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Original Masters - Janacek Quartet


Release Date: 02/11/2003 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 474010   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus MozartFranz Joseph HaydnRoman HoffstetterFelix Mendelssohn,   ... 
Performer:  Eva Bernathova
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Janácek String QuartetSmetana String Quartet
Number of Discs: 7 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 7 Hours 9 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The seven discs comprising this budget boxed set constitute the complete DG, Decca, and Westminster recordings by the Janácek Quartet, all dating from the 1950s and '60s when the celebrated ensemble was at the peak of its formidable powers. The problem with such a collection is simply to know where to begin. You might start with Haydn's "Joke", "Bird", and "Fifths" quartets, where the foursome is attuned to the music's wit and grace at every turn. For sheer speed, control, and split-second timing, the Janáceks have few peers in the opening movement of Beethoven's E minor "Razumovsky" quartet, and the four Dvorák quartets couldn't be more stylish and singing, together with the Read more ensemble's svelte textures and unforced clarity of the inner parts.

The players negotiate the restless tempo shifts in Janácek's second quartet ("Intimate Letters") without a hitch, and pair up with the Smetana Quartet for a genial and relaxed romp through Mendelssohn's Octet. Well played as they are, the Brahms and Dvorák Piano Quintets with pianist Eva Bernáthova seem comparatively small-scaled and cool next to the heated intensity Rudolf Serkin and the Budapest Quartet generate (in the Brahms), or the warmth and flexibility of the Rubinstein/Guarneri Quartet partnership (both works).

Tully Potter's annotations strike an ideal balance between the music, the musicians, and discographical matter, conveying plenty of information in as many words as necessary. Although this reissue is aimed at collectors and connoisseurs, you don't have to be either to appreciate the Janácek Quartet's exceptional music making. Highly recommended.

-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Quartet for Strings no 14 in G major, K 387 "Spring" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Janácek String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
2.
Quartet for Strings in C major, Op. 33 no 3/H 3 no 39 "Bird" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Janácek String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
3.
Quartet for Strings in E flat major, Op. 33 no 2/H 3 no 38 "Joke" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Janácek String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781; Eszterhazá, Hungary 
4.
Quartets (6) for Strings, Op. 3: no 5 in F major by Roman Hoffstetter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Janácek String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: by 1777; Germany 
Notes: This work was previously attributed to Franz Joseph Haydn. 
5.
Quartet for Strings in D minor, Op. 76 no 2/H 3 no 76 "Quinten" by Franz Joseph Haydn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Janácek String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1797; Vienna, Austria 
6.
Octet for Strings in E flat major, Op. 20 by Felix Mendelssohn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Smetana String Quartet,  Janácek String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1825; Germany 
7.
Quartet for Strings no 8 in E minor, Op. 59 no 2 "Razumovsky" by Ludwig van Beethoven
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Janácek String Quartet
Period: Classical 
Written: 1805-1806; Vienna, Austria 
8.
Quintet for Piano and Strings in F minor, Op. 34 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Eva Bernathova (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Janácek String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1861-1864; Austria 
9.
Quintet for Piano and Strings no 2 in A major, Op. 81/B 155 by Antonín Dvorák
Performer:  Eva Bernathova (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Janácek String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Bohemia 
10.
Quartet for Strings no 9 in D minor, Op. 34/B 75 by Antonín Dvorák
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Janácek String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1877; Bohemia 
11.
Quartet for Strings no 12 in F major, Op. 96/B 179 "American" by Antonín Dvorák
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Janácek String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1893; USA 
12.
Quartet for Strings no 10 in E flat major, Op. 51/B 92 by Antonín Dvorák
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Janácek String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1878-1879; Bohemia 
13.
Quartet for Strings no 14 in A flat major, Op. 105/B 193 by Antonín Dvorák
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Janácek String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1895; Bohemia 
14.
Quartet for Strings no 1 in E minor, T 116 "From my life" by Bedrich Smetana
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Janácek String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1876; Czech Republic 
15.
Quartet for Strings no 2 "Intimate letters" by Leos Janácek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Janácek String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1928; Brno, Czech Republic 

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