Czech String Quartets

Czech String Quartets
Composer Antonín Dvorák, Bedrich Smetana, Bohuslav Martinu, Leoš Janácek
Artist Stamitz Quartet
Bohuslav Matoušek first violin
Josef Kekula second violin
Jan Peruška viola
Vladimír Leixner cello
Format 15 CD
Cat. number 9410
EAN code 5029365941020
Release May 2013

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About this release

This extensive collection brings together the complete string quartets of Czech composers Antonín Dvořák, Bedřich Smetana, Leoš Janáček and Bohuslav Martinů.

Those by Dvořák chart the evolution of his style, from his interest in Wagnerian music in the years prior to 1870 – String Quartet in D major – to the folk-infused works of his later life, such as the String Quartet in G major Op.106, and show the influence of his time in the United States, with the String Quartet in F Op.96 ‘American’. The quartets of Smetana have a distinctive neo-classical flavour while those of Janáček show strong links to his operatic works. Prolific composer Bohuslav Martinů composed six quartets, of which two were mislaid during the war. One of these, his fifth string quartet, is widely considered to be one of the most pivotal works in the composer’s oeuvre, written in 1938, a year of much upheaval in Martinů’s life. Many of the quartets in the collection hold an emotional dimension, all of which are exquisitely brought to life by the Stamitz Quartet.

Established in 1985, the Stamitz Quartet quickly became known as leading interpreters of Czech repertory. Winners of the 1986 National Broadcasting Union Competition in Salzburg, the Quartet’s rise to fame was meteoric; they have since participated in tours throughout Europe and America and undertaken a variety of recording projects, of which this collection is one.

Other information:
- Recorded between 1987 and 1993.
- For the first time together in one collection: the complete string quartets of Dvorak, Smetana, Janacek and Martinu!
- Though differing stylistically (Dvorak highly romantic and melodious, Smetana classical but deeply personal (“From My Life”), Janacek intimately speaking about love and tenderness, Martinu vibrant, colourful and exuberant), they share their Bohemian roots in a common heartfelt passion and love for the folklore of their country.
- Excellent performances by the Stamitz Quartet, “natives” with the same musical genes as the composers.
- The booklet provides extensive liner notes for each work.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. String Quartet No. 3 in D Major, B. 18: I. Allegro con brio
  2. String Quartet No. 3 in D Major, B. 18: II. Andantino
  3. String Quartet No. 3 in D Major, B. 18: III. Allegro energico
  4. String Quartet No. 3 in D Major, B. 18: IV. Finale: Allegretto

Disk 2

  1. Quartet No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 4, B. 17: I. Allegro non troppo
  2. Quartet No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 4, B. 17: II. Largo
  3. Quartet No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 4, B. 17: III. Allegro con brio
  4. Quartet No. 2 in B-Flat Major, Op. 4, B. 17: IV. Finale: Andante – Allegro giusto – Allegro con fuoco
  5. Andante appassionato, B. 40a

Disk 3

  1. String Quartet No. 8 in E Major, Op. 80, B. 57: I. Allegro
  2. String Quartet No. 8 in E Major, Op. 80, B. 57: II. Andante con moto
  3. String Quartet No. 8 in E Major, Op. 80, B. 57: III. Allegretto scherzando
  4. String Quartet No. 8 in E Major, Op. 80, B. 57: IV. Finale: Allegro con brio
  5. Echo of Songs, B. 152: I. Moderato (I Know That on My Love to Thee)
  6. Echo of Songs, B. 152: II. Allegro ma non troppo (In Many a Heart Is Death)
  7. Echo of Songs, B. 152: III. Andante con moto (In the Sweet Power of Your Eyes)
  8. Echo of Songs, B. 152: IV. Poco adagio (Oh, Our Love Will Not Bloom into That Long Wished-For Happiness)
  9. Echo of Songs, B. 152: V. Andante (Here I Search for Your Dear Letter)
  10. Echo of Songs, B. 152: VI. Andante moderato (Oh, Golden Charming Rose)
  11. Echo of Songs, B. 152: VII. Andante con moto (I Lurch Around the House)
  12. Echo of Songs, B. 152: VIII. Lento (Here in the Depths of the Forest)
  13. Echo of Songs, B. 152: IX. Moderato (Oh, dear soul, only one)
  14. Echo of Songs, B. 152: X. Andante maestoso (There Stands an Ancient Rock)
  15. Echo of Songs, B. 152: XI. Allegro scherzando (Nature Is Held in Light Sleep)
  16. Echo of Songs, B. 152: XII. Allegro animato (You Ask Why My Songs)

