|02.||Adagio ma non troppo|
|04.||Finale. Andante sostenuto. Allegro con fuoco|
|01.||Allegro ma non troppo|
|04.||Finale. Vivace ma non troppo|
SU4038-2, release date 24. 9. 2010
Throughout, their understanding of the musical argument is exemplary…at every stage the performers respond with both passion and a clear feeling for musical line…In truth, there are so many details that delight the ear it would be almost impossible to list the all.
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2010
"I'm satisfied. It went quickly..." Antonín Dvořák jotted down at the end of the sketch for his String Quartet Op. 96. The work, one of the most beautiful quartet pieces in the history of music, originated in America hard on the heels of the "New World" Symphony. I wanted to write for once something very melodious and simple, and I always kept Papa Haydn before my eyes. The American critics lavished it with praise: "Why didn't Dvořák come here earlier, since he can write such great music in America." The "American" quartet, and, perhaps to an even greater extent, the subsequent quartet, Op. 106, the first composition Dvořák created after his return from America, are a heartfelt matter for the youthful Pavel Haas Quartet. In the wake of the previous, highly acclaimed recordings of the complete quartet works of Janáček, Haas and Prokofiev (Classic FM Gramophone Award, BBC Music Magazine Award, MIDEM Cannes Classical Award, etc.), the ensemble displays its outstanding qualities performing the paramount Dvořák pieces too: equilibrium between precision and spontaneity, remarkable interplay and the "solo" potential of all the musicians. In all likelihood, Dvořák would have jotted down the words I'm satisfied beneath this new recording too. Listeners certainly have something special to look forward to.
The Pavel Haas players revel in the turbulence of the opening movement, but they savour the lyricism of the beautiful adagio, the rhythmic energy of the scherzo and the exuberance of the finale’s fiery allegro. Their account of the American Quartet belongs alongside the greatest performances on disc. In this repertoire, they are simply matchless today.
THE SUNDAY TIMES, NOVEMBER 2010