The Hagen Quartett's performance of Dvorák's late masterpiece (composed directly after his 'Cello Concerto) is superb. The Hagens understand the need for a subtle ebb and flow in their use of rubato. They avoid any tendency to exaggeration and even the unusually long pause at 3.27 in the finale (where Dvorák almost brings the music to a dead halt in mid-movement) works perfectly in the context of the whole. The Kurtág work will please those who relish the highly concentrated atonal style of the nineteen seventies. Only three of the twelve movements last more than one minute, which I personally found a blessing.
The Hagen Quartett also perform Erwin Schulhoff's Five Pieces on their mixed composer CD.Read more Theirs is a very fine performance...first class in nearly all-important respects, especially their hell-for-leather approach to the Alla Tarantella which is wonderfully articulated by this crack team."