casal Quartett moves the French and German roots of the kind in the center. Beside works of Guillemain and Telemann you can listen to one of the early Viennese quartets of Mozart and from Haydn the first masterpieces from op. 76. With this performers and these instruments the real Sound of the 18. Century will be present for the first time.


Sonate V Georg Philipp Telemann
Quartett op. 12/2 h-moll Louis Gabriel Guillemain
Allegro moderato
Aria grazioso. Altro
Streichquartett KV 170 C-Dur Wolfgang Amadé Mozart
Thema. Menuetto
Un poco Adagio
Rondeaux. Allegro
Streichquartett op. 76/1 G-Dur Hob. III:75 Joseph Haydn
Allegro con spirito
Adagio sostenuto
Finale. Allegro ma non troppo

Casal Quartett – Intenso

Artists: Casal Quartett

Title: Intenso

Catalogue No.: SM 139

Release: 18.10.2010


After their latest release “Birth of string quartet”, played on historical instruments andoverwhelmed with the highest ratings, the casalQuartett is now releasing a new CD called “Intenso”. This time in a very different way: it combines three of the most
expressive and challenging scores of 19, 20, and 21 Century on one CD. Ludwig van Beethoven eruptive “Serioso” Quartet Op 95, Leos Janacek’s harrowing drama of love, the “Kreutzer Sonata” and the limits of playability reaching “First Quartet “Burst rate” of the German Siemens Award winner Dieter Ammann.

All three composers were in their time and go to the pain threshold of the possible and feasible, and so compress their music to works beyond human imagination. The casalQuartett, the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung attests them “Chamber Music in age, intensity to the ends of the playable, passion, temperament, expression, and tonal variety”, extend their catalogue with “Intenso” with adding another exciting facet.


String Quartet op. 95 F-Major – Ludwig van Beethoven
01 Allegro con brio
02 Allegretto ma non troppo
03 Allegro assai vivace ma serioso
04 Larghetto espressivo. Allegretto agitato

String Quartet No. 1 – Leos Janacek

05 Adagio
06 Con moto
07 Con moto
08 Con moto

String Quartet No. 1 – “Geborstener Satz” – Dieter Ammann
09 Molto Ritmico

Casal Quartett – Birth of the String Quartet

Artists: Casal Quartett

Title: Birth of the String Quartet

Catalogue No.: SM 126

Release: 23.10.2009


For the first time recorded entirely on Jacobus Steiner instruments Scarlatti, Boccherini, Haydn, Mozart

The Jubilee Year 2009 celebrates Joseph Haydn as the most important representatives of the Viennese classics in addition to Mozart. Among its greatest achievements is undoubtedly the “invention” of the string quartet. While typically each student begins with this fascinating genre by Haydn, illuminates the casal quartet with the project “The sound of the 18th century,” the various ways to the creation of the European String Quartet. In Italy, France and Germany, four-part instrumental in the 1 Half of the 18th Century are more and more important. In the first CD of the quartet casal on this issue comes next to the masters of the early classical GF Telemann most outstanding protagonists of Italian gets a chance to speak: JB. Sammartini and Alessandro Scarlatti are preparing, which eventually flows amazingly modern with Luigi Boccherini’s String Quartet in real. Another early milestone of the genre is the Quartet, K. 170 by W.A. Mozart, recorded here also for this CD. For the goal of the development end of the 18th century is finally Haydn’s String Quartet in G major, Op 76 / 1. For these recordings the quartet casal where supplied with a complete set of unique instruments of the Austrian violin-maker Jacob Stainer from the years around 1650. Their sound was considered until the early 19th century as an absolute Ideal.

Awarded with the Echo Klassic 2010


01 Sonate a quattro d-moll – Alessandro Scarlatti
02 Sinfonia per archi G-Dur – Giovanni Battista Sammartini
03 Streichquartett KV 80 G-Dur „Lodi“ – Wolfgang Amadé Mozart
04 Konzertstück Nr.1 f-moll op.11 – WASSILIJ BRANDT
05 Konzertstück Nr.2 Es-dur op.12 – WASSILIJ BRANDT
06 Streichquartett op. 2/1 in c-moll – Luigi Boccherini
07 Streichquartett op. 9/4 d-moll – Joseph Haydn

Casal Quartett – Tango Sensations

Artists: Casal Quartett

Title: Tango Sensations

Catalogue No.: SM 106

Release: 08.12.2006


Due to economic rather than artistic reasons, the modern concert-business opens its doors more and more to socalled crossover-projects. This display of music`s universal coherence sometimes looks rather forced or superficial. Some love the idea and tend to go to concerts more often, whereas purists stay at home.

Few genres in music tend to be as traditional and conservative as the string quartet. Its repertoire is vast and features music of all styles since the 17th century. The core-repertoire from Haydn, Beethoven through to Bartók and Schostakowitsch dominates the stage. Unfortunately we still meet producers who stubbornly reject an expansion of the repertoire and refuse contemporary music or even a new idea of how to play a Haydn quartet today. We believe that the versatility of stringquartet music will save the genre from a premature fate. One lifetime is too short to play everything that has been written for quartet. So if we play, it should be the music that appeals to us most, if it be a fourvoice invention of the renaissance, late Beethoven, Erwin Schulhoff or Astor Piazzolla. Those who look at Piazzolla`s life and compositions closely without just listening to his »hits«, will be amazed what a rollercoaster ride he went through. He grew up with jazz; the traditional tango fed him for a long time. With Alberto Ginastera he conquered classical and new music and left Argentinia and finally, the composer Nadja Boulanger led him to his destiny to give the tango a new definition.

As with any good music, the result had to go through a time of evolvement that certainly has not come to an end yet. Encounters with the Argentinian musicians Giora Feidman (clarinet) and Michael Zisman (bandoneon) have helped us to understand tango as a »foreign« culture much better. We hope that every listener will feel this inspiration on this CD. Michael Zisman recorded with us those »Tango Sensations«, that seemed specially important to Piazzolla. They sound different from what we normaly expect from him. They are intimate, vulnerable, uniquely his, painful, sometimes angry. They are always the work of a great composer who honestly shows what he feels.


01  Butcher’s Death – Astor Piazzolla
02  C est I`Amour – Astor Piazzolla
03  Michelangelo – Astor Piazzolla
04  Milonga del Angel – Astor Piazzolla
05  Fuga – Astor Piazzolla
06  La Ultima Grela – Astor Piazzolla
07  Oblivion – Astor Piazzolla
08  Escualo – Astor Piazzolla
09  Lo que vendra – Astor Piazzolla
10  La Casita de mis Viejos – Astor Piazzolla
11  Loca Bohemia – Astor Piazzolla
12  Asleep – Astor Piazzolla
13  Loving – Astor Piazzolla
14  Anxiety – Astor Piazzolla
15  Despertar – Astor Piazzolla
16  Fear – Astor Piazzolla
17  Chiliquin de Bachin/Ballada para un Loco – Astor Piazzolla