String Quartets

Album cover art for upc 099925422127
Label: SUPRAPHON
Catalog: SU4221-2
Format: CD

VLACH QUARTET

After having paid tribute to the legacy of the Czech Chamber Orchestra, Supraphon has now commemorated another ensemble connected with the violinist and conductor Josef Vlach, a gifted pupil of Josef Talich. Established in 1950, since 1954 the Vlach Quartet performed in the line-up in which it had triumphed in the competition in Liege and in which it conquered stages worldwide and made all the recordings featured on this album. Two exciting quartets, teh Smetana and the Vlach, were active in Prague, ensembles whose difference represented an inspiring polarity of approaches to music interpretation. Ivan Medek thus described the personality of Josef Vlach, who with kindness and authority alike formed the quartet's soul: ''Similarly to Talich, Vlach was not a scholarly artist. Yet he possessed a remarkable ability, an acute sense for that which is really strong and communicative in music. His intellect seemed to be constantly fed from an immense source of profound emotional inspiration.'' The Vlach Quartet recorded Beethoven's quartets within 10 years. Given the year in which it was recorded, 1956, the ''bonus'' Mozart quatet in D minor is one oft he ensemble's oldest recordings made soon after their victory in Liege. The presented Beethoven tracks are merely part of the Vlach Quartet's remarkable legacy, which encompasses quartet works by Czech composers, as well as by Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Debussy and Ravel.

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