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

“Prokofiev’s Second Quartet is one of the most immediately attractive quartets in the repertoire. In the wondrous Adagio the cello line rises high, ghostly melodic statements in octaves can expose the smallest tuning difficulties and pizzicati needs must sparkle like ice. The young players pass every test before dispatching the inventive finale with equal aplomb… The strenuously wrought First Quartet comes off just as well. The concluding Andante… is rarely tackled with the passion you find here. Of the small clutch of „classic“ performances of the component pieces, none is more usefully programmed than the present disc, nor so naturally recorded. Why hesitate?”

Gramophone, March 2010

“…a performance of tremendous musical energy: robust, well characterised and exact.”

The Independent on Sunday, January 2010

“Beautifully performed … fierce intensity and fierce clarity go hand in hand.”

The Sunday Times, January 2010

“Their tone is large, quasi-orchestral. They take risks; often they play fast. Above all, they play with passion…Semi-quavers scurry, all sinews showing. Fortissimo attacks blast your socks off…Gloriously invigorating and a great antidote to the winter blues.”

The Guardian, January 2010

“Their strident physicallity is the perfect foil for Prokofiev’s wartime Second Quartet, with its defiant adoption of gutsy Kabardian folk material. But the First Quartet’s neo­classical delicacies allow the quartet some melting moments before they hit the manic Finale with punk intensity.”

Classic FM, April 2010

“There is a fairly high level of intensity in these Prokofiev works for the young Czech players to meet, and they rise vividly to the challenge…it’s pro­bably right that [they] feel its ebb and flow with passionate engagement.”

BBC Music Magazine, April 2010

“This is a great disc… The Pavel Haas Quartet, in the best Czech tradition, has the ability to play with a maximum of rhythmic energy without a shred of timbral crudity… Ideally warm, clear, well-balanced engineering flatters the performances, making this disc an essential addition to any Prokofiev collection.”, April 2010

“Faszinierend ist der Zugriff, lebendig, packend, rhythmisch kraftvoll und mit spannungsgeladenen Pausen, aber doch auch ganz besonders fein, wenn es darum geht, die vielen Nuancen der Musik darzustellen. Nicht nur hiervon kündet gleich der Kopfsatz des h-Moll-Quartetts, sondern auch von der außerordentlichen instrumentalen Balance, die das Ensemble zwischen homogenem Gesamtklang und den Erfordernissen immer wieder solistisch hervortretender Instrumente entfaltet.”, April 2010