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Intuitive Understanding

Dvorák
string quartets -
heard by
STEPHEN FRANCIS VASTA

'I enjoyed these flavorful performances when listening more casually ...'

Dvorák String Quartets Opp 34, 106. Zemlinsky Quartet. © 2012 Praga Digitals

I've remarked, on a number of occasions, on the distinctive feeling of Czech musicians for the sort of rubato and accent that suits their native music. This sense of 'style' is easier to observe than to describe, but a few specifics struck me while listening to these performances by the Zemlinsky Quartet, founded in 1994. Note the ease and naturalness with which they shape the melodies: not just in the lift of the folk dances, like the polka and sousedká that comprise the scherzo of the D minor quartet, but in the inflection of alternating triplets and duplets -- a characteristic rhythmic pattern in this music -- and in the 'catch' in the dotted figures in the D minor's Finale. Note their intuitive understanding of the curious way the lyrical melodies waver between affirmation and nostalgia...

Copyright © 6 September 2012 Stephen Francis Vasta,
New York, USA

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DVORÁK STRING QUARTETS OPP 34, 106

ANTONIN DVORAK

CZECH REPUBLIC

CHAMBER MUSIC

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