Talich Quartet brings Czech postcards from the edge

The program served up by the Talich Quartet Wednesday night at Gusman Concert Hall was an object lesson in everything chamber music should be: civilized, intelligent, challenging and performed on the highest musical level.

The Talich Quartet doesn’t possess a high-gloss, gleaming corporate sonority; rather, it’s a trim, dark-hued but acutely focused sound, well suited to their sensitive ensemble playing and refined musicianship, and put entirely at the service of the music.  In the performance of Dvorak’s American Quartet, there was never a sense of playing to the gallery, the sympathy for their most celebrated composer showing itself in a more subtle and less ostentatious approach to his melodies, expressively rendered but never milked for effect.

Time and again the players conveyed the music with seemingly effortless facility whether Talich’s refined solo work or the spare elegance of cellist Petr Prause’s solos in the introspective Lento. There was no lack of vigor or dynamism in the scherzo or finale, which had the requisite exuberance while maintaining a degree of apt sobriety.

South Florida Classical Review (09/2011)

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