Kovarovic The Complete String Quartets
The Stamic Quartet’s repertoire ranges from Baroque to 21st–century music, yet the ensemble mainly focuses on works dating from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. Following the revelatory premiere recording of Josef Bohuslav Foerster’s quartets (Supraphon, 2010), they have now come up with another striking project. Karel Kovarovic (1862–1920) is primarily known for his work as the director of the opera company of the National Theatre in Prague, as well as a conductor, while his own music has been generally overlooked. Nevertheless, Kovarovic wrote several operas, ballet and incidental music, songs, choral and chamber pieces. The Stamic Quartet has made the very first recording of his string quartets, which are yet to be published. The most remarkable of them is String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, dedicated to Antonín Dvorák, which six years after its premiere in Prague (1888) was performed at the Musikverein in Vienna. Kovarovic did not finish his String Quartet No. 3, most likely owing to his being extremely busy as a conductor and his new responsibilities at the National Theatre. The new album made by the Stamic Quartet serves to prove that Kovarovic’s quartets deserve to be paid much greater attention to than has been the case over the past century.