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Global Fascinations and Sophistications

Martinu String Quartets



Distinctive sound qualities in very different music by Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu signifies the start of a complete edition of his String Quartets. Very content with the edition by the Panocha Quartet on Supraphon over the past decade, the younger Martinu Quartet made a great impression on me at last year's Prague Festival. Like their contemporaries, the Prazak, they have a marvellous richness of response that adds drama to the long, unbroken lines - in 1918, the composer was under the influence of Brahms - and caressing half-tones to softer sections.

His early venture an obvious success, the second quartet (1925) is more serious at the start, but succumbs to hidden beauties as it progresses. Three Horseman (12') was written at the age of 12, and already shows a composer sure of his future plans. (Naxos).

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Copyright © 9 August 2000 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK





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