The Danish String Quartet’s Prism project has been one of the most stimulating series of recent years.

Each volume has linked a Bach fugue with one of Beethoven’s five late quartets, which, in turn, has pointed the way towards an important quartet by a later composer. It’s a typically thoughtful conceit from four players (Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen and Frederik Øland violins, Asbjørn Nørgaard viola, and Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin cello) whose bonds of friendship go back to school music camps and beyond.

An album cover, a warm yellow, green glow colour.

For those new to the series, Prism I (recorded as long ago as 2016), placed Beethoven’s Op. 127 in E-flat (the first of the late quartets) alongside Mozart’s arrangement of a Bach fugue and Shostakovich’s bleak String Quartet No. 15. The connections in Prism II saw Beethoven’s Op. 130 rubbing shoulders with Schnittke’s Third Quartet; Prism III coupled Beethoven’s unconventional Op. 131 with Bartók’s quirky First Quartet; and Prism IV revealed Mendelssohn’s debt to Beethoven by presenting the latter’s Op. 132 next to Mendelssohn’s Second Quartet...