Over the centuries, the city of Oaxaca has brought forth into the world many outstanding artistic personalities, be they painters, sculptors, writers, or musicians. Such is the case of the Martínez-Bourget String Quartet, whose members constitute the only chamber music ensemble in Mexico entirely made up of siblings; these two brothers and two sisters have nurtured a musical personality based on their strong family ties, both with painters as well as with local musicians.
Pablo Arturo and Ekaterine (violins), Alessia (viola) and César (violoncello) were disciples of their father, Arturo Martínez San Juan, since early childhood. Later they would continue their musical studies in the Ollin Yolitztli Cultural Center in Mexico City, and still later in heralded institutions such as the Royal Conservatory in Ghent, Belgium, the Maastricht Conservatory in the Netherlands, and in Houston University’s Moores School of Music in the U.S., where they worked with prestigious teachers such as Michael Kugel, Natalia Gvozdetskaya, and Vagram Saradjian, among others.
The talent and discipline of these four musicians has led their being recipients of numerous awards and distinctions in competitions within Mexico and beyond its borders, increasing their prestige and cohesion as an artistic group. Their professional activities include concerts in Germany, Korea, the U.S., the Philippines, the Netherlands, Israel, Japan, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.
The quartet´s repertoire spans music ranging from the Baroque period up to the present day, with special emphasis given to works by Mexican composers such as Manuel M. Ponce, Rodolfo Halffter, Carlos Chávez, and Silvestre Revueltas.
Regarding the body of works which are included in this recording, it is safe to say that the uniformity involved in interpretative decisions; i.e., dynamics, phrasing, bowings, and unwritten (but necessary) variables in the tempi—denote the high professionalism of this ensemble. One senses an extreme care made manifest in the balance of sound, as well as an infallible rhythmic precision, aspects which are especially important in Revueltas´s intricate writing. However, by no means does this prototype of exigency imply that the application of fantasy and the search for an ample range of heretofore unknown sonorous possibilities have been ignored. Au contraire. This CD of the Martínez-Bourget String Quartet is characterized by the freshness and warmth of one of the crowning achievements of 20th - Century Mexican chamber music: Silvestre Revueltas’s four string quartets.
D.M.A Alejandro Barrañon and Ph. D. Laura Gema Flores.