- String Quintet in A minor, B. 7 (Op. 1)
- String Quintet for 2 violins, 2 violas, & cello in E flat major ("American"), B. 180 (Op. 97)
The Vlach Quartet's Dvorák cycle is one of the highlights of Naxos' ever-growing catalogue, and this disc of quintets (with violist Ladislav Kyselák) is a delightful supplement. The E-flat Major Quintet, Op. 97, is one of Dvorák's most attractive chamber works, similar in mood and style to the popular "American" Quartet. In fact, both works were composed during the summer of 1893, during the composer's extended sojourn in the United States. The Vlach give a rollicking performance, full of rhythmic vitality, and they make the most of the music's rich, burnished textures. The Quintet, Op. 1 is not top-drawer Dvorák -- this is, after all, his first published piece -- although it has a certain rustic charm. Again, these five Czech musicians prove to be knowledgeable guides, stepping gracefully through the music's awkward moments while savoring the work's melodic fertility. Let's hope the Vlach's recording of the attractive G Major Quintet, Op. 77 (with double bass) isn't far behind.