"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 MM, October 2006
"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
"Demonstrating the same boldness and originality that characterised their stunning debut disc the Pavel Haas Quartet, armed with a new second violinist, deliver totally compelling and warmly recorded performances of the Janáček First Quartet and the First and Third Quartets by their namesake."
BBC MM, January 2008
"The Pavel Haas Quartet grab you by the throat with the propulsive energy of the First Quartet. The steadily suggestive Russian folk inflections are nicely nuanced, and the young Czech players feel its ebb and flow with passionate engagement."
BBC MM, April 2010
"The young players pass every test before dispatching the inventive finale with equal aplomb, differentiating a wide variety of moods and timbres within a swiftish frame.."
Gramophone, March 2010
"Their understanding of the musical argument is exemplary. In truth, there are so many details that delight the ear it would be almost impossible to list them all."
BBC MM, December 2010
"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
"This is good. Very good. Acclaim and the Pavel Haas Quartet are familiar bedfellows – after all, they did win Gramophone’s Record of the Year for their Dvořák two years ago. But this is their first recording that really steps into a crowded marketplace. They represent the best qualities of the Czech tradition – warmth, sonorousness, individuality, intensity; but what’s striking here is their fearless risk-taking, their fervency and the absolute confidence with which they propel you through these two masterpieces."
Gramophone, October 2013
"If CDs had grooves I would already have worn out these marvellous recordings by the Pavel Haas Quartet of Schubert’s Death and the Maiden Quartet and his Quintet in C. The young Czechs have the perfect fusion of virtuosity and profundity. Death and the Maiden is given the more melodramatic reading, but the masterfully paced and subtly nuanced performance of the sublime Quintet is the one that bowls me over."
The Times, September 2013
"After their Janáček quartets and their award-winning Dvořák (Gramophone Award 2011 "Recording of the Year"), the Pavel Haas Quartet have now put all their energy to the service of the music of Bedřich Smetana. Even though his chamber music is very modest in scale, each of these works can be said without exaggeration to be a foundation stone of Czech chamber music. They are personal works, often with a strong autobiographical element. He wrote both quartets towards the end of his life when he was already suffering from deafness. The first quartet, "From My Life", is programmatic: "I wanted to express musically the course of my life… The composition is almost entirely private, and so intentionally written for four instruments that should talk together - as if they were a close circle of friends - about the things that have shaped me so significantly." Quartet No. 2 seems almost to belong to the 20th century in the unconventionality of it's composition – something that greatly disturbed Smetana’s contemporaries. For the Pavel Haas Quartet, Smetana's music is an obvious and clear choice, not a sudden revelation; it is "only" the concept of the music itself that is revelatory. The Quartet doesn't try to make itself stand out in some superficial, external way – it doesn’t bet on extremes. It's originality comes from its efforts to penetrate to the very core of the work and from the thrilling and comprehensive way in which it achieves this. So, how does our immortal Smetana sound in the twenty-first century? You will find the answer on this stunning recording.
"From My Life" – Classic Smetana, inward-looking and timeless, as heard by the Pavel Haas Quartet."
Supraphon, April 2015