Dvořák/Suk: Piano Quartets CD review – earthy themes of big-hearted beauty

Josef Suk Piano Quartet
(Supraphon)

There’s lineage here: when Josef Suk signed up for composition lessons with Antonín Dvořák at the Prague Conservatory in the 1880s, he landed himself not just a mentor but also a father-in-law (he would marry Otilie Dvořák in 1898). Suk wrote his First Piano Quartet under Dvořák’s tutelage in 1891; Dvořák wrote his own Second Quartet around the same time, and one is as youthful and excitable as the other is mature and assured. There are obvious links in the sturdy, earthy sweep of the themes and the intense dialogue between the instruments, and both have slow movements of big-hearted beauty. The Josef Suk Piano Quartet is named after the violinist (1929-2011) who was grandson of the composer Suk (and so great-grandson of Dvořák); they play with huge sound, loving detail and the kind of conviction and authority that comes from personal connection.

Contributor

Kate Molleson

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Dvořák: The Spectre’s Bride CD review – choral music takes a wild nocturnal ride

Andrew Clements

30, Mar, 2017 @2:00 PM

Dvořák: Songs and Duets – review
Dvořák's charming and graceful Moravian Duets are what first brought him fame, and Fink and Kühmeier sing them with great verve, writes Tim Ashley

Tim Ashley

12, Apr, 2012 @8:45 PM

Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No 9; A Hero's Song – review
Nelsons' power as an interpreter is fully displayed in this fresh, dramatic rendering of the New World Symphony, says Andrew Clements

Andrew Clements

04, Apr, 2013 @8:29 PM

Article image
Dvořák/Schumann: Cello Concertos/Casals: El Cant dels Ocells review – An impulsive, refined lyricism
Former teen prodigy Pablo Ferrández's debut disc reveals a fine performer with a poetic touch, writes Tim Ashley

Tim Ashley

13, Mar, 2014 @9:45 PM

Article image
Hough: Dvořák and Schumann Piano Concertos CD review – poised brilliance

Erica Jeal

28, Apr, 2016 @2:00 PM

Article image
Brahms: String Quartets, Piano Quintet CD review – angst, ardency and brilliance

Kate Molleson

06, Oct, 2016 @2:15 PM

Schumann & Dvořák: Piano Concertos
These performances display dazzling technique and refined sound but lack character, writes Andrew Clements

Andrew Clements

06, Jun, 2013 @8:00 PM

Article image
Dvořák/Bartók/Dohnányi: string quartets review – fresh, light and shiny
The youthful energy from this Parisian quartet makes for a spontaneous, shiny sound with great conversational bravura between the players

Kate Molleson

05, Nov, 2015 @4:40 PM

Article image
CBSO/Wellber review – ecstatic Dvořák and ardent Bartók
Omer Meir Wellber impressed at Glyndebourne this year and here brought a superb freshness, with the subtle violinist Gidon Kremer equally fine

Andrew Clements

13, Sep, 2018 @12:19 PM

Dvorak: Piano Quartets; Vlach Quartet Prague, with Helena Sucharova-Weiser | CD review
Stephen Pritchard enjoys a breathless recording of Dvorak's piano quartets

Stephen Pritchard

24, Jan, 2010 @12:07 AM