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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars magnificent, 7 Oct 2006
This review is from: Dvorįk: Piano Quartets (Audio CD)
These two pieces, rather different to each other, are nevertheless each startlingly beautiful. The D Major quartet, an early work, shows Dvorak still coming to grips with composing. I am still not convinced that the final movement works. But somehow the music is all the better for that. The melodies are shining and who needs forward, brisk momentum in chamber music? Leave that to Beethoven. He's welcome to it.

The E flat piece inhabits another realm altogether. This really is a masterwork, an exciting, riveting, firey, (yes, at times contemplative) quartet that is very entertaining. All of the melodies are gorgeous, Dvorak was a master of his craft and writes with such a genuine, heartwarming love of music. The playing is always lovely, the players don't over emphasize anything; instead they let the music speak for itself. Each of the 4 movements are full of gems, none of them falls flat. The finale is exciting, the slow movement passionate, and the minuet and trio particularly poignant. This is music to come back to time and time again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two sunny works by Dvorak played and recorded to perfection, 15 Sep 2013
By 
I. Giles (Argyll, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dvorįk: Piano Quartets (Audio CD)
This disc, very well and truthfully recorded in 1987, pairs together the two piano quartets by Dvorak. The two mark different points in his career with the opus numbers making that quite clear.

The opus 23 quartet was written just after Dvorak had received the Austrian State prize for his symphonies 3 and 4. Up to this point his work had shown the influence of both Brahms and Wagner but from this point onwards he found his true Czech or Slavonic voice. Immediately following on from this prestigious and financially important prize he wrote a string of works with his new Slavonic style much in evidence. The first piano quartet was one of these and shared the year's output with the first set of Slavonic Dances and the particularly sunny 5th Symphony. Dvorak, as most would now recognise him, was now launched. An unusual feature of the quartet is that the work is constructed in three movements with the last movement combining elements of both the expected scherzo and the finale movements. The Domus group perform this fresh sounding quartet with all their usual empathy and the lyrical nature of the work is fully explored and delivered.

The second quartet is a more mature work with more sophisticated writing for all the instruments, particularly the piano and the viola parts. This, unlike the first quartet, is in the more traditional four movements, but Dvorak's Slavonic identity is unmissable. Once more the playing of the Domus group leaves nothing to be desired and this disc is an obvious recommendation tor these two linked works.

I would therefore suggest that it is considered with the utmost seriousness by all potential purchasers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars exceptional music exceptionally well played, 8 July 2012
By 
hillbank68 "almac1975" (Fife, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dvorįk: Piano Quartets (Audio CD)
I just want to add my enthusiastic approval of this CD to what other reviewers have written. It was in any case hailed by the critics when it came out in 1987 and won awards at that time. It is hard to fault it on any score. The recording is natural and very well balanced (not easy in a piano quartet). The players play as if the music is in their bones and with love, always making a glorious sound. When they take tiny liberties with the score making, say, an umarked ritenuto to point up one of Dvorak's ravishingly unexpected modulations, it just seems absolutely 'right'. And the music itself, which is not particularly well known, is the very best Dvorak - two substantial quartets, one early, one much later, both full of character, beautiful melodies, quirky rhythmic touches and an inimitable Czech flavour. Recently I have played the first quartet with friends and thereby got to know it very well, and my admiration for this account simply rose and rose. Everything they do seems right, unforced and musical. This is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding chamber music CDs I know, and it fully deserves the five stars that everyone seems to want to give it, myself included.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STAT FORTUNA DOMUS, 29 Oct 2004
By 
DAVID BRYSON (Glossop Derbyshire England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dvorįk: Piano Quartets (Audio CD)
This disc has exactly the virtues, and the other characteristics, that I found on the much-lauded Domus set of Faure's piano quartets. For me Domus are good, but slightly unremarkable, executants. Where they excel is in musical insight, both spiritual and intellectual. The challenge posed by Dvorak's piano quartets seems to me to be of a rather different kind from Faure's. Faure's quartets are music of the very highest quality, his idiom is not one that just every interpreter can get the hang of, and the technical difficulty of his writing, which is often a lot greater than it sounds, must on no account be made apparent to the listener. With Dvorak the musical idiom is thoroughly familiar. The real trick is to make the music sound at its best all the way through, something the composer himself has not always bothered to do.
It used to be fashionable to level at Mendelssohn a charge of being at times facile. There is some truth in the allegation I would say, although it lost nothing in the telling by, say, Tovey. It is a charge that I would say is a lot more true of Dvorak. His best is so superlatively good that I find I almost resent the way he trivialises his own genius, getting by on his easy melodic gift, his acute sense of instrumental tone and his undoubted and almost unfailing charm, together with a slightly reach-me-down Czechery that I find palls on me rather quickly. It is surely to the credit of the performers here that the D major quartet comes across so successfully and consistently as the fine composition that it partly is. The relaxed easy-going charm is never allowed to deteriorate into cuteness, the momentum is maintained with great tact and skill, and any sense of self-consciousness in the more `nationalist' elements of the idiom is adroitly minimised. The E flat quartet is an altogether more formidable composition. Its slow movement in particular finds the composer at his most serious and impressive, but the work throughout shows Dvorak at something close to his very best, outstandingly original in many ways (notably in the third movement) and never falling into either prolixity or formulaic attractiveness.
It feels grudging and ungenerous not to give a fifth star to this disc, but the reason why not is compelling. The performance that I own of Dvorak's piano quintet, with Curzon taking the piano part, is on another plane of beauty altogether. This disc is one I thoroughly and sincerely commend, but no honest reviewer should put it in the same bracket as that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 28 Sep 2014
By 
Adi H. Jehangir "Adi" (Bombay, India) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dvorįk: Piano Quartets (Audio CD)
A great disc not only of Dvorak, but of chamber music in general.
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Dvorįk: Piano Quartets
Dvorák: Piano Quartets by Domus (Audio CD - 2000)
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