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<<  -- 2 --  Robert Anderson    FRESH LYRICISM


In 1876 Dvorák received assistance from the Austrian State Stipendium for the third time (he was similarly helped for two further years), and by then Brahms was on the jury. It was Brahms who launched Dvorák with Simrock, writing in December 1877: 'Dvorák has written all manner of things: operas (Czech), symphonies, quartets, piano pieces. In any case, he is a very talented man. Moreover, he is poor!' Brahms had seen the E major quartet, then known as Op 27, and may well have been intrigued by the preponderance of minor keys in so much of the work. A domestic reason was the loss in infancy of Dvorák's first daughter. The work starts with a fresh lyricism beautifully captured by the Kocian team [listen -- track 5, 0:00-1:10]. Much melancholy follows, and it is a while before even the finale achieves the official key of the work. There are ravishing textures along the way, none more bewitching than this moment in the concluding Allegro con brio [listen -- track 8, 1:25-2:28].

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Copyright © 25 June 2003 Robert Anderson, London UK


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