There hasn’t been such a persuasive case for Schoenberg’s music for years, making this CD my new reference recording.
KLASSIK-HEUTE.COM, Martin Blaumeiser, 28/9/2017 - about the Schönberg CD
The Gringolts Quartet played everything with complete clarity and stylistic assurance. The fast movements were played so swiftly that you could only just make out the details, and the calm movements were played with hardly any vibrato. This sensational evening sets high standards for the new Duisburg chamber music concert season.
Beautifully integrated sound; immaculate execution of impeccable, mature interpretations, charismatic on-stage and, above all: they are purely about the music. Striking a fine balance of profundity and humour for both Haydn and Brahms, they left their audience enraptured or tittering in all the right places. They convincingly adapted their sound to be classically vibrato-free for one then full-fat Romantic for the other.
HERALD SCOTLAND, Svend McEwan-Brown, 12/8/2017
Ilya Gringolts's glowing tone and liquid grace score highly. Listen to the expressive but unaffected way he handles the little cadenza at the end of Var 5. Gringolts is never more than first among equals, however, and the Quintet's sunset coda is lovingly handled, the individual strands of the texture beautifully caught in BIS's warm, transparent sound.
GRAMOPHONE, Richard Bratby, April 2016 – about the Taneyev-Glazunov CD
The Gringolts Quartet’s interpretation of Haydn was distinguished by an impressive technical superiority which never appeared to be insincere or superficial. It was as if the audience could observe every detail with a magnifying glass, and even the smallest and most subtle movement produced the maximum expressive effect.
BALLADE.NO, Emil Bernhardt, 01/04/2016
A captivating listening experience and a first-class performance: a full and at the same time deeply focused sound allows the listener to experience the pieces as if from the heart of the action.
RONDO MAGAZIN, Michael Wersin, 06/02/2016 – about the Taneyev-Glazunov CD
Listen to the Gringolts Quartet in the Op.51 No.2 and Op.67 Quartets and you may conclude that they’ve simply not been played right. There’s so much sensitive give and take between the four instruments here, so much intimacy and subtle variation of colour, that the feeling is these are Romantic chamber gems comparable with Schumann’s three Quartets. In the first movement of Op.67 the shifts in rhythmic patterns are handled with the kind of supple freedom even the most refined orchestral conductor could hardly match.
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE, Stephen Johnson, October 2014, on Brahms CD
Like opening the curtains on a sunny morning, this recording throws fresh light on the familiar features of Brahms’s beguiling chamber music. The glorious Piano Quintet in F minor, Op 34, bursts with confidence, the Gringolts and Peter Laul fully conscious of its soaring, symphonic ambition.
OBSERVER, Stephen Pritchard, 22/06/2014, on Brahms CD
Gringolts and his players bring a cool, steely and achingly intense beauty to their interpretation. […] These two fascinating works are well worth getting to know: one obscure from Braunfels and the other by Strauss in an unfamiliar guise. These are deeply felt and impeccably prepared performances rendered in excellent sound: cool, clear and well balanced.
MUSIC WEB INTERNATIONAL, Michael Cookson, 13/02/2013 on Braunfels/Strauss-CD
Led by the incisive Ilya Gringolts (…) the Gringolts Quartet puts Schumann’s mercurial yet troubled psyche under an intense spotlight. They use every means at their disposal to draw out more disturbing elements of the quartets: the beginning of no.1 emerges as sombre as medieval plainsong, silences are full of unspoken menace. (…) The more joyous moments are undimmed, with the Piano Quintet going great guns and Gringolts’s violin-playing dancing through enchantingly nuanced passagework in the finale of the Quartet no.2. (…) Original, personal and beautifully played, these performances prove that there are as many facets to Schumann’s quartets as there are ensembles to play them. A different and fascinating take.
CLASSICFM.COM, June 2012, on Schumann CD
Ilya Gringolts and his friends never let the tension drop. Amplified by the acoustics of the Lutheran Church of St. Petersburg, the sound of the ensemble, led by its fiery first violinist, cannot be beat. The transparent polyphony of the first Andante espressivo, along with the clarity of the accompanying voices and the sophisticated use of tone colours, stood in direct contrast to the biting but playful scherzo, and added to the performance’s poetic appeal.
DIAPASON, Jean Cabourg, January 2012 on Schumann CD
These artists are brilliant masters of their craft. The determined moaning of the viola or cello, flanked by gently restrained violins, was full of the protagonists’ intensity and subtle phrasing.
SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, Udo Watter, 14/01/2012