First things first, our August Recording of the Month is an absolutely cracking account of three works for string quartet by Mendelssohn. A few years back, Melbourne-based Tinalley Quartetreleased a marvellous disc of the First and Second String Quartets, and this new digital-only release ( ABC Classic 4855495), featuring the Third and Sixth with the enjoyable posthumously published Four Pieces for String Quartet on the side, is if anything even better.

On the Record

The Third, an elegant, serene and melodious work as described by reviewer Lisa MacKinney, was written during a period of contentment and stability in the composer’s life. It’s contrasted with the turbulent Sixth, written when Mendelssohn was battling ill-health and reeling from the death of his beloved sister and fellow composer Fanny. For some reason, these works are massively underrepresented on disc compared with contemporaneous works by Schubert and Schumann.

“Tinalley Quartet excel at all these contrasting emotional and performative requirements with playing...