Bedřich Smetana - String Quartets No. 1 in E minor "From My Life" and No. 2 in D minor
Antonín Dvořák - String Quartets No. 10 in E-flat major, Op. 51 "Slavonic," No. 12 in F major, Op. 96 "American" and No. 13 in G major, Op. 106
Josef Suk - Meditation On an Old Czech Hymn "St. Wenceslas" Op. 35a
Vítězslav Novák - String Quartet No. 2 in D major, Op. 35
Leoš Janáček - String Quartet No. 1 "The Kreutzer Sonata" and No. 2 "Intimate Letters"
The Smetana Quartet, The Panocha Quartet, The Škampa Quartet
The string quartet is a genre that was neglected by few great composers of the Romantic era, and the Czech masters contributed a number of significant works to its international repertoire. Smetana's quartet "From My Life," Dvořák's "American" quartet and Janáček's "Intimate Letters" rank among the mature works of their composers and have become essential repertoire for quartets throughout the world. Furthermore, Dvořák and Suk founded an uninterrupted interpretational tradition which gave rise to a number of world-famous Czech ensembles. A direct line of descent can be traced from the Smetana Quartet, which has performed Smetana's music on hundreds of concert stages, to the Panocha Quartet, which has recorded a highly esteemed recording of the complete Dvořák quartets, and also to the Škampa Quartet, whose Janáček seethes with inimitable raw energy.
This compilation offers the best-known works of the Czech quartet repertoire performed by the greatest masters of the art.