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The Lockenhaus International Chamber Music Festival is regarded as one of Austria’s most prestigious festivals: it was created by the violinist Gidon Kremer to offer a new vision of chamber music and the opportunity to create musical exchanges in an intimate setting. The cellist Nicolas Altstaedt succeeded Gidon Kremer in 2012 and now continues the spirit of the festival. For this first recording in partnership with Lockenhaus, he is joined by experienced partners, including the Norwegian violinist Vilde Frang, the Hungarian violinist Barnabás Kelemen, the German pianist Alexander Lonquich – whose Schubert double album was recently released on Alpha (Alpha 433) – and the British violist Lawrence Power. Together they have selected two works, the Piano Quintet of Béla Bartók, a demanding composition, rarely performed even though it is considered an intensely personal work, and the String Trio of Sándor Veress, a former student of Bartók. Nicolas Altstaedt has joined Alpha for several recording projects that will illustrate the full range of his talents, in a highly eclectic range of music.

GRAMOPHONE Editor's Choice award Gramophone Classical Music Awards award BBC Music Magazine Awards 2019 award

"Once again, the music is presented in exemplary performances which should prove attractive even to non-specialists."
MusicWeb International
"What makes this CD unmissable is the Veress Trio, a masterpiece and a performance to match. I’ve already pencilled it in as a potential contender for next year’s Gramophone Awards."
"No two ways about it, this is a very offbeat album, particularly in today’s world when so many classical listeners want music to soothe them and rock them to sleep. This one will wake you up, guaranteed!"
Artamag, September 2019
"This great disc has opened my eyes to early Bartók, as well as to the music of a composer new to me. I cannot recommend it enough. Try it: you will not be disappointed. I know I was not!"
MusicWeb, October 2019
"Heau boasts a rich, beautiful sound and a natural lyricism; and he executes technical passages at daring tempos with effortless fingers and articulation. The quartet plays with a somewhat gossamer sound yet has the grace, energy, and command that Mozart requires."
American Record Guide