DVORAK’s Piano Quintet, String Quintet – The Sunday Times CD of the Week

DVORAK: Piano Quintet No. 2 in A major, Op. 81 (B 155, 1887), String Quintet in E flat major, Op. 97 (B 180, 1893)

Pavel Haas Quartet and Boris Giltburg, piano, Pavel Nikl, viola

The Sunday Times, CD of the Week, 22 October 2017.The Czech players near incomparable in this music with their compatriot, Nikl….an exhilarating performance. This life enhancing music is a tonic.”

The ObserverThe playing is breathtakingly good, each performer maintaining their own personality and yet working together to conjure a special magic.

BBC Music Magazine November 2017 Recording of the monthA triumph for the Pavel Haas Quartet. Even with an abundant harvest of Dvořák recordings, these superlative performances should not be missed

BBC Radio 3 Record Review 22.10.17the Pavel Haas Quartet join forces with pianist Boris Giltberg for that famous A Major piano and this is joyous, generous music making”

CD notes …

Recorded in the Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum, Prague, 18-19 May (Op. 97) and 26-27 June 2017 (Op. 81).

Seven years after they triumphed with Dvořák’s quartets (SU40382, op. 96 “American” and op. 106 – Gramophone Award „Recording of the Year“), Pavel Haas Quartet are back to Dvořák. For the occasion of recording his quintets, they have invited two guests: the pianist Boris Giltburg (winner of 2013 Queen Elizabeth Competition), as well as one of the PHQ founding members, violist Pavel Nikl. Antonín Dvořák composed his Piano Quintet No. 2 while staying at his beloved summer house in Vysoká in the late summer of 1887. The renowned critic Eduard Hanslick responded to its performance in Vienna enthusiastically: „It is one of his most beautiful works. A genuine Dvořák.“ The String Quintet op. 97, albeit only six years younger, presents a completely „different Dvořák“. After the Symphony from the New World and the “American” quartet, the string quintet is the composer’s third work written in America.
Besides drawing inspiration from the music of the Native American tribe of the Iroquois which he heard in Spillville in the summer of 1893, he built the third movement around a theme that he had previously considered using in a proposal for a new American anthem.
And Hanslick’s testimonial? „This is probably the simplest, most natural and happiest music composed since Haydn’s times. The ear enjoys it with an easy-going attitude and the spirit is not bored for a single moment.“ Pavel Haas Quartet is at home in Dvořák’s music – to quote the Sunday Times, „In this repertoire, they are simply matchless today.“

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