Smetana / The 2 String Quartets

Quatuor Talich, Smetana, Fibich, Quartet No.8, La Dolce Volta

 

Informations

- LDV 255

- released : September 2003

- 1 CD / 78'21

- Recorded at Domovina Studio, Prague on March 2003

- Artistic Director: Jiri Gemrot

- Sound engineers: Václav Roubal, Karel Soukenik

 

qobuz                           itunes

 

"A self-recommending release"

 

The Talich Quartet clearly belongs in the grand tradition of Czech string quartets; its combination of firm rhythm and focused tone evokes the Smetana Quartet perhaps more than any other. 
 

Of the two quartets, the First (“From My Life”) remains the most popular, largely on account of its autobiographical references and generous fund of Romantic melody–but I always have found the Second quartet, with its remarkable combination of terseness and ferocity, to be the more interesting of the two.

 

Both performances are excellent. The First quartet sings and dances as it must, with a particularly colorful scherzo and a final intimation of approaching deafness that’s all the more harrowing for not being maudlin. But I particularly admire the way that these players tear into the Second quartet, especially the bite at the opening of the third movement, and first violinist Jan Talich’s fearless use of vibrato to give the finale the queasy, disturbing quality that continually undermines its forced cheerfulness. There’s tremendous competition in this music, and very many excellent performances, including those of the Smetana Quartet itself, but these are every bit as good, and better sounding to boot. 

 

ClassicsToday

 

 

Table of contents

Bedrich Smetana (1824 - 1884)

String Quartet No.1 in E minor "From my life"

1Allegro vivo appassionato

2Allegro moderato quasi alla Polka

3Largo sostenuto

4Vivace

String Quartet No.2 in D minor

5Allegro 

6Allegro moderato

7

Allegro non piu moderato ma agitato e con fuoco

8Presto

 Zdenek Fibich (1850 - 1900)

String Quartet in A major

9Allegro grazioso

10Andante semplice

11Allegretto

12Allegro

 

 

7'23

5'17

8'48

5'43

 

4'48

5'11

4'36

2'28

 

 

8'31

4'48

4'25

5'36

 

 

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