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Dvorak: Quartet, Op 106, 6 Cypresses, 2 Waltzes / Cecilia String Quartet

Release Date: 04/10/2012 
Label:  Analekta   Catalog #: 29892   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cecilia String Quartet
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A lightning-bolt of a debut from a quartet that has not just dazzling technique but a bold new voice.

The young, rising Cecilia String Quartet deliver a knockout performance of Dvo?ák’s thirteenth string quartet. This is a reading of incredible individuality and it sounds like nobody else’s, which for such a popular and beloved piece is really saying something. These four women are unafraid to be bold, adventurous, different: the first movement has a symphonic sense of drama, the adagio’s many gear-shifts feel natural and are spurred on by truly impassioned playing. Throughout there are tiny touches - portamento here, the slightest pause to linger on a turn of phrase there - which set the Cecilia Quartet apart
Read more without ever making them sound perverse or wilful. The final coda is a case in point: you might raise an eyebrow at the massive hesitation with which it begins, but then the quartet chugs forward mightily to a mega-exciting finish. In other words, this is a reading in which the risk-taking is governed by good taste. It belongs with the best modern recordings, just shy of the Pavel Haas Quartet’s gold standard. The PHQ are also young and audacious, with only slightly more wow-factor.

The quartet is framed by shorter works: six of the Cypresses, B152, adaptations of songs which are here rendered in an appropriately lyrical, cantabile fashion, and two lovely waltzes, from Op 54, which serve as encores. The sound quality, big and in-your-face, suits the quartet’s personality and presents it in a thrilling close setting. The booklet unaccountably fails to give the names of the Cecilia Quartet’s members, so I have provided them in the heading; actually Nematallah is mentioned but misspelled. The booklet also fails to give track timings, so I’ve listed them below.

Given the rude treatment of these four incredible players, perhaps you should target this as an MP3 download via ClassicsOnline, Amazon, eMusic, or iTunes. It is certainly worthy of your attention for an invigorating hour of playing from a quartet that’s bold enough to sound like nobody else. The Cecilia String Quartet are, along with the Parker and Jasper Quartets, rising stars on the North American chamber music scene. Keep an eye on these young women.

-- Brian Reinhart, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

Waltzes (2) for String Quartet, Op. 54/B 105 by Antonín Dvorák
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cecilia String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1880; Bohemia 
Quartet for Strings no 13 in G major, Op. 106/B 192 by Antonín Dvorák
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cecilia String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1895; Bohemia 
Cypresses for String Quartet, B 152 by Antonín Dvorák
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cecilia String Quartet
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Bohemia 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Detailed Dvorak! May 7, 2012 By Nicholas Y. (Tinley Park, IL) See All My Reviews "The Cecilia String Quartet’s performance of the Dvorak Quartet No. 13 in G Major is inspired and passionate. The performance detail is a revelation, and the Cecilia’s rendering is sonically supurb. This performance shows why the Cecilia String Quartet was the “hands-down” winner of the 2010 Banff International String Quartet Competition. The CD also contains (6) beautifully performed Dvorak “Cypresses” as well as (2) of the Op. 54 waltzes. If you’re already a fan of Dvorak string music this recording will delight you. If you’re not already a fan, this recording may convert you. Highly recommended!" Report Abuse
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