|01.||Andante. Con moto. Allegro|
|03.||Moderato. Adagio. Allegro|
|04.||Allegro. Andante. Allegro|
|02.||Coach, Coachman and Horse (Andante)|
|03.||The Moon and I (Largo e misterioso)|
|04.||Wild Night (Vivace e con fuoco)|
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