Magazine article Gramophone

Dvorak * Janacek * Suk: Dvorak String Quartet No 13, Op 106 B192

Magazine article Gramophone

Dvorak * Janacek * Suk: Dvorak String Quartet No 13, Op 106 B192

Article excerpt

Dvorak * Janacek * Suk

Dvorak String Quartet No 13, Op 106 B192 Janacek String Quartet No 1, The Kreutzer Sonata' Suk Meditation on the Old Czech Chorale 'St Wenceslas', Op 35

Wihan Quartet

Nimbus Alliance (F) NI6322 (65' * DDD)

Right from the off in Dvorak's late G major Quartet you can tell that the Wihan Quartet are taking an inflected route. They draw a crescendo over the demi-semiquaver figure for the violins more vividly than do the Pavel Haas Quartet on their Supraphon recording--although the PHQ achieve rather more in the way of drama and are also marginally more limpid in the second subject. Both quartets achieve a glowing canvas for the wonderful Adagio but, come the scherzo, the Wihan set off at a noticeably slower tempo. Nor do they push the pace in the finale as much as the PHQ, whose version is as fresh as any we've had in years. But the Wihan play sensitively and their fill-ups are especially imaginative.

Josef Suk's Meditation on the Old Czech Chorale 'St Wenceslas' is a masterly example of contrapuntal quartet-writing, and in addition to infusing individual lines with expressive weight the Wihan manage to keep textures admirably clear. …

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