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Dvorák: String Quartets & Terzetto / Guarneri Quartet


Release Date: 02/03/2009 
Label:  Rca   Catalog #: 94196  
Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Arnold SteinhardtMichael TreeJohn DalleyDavid Soyer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guarneri String Quartet
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Dvorák's 14 string quartets stand as the finest and most imposing works in the medium after Beethoven (and until Shostakovich), though the early works certainly vary in quality. But from No. 4 onward, his achievement is mightily impressive and deserves far more attention from music lovers than it usually receives. As with the "Dumky" Piano Trio, the popularity of a single work (the "American" Quartet) has overwhelmed the others, and more's the pity.

How lovely, then, to see Arkivmusic.com issuing this two-disc "on demand" set as part of its larger program of Guarneri Quartet reissues. These are excellent performances, one and all. The group has the ability (similar to the great Czech
Read more ensembles) of being able to attack a phrase with sharp, clean rhythms without coarsening their tone or stiffening the phrase, and this is critical in Dvorák. Some examples include the opening theme of the "American" Quartet, or the "hunting" cadence melody at the end of the Thirteenth Quartet's first-movement exposition. The result is stylish, lively, and singing, just as it should be.

The Terzetto, for two violins and viola, also is a masterpiece of its type, astonishingly colorful (given the limited resources) and full of typically memorable melodic invention. Check out the scherzo, with its pizzicato and sul ponticello textures--marvelously realized here. The sonics are a bit dated in the sense that they tend to individualize the four players rather than helping them to blend into a cohesive ensemble, but that was very much the taste in the 1960s and early '70s when these recordings were made, and the ear quickly adjusts. A wonderful reissue for quartet lovers.

--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Terzetto for 2 Violins and Viola in C major, Op. 74/B 148 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Arnold Steinhardt (Viola), Michael Tree (Violin), John Dalley (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guarneri String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Bohemia 
Date of Recording: 12/1972 
Notes: Arnold Steinhardt played viola and Michael Tree played violin for this composition.  
2.
Quartet for Strings no 11 in C major, Op. 61/B 121 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  David Soyer (Cello), Michael Tree (Viola), Arnold Steinhardt (Violin),
John Dalley (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guarneri String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; Bohemia 
Date of Recording: 04/1972 
3.
Quartet for Strings no 12 in F major, Op. 96/B 179 "American" by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  David Soyer (Cello), Michael Tree (Viola), Arnold Steinhardt (Violin),
John Dalley (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guarneri String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; USA 
Date of Recording: 04/1972 
4.
Quartet for Strings no 13 in G major, Op. 106/B 192 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  John Dalley (Violin), Arnold Steinhardt (Violin), Michael Tree (Viola),
David Soyer (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guarneri String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1895; Bohemia 
Date of Recording: 12/1979 
5.
Quartet for Strings no 14 in A flat major, Op. 105/B 193 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  John Dalley (Violin), Arnold Steinhardt (Violin), Michael Tree (Viola),
David Soyer (Cello)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Guarneri String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1895; Bohemia 
Date of Recording: 04/1965 

Featured Sound Samples

String Quartet no 11: II. Poco adagio e molto cantabile
String Quartet no 13: II. Molto vivace

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