Notes and Editorial Reviews
Like most of his early works, Dvorák's Op. 1 String Quintet does not deserve its current obscurity. Certainly it lacks the melodic distinction of the much later piece that's also included on this finely played, excellently recorded disc. Still, the music captures and holds the attention, lacks for nothing in energy in its outer movements, and shows a fine sense of formal balance. The so-called "American" Quintet Op. 97 reveals the quintessence of the mature Dvorák: a generous fund of folk-inspired melody, a marvelously danceable scherzo, crystal clear construction in all four movements, and a fascinatingly colorful exploration of string textures. The augmented Vlach Quartet makes the most of both works, offering playing in which good
balances and accurate intonation never get in the way of the music's often gutsy, vigorous character. They're particularly effective in the finale of Op. 97, whose "Humoresque No. 5"-style melody can sound too slender for a large movement if not given enough rhythmic profile. These players also exploit the husky sound of the two violas to evocative effect in the slow movements of both works. In short, this recording makes a fine addition to the group's distinguished ongoing cycle of Dvorák chamber music for strings.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Be the first to review this title