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Martinu: String Quartets Vol 1 / Martinu Quartet


Release Date: 06/13/2000 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8553782   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Bohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Jan JisaPetr MacecekLubomir HavlakJitka Vlasánková
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Martinu String Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


This first installment in Naxos' complete Martinu quartet cycle couldn't be more auspicious. After all, if the Martinu Quartet can't play Martinu's quartets, then who can? Well, the Panocha Quartet, for one: its Supraphon recording of all seven works has reigned supreme for more than two decades. And while I can't say that this newcomer eclipses those classic accounts, it does offer for the first time on disc music making of equal intelligence, virtuosity, and idiomatic flair. On the whole, the Martinu Quartet is a touch more relaxed than the Panocha, but there is the same velvety tone, the same enlivening sense of rhythm--clearly this group belongs to the great tradition of Czech string ensembles,
Read more and the playing is a joy from start to finish.

As for the works themselves, they are marvelous. The First Quartet has been accused of being derivative of Ravel and Debussy. This is fine with me. Who wouldn't want to hear another quartet by Ravel or Debussy? The Second Quartet's more concise form and busier textures reflect the composer's years in Paris and his encounters with the neo-classical and neo-baroque forms that were to prove so rewarding to him. Three Riders is a brief programmatic piece composed by the 12-year-old Martinu, and shows him to have been unusually talented from the start, however poor his grades were when he finally got to the conservatory (he flunked out). Toss in excellent recorded sound, and it looks like Naxos has another major chamber music series on its hands. Essential.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Quartet for Strings no 1 by Bohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Jan Jisa (Viola), Petr Macecek (Violin), Lubomir Havlak (Violin),
Jitka Vlasánková (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Martinu String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1918; Czech Republic 
Date of Recording: 06/1997 
Venue:  Martinek Studio, Prague, Czech Republic 
Length: 39 Minutes 10 Secs. 
2.
Quartet for Strings no 2 by Bohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Jitka Vlasánková (Cello), Petr Macecek (Violin), Lubomir Havlak (Violin),
Jan Jisa (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Martinu String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; France 
Date of Recording: 02/1997 
Venue:  Martinek Studio, Prague, Czech Republic 
Length: 20 Minutes 18 Secs. 
3.
The Three Riders by Bohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Petr Macecek (Violin), Jan Jisa (Viola), Jitka Vlasánková (Cello),
Lubomir Havlak (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Martinu String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1902; Policka, Czech Repub 
Date of Recording: 02/1997 
Venue:  Martinek Studio, Prague, Czech Republic 
Length: 11 Minutes 58 Secs. 

Sound Samples

String Quartet No. 1, H. 117, "The French": Moderato - Allegro ma non troppo
String Quartet No. 1, H. 117, "The French": Andante moderato
String Quartet No. 1, H. 117, "The French": Allegro non troppo
String Quartet No. 1, H. 117, "The French": Allegro con brio
String Quartet No. 2, H. 150: Moderato (Andante) - Allegro vivace
String Quartet No. 2, H. 150: Andante - Moderato
String Quartet No. 2, H. 150: Allegro - Scherzando
Tri jezdci (The 3 Riders), H. 1: Tri jezdci (Three Horsemen)

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