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String Quartets/Violin Sonata

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Composer: Janacek
  • Audio CD (Jan. 1 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ncl
  • ASIN: B0000060D0
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #122,710 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. String Quartet No.1, 'Kreutzer Sonata': I. Adagio con moto
2. String Quartet No.1, 'Kreutzer Sonata': II. Con moto
3. String Quartet No.1, 'Kreutzer Sonata': III. Con moto: Vivace - Andante
4. String Quartet No.1, 'Kreutzer Sonata': IV. Con moto: Adagio
5. String Quartet No.2, 'Intimate Letters': I. Andante con moto - Allegro
6. String Quartet No.2, 'Intimate Letters': II. Adagio - Vivace
7. String Quartet No.2, 'Intimate Letters': III. Moderato - Adagio- Allegro
8. String Quartet No.2, 'Intimate Letters': IV. Allegro - Andante- Adagio
9. Sonata for Violin and Piano: I. Con moto
10. Sonata for Violin and Piano: II. Ballada
11. Sonata for Violin and Piano: III. Allegretto
12. Sonata for Violin and Piano: IV. Adagio
13. Pohadka (Fairy Tale) For Cello And Piano: I. Con moto
14. Pohadka (Fairy Tale) For Cello And Piano: II. Con moto
15. Pohadka (Fairy Tale) For Cello And Piano: III. Allegro

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This was my first serious venture into Janacek and I wasn't disappointed. Impressive as Dvorak and Smetana's quartets are, frankly Janacek packs more intensity and white heat into his music, and also manages to "push the bounds" of music a little bit more. The Second String Quartet ("Intimate Letters", 1928) was one of his last compositions and represents the full development of his art. Its genesis