[SACD-R][OF] Pražák Quartet (Prazak Quartet) - Ludwig van Beethoven – String Quartets, Vol. 4 - 2004 (Chamber)

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Pražák Quartet
Ludwig van Beethoven – String Quartets, Vol. 4
- Формат записи/Источник записи: [SACD-R][OF]
Наличие водяных знаков: Нет
Год издания/переиздания диска: 2004
Жанр: Chamber
Издатель(лейбл): Praga Digitals
Продолжительность: 00:51:39
Наличие сканов в содержимом раздачи: Да-Треклист:
Quartet for Strings no 10 in E flat major, Op. 74 "Harp" (1809; Vienna, Austria)
1] First Movement - Poco adagio
2] Second Movement - Adagio ma non troppo
3] Third Movement - Presto
4] Fourth Movement - Allegretto con variazioni
Quartet for Strings no 11 in F minor, Op. 95 "Serioso"(1810)
5] First movement - Allegro con brio
6] Second Movement - Allegretto ma non troppo
7] Third Movement - Allegro assai vivace ma serioso
8] Fourth Movement - Larghetto espressivo-Prazák String Quartet-Контейнер: ISO (*.iso)
Тип рипа: image
Разрядность: 64(2,8 MHz/1 Bit)
Формат: DST64
Количество каналов: 5.1,2.0
Доп. информация: Praga Digitals PRD/DSD 250 199 (2004)
Recording type: DSD
Release Date: 05/11/2004
Источник (релизер): ManWhoCan (PS³SACD)


Vaclav Remes, Vlastimil Holek, violin
Josef Kluson, viola
Michal Kanka, cello

Об исполнителе (группе)

The Prazak Quartet—one of today´s leading international chamber music ensembles—was established in 1972 while its members were students at the Prague Conservatory. Since then, the quartet has gained attention for its place in the unique Czech quartet tradition, and for its musical virtuosity.
The 1974 Czech Music Year saw the Prazak Quartet receive the first prize at the Prague Conservatory Chamber Music Competition. Within twelve months their international career had been launched with a performance at the 1975 Prague Spring Music Festival. In 1978 the quartet took the first prize at the Evian String Quartet Competition as well as a special prize awarded by Radio France for the best recording during the competition. Further prizes were awarded at various other Czech competitions.
For more than 30 years, the Prazak Quartet has been at home on music stages worldwide. They are regular guests in the major European musical capitals—Prague, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Milan, Madrid, London, Berlin, Munich, etc.—and have been invited to participate at numerous international festivals, where they have collaborated with such artists as Menahem Pressler, Jon Nakamatsu, Cynthia Phelps, Roberto Diaz, Josef Suk, and Sharon Kam.
The quartet has toured extensively in North America, having performed in New York (Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, 92nd St. Y), Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Washington, Philadelphia, Miami, St. Louis, New Orleans, Berkeley, Cleveland, Tucson, Denver, Buffalo, Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal. They will return to the US and Canada in the 2016-17 season.
The Prazak Quartet records exclusively for Praga/Harmonia Mundi which, to date, has released more than 30 award-winning CDs. In addition to numerous radio recordings in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic, the Prazak Quartet has also made recordings for Supraphon, Panton, Orfeo, Ottavo, Bonton, and Nuova Era.
In 2015, Jana Vonášková joined the group as first violinist, succeeding Pavel Hula. She is a graduate of the Royal College of Music in London, and was a member of the Smetana Trio for nine years. She appears often as a soloist and in recital throughout Europe. Second violinist Vlastimil Holek has been with the Prazak Quartet for nearly four decades, and also performs independently. Violist Josef Kluson is a founding member of the quartet, and gives masterclasses worldwide. Cellist Michal Kanka joined the group in 1986. He performs and records as a soloist in addition to his work with the quartet. Messrs Holek, Kluson, and Kanka are graduates of the Prague Conservatory and the Academy of Fine Arts.

