Antonín Dvořák: Quintets Op. 81 & 97

“The Pavel Haas Quartet, joined by violist Pavel Nikl, certainly capture his reflective mood in the introduction to the first movement, but they also secure a sure-footed balance between tenderness and giddy celebration. Equally impressive is the scherzo in which the exuberant ‚hoedown‘ of the main section contrasts with a magically beautiful performance of the trio. Throughout the slow movement, the playing of the solo lines is captivating and the finale is both sophisticated in delivery while communicating irrepressible energy.”

BBC Music Magazine, November 2017

“The brilliant, technicolor recordings of the Pavel Haas Quartet have won it an impressive array of awards since its inception in 2002. More will surely follow for this latest excursion into the works of Dvořák. The playing is breathtakingly good, each performer maintaining their own personality and yet working together to conjure a special magic, whether in the sparkling “furiant” of the piano quintet No 2 in A major, Op 81 (with Boris Giltburg at his most mercurial), or the dreamy, song-like opening movement of the string quintet in E flat major, Op 97, redolent of the wide-open spaces of rural Iowa. Highly recommended.”

The Observer, October 2017

“Something that always takes my breath away with this quartet is the range and breadth of dynamics and tone colours that they produce, as well as the perfect blend of sound that they make whilst still allowing individual members’ contributions to come to the fore when required. The very opening of the piano quintet is a case in point: with its gentle cello melody supported solely by a rocking piano accompaniment it makes for a beautifully hushed opening, and as played here by cellist Peter Jarůšek it is simply sublime. Take also the first movement of the string quintet, where the players move from digging in with such force that it sounds like their strings are about to snap, to the most delicately tender chords.”

Presto Classical, October 2017

“Another Pavel Haas Quartet disc, another triumph. They seem always immersed in all they play, both in terms of their rapport but their instinctive understanding of the score too.”

Gramophone, November 2017

“Throughout the album with such inspiring musicianship PHQ successfully deal with the challenges of varying emotional depth and meter of the scores. (…) The Pavel Haas Quartet continues its tradition of adding excellently performed albums to its discography.”

MusicWeb International, November 2017

“The interpretations and recording of this cd are at a very high standard. Boris Giltburg’s colorful playing supports the brilliantly playing Pavel Haas Quartet”

De Standaard, December 2017

“The reactive tension on which this quartet’s repu­tation for seductive performances lies can sometimes tire and grate, but here it delivers musical experiences nothing short of compelling… There is little sense of leaning back in dreamy repose here, even in the passages that might suggest that feeling… Nervous tension prevails, and in this instance, with involving sound, it enthrals.”

The Strad, January 2018

“The opening movement is so powerful that the ensuing Dumka sounds hushed by comparison, though the gradual build-up toward the final two movements is handled perfectly… When it comes to Dvorak’s String Quintet, however, I immediately knew that this was a special performance. Joined by violist Pavel Nikl, the Haas Quartet plays this with even more brio, but their vision of the piece prevents it from seeming raucous or out of control. Both the Allegro vivo and the Larghetto are proportionately measured, refined, even sweet in tone.”

American Record Guide, February 2018

“L´investissement et l´inspiration des interprètes ne failblissent pas une seconde: au milieu de prises de vues panoramiques, on leur retrouve des accents aussi radicalement fouettés que chez Smetana en 2015 (Cinq Diapason, cf. no. 639), un art du chant à tomber … et des couleurs à faire pâlir d´envie tous ceux qui y ont tenté leur chance depuis les Talich il y a quenze ans… Apothéose!”

Diapason, February 2018

“Au sein d’une discographie de haut vol, le Quatuor Pavel Haas se distingue par sa lecture sans concession, aux lignes clairement dessinées et au pouls palpitant. Tout entier au service de Dvořák, il émeut, surprend, bouscule, et tient l’auditeur en haleine. On n’en sort pas indemne.”

Classica, July 2018