Disk 4

  1. String Quartet No. 4 in E Minor, B. 19: I. Assai con moto ed energico
  2. String Quartet No. 4 in E Minor, B. 19: II. Andante religioso
  3. String Quartet No. 4 in E Minor, B. 19: III. Allegro con brio
  4. Quartet movement in F Major, B. 120

Disk 5

  1. String Quartet No. 5 in F Minor, Op. 9, B. 37: I. Moderato
  2. String Quartet No. 5 in F Minor, Op. 9, B. 37: II. Andante con moto quasi allegretto
  3. String Quartet No. 5 in F Minor, Op. 9, B. 37: III. Tempo di valse
  4. String Quartet No. 5 in F Minor, Op. 9, B. 37: IV. Finale: Allegro molto
  5. String Quartet No. 6 in A Minor, Op. 12, B. 40: I. Allegro ma non troppo
  6. String Quartet No. 6 in A Minor, Op. 12, B. 40: II. Poco allegro
  7. String Quartet No. 6 in A Minor, Op. 12, B. 40: III. Poco adagio
  8. String Quartet No. 6 in A Minor, Op. 12, B. 40: IV. Finale: Allegro molto

Disk 6

  1. String Quartet No. 1 in A Major Op. 2, B. 8: I. Andante – Allegro
  2. String Quartet No. 1 in A Major Op. 2, B. 8: II. Andante affetuoso ed appassionato
  3. String Quartet No. 1 in A Major Op. 2, B. 8: III. Allegro scherzando
  4. String Quartet No. 1 in A Major Op. 2, B. 8: IV. Finale: Allegro animato
  5. Terzetto in C Major for Two Violins & Viola, Op. 74, B. 148: I. Introduzione: Allegro ma non troppo
  6. Terzetto in C Major for Two Violins & Viola, Op. 74, B. 148: II. Larghetto
  7. Terzetto in C Major for Two Violins & Viola, Op. 74, B. 148: III. Scherzo: Vivace
  8. Terzetto in C Major for Two Violins & Viola, Op. 74, B. 148: IV. Thema con variazioni

Disk 7

  1. String Quartet No. 11 in C Major, Op. 61, B. 121: I. Allegro
  2. String Quartet No. 11 in C Major, Op. 61, B. 121: II. Poco adagio e molto cantabile
  3. String Quartet No. 11 in C Major, Op. 61, B. 121: III. Scherzo
  4. String Quartet No. 11 in C Major, Op. 61, B. 121: IV. Finale: Vivace
  5. Two Waltzes, Op. 54, B. 105: No. 1. Moderato
  6. Two Waltzes, Op. 54, B. 105: No. 2. Allegro vivace

Disk 8

  1. String Quartet No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 34, B. 75: I. Allegro
  2. String Quartet No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 34, B. 75: II. Alla Polka
  3. String Quartet No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 34, B. 75: III. Adagio
  4. String Quartet No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 34, B. 75: IV. Finale: Poco allegro
  5. String Quartet No. 7 in A Minor, Op. 16, B. 45: I. Allegro ma non troppo
  6. String Quartet No. 7 in A Minor, Op. 16, B. 45: II. Andante cantabile
  7. String Quartet No. 7 in A Minor, Op. 16, B. 45: III. Allegro scherzando
  8. String Quartet No. 7 in A Minor, Op. 16, B. 45: IV. Finale: Allegro ma non troppo

Disk 9

  1. String Quartet No. 10 in E-Flat Major, Op. 51, B. 92 ‘Slavonic’: I. Allegro ma non troppo
  2. String Quartet No. 10 in E-Flat Major, Op. 51, B. 92 ‘Slavonic’: II. Dumka (Elegia): Andante con moto
  3. String Quartet No. 10 in E-Flat Major, Op. 51, B. 92 ‘Slavonic’: III. Romanza: Andante con moto
  4. String Quartet No. 10 in E-Flat Major, Op. 51, B. 92 ‘Slavonic’: IV. Finale: Allegro assai
  5. String Quartet No. 14 in A-Flat Major, Op. 105, B. 193: I. Adagio ma non troppo allegro appassionato
  6. String Quartet No. 14 in A-Flat Major, Op. 105, B. 193: II. Molto vivace
  7. String Quartet No. 14 in A-Flat Major, Op. 105, B. 193: III. Lento e molto cantabile
  8. String Quartet No. 14 in A-Flat Major, Op. 105, B. 193: IV. Allegro non tanto

