Great response to the concert of the ALEA Ensemble, an Austrian formation, which has taken place to the joy of the visitors for the first time [... in Pésaro]. [...]
In the first part of the program the Divertimento Hob.V/20 by Haydn [was performed] with extreme clarity and absolute technical precision - as well as an arrangement of the duo K424 by Mozart, a partially augmented and rewritten trio work of the composer [...] Gerhard Praesent [...] Thanks to the skill of the composer it was difficult to separate Mozarts autograph work from the contemporary supplements which achieved the uniformity and balanced expression much sought for by Praesent, who also enriched the evening by presenting the individual pieces [...] through his explanations.
In the second part of the concert three works were Italian premieres: "Tres Dados" by Gerhard Praesent, characterized by rhythmic and harmonic concise and original composition, then "Invention Trio" by Marco Reghezza and Miniatures by Igmar Jenner, all pieces that [ ...] confirmed the necessity [to serve] to the public not only classic sounds but also works a with a different view [...] by young authors of our time, without ever losing technical skills or intense expression.
(Antonella Ferraro in "www.inscenagiornale.it/3039-2" - July 13 2016, translated)
"Pluralism Pure - or: Diversity is Fun"
[...] The ALEA-Ensemble played fulminantly and spiritedly, passionately settling on the fine interpretation of the works. The total engagement of the musicians was impressive.
The trio "At night" [...] by Graham Waterhouse [...] is a breathtaking drama that collapses back into nothing at the end of a deep dark developement with constantly increasing gestures. [...] In Igmar Jenners three-part "Melanchodia" for 2 violins and cello, the jazzy improvisation of the performer-composer in the middle part is framed by a tender sad melody [...]
After the intermission the great "Fantasia in G" for piano trio by Herbert Blendinger was performed.. The ravishing rhapsodic work in the spirit of late Romanticism and German Expressionism, is especially demaning in the piano part and isn´t – in any respect – inferior to relevant pieces by Reger or Pfitzner; it should make a repertoire piece for established piano trios worldwide [...]
The "Trio intricato" [...] of Gerhard Praesent, an extremely difficult and complex work, [...] found an excellent interpretation, thus forming a worthy finale to a highly contrasting and for that reason – despite all the challenges to performers and listeners – an entertaining art afternoon.
(Franz Zebinger STB-Mitteilungen 1-2/12)
The ALEA Quartet .... charmed his audience with the first presentation of a work called "Fantasy Quartet" by composer Gerhard Praesent in which he in some ways revived [...] four piano compositions written by Wolfgang Amadeus [Mozart] remarkably well mating to each other – also very much to the obvious joy of the interpreters.
The central and special highlight of the evening nevertheless retained an anticipation of Felix Mendelssohn's 200th anniversary [...] Since his compositions are too rarely seen on concert programs, therefore alone his String Quartet in F minor was welcomed [...], yet moreover in an interpretation that made quickly forget all the disadvantages of the hall not really ideal for musical performances.
(Ernst Scherzer ÖMZ 7/08)
"Klassik meets Jazz“ (CD: STB 08/01). This could well be called 'String Quartet Meets Vibraphone'. The pieces involving Berndt Luef are easy listening: At Nightfall and La Carretera are attractive and elegantly played; his Sonntag in der Kleinstadt (Sunday in a Small Town) has Sigrid Präsent enjoying herself in the soupy-vibrato-and-portamento mode of so many violinists presented with anything jazzy. [...]
Eröd´s solo-violin GeburtstagsPRÄSENT, played with assured simplicity by Sigrid, is followed by his Third String Quartet of 2003. This is a powerful andconcentrated work, which the ALEA plays with tonal intensity and rhythmic vitality. Gerhard Präsent´s own Canzona op.50 for violin and cello has a similar expressive economy. Here, cellist Christian Peyr joins Sigrid Präsent for a performance notable for the plaintive dialogue of the beautiful third-movement Aria. Helen Kriegl gets her moment in the sun with Hannes Kuegerl´s Variationen for solo violin, in which she demonstrated an impressive mastery of ist multiple-stoppings, pizzicatos an special effects ..... the ALEA does (all pieces) more than justice.
