What repertoire should you play for your first recording?

01.29.19
The Strad

If making an audio recording feels like the right step, consider the following: ‘If it’s a self-release, there’s no point doing it until you have a good string of concerts coming up, because that’s where audiences tend to buy CDs by young artists,’ says City Music Foundation artist manager Tabitha McGrath. Plus, according to HarrisonParrott director Lydia Connolly, you should ‘Record only if you really have something to say with that repertoire. Ideally, your recorded statement should be part of a larger strategy.’ 

Enter here the Calidore Quartet, recent graduates of the BBC New Generation Artists scheme, whose debut Signum Classics album, Resilience, was released last October. The group now has four recordings under its belt, the first of which was made in 2014 at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, where the players studied.

‘We felt that in terms of creating a professional persona it was absolutely essential to come out with our first album,’ says the group’s cellist Estelle Choi. ‘It was really a calling card to be able to show people in those early stages that, yes, we are staying together and are a professional string quartet. The pieces we chose – Haydn’s op.76 no.3 (the “Emperor”) and Mendelssohn’s Second Quartet, op.13 – were very familiar to us and really spoke to who we were.
 
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