PETER LUNDIN listens to the
'undesired' quartets of Pavel Haas
<< Continued from page 2
The String Quartet No. 2, op 7 (1925) is subtitled 'Z opic'ch
hor' (From the mountains of the monkey - from a local expression
used to depict the mountain range outside Brno) . Haas scored this second
quartet for four strings and 'jazz band', the jazz band actually consisting
only of percussion. The overall form of this quartet could easily be described
as a chamber tone poem. Each of the four movements have been given pictorially
descriptive names - 'Landscape', 'Horse, cart and driver', 'The moon and
I' and 'A wild night' [listen - track 5, 0:00 - 1:00]
that resound in the music. Unintentionally, it is close to the film music
of Korngold. The Kocian's recording is billed as the première of
the original version. Haas revised the quartet by removing the percussion
part, due to unfavourable coments at the première in 1926.
Musically, Haas remains in a Bohemian tradition, with the teachings of
Janácek noticeable in that Haas integrates melodic material from
local folk music. The playing is adequate - I mostly disagree with the quartet
on how fast an andante should be played. I fear that both the first and
second movements (marked accordingly) are paced a shade too slowly. For
instance, the pictured birds (first movement) sound like they have a cold.
The fourth movement ad-lib percussion part (played by Svatopluk Cech and
Martin Kopriva) neither works with or against the strings. I guess (not
having a score available) that this is due to a combination of undefined
writing and players without a final view of the music. What we have here
is unfortunately quite lame and in no way resembles the 'frantic rumba'
Haas asks for. In the booklet Haas's own description of the quartet is quoted
as 'carefree and dominated by movement'. I feel quite reserved towards the
Kocian's interpretation of this quartet. Throughout they play on the safe
side and the poor integration of the 'Jazz-band' in the fourth movement
does not help their case.
Copyright © 10 June 2000 Peter Lundin,
PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM AMAZON
PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM CROTCHET
CD INFORMATION - PRAGA PRD 250118
& Vision home French bonbons >>
||To listen to the aural illustrations in this review,|
you may need to download RealNetworks' realplayer G2.