"If there's thick smoke on the river Danube, the Spring String Quartet is travelling the river combining Deep Purple's 'Smoke on the Water' with Johann Strauss' 'Blue Danube Waltz'. The first track sets the tone for the record. Michael Radanovics arranges his own compositions based on Strauss melodies alternating with original works like 'Spring is here' (Rodgers/Hart), 'Under African Skies' (Paul Simon), 'African Herbsman' (Bob Marley), etc. Christian Wirth, Marcus Wall (violins), Julian Gillesberger (viola), and Stephan Punderlitschek (cello) are sweeping their strings, uniting musical ingenuity with brilliant technique, humor, and boundless energy. This is how Ohad Talmor, one of the contributors to this record, puts it: 'The S.S.Q. is a talented and versatile quartet; they enjoy experimenting and are open-minded about new and old styles'. That says it all!"
JazzZeit, Nov. 04, Christian Bakonyi
"The four excellent Upper Austrian musicians of the Spring String Quartet are crossover artists who redraw boundaries. On their new recording "Blue Smoke On Johann Strauss" (Extraplatte) they again manage to combine classical music, rock and pop in an incomparable way. A real treat for everyone's ears." Valuation: 6 stars (of 6)
OÖ. Nachrichten 2004/11/26, Reinhold Gruber
"...From the very outset of the CD it is clear, that the Spring String Quartet is not interested in a classical interpretation, but rather the opposite: It offers a very refreshing new interpretation of the melodies by Johann Strauss in a contemporary context..."
Concerto Musikmagazin Dec. 2004, Thomas Haderlapp
to "Train Songs"
"Rocking - with strong bowing, tearing plucking and clicking hits, mostly in fast movements, full of wit and irony, sometimes provocative to the limit of lasciviousness, at other times melancholic to the border of lamentation, piercing harmonies, always surprising in their improvisations the four instrumentalists fiddle any classical purist out of their seats."
Jazzpodium 12/2002, Matthias Weiller
"The SPRING STRING QUARTET sets out to conquer new territory with its 'Train Songs' (CCn'C Records), abducts its passenger into a world which enchants them with overwhelming sound. Classics of rock music are given new facets. Virtuoso, gripping, different, weird and in any event harmonious. The 13 train songs capture many moods, break down all barriers of style, embed themselves between pop, rock, jazz and blues, expand the horizon of their listeners and captivate them forever. A gem within the sound desert."
OÖN 2002/05/31, R. Gruber
"Really takes off."
Kleine Zeitung 2002/06/09, Walter Titz
"...the musical swing of the Spring String Quartet convinces the audience."
Interpretation: 5 stars, Sound: 4 stars
"The cellist sometimes mimes the jazz bass singer, then the rock bass guitar or is simply a typical string quartet cellist; and the others fiddle and scratch to their heart's content, then again show something of their classical roots and allow themselves to be stimulated by all directions. The four gentlemen are competent improvisers, which is still not natural with string quartets, but the fascination clearly comes from the way in which they play together. Like on a train: They all pull together."
Rondo Magazin 2002/08/29, M. A. Woelfle
"Similar to the renowned Kronos Quartet, the men of the Austrian Spring String Quartet brush aside familiar themes with experimental furor and a great deal of drive. This music would splendidly match a beautifully weird road movie. This sets the groove - sorry - the train rolling!"
Stereoplay 9/2002 Matthias Inhoffen
"...and has therewith landed an inspiring album"
JazzThing Nov. 2002
"well known pieces are skillfully arranged and gain a new magic. They join a racing train ride over 13 stations yet leaving enough time for great emotions."
Neues Volksblatt, 2002/07/06, Tobias C. Führer
"Absolutely worth listening to!"
Highest grade (4 points = very good)
Concerto 3/2002, Karl Gedlicka