Album detail
Catalogue number: SU 4257-2

Although formed just a few years ago, the Dvořák Piano Quartet now rank among the major Czech chamber ensembles. The pianist Slávka Vernerová Pěchočová, the violinist Štěpán Pražák, the violist Petr Verner and the cellist Jan Žďánský have played music for a number of years, both separately and together. They began performing as the Dvořák Piano Quartet after having received approval for using the name of the world-renowned composer from his direct descendant, Mr. Antonín Dvořák III.

The ensemble have linked up to the illustrious legacy of their great teachers – Ivan Moravec, Josef Vlach and Milan Škampa. Their debut CD features piano quartets by Antonín Dvořák, splendidly presented in a traditional and sophisticated manner.

“It goes without saying that the actual recording process was preceded by long and thorough preparations, involving removal of interpretation veneer and refining novel ideas. All members of our quartet place high demands on themselves and their colleagues alike, which is a good thing, as we can jointly overcome numerous pitfalls and doubts, agree on how to tackle technical difficulties … Yet seeking and polishing the final form of chamber music is seldom a stroll in the park. And I think that a certain healthy degree of unyielding obstinacy should be part and parcel of the creative process. Woe betide the self-satisfied artist,” the violist Petr Verner said, adding: “Recording music is a rather special discipline. The accounts of individual compositions are captured and conserved on a path that continues. That is why it is such a challenging and responsible task, particularly when you perform music as inspired as that of Dvořák, for instance. Your momentary truth becomes something like a benchmark artefact, which can be replayed completely identically at any time. That is totally out of the question when it comes to live music, which, fortunately, takes place irrevocably in time. Consequently, if a recording is to make any sense, it must concern a truly honest, personal utterance, one that is as close as possible to that which you really believe in at the given moment, either as a soloist or, in the case of chamber music, as a team.”

Supraphon will release the Dvořák Piano Quartet’s album of Antonín Dvořák’s Piano Quartets Nos. 1 and 2, on CD and in digital formats, on 16 November 2018.

In the previous and the current seasons, the Dvořák Piano Quartet have had a very variegated programme. Following their acclaimed first appearance at the Prague Spring festival, they returned to the UK, performing in London (Conway Hall), Cambridge and Luton. Another great accomplishment was the completion of their debut album. During the rest of the current season, the Dvořák Piano Quartet will give a number of concerts in Bohemia and Moravia, yet they will also visit Germany and Austria. In the next season, the ensemble are scheduled to perform on Czech stages, and they have also been invited to appear in France, the UK and Canada.