- String Quartet No. 13 in G major, B. 192 (Op. 106)
- String Quartet No. 2 ("Listy duverné," "Intimate Letters"), JW 7/13
Dvorák, Janácek: String Quartetsby Artemis Quartet
What a great idea: performing Dvorák's last string quartet of 1896 as late Romantic music that's almost modern and Janácek last string quartet of 1928 as modern music that's almost Romantic. But it works and it works splendidly. After all, Dvorák was not a Bohemian rustic with no experience of the wider world -- by the time he wrote his last quartet, he was the toast of London and New York and he knew as well as any composer living what the most advanced musical trends of the time were. And, after all, Janácek was not a Moravian modernist with no memory of the nineteenth century -- by the time he wrote his last quartet, he had been composing for four decades and he had acute memories of the passionate Romanticism of his youth. But aside from these historical and autobiographical similarities, the biggest reason for the success of this program is the quality of the performances. When this disc was released in 2006, the Artemis Quartett had issued only a handful of discs of music by either contemporary composers, modernist composers, or Beethoven, and listeners might not have expected a coupling of works by Czech composers to work as well. But, in fact, these performances of Dvorák and Janácek are as committed, as polished, as bracing, and as ardent as any of the group's earlier performances. And it's wonderful to hear this kind of energy, enthusiasm, and intelligence devoted to works normally given performances of the lighter and slighter variety. For listeners who already know the works, this disc will let them hear the music with new ears. For listeners who don't already know the works, this disc is a splendid introduction. Either way, they can't lose, particularly in Virgin's vivid, warm, and detailed sound.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsArtemis Quartet Primary Artist
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