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Dvorak: String Quartets 8 & 11 CD

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Dvorak: String Quartets 8 & 11
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  • Dvorák - String Quartets 12 & 13
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  • Dvorák: String Quartets No. 10, Op. 51; No. 14, Op. 105
Total price: £16.75
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Product details

  • Performer: Vlach Quartet
  • Composer: Antonín Dvorák
  • Audio CD (3 Jun. 1996)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B00000147R
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 225,874 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

NAX 8553372; NAXOS - Germania; Classica da camera Quartetto archi

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Those of you who have read my previous reviews of some of the Dvorak Chamber works by the Vlach Players will know that I hold them (as do many others) in considerable esteem, so let's start by saying that this CD is of the high standard, both in performance and sound quality that we have come to expect: so now to the music itself and some words by way of introduction, which I hope will assist.

In 1881, Dvorak got a commission from the Hellmessberger Quartet in Vienna who were proposing to play his "new Quartet". Unfortunately, he had not written such a new one at that time, so he put aside his work on an Opera called "Dmitri", and came up with one in F Major: that did not work out for him, so he replaced it with the C Major work recorded here. Now Vienna was celebrated for performances of works by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, so this was a challenge for a non-German Composer. As a result, he elected to write the Quartet is a strictly classical style, restraining his natural Bohemian/Czech style - at least to start with (it didn't last the duration, as we shall see). The first movement begins with a somewhat tentative C Major violin theme, but soon gathers confidence and moves towards a second subject in the unusual key of in E Flat, although it does later veer towards a more conventional G Major. This subject is gently developed with some beautifully serene music. The repeat is observed, and all is developed with several key changes, providing contrasts in the themes. before the re-establishment of the tonic key of C Major before an assertive - and then a subdued - close.

The lovely slow movement is one of Dvorak's most romantic utterances, focussing on the two violins at the very opening, and creating an atmosphere of intimacy.
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Format: Audio CD
The Vlach Quartet, Prague has strong family links with the original Vlach Quartet that will be familiar to those who collected Supraphon discs in the 1960's. This new series of the Dvorak quartets is a resounding success and simply illustrates that lower priced labels like Naxos are really able to compete with the more expensive opposition and arguably win. The secret is to engage high quality players such as this group and provide them with excellent recordings. This particular disc was well recorded in 1995 and delivers natural and revealing sound.

The two quartets on the disc are both middle period works despite the advanced opus number of the eighth quartet. This is explained by its later revision whereby Dvorak assigned it the opus 80 number to replace its original opus 27 from 1876. The revision was dated in 1888. The opus 61 quartet (no. 11) was written in 1881. As can be seen by these dates the eighth quartet's two versions straddle the 11th quartet fairly evenly.

Both the quartets are fully recognisable as mature Dvorak in terms of melodic invention and in terms of instrumental writing. The 11th quartet is a generally happy creation as is common with much of the composer's output whereas the 8th quartet is rather more sombre in mood having perhaps been influenced by the recent death, in 1975, of Dvorak's first daughter shortly after birth. This more sombre mood, more related to feelings of melancholy or reflection, does not make the quartet any less important as a composition or satisfying as an artistic endeavour any more than the knowledge that the reflective moments at the end of his cello concerto also recall his recently deceased, and much love, sister-in-law.

