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

Josef Suk Piano Quartet

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.


Kate Molleson

The GuardianTramp

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