Об альбоме (сборнике)

The Pražák Quartet is a Czech string quartet established in 1972. It is 1 of the Czech Republic’s premiere chamber ensembles. It was founded while its members were still students at Prague Conservatory. The Pražák Quartet is a finely balanced ensemble that plays with unassuming perfection accompanied by a sense of unerring authority.
A diptych (1809-1810) of Goethean mood, the opus 74 with its heroic tone contemporary with the ‘Emperor’ piano concerto, the opus 95 with its final deriving its triumph willpower from Egmont ouverture, while the general surroundings are rather bitter. The Pražák give without consideration the moments of heartache as those of tenderness, of vehemence as of melancholy, eventually of serenity when ‘a divine hand lays on peace over a burning forehead’.
For some, Beethoven’s string quartets may seem over-performed & recorded too often, & the appearance of yet another recording may elicit only a tepid response, if not outright dismissal. But the truly jaded listeners need to give this splendid disc a try, for the Prazák Quartet offers an amazing musical experience & makes this familiar repertoire sound new, urgent, & genuinely exciting. Vol. 4 of the ensemble’s recordings of Beethoven’s quartets pairs 2 middle works, the String Quartet #10 in E flat major (“Harp”) & the String Quartet #11 in F minor (“Serioso”). Both pieces are masterfully rendered, with wonderful cohesion, great sonic depth, & riveting energy, & the Prázak’s interpretations are as intellectually coherent as they are emotionally compelling. Best of all, the group’s sound is almost orchestral in its nuanced timbres & powerful massed sonorities, & the players’ technical resources are fully exercised to provide the widest possible range of string colours. The Prazák is clearly a quartet for the digital age, & 1 that is well served by DSD recording. Hearing this superb ensemble in any format would be a pleasure, but Praga’s hybrid SACD makes the experience all the more enjoyable. The musicians are captured with lifelike presence & the acoustics are naturally resonant.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
The Pražák Quartet is a finely balanced ensemble that plays with unassuming perfection accompanied by a sense of unerring authority. These performances are so natural in their musicality that one might mistake them for being unimaginative. Rather than force you to follow them in an over embellished voyage of what some call musical discovery, they assume you know the music as they do. I’ve listened to this recording several times and find it an absolute pleasure to hear musicians who don’t feel compelled to point out this and that about a musical score. One feels the Pražáks were born knowing this music and compared to them, the recent Borodin Quartet recording on Chandos sounds like a casual run through, despite the more overtly soloistic playing of violinist Ruben Aharonian.
The opening of the op. 74 Quartet sets out their credo, and they are consistent through it and the “Serioso” as well. Poco adagio for them means just that—a bit adagio without exaggeration. The forte chords—unaccented in the score—are forte chords, not the slashes heard in so many recent recordings by current quartets. Sometimes, they are too well balanced (at least in op. 74): the cello solo early in the development section of the first movement could be more prominent and the violist is occasionally too reticent.
Understatement serves them well in the gentle cantabile of the Adagio movement of the “Harp.” The movement’s ending is appropriately inconclusive, paving the way for an astonishingly fine performance of the technically demanding Presto: four musicians playing as one with clarity of expression, technical precision, and superb control of phrase and dynamics. They make it sound easy, and some may miss the sense of struggle that often underlies this movement (not always for interpretive reasons.)
As fine as the Pražák’s “Harp” is, the “Serioso” is an even stronger performance. The Czech players unify the opening of the first movement—phrasing across the second bar rests, which can sound startling in the hands of those who prefer a more revolutionary approach. Hairpin dynamics are expressed but not exaggerated, for example, as the quartet concentrates on presenting the whole rather than a collection of intriguing parts. Movement flows into movement through excellent choice of tempo. The playing is broadly symphonic. I wish the Pražáks had recorded these performances in the faultless acoustics of Prague’s Rudolfinum rather than the anonymous sounding Domovina Studio. In the extraordinary clarity of the SACD version, one sometimes hears the faint trace of artificial reverberation, making the CD layer of the hybrid disc slightly preferable if you are sensitive to this. In the light of the music-making, I would have enjoyed this recording on a portable AM radio.
These are highly recommended readings of essential literature; yet I would not place them ahead of the Emersons and Hagens of today or the beloved Budapest and Vienna Konzerthaus Quartets of the past. Placing them alongside these icons is recommendation enough.
Michael Fine, FANFARE
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