Album

Vlach Quartet

Beethoven & Mozart: String Quartets

Catalogue Number: SU 4221-2
Published: 19th May 2017
Genre: Chamber Music
Format: 4 CD
This album has received following awards:
  • Diapason d'Or, Diapason Magazine (2017)
After having paid tribute to the legacy of the Czech Chamber Orchestra (SU 4203-2), Supraphon has now commemorated another ensemble connected with the violinist and conductor Josef Vlach, a gifted pupil of Josef Talich. Established in 1950, since 1954 the Vlach Quartet performed in the line-up in which it had triumphed in the competition in Liege (1955) and in which it conquered stages worldwide and made all the recordings featured on this album. Two exciting quartets, the Smetana and the Vlach, were active in Prague, ensembles whose difference represented an inspiring polarity of approaches to music interpretation. Ivan Medek thus described the personality of Josef Vlach, who with kindness and authority alike formed the quartet's soul: "Similarly to Talich, Vlach was not a scholarly artist. Yet he possessed a remarkable ability, an acute sense for that which is really strong and communicative in music. His intellect seemed to be constantly fed from an immense source of profound emotional inspiration." The Vlach Quartet recorded Beethoven's quartets within 10 years (1960-70). Given the year in which it was recorded, 1956, the "bonus" Mozart quartet in D minor is one of the ensemble's oldest recordings made soon after their victory in Liege. The presented Beethoven tracks are merely part of the Vlach Quartet's remarkable legacy, which encompasses quartet works by Czech composers (Dvořák, Suk, Janáček, etc.), as well as by Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Debussy and Ravel. And after you have listened to the fourth disc of this compilation, there will be more to look forward to.

Timeless Beethoven pieces, as performed by the legendary Vlach Quartet.

Reviews

“The Vlach’s virtues in the Op.18 quartets are ones of mellifluous warmth in the best traditions of Czech string playing. Vibrato is finely calibrated between the two violinists, the primarius and guiding spirit of the group, Josef Vlach, part of a dynasty of great players … ensuring that he and Snítil are in accord.”
MusicWeb International, September 2017

“La beauté de la palette de Josef Vlach, la distinction de son style rappellent Josef Suk, mais l'expression s'apparente davantage à la lumière d'un David Oistrach. Ces enregistrements ne s'écoutent pas, ils se dégustent … De la polyphonie de la fugue initiale jusqu'à l'élan irrésistible qui anime le finale dans une progression extraordinaire, l'esprit souffle en pleine lumière.”
Diapason, November 2017

CD 1

Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No. 3 in D major, Op. 18
1.
Allegro 08:27
2.
Andante con moto 08:29
3.
Allegro 03:27
4.
Presto 07:08
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No. 1 in F major, Op. 18
5.
Allegro con brio 07:40
6.
Adagio affettuoso ed appassionato 10:14
7.
Scherzo. Allegro molto 03:46
8.
Allegro 06:14
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
String Quartet No. 15 in D minor, K. 421
9.
Allegro moderato 04:57
10.
Andante 06:16
11.
Menuetto. Allegretto 04:19
12.
Allegretto ma non troppo 06:51

CD 2

Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No. 2 in G major, Op. 18
1.
Allegro 07:43
2.
Adagio cantabile. Allegro. Tempo I 06:33
3.
Scherzo - Allegro 04:49
4.
Allegro molto quasi presto 05:57
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No. 5 in A major, Op. 18
5.
Allegro 07:40
6.
Menuetto 05:35
7.
Andante cantabile 09:17
8.
Allegro 05:26
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No. 4 in C minor, Op. 18
9.
Allegro ma non tanto 09:29
10.
Scherzo. Andante scherzoso quasi allegretto 07:37
11.
Menuetto. Allegretto 04:30
12.
Allegro 04:35

CD 3

Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No. 6 in B flat major, Op. 18
1.
Allegro con brio 06:53
2.
Adagio, ma non troppo 07:07
3.
Scherzo - Allegro 03:49
4.
La Malinconia, adagio - Allegretto quasi allegro - Adagio - Prestissimo 08:45
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No. 7 in F major, Razumovsky, Op. 59, No. 1
5.
Allegro 12:01
6.
Allegretto vivace e sempre scherzando 10:07
7.
Adagio molto e mesto (att.) 10:56
8.
Theme russe. Allegro (att.) 08:22

CD 4

Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp minor, Op. 131
1.
Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo 06:49
2.
Allegro molto vivace 03:21
3.
Allegro moderato - Adagio 00:54
4.
Andante ma non troppo e molto cantabile - ...Allegretto 14:02
5.
Presto 06:25
6.
Adagio quasi un poco andante 02:05
7.
Allegro 06:35