Dvorak: Quintets Op. 81 & 97 (CD)

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Boris Giltburg, Pavel Nikl, Pavel Haas Quartet


Recorded in the Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum, Prague, 18-19 May (Op. 97) and 26-27 June 2017 (Op. 81).

Seven years after they triumphed with Dvořák’s quartets (SU40382, op. 96 “American” and op. 106 – Gramophone Award „Recording of the Year“), Pavel Haas Quartet are back to Dvořák. For the occasion of recording his quintets, they have invited two guests: the pianist Boris Giltburg (winner of 2013 Queen Elizabeth Competition), as well as one of the PHQ founding members, violist Pavel Nikl. Antonín Dvořák composed his Piano Quintet No. 2 while staying at his beloved summer house in Vysoká in the late summer of 1887. The renowned critic Eduard Hanslick responded to its performance in Vienna enthusiastically: „It is one of his most beautiful works. A genuine Dvořák.“ The String Quintet op. 97, albeit only six years younger, presents a completely „different Dvořák“. After the Symphony from the New World and the “American” quartet, the string quintet is the composer’s third work written in America.

Besides drawing inspiration from the music of the Native American tribe of the Iroquois which he heard in Spillville in the summer of 1893, he built the third movement around a theme that he had previously considered using in a proposal for a new American anthem.

And Hanslick’s testimonial? „This is probably the simplest, most natural and happiest music composed since Haydn’s times. The ear enjoys it with an easy-going attitude and the spirit is not bored for a single moment.“ Pavel Haas Quartet is at home in Dvořák’s music – to quote the Sunday Times, „In this repertoire, they are simply matchless today.“

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BBC Music Magazine

5 Stars
November 2017 Recording of the Month

"Throughout the slow movement, the playing of the solo lines is captivating…The Haas Quartet with Boris Giltburg provide both relaxation and a strong sense of purposeful energy…Excellently recorded, these performances are among the most memorable I have encountered in recent years."

Gramophone Magazine

November 2017 Editor's Choice
Gramophone Awards 2018 - Winner: Chamber

"It is the happiest of reunions and their sense of shared purpose is evident from the very start...Giltburg is likewise completely at one with the quartet, who set off full of sighing pathos...From the off, they make the music their own...the sense of story-telling is very persuasive...Another triumphant addition to the Pavel Haas’s already Award-laden discography."

The Observer

5 Stars

"The playing is breathtakingly good, each performer maintaining their own personality and yet working together to conjure a special magic, whether in the sparkling “furiant” of the piano quintet No 2 in A major, Op 81 (with Boris Giltburg at his most mercurial), or the dreamy, song-like opening movement of the string quintet in E flat major."

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Dvorak: Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major, Op. 81, B. 155
Boris Giltburg (piano)

Dvorak: String Quintet in E-Flat Major, Op. 97, B. 180
Pavel Nikl (viola)