Tim Homfray – THE STRAD Aug 2008
„La Tâche“: "The composers here write lovingly for strings (with [Gerhard] Präsent and Iván Eröd, his former teacher, standing out), and the ALEA (quartet) is quick to return the compliment, playing with a focused precision that strikes straight to the music´s emotional core. ...The works all seem inextricable from the very soil that nourished the great string quartet tradition.
(Ken Smith - "The Strad“ 4/1998)
"...In the quartet "La Tâche“ there exists a transparent structure, the untrained listener has melodies for orientation, it is immediately understandable what Präsent intends with his music. ...The selection of the pieces is equally manifold as convincing, all works give proof of the highest compositional abilities and succeed in captivating the listener. The ALEA quartet with its precision attaines the maximum in transparency from these pieces, through their interpretation the music becomes plastic and understandable.“
[***** for repertory value and interpretation!]
(„Music Manual“ 1/1998, translated)
With great humor. After the C-major quartet by Franz Adam Mica (contemporary of Mozart) the ALEA Quartet presented five contemporaries of ours... The musicians acted in top form: Gerhard Präsent´s rhythmical „La Tâche“ was managed convincingly with fiery gestures, and Iván Eröd's 2nd quartet sounded strikingly impressive.
(Kleine Zeitung 1996, translated)
Impassioned. An unforgettable concert was offered by the ALEA quartet and Edda König (piano)... The string quartet by Iván Eröd and the piano quintet by Robert Schumann are bright moments indeed already in compositional respects. The musicians played with transparence and homogeneity – pure pleasure of art!
(WZ 1996, translated)
On this side of tonality. The team-work of Sigrid Präsent and Viktor Petek (violins), Sigrid Wollinger (viola) and Erich Grassl (violoncello) turned out exemplarily, at least three pieces appealed without restrictions. This applies ...especially to Gerhard Präsent´s „La Tâche“ from 1994/95, a real „task“ (so the translated title) solved with great musical tension and a lot of pleasure.
(Kleine Zeitung 1998, translated)
Old and new. The very well disposed ALEA-Ensemble presented in the Graz Robert Stolz Museum an extensive mixed program of romantic and contemporary music... Robert Fuchs (1847-1927) – teacher of Mahler, Schreker and Wolf – proved to be a composer of high rank in his fourth string quartet... The premieres of Henrik Sande's „Ruine“ and of Gerhard Präsent pictorial-idyllic „Sounds of Wood“ were surpassed by Herbert Blendinger´s 2nd string quartet – an expressive sparkling masterwork from the year 1969 that were performed brilliantly.
(Kronen Zeitung 1999, translated)
"... experienced the portrait of a composer who´s seriousness does not lead to the common self-laceration, who is not unfamiliar to attraction for the audience. Präsent writes playable works – which distinguishes him from many of his colleges. This transferes directly to the players who have not – as frequently to be met with – dispensed with smiling: Sigrid Präsent and Margherita Marseglia showed a rare sense of pleasure in the "Dances For Two Violins“.
At the same time Präsent´s music is not lacking depth–elsewhere often pretended: his "Sonata regina per S.F.“ with it´s compact intensity often touches Beethoven´s dimensions, executed by Sigrid Präsent with striking precision. The „Trio intricato“ took us by surprise with it´s complex but communicative restlessness.
("Die Presse“ - Vienna/1990, translated)
Gerhard Präsent: "...The "Sonata regina per S.F.“ for violin solo – dedicated to his wife Sigrid Präsent and performed by her first-class on her splendid instrument – shows strong relations to the solo-works of Bach with regards to the violin technique (polyphony of the melodic line, chords).
After the interval the program went on with the 2nd piano trio by Iván Eröd, an equally intensive and diversified work, performed thrillingly... The closing piece was Praesent's "Trio intricato“ in three parts (but one mouvement): an intricate composition in details, but with a clear and poignant form striking the audience.“
(ÖMZ 5/1990 - Ingrid Fuchs, translated)