BOY05Dvorák: String Quartets/Panocha

Review by: Victor Carr Jr

Artistic Quality: 10

Sound Quality: 10

Supraphon’s repackaging of the Panocha Quartet’s complete Dvorák cycle means you can now get the finest recorded set in one box. The cycle was produced during a period from 1993 to 2000, but the ensemble’s energy, focus, and musical excellence remain consistent throughout. The Panocha gives powerful performances of the late masterworks–Nos. 11-14 (with No. 13 being especially commanding). However, perhaps more impressive is the players’ commitment to the early quartets, where Dvorák’s youthful exuberance occasionally resulted in musical structures somewhat lacking in cogency–a feature that’s significantly minimized in the Panocha’s wonderfully clear-lined readings. It’s quite interesting to follow Dvorák’s developing compositional acuity as he learns to pare down to the essentials and, from No. 7 on, becomes the imposing and sure-spoken artist we know and admire. Nos. 4-7 were previously reviewed by colleague David Hurwitz (type Q301 and Q1703 in Search Reviews) and I concur wholeheartedly with his comments. Supraphon’s sound is consistently warm and dynamic throughout the series. For Dvorák fans, and for lovers of great chamber music–this release is essential. [9/29/2005]



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Recording Details:

Reference Recording: This one, Prague Quartet (DG)

ANTONÍN DVORÁK - String Quartets Nos. 1-14; Cypresses; Andante appassionato; Quartet Movement in F


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