Pavel Haas Quartet: Veronika Jarůšková - 1st violin, Marek Zwiebel - 2nd violin, Luosha Fang - viola, Peter Jarůšek - cello. Boris Giltburg - piano, Pavel Nikl - viola
Their recording of the American Quartet and String Quartet No. 13, Op. 106 (Gramophone Award - Recording of the Year), elevated the Pavel Haas Quartet among the finest performers of Antonín Dvořák's music. This position was subsequently confirmed by a recording of the composer's quintets, made with the violist Pavel Nikl, a founding member of the ensemble, and the pianist Boris Giltburg, winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition. The album received the most coveted classical music accolades (Gramophone Chamber Award, BBC Radio 3 Record Review Discs of the Year, Diapason d'Or, etc.). While recording the Dvořák quintets, the logical idea of a Brahms album was born. And now it has come to fruition. Dvořák was encouraged by and ultimately attained global fame owing to the kind support and friendship of his older colleague Brahms, who in his twenties had been just as generously aided by Clara and Robert Schumann. Brahms' relationship with Clara is probably also behind the Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34. Originally conceived as a string quintet, in the spring of 1864 Brahms transformed it into a sonata for two pianos, yet Clara voiced her doubts about this version's sound too. The desired contrast and richness of colour was ultimately achieved by combining the strings and the piano. Clara Schumann performed the piano part at the private premiere of the quintet, which she referred to as having "symphonic" proportions. This aspect is clearly foregrounded on the present Pavel Haas Quartet recording. Brahms allegedly intended the String Quintet in G major, Op. 111, to be his last piece of music. In this light, it may come across as a reflection of the music he had cherished during his life - from Beethoven, Schubert, the Viennese waltz, his contemporary Wagner, to his beloved Hungarian dance motifs.
From Dvořák to Brahms. A spellbinding "symphonic" chamber music sound.
“I always find it extraordinary that a small group can produce such a huge sound, full of raw power and magnificent enormity… A notable example of this is in Op. 34, where, aided by Giltburg's lavishly sonorous contribution, they provide a sumptuous conclusion to the first movement that conjures the resonance of a much larger ensemble. Another constant thread running through all their recordings is the range and variety of timbres that they deliver, and the ease with which they switch between them… with these splendid accounts of both quintets they have most certainly not disappointed.” Presto Music, May 2022
“…the sound of pianist Boris Giltburg reunited with the Pavel Haas Quartet, still a potent partnership… Giltburg brings the weight and sonorous tone that the piano part needs, but he stays fully integrated with the opulent sound of this quartet. Always part of the team. The richness, the flexibility of phrasing and the sheer dynamic range of the ensemble is impressive, and they are joined by viola player Pavel Nikl for Brahms’ G major string quintet… Outstanding Brahms chamber music, then.” BBC Radio 3 Record Review, May 2022
“On this new account, however, Giltburg’s Fazioli instrument achieves a subtle blend with the strings, so that there’s a markedly less concertante, more collegial feel than on many rival accounts… After this marvellously invigorating yet well-balanced account of the Piano Quintet, the G major String Quintet opens with a Mendelssohnian joyfulness, with exuberant violin and viola tremolos over an energetically leaping cello theme… The elation of the final two pages is palpable, bringing to a thrilling close one of the most uplifting and outstanding Brahms chamber discs of recent years, and just as urgently recommended!” Europadisc, May 2022
“Over 20 years of performing, the Haas Quartet have lost none of their east European spunk and folksy edge, qualities just as valuable when playing Brahms. Fiery passions and the crispest of rhythms mark outer movements, while slow movements bask in heartfelt nostalgia. Either way, everybody wins.” The Times, May 2022