Dvořák Piano Quartet: Slávka Vernerová - piano, Štěpán Pražák - violin, Petr Verner - viola, Jan Žďánský - cello
Robert Schumann, a versatile, well-educated young artist destined for great things, a man whose music has always amazed with its extent and profundity ... and also a person of delicate psyche, which many a time led him to the very border between life and death. He composed the Piano Quartet in C minor, his first piece of this ilk, at the age of 18, and although, notwithstanding his original intention, he would never remake it into a symphony, he still had it on his mind some 20 years later: "I vividly recollect a passage in one of my works (1828), which I thought was romantic, with a spirit different to that of old music that appeared to me as though opening up a new poetic life." The Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op. 47, already attests to Schumann's compositional mastery, with its idiom inspired by Bach and Beethoven yet speaking in a clearly singular language. The 1853 Märchenerzählungen (Fairy Tale Narrations), was one of the composer's last happy creative upswings, written shortly before he attempted suicide by jumping from a bridge into the river Rhine with the aim to put an end to his unbearable mental torment. The Dvořák Piano Quartet's album spans the entire arch of Schumann's work: the beginning, the peak and the end. Just like all his music, it shows how immense beauty is often close to pain and suffering.
Immense beauty and anguish of the soul in Schumann's chamber music