This then is a well recorded and satisfying pair of quartets very well and sympathetically played. I would suggest that it, like the others in the series, is well worth considering as a strong purchase option.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Vlach quartet are wonderful players, their music has liveliness, warmth and feeling and the recording quality is spot on. The liner notes are good, plenty of information. Low price high quality.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x955b8114) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95470c48) out of 5 stars Gorgeous Playing 7 Aug. 2000
By Xenophanes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The new Vlach Quartet's series of Dvorák's music for string quartet has been a resounding success. These works, Opp. 80 and 61 are not as well-known as the American Quartet, Op. 96, but they are well worth hearing. As with the rest of the series, the sound quality is excellent.
Quartet no. 8, Op. 80, is a very nice work, but is not as structurally strong. At some points, it needs some romantic interpretation, and with the Vlach Quartet, you will never know the joints are there. Their playing is beautiful and interesting throughout.
Though written in 1876, op. 80 was revised in 1888, which is probably why it has the later opus number than op. 61, finished in 1881.
Quartet no. 11, Op. 61, which actually appears first on the disc, is sheerly beautiful from beginnning to end. I cannot imagine how anyone could play it better than the Vlach Quartet does here. The second movement, Poco adagio e molto cantibile, is particularly beautifully done. Fast or slow, lyrical or dramatic, the Vlach Quartet always catches the mood perfectly. While the music is not as great as Dvorák's last three quartets, Op. 61 is a very fine work.
This is a lovely disc, and for those interested in the repertoire, I highly recommend it.
HASH(0x95470c9c) out of 5 stars Continuing an excellent series as good as any at any price 17 Aug. 2013
By I. Giles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The Vlach Quartet, Prague has strong family links with the original Vlach Quartet that will be familiar to those who collected Supraphon discs in the 1960's. This new series of the Dvorak quartets is a resounding success and simply illustrates that lower priced labels like Naxos are really able to compete with the more expensive opposition and arguably win. The secret is to engage high quality players such as this group and provide them with excellent recordings. This particular disc was well recorded in 1995 and delivers natural and revealing sound.

The two quartets on the disc are both middle period works despite the advanced opus number of the eighth quartet. This is explained by its later revision whereby Dvorak assigned it the opus 80 number to replace its original opus 27 from 1876. The revision was dated in 1888. The opus 61 quartet (no. 11) was written in 1881. As can be seen by these dates the eighth quartet's two versions straddle the 11th quartet fairly evenly.

Both the quartets are fully recognisable as mature Dvorak in terms of melodic invention and in terms of instrumental writing. The 11th quartet is a generally happy creation as is common with much of the composer's output whereas the 8th quartet is rather more sombre in mood having perhaps been influenced by the recent death, in 1975, of Dvorak's first daughter shortly after birth. This more sombre mood, more related to feelings of melancholy or reflection, does not make the quartet any less important as a composition or satisfying as an artistic endeavour any more than the knowledge that the reflective moments at the end of his cello concerto also recall his recently deceased, and much love, sister-in-law.

This then is a well recorded and satisfying pair of quartets very well and sympathetically played. I would suggest that it, like the others in the series, is well worth considering as a strong purchase option.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x954730f0) out of 5 stars Strong performances of wonderful music 17 April 2009
By G.D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This disc further confirms that Naxos's true strength lies in the chamber repertoire, for these are impressively atmospheric and competitive readings of two very rewarding works. The eighth quartet is surprisingly rarely performed given the high quality of the musical material, and the Vlach quartet provides a committed and lively reading. The first two movements are particularly well done, full of energy and fervour, and played with an admirably ear for textural detail and transparency. The Allegro scherzando receives a rather light-hearted interpretation (but is none the worse for that) and the finale is warm and lush if perhaps a tad lacking in energy compared to the performance of the first two movements.

The eleventh quartet is also well played but perhaps a little too stilted, although there are many beautiful touches and moods to savour. But even though this release might not quite reach the top of the pile (although it comes darned close in the eighth), it is still immensely rewarding and strongly recommended. The sound quality is warm and glowingly atmospheric as well.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x954734bc) out of 5 stars Dvorak: String Quartets 8 & 11 19 Aug. 2011
By Bjorn Viberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Dvorak: String Quartets 8 & 11 is a Naxos recording from 1995 played by Vlach Quartet Prague. Music notes have been written by Keith Anderson. Being a big fan of Dvorak I very much enjoyed this recording. Highly recommended. 5/5.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x954735a0) out of 5 stars 2 FINE WORKS 31 Dec. 2012
By michael thomas mailey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Here is another pair of string quarets that sounds great & better.The quartet number 11 is the better of the pair.IT is like almost 40 minutes long.The other one is fine because it was redone.
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