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DVORAK, A.: String Quartets, Vol. 8 (Vlach Quartet) - No. 3

Composer(s):Dvorak, Antonin
Artist(s) Vlach Quartet Prague, Ensemble
Period(s) Romantic
Genre Classical Music
Category Chamber Music
Catalogue 8.553378
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
Download and Stream

This volume from the Vlach Quartet Prague’s acclaimed Dvořák String Quartet series presents the symphonically-conceived Third String Quartet of 1869/70, a richly rewarding work. Despite the lingering influence of Liszt and Wagner, the inclusion of a topical Czech patriotic song in the quartet’s third movement suggests the strengthening of Dvořák nationalist consciousness and the emergence of his own distinctive voice as a Czech composer. Volumes 1–7 are also available. “Vlach magic…this must be among the world’s finest quartets” (Gramophone).


Review By Patricia Kelly,Courier Mail,June 2009

The Vlach Quartet Prague (Jana Vlachová, Karel Stadtherr, Petr Vemer, Mikael Ericsson) is right in the heart of this musical territory. Its warm instrumental tone is ready to bounce into action when the rhythmic pace kicks in.  The four players seems to respond to that dynamic impulse innately with playing that captures crucial elements, the colours, the light and shade, the dancing melody, in Dvorak’s writing. Apparently this quartet was neither published nor played in the composer’s lifetime which probably indicates some dissatisfaction with the piece, yet in structure and mood it heralds the bigger things to come and it is this detailed imagery that the Vlach Quartet Prague express with a subtle vitality.

Review By Giv Cornfield,The New Recordings, Cliffs Classics,May 2009

This quartet is an epic work of symphonic proportions, that brings to mind those overlong symphonies of late romantic composers like Bruckner and Mahler. The work is over an hour long (the first movement alone is just short of 24 minutes!). Indeed, it is such a taxing work that it required four sessions, months apart, to record. Not surprisingly, it is not a piece that falls lightly on one’s ears, like most of Dvořák’s chamber music. Indeed, it is hard to imagine what the composer had in mind when toiling at this quartet, since it is not an attractive concert work. To their credit, the Vlach’s turn in a fine reading of a work lacking in universal appeal.


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