Disk 10

  1. String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, Op. 96, B. 179 ‘American’: I. Allegro ma non troppo
  2. String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, Op. 96, B. 179 ‘American’: II. Lento
  3. String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, Op. 96, B. 179 ‘American’: III. Molto vivace
  4. String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, Op. 96, B. 179 ‘American’: IV. Finale: Vivace ma non troppo
  5. String Quartet No. 13 in G Major, Op. 106, B. 192: I. Allegro moderato
  6. String Quartet No. 13 in G Major, Op. 106, B. 192: II. Adagio ma non troppo
  7. String Quartet No. 13 in G Major, Op. 106, B. 192: III. Molto vivace
  8. String Quartet No. 13 in G Major, Op. 106, B. 192: IV. Finale: Andante sostenuto – Allegro con fuoco

Disk 11

  1. String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor, JB 1:105 ‘From my Life’: I. Allegro vivo appassionato
  2. String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor, JB 1:105 ‘From my Life’: II. Allegro moderato a la Polka
  3. String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor, JB 1:105 ‘From my Life’: III. Largo sostenuto
  4. String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor, JB 1:105 ‘From my Life’: IV. Vivace
  5. String Quartet No. 2 in D Minor, JB 1:124: I. Allegro
  6. String Quartet No. 2 in D Minor, JB 1:124: II. Allegro moderato
  7. String Quartet No. 2 in D Minor, JB 1:124: III. Allegro non più moderato
  8. String Quartet No. 2 in D Minor, JB 1:124: IV. Finale: Presto

Disk 12

  1. String Quartet No. 1, JWV 11/8 ‘Kreutzer Sonata’: I. Adagio
  2. String Quartet No. 1, JWV 11/8 ‘Kreutzer Sonata’: II. Con moto
  3. String Quartet No. 1, JWV 11/8 ‘Kreutzer Sonata’: III. Con moto – Vivo – Andante
  4. String Quartet No. 1, JWV 11/8 ‘Kreutzer Sonata’: IV. Con moto (adagio) – Più mosso
  5. String Quartet No. 2, J WV11/13 ‘Intimate Letters’: I. Andante – Con moto – Allegro
  6. String Quartet No. 2, J WV11/13 ‘Intimate Letters’: II. Adagio – Vivace
  7. String Quartet No. 2, J WV11/13 ‘Intimate Letters’: III. Moderato – Adagio – Allegro
  8. String Quartet No. 2, J WV11/13 ‘Intimate Letters’: IV. Allegro – Andante – Adagio

Disk 13

  1. String Quartet No. 1, H. 117 ‘The French’: I. Moderato – Allegro ma non troppo
  2. String Quartet No. 1, H. 117 ‘The French’: II. Andante moderato
  3. String Quartet No. 1, H. 117 ‘The French’: III. Allegro non troppo
  4. String Quartet No. 1, H. 117 ‘The French’: IV. Allegro con brio
  5. String Quartet No. 2, H. 150: I. Moderato – Allegro vivace
  6. String Quartet No. 2, H. 150: II. Andante
  7. String Quartet No. 2, H. 150: III. Allegro
  8. String Quartet No. 3, H. 183: I. Allegro
  9. String Quartet No. 3, H. 183: II. Andante
  10. String Quartet No. 3, H. 183: III. Vivo

Disk 14

  1. String Quartet No. 4 in D Major, H. 256: I. Allegro poco moderato
  2. String Quartet No. 4 in D Major, H. 256: II. Allegro scherzando
  3. String Quartet No. 4 in D Major, H. 256: III. Adagio
  4. String Quartet No. 4 in D Major, H. 256: IV. Allegro
  5. String Quartet No. 5, H. 268: I. Allegro ma non troppo
  6. String Quartet No. 5, H. 268: II Adagio
  7. String Quartet No. 5, H. 268: III. Allegro vivo
  8. String Quartet No. 5, H. 268: IV. Lento – Allegro
  9. String Quartet No. 6, H. 312: I. Allegro moderato
  10. String Quartet No. 6, H. 312: II. Andante
  11. String Quartet No. 6, H. 312: III. Allegro

Disk 15

  1. String Quartet No. 7 ‘Concerto da Camera’, H. 314: I. Poco allegro
  2. String Quartet No. 7 ‘Concerto da Camera’, H. 314: II. Andante
  3. String Quartet No. 7 ‘Concerto da Camera’, H. 314: III. Allegro vivo
  4. Duo No. 1 ‘3 Madrigals’, H. 313 for Violin and Viola: I. Poco allegro
  5. Duo No. 1 ‘3 Madrigals’, H. 313 for Violin and Viola: II. Poco andante
  6. Duo No. 1 ‘3 Madrigals’, H. 313 for Violin and Viola: III. Allegro
  7. String Trio No. 2, H. 238: I. Allegro
  8. String Trio No. 2, H. 238: II. Poco moderato