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on 19 December 2006
I cannot recommend this highly enough.

With his string quartets, Dvorak reached the pinnacle of Romantic chamber music. I would say that several of the most beautiful pieces of music ever composed are contained on these CDs.

The Prague String quartet clearly understand everything Dvorak expressed through the manuscripts to these pieces. To say that their playing is sublime would be a great understatement indeed - As an avid fan (I own a number of recordings of these string quartets played by various ensembles) of romantic chamber music I can say that this recording is truly unparalleled. Furthermore it is hard to imagine how one could improve upon it - a perfect balance of restraint and expression with nothing over-done or needlessly 'sickly', as tends to befall many other recordings of pieces by the Romantics.

I apologise if this review is so heavy on superlatives that it seems implausible that a CD could be this good, but I genuinely believe that this set of recordings is one of the most beautiful you will ever hear.
11 comment| 41 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 February 2011
Over the years this set, recorded in the 1970s, has frequently been considered the benchmark for these quartets. I've listened to the complete set in the last few days and I simply wish to say here that the Prague Quartet has impressed me enormously with its beautiful ensemble playing. There is total commitment to the music from the first note to the last, and all the range of emotions are covered with the utmost sensitivity - from delicate subtlety to raw passion. The consistency in quality is amazing, and the recordings are also beautifully consistent throughout. Although experts may well discuss different interpretations, for sheer quality of playing this set must still rank at the top - I have heard many other recordings of the 'American' Quartet, op.96, for example, but never a better rendition of the first two movements. I wouldn't be without this set.
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on 13 February 2012
On these nine discs you have every note that Dvorak wrote for the string quartet - 14 numbered quartets, two separate quartet movements, a fragment and the piece called "Cypresses". These are played by the Prague String Quartet who obviously have this music very close to their hearts.

I have spent the past few days listening to the full set (taking it at 2-3 discs a day), and this is absolutely beautiful music. The recordings were made between December 1973 and 1977, although they don't show their age at all, being wonderfully clear.

It's hard to say which is my favourite piece as they are all equally good. I know these recordings were considered as the benchmark for many years and it is certainly not difficult to see why.

If you want to investigate the romantic era string quartet, this would be an ideal place to start. This is music that will move your soul and carry you away. I cannot recommend this set highly enough - and this written by someone who (in his teenage years) used to think chamber music was boring!

Buy, listen and enjoy - you'll find it's well worth it.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 May 2014
I could listen to all the cds of the box but one: cd number 6 which was defective. I returned it and received a second copy that had the same defect on cd no 6, and a third one too!

So my advice is: do buy this SPLENDID edition of wonderfull Dvorak string quartets, but DON'T BUY IT FROM Amazon.uk or you easily shall receive a copy where cd 6 is impossible to listen to. I think the whole stock they have is defective.
11 comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 September 2014
Have just received my 3rd set of these CD's (one ordered and 2 replacement sets)
ALL have a fulty CD #6
Amazon investigating

The playable CD's are wonderful.
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on 15 May 2009
Very very impressive and convincing. The audio is excellent and pure as well. Worth the money.
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 July 2015
A stunning set of truly beautiful and imaginative string quartet writing, convincingly played and sensitively recorded.
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