Bedřich Smetana: String Quartets No. 1 in E minor & No. 2 in D minor

“The PHQ understand absolutely the plasticity of Smetana’s vision and convey it unerringly, unshrinkingly – and in some ways even more convincingly than the Talich, which is saying something. This is extraordinarily bold playing – and they truly capture the sense that Smetana is writing symphonic quartet music.”

Gramophone, May 2015

“In their native repertoire they are well nigh incomparable. I have not heard an account of “From My Life”…that prepares us so starkly, in its turbulent opening Allegro vivo appassionato, for its tragic outcome…And it’s hard to imagine a more compelling or harrowing take on the less frequently programmed D minor quartet.”

The Sunday Times, May 2015

“These are definitive performances in which nothing is taken for granted, enhanced by a resonant acoustic which gives opulence to the weightier sections… These performances set a new standard and reveal so much of what makes these quartets unique.”

BBC Music Magazine, July 2015

“In the autobiographical No 1 what captivating lyrical ardour and devastating emotional candour these superlative young players display … a disc to treasure.”

Classical Ear, July 2015

“There’s a current of joy here, both in the act of music-making and in the artists’ evident love of the music itself.”

Sinfini Music, November 2015

“The Pavel Haas Quartet plays the two quartets with tremendous drive. The music sounds wild, raw, full of accents and partly quite sharp. Instead of surrendering to the Czech richness of colour, the four musicians present the two string quartets as precursors of modernity.”

Pizzicato, December 2019