- String Quartet No. 14 in A flat major, B. 193 (Op. 105)
- Piano Quintet in A major, B. 155 (Op. 81) (once listed as Op. 77)
In this 2006 release of Dvorák's "String Quartet, Op. 105," and "Piano Quintet, Op. 81," the Psophos Quartet could be more together tonally -- too often, it slides out of tune. Furthermore, these four young women from the Lyon Conservatory could also be rhythmically tighter -- too often their pulse seems to slip off the beat. What's more, they and pianist Dana Ciocarlie could surely be more interpretively reserved -- too often their intent seems to wring the maximum amount of emotion out of the music. But aside from those criticisms, this is a strongly if strangely compelling disc. In driving to get everything it can out of the music, the Psophos Quartet and Ciocarlie find qualities in Dvorák's music that one usually doesn't hear there: a keening lyricism, a passionate expressivity, and a restless intensity that may to some seem excessive but to others like just the thing for the Bohemian composer's music. Ar Re-Se -- "those ladies" in the language of Breton -- is the world's first all-woman classical label, and the digital sound here is rich, deep, and full, if unfortunately not always clear enough.