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Dvorák quartets
on Praga Digitals -
reviewed by

'... beautifully captured by the Kocian team.'

Antonín Dvorák String Quartets No 8 Op 80, No 9 Op 34. © 2003 Praga Digitals

When Cobbett published his Cyclopaedic Survey of Chamber Music and I could hardly crawl, we needed to bother with only eight Dvorák string quartets. The 'Nigger' Op 96 (now transformed with suitable decorum into 'The American') was the one everybody knew as No 6. It was much the same with the symphonies, which in those innocent days totalled only five, with the 'New World' as culmination. The sum of quartets has now leapt to fourteen, leaving us just with the problem that opus numbers and chronology sometimes fail to coincide. The quartets on this CD, for instance, would suggest a possible jump in maturity between the D minor Op 34 and E major Op 80. In fact Op 80 was written in 1876 and Op 34 the following year. The discrepancy results from a marketing device of the publisher Simrock, who did not issue the E major till a dozen years after it was written and did not want to suggest he was producing a comparatively early work.

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Copyright © 25 June 2003 Robert Anderson, London UK


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