Schulhoff, Dvorák: Česko CD review –an exhilarating Bohemian double bill

Ragazze Quartet
(Channel Classics)

The playing of the wittily named all-female Ragazze Quartet is fresh, light in texture, nimble and just occasionally a little ragged, but always spirited. This young British/Dutch group has collaborated with composers and artists, as well as with other musicians. Here the emphasis is on Bohemia – colloquially known as Česko (Czech) – the homeland of both Dvorák and his one-time pupil Erwin Schulhoff, who died in a concentration camp in 1942. In addition to performing his Quartet No 1 (1924), the ensemble has commissioned a string arrangement of Schulhoff’s piano pieces Esquisses de Jazz (1927). Dvorák’s ample and high-energy Quartet No 13 in G major completes this exhilarating disc.


Fiona Maddocks

The GuardianTramp

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