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Quatuor Hermès,

There is no need by now to introduce the Quatuor Hermès, which has become the most brilliant of the young generation of French quartets thanks to its solid track record of faultless yet never flashy performances.

After a Schumann disc acclaimed by press and public alike, the four musicians offer us here a programme they have been contemplating – and playing – for a long time now. But recording the quartets of Ravel, Debussy and Dutilleux is not something they wanted to undertake lightly after a brief flirtation . . .


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‘This recording just happens to mark our tenth anniversary! But nothing is merely the result of chance: it is also the fruit of time, of all those years we have spent together acquiring a sort of wisdom, that finally persuaded us now was the moment, like a love that flowers slowly.’

The bond between the Quatuor Hermès and these masterly works has led to a recording of exceptional maturity, whose emotional power, poetry and almost incredible fusion grip you right from the first bars of the Ravel and never relax their hold until the final chord of the Debussy Quartet.

The Hermès’s ability to take you by the hand at once and never let go derives from a subtle alchemy in which fluidity in the choice of timbres, colours and moods succeeds in retelling the works’ stories in a fresh and compelling way.

A sort of natural elegance, a balance between spontaneity and profound respect for the great masters, indeed for music itself.


RAVEL / String Quartet in F


  • Allegro moderato 8’16
  • String Quartet in F – Très rythmé 6’12
  • String Quartet in F – Très lent 7’55
  • String Quartet in F – Vif et agité 4’53



DUTILLEUX / String Quartet “Ainsi la nuit”


  • Nocturne 3’02
  • Parenthèse 1, Miroir d’espace 2’03
  • Parenthèse 2, Litanies 2’46
  • Parenthèse 3, Litanies 2 4’22
  • Parenthèse 4, Constellations 2’10
  • Nocturne 2 00’54
  • Temps suspendu 2’27

DEBUSSY / String Quartet in G minor, Op.10


  • Animé et très décidé 6’29
  • Assez vif et bien rythmé 3’51
  • Andantino doucement expressif 7’21
  • Très modéré 7’09



They play with real involvement and a superb range of dynamics.

There is an easygoing coolness and “French” ambience that is really attractive.

With their stellar playing and state-of-the art recording, I am tempted to give the palm to the Quatuor Hermès as my first port of call for these quartets.

The Quatuor Hermès, named after the famous messenger of the gods in Greek mythology, draws its musical force from its role as a go-between linking the composer’s text with the audience’s sensibility. The musicians have also established this identity through their travels around the world. Carnegie Hall in New York, the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing and Wigmore Hall in London are among the venues that have made the greatest impression on them. The quartet also performs at major international festivals.

The group’s original line-up came together in 2008 at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Lyon, where the four musicians studied with the members of the Quatuor Ravel. They went on to enrich their experience with such outstanding personalities as the Quatuor Ysaÿe, the Artemis Quartett, Eberhard Feltz, and later Alfred Brendel, an immense inspiration with whom they still work regularly today. Open to a wide range of repertory, they regularly share the concert platform with illustrious musicians, among them Yo-Yo Ma, Nicholas Angelich, Gregor Sigl, Pavel Kolesnikov, Kim Kashkashian, Anne Gastinel, and the Ébène and Auryn quartets.

The Quatuor Hermès has won numerous first prizes, notably at the Geneva Competition and the Young Concert Artists Auditions in New York. It receives the support of the Fondation Banque Populaire. After being quartet in residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Brussels from 2012 to 2016, it has been associate quartet with the Fondation Singer-Polignac in Paris since 2019.

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