Leoš Janáček: String Quartet No. 2 "Intimate Letters" & Pavel Haas: String Quartet No. 2 "From the Monkey Mountains"

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Classic FM Gramophone Award
Chamber Award (2007)
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BBC Music Magazine Award
Chamber Award (2007)
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Disc of the Week
BBC Radio 3 (2006)
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New Generation Artist
BBC Radio 3 (2008)
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Newcomer of the Year
BBC Music Magazine (2007)
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Supersonic Award
Pizzicato (2006)

Audio samples

Leoš Janáček: String Quartet No. 2 "Intimate Letters"

01. Andante. Con moto. Allegro
02. Adagio. Vivace
03. Moderato. Adagio. Allegro
04. Allegro. Andante. Allegro

Pavel Haas: String Quartet No. 2 "From the Monkey Mountains", Op. 7

01. Landscape (Andante)
02. Coach, Coachman and Horse (Andante)
03. The Moon and I (Largo e misterioso)
04. Wild Night (Vivace e con fuoco)

Album information

SU3877-2, release date 11. 8. 2006

What is immediately striking about the present performance is its boldness and originality in terms of tempo contrasts, rhythmic emphasis and textural variety. Not only is the playing beyond reproach on technical grounds, but also, more importantly, it conveys with almost graphic immediacy the searing passion the composer felt for Kamila Stösslová.

BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE, OCTOBER 2006

The Pavel Haas Quartet, a young ensemble named after a significant 20th century Czech composer, has very quickly attained a place among the top quartets. The ensemble won the Prague Spring International Music Competition in May, 2005, and took first place at the prestigious Premio Paolo Borciani competition in Reggio Emilia, Italy one month later. The prize included a tour of more than 40 concerts throughout Europe, the USA and Japan, including performances in Brussels, Vienna, Hamburg, Rome, Venice, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Paris. For their recording debut, the ensemble has chosen Leoš Janáček's greatest work, the famous and often-recorded "Intimate Letters", as well as Pavel Haas' second string quartet. The quartet joins forces here with the 30 year old internationally renowned percussionist from Edinburg, Colin Currie, to present the version with percussion instruments. Pavel Haas wrote the second string quartet, titled "From the Monkey Mountains", at the age of 26 as a reminiscence of his summer holiday in the Czech-Moravian Highlands, which went by this nickname in Brno at the time. The individual movements are more or less genre images. The programme nature of the work is fully consistent with Janáček. The substance and orientation of the music, however, are entirely Haas, underscored by the prescribed ad libitumuse of the jazz band.

The Pavel Haas Quartet's streamlined but full-blooded playing is more than welcome, and if they are lining up the first Janáček and the first and third Haas for a follow-up CD, I will be at the front of the queue to hear it.

GRAMOPHONE, NOVEMBER 2006

Other albums

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Antonín Dvořák: Piano Quintet No. 2, Op. 81 & String Quintet Op. 97

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Bedřich Smetana: String Quartet No. 1 in E minor "From My Life" & String Quartet No. 2 in D minor

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Franz Schubert: String Quartet No. 14 in D minor „Death and the Maiden“ & String Quintet in C major

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Antonín Dvořák: String Quartet in G major, Op. 106 & String Quartet in F major, Op. 96 "American"

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Sergei Prokofiev: String Quartets Nos 1 & 2, Sonata for Two Violins

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Leoš Janáček: String Quartet No. 1 "Kreutzer Sonata" & Pavel Haas: String Quartets Nos 1 & 3

Complete discography