In the Press
Characterised by poise, imagination and a pleasing sense of fantasy. Her Preludes are striking for their rhetorical diversity, her Sarabandes are intensely expressive, her Allemandes are graceful and reflective and her Gigues are spirited and firmly projected. The Courantes and Galanteries offer numerous other delights.— The Strad, about Bach (2011)
Höhepunkt des Programms in der Stadthalle war der Auftritt der niederländischen Cellistin Quirine Viersen. Vom Orchester hellwach begleitet, ließ sie auf ihrem edlen Guarneri-Cello Joseph Haydns Cellokonzert C-Dur ertönen – mit so viel Spannung und Ausdruck, dass man das berühmte Stück ganz neu zu entdecken glaubte. Wie magisch zog die Solistin das Publikum in ihren Bann, gestaltete Ton für Ton voller Intensität.— Rheinische Post
Quirine Viersen begon haar mini-festival sterk met Waltons Celloconcert. Met zijn elegische melodieën biedt het concert precies het soort muzikale introspectie waar in Viersen blijkbaar excelleert.— NRC
Viersen in particular gave the performance of the cello part of the Schubert Octet you would hope to hear in heaven. The cello in the Octet has a subsidiary, speak-only-when-you-are-spoken-to kind of part, but her every nuance was serenely paced, and her interpretation of the awkward phrase shapes in the cello variation of the Andante were very special.— The Arts Desk
This Wigmore Hall concert of Prohaska, Eberle and Friends will live in the memory thanks to Viersen’s life-enhancing cello playing.
Aus Quirine Viersens feinnervigem, flüssigem Cellospiel winkt Lehrmeister Heinrich Schiff und der virtuose Bach-Interpret heraus, ohne dass der ureigene, emotional mitschwingende und warm gefärbte Grundton ins Wanken gerät. Hoch ist der Grad an Selbstreflexion, da sitzt jede Phrasierung und jede Akzentuierung wirkt in schönster Engführung mit dem Orchester passgenau kalkuliert.— Nordbayern.de
So erklingt Schumanns tragisch umwehtes, das noch in der Nervenheilanstalt rastlos überarbeitete Cellokonzert in a-moll wie in sakrale Strenge und große Weite getaucht: kein rhapsodischer Schwanengesang, sondern ein zergliederter, atemloser Bericht einer bereits erlebten Katastrophe. So wird in dieser Wiedergabe folgerichtig erkannt, dass […] nicht die Selbstäußerung des Solisten das entscheidende ist, sondern wie die kompositorischen Kräfte aus einem beredten Dialog mit dem Orchester fließen.
Quirine Viersen gave a rip-roaring Dvorak. It probably goes without saying that her reading was intense but she combined, as few players can, a sense of technical control and lyrical abandon. Passionate yet unsentimental, she drew out rhapsodic melodies one after another with high-tension bowing and a precise, fluid left hand on the fingerboard; the outer movements were dazzlingly virtuosic, and the central Adagio heart-meltingly touching.— The Oregonian
The first part of Brahms’ Cello Sonata in e minor has seldom been played so beautiful in detail as well as so organic in its entirety. Even Chopins’ Polonaise Brilliante seems to make technical poor demands on these two musicians.— Fono Forum
The Cello concerto was written for Rostropovich and dedicated to him, so it is surprising that there seems to have been no previous recording of it. Quirine Viersen plays the work with the appropriate mixture of tenderness and fire, the incisive and nutty tone of her 1715 Joseph Guarnerius Filius Andreae cello being particularly well captured by the vivid recording.— HR Audio, about Glière *****
The exultant, virtuoso spirit of Mendelssohn’s Octet comes surging off the page in this all-star live performance. There is an engaging vitality and sense of inspiration caught on the wing from Tetzlaff and colleagues that is just that extra bit special. The ripely expressive, urgently spontaneous and masterfully played account from Avi’s remarkable line-up is quite simply in a class of its own.— The Strad, about Mendelssohn
Quirine Viersen hoeft er niet aan te twijfelen dat haar idee van ‘Bach als balsem voor de ziel’ door de concerten en cd-opname bij vele luisteraars zal aankomen.— Volkskrant, about Bach (2011) ****
Technische problemen bestaan voor haar niet, ze speelt met het grootste gemak, evenwichtig, plezierig, soms zelfs terloops.— NRC, about Bach (2011) ****
Her Preludes are more questing than assertive, but she always manages to find their emotional climax. She is also discursive in the fiendishly difficult and often wayward Allemandes, with their complex conversational lines, but for me her most memorable readings are of the Sarabands, which really come alive in her hands. They range from the inconsolable (D minor Suite) to the nobly serene (C major Suite) and are all self-communing, with wonderfully rich tone and bow control on their many spread chords.— HR Audio, about Bach (2011) *****
Unusually, she manages to find more humour than often heard in these Suites, with ‘attitude’ in the more rhythmic dance. Little chuckle-like turns and throw-away cadences are also very touching. I was also impressed with her ability to parse the seemingly unending ‘stream of conciousness’ melodies so typical of Bach, and to make the implied separate voices quite conversational, by alternating the dynamics of question-answer sections.
Her recording of the Bach Suites (2011) is a light and gentle reading, and similarly her bowing on this new disc is light enough to articulate the references to the Bach that are scattered through all three of Britten’s suites – although nowhere more than in the First, and in particular in the Fuga, where those references are made readily discernible by Viersen without losing any subtlety.— Gramophone, about Britten
The direction also often flows towards the centre of her phrases, rather than the end: the implied (although not actual) presence of a Baroque bow is very firm, and as a result the legacy of the Bach suites is uppermost in this elegant recording.
Muzikaal-technisch levert Viersen een fenomenale prestatie, maar zij kruipt bovendien met groot gevoel achter de noten en geeft er een lading aan die je in ontzag doet toehoren.— Trouw, about Britten *****
Viersen plays this music with notable accuracy mixed with a passionate determination that goes a long way, […] her overall accuracy is quite remarkable. She also expresses certain elements with humor that balances the angry attitude necessary for much of this music.— American Record Guide, about Britten
She brings clarity of both vision and articulation. Her rhythms are taut and the music flows naturally, whether in the narrative of the Cantos or the more purely musical exercising of the various Fugas. Each suite feels like a journey, rather than a collection of individual movements, and there’s a special poignancy to the more mortality-aware Third Suite, culminating in a deeply felt Passacaglia. A recording of the three suites that can stand alongside the best.— The Strad, about Britten
Throughout Quirine Viersen has sufficient technique and an informed musicianship to shape the lines most convincingly as well as adding ‘impromptu’ ornamentation that beautifully embellishes the music. The sheer energy and sense of vivaciousness is awe inspiring.— HR Audio, about Haydn *****
Characterised by poise, imagination and a pleasing sense of fantasy— The Strad, about Bach (2011 recording)