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  1. Classical Music Discussion
    Antonin Dvorak is truly remembered for his symphonies, especially the Ninth, but something that should be studied more about him was the four fairy-tale tone poems he did towards the end of his life. These works are..."The Water Goblin", "The Noonday Witch", "The Wild Dove" and, my personal...
  2. Blog
    Dvorak's 1887 Cypresses, the collection of string quartet miniatures that often fill out discs of the composer's better-known chamber works, had their origins as an early song-cycle written in 1865 when the 24-year-old composer was still finding his style. The cycle's dedicatee criticised the...
  3. Blog
    I know I've been dismissive of some of Dvorak's early quartets but the 1st doesn't fall into this category for me as its bursting with vitality and a better set of tunes. Its really worth hearing for the charming last movement which the Vlach Prague Quartet rather bugger up due to inordinately...
  4. Blog
    This one is, again, going to short and sweet as, like the 3rd quartet, it is certainly not a favourite (to put it mildly) and overstays its welcome by a good 20 minutes. At around three-quarters of an hour it's Dvorak's second longest quartet and lacks focus and direction to these ears. Tbh...
  5. Blog
    The 3th quartet is a quirky work of 3 movements which, to me, doesn't sound terribly Czech or Dvorakian but is a nice quartet and doesn't overstay its welcome like the 3rd. This is going to be a sort review with so few recordings. Basically there's very little to choose between them but here's...
  6. Blog
    At (usually) over an hour, Dvorak's 3rd is by far his longest and, for many, his most unappealing quartet, often feeling like more of an endurance test than an enjoyable listen. It's not 'bad', per se , and contains some pleasant material but it's a piece that seems to go nowhere slowly and is a...
  7. Blog
    The key to any recording of Dvorak's 5th quartet is a lovely, lyrical Andante, for me. In this respect all the performances were fine ones but two stood out, in particular. Recommended Albion (sound a little dry though) Vlach Prague Stamitz Prague Top Picks Panocha - a sensitive and stylish...
  8. Blog
    Again, very few recordings of this quartet so here are my thoughts on the performances starting with my top preferences. 1. Panocha - whilst the Panochas maybe don't begin with the bite of the Vlachs, the control of dynamics and beauty of tone in this performance is a winning combination. They...
  9. Blog
    Not many recordings so here's my review of them all and ordered (best first). 1. Stamitz - gloriously robust and forceful performance. The Stamitz"s phrasing is an utter delight. Just listen to them rock Dvorak's chugging 'train' rhythm in the last movement then bring the whole performance to...
  10. Blog
    The 9th is a very fine quartet and tbh there's few bad recordings of it but some of the old boys rose to the very top this time. Recommended Delme Apollon Chilingirian Highly desirable (all superb) Stamitz - slightly more measured than the Panochas the Stamitz play the 2nd movement...
  11. Blog
    Dvorak's 11th SQ is probably my least favourite of his late quartets (the others have all the best choons) but its a Dvorak SQ so you know its still gonna be highly enjoyable. For once, not too many recordings. Yay! Recommended Stamitz Guarneri Chilingirian Novak (1963) Mendelssohn Juilliard...
  12. Blog
    Recommended ABQ Janacek (1957) Budapest (1956) Kapralova New Zealand Britten Bennewitz Wihan (2019) Australian Vogler American String Quartet Hugely recommended Panocha (1993 & 2005) - the Camerata remake slightly beats their previous recording as its more characterful but its such fine...
  13. Blog
    OK, so another week and another SQ. Thoroughly enjoyed reacquainting myself with this glorious quartet. As usual here's my thoughts. Recommended (all excellent recordings) Cypress Alban Berg Guarneri Wihan Panocha (2008 Camerata) Cecilia Emerson Stamitz Vlach (Supraphon) Bennewitz...
  14. Blog
    Again, there were plenty of interesting performances to consume and I've tried to sum my favourites up below. Shame I never got to hear the Hagen recording. I was looking forward to that one. Anyway, here goes. I hope you folks have found a recording you didn't know previously, too. Impressive...
  15. Classical Music Discussion
    I am by no means an expert. I am a simple man who appreciates musical genius in any genre. I have not yet intentionally set out to compare these two pieces, but while listening today I was struck by obvious similarities. Am I a fool? Or has someone got caught with their hand in the cookie jar?
  16. Solo & Chamber Music
    Just realized that Dvorák wrote 14 string quartets! :o (I particularly love his String Quintet in G, op.77) Does anyone have good recommendations to start? Top 5 Dvorak String Quartets, for example. :D
  17. Identifying Classical Music
    Greeting Dear Fellow Members, I hope you all are well, recently i came across this video where i heard this marvelous string piece. the link to the video is: the music starts at 03:40 mark. Any help that you can offer me in identifying this piece shall be greatly appreciated.
  18. Classical Music Discussion
    As a follow up to my Brahms Hungarian Dances set I'd like to throw this out to you. It's another little listening project to take up some more of this rather dull self-isolation. Like last time, here is a complete set of Dvorak's Slavonic Dances for you to listen to and comment on as you wish...
  19. Orchestral Music
    I searched for a thread on this but couldn't find one so I don't think I'm repeating. I'm really enjoying getting to know this symphony better after doing an intense score study and much listening. Its so overshadowed by the 7th, 8th, and 9th today but when it first came out it was HUGELY...
  20. Classical Music Discussion
    "A second hearing only serves to confirm the original impression that it is one of the finest, and at the same time of the most beautiful and attractive, of its composer's chamber works. Its principal characteristic is the strong national colouring which pervades it throughout, though only in...
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