Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Smetana: String Quartets 1 & 2
Essential for chamber music collections
jsa | San Diego, CA United States | 08/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a wonderful disc comprising both of Smetana's string quartets. The first, subtitled "From My Life," would be recognizable as Smetana to anyone who knows his music: the second movement especially is filled with the composer's familiar thematic signatures. The second quartet, which is less commonly heard, is a vibrant work from late in the composer's life. It's relatively brief, running only eighteen minutes on this recording, but it is impressively well developed - in fact, I found myself enjoying it even more than the first quartet. There is agony, turbulence, charm & joy all rolled up together. A great piece of music!
Here's what Classics Today had to say about this disc:
"The Panocha Quartet is one of the finest in the world today. Their performances are characterized by enlivening rhythm, impeccable intonation, and an ensemble sound that's seldom less than gorgeous, and never unappealingly scratchy. Their Smetana faces stiff competition from other Czech groups, not least the Smetana Quartet, but their performances hold their own against all comers. This performance of the comparatively neglected Second Quartet is especially impressive, with well differentiated inner movements and a finale that really goes like the wind. In the first quartet's finale, they bring out the tragic import of the episode signaling the onset of the composer's deafness with all the pathos that one could wish. If you are looking for first rate, idiomatic versions of these two marvelous works, look no further. Good, warm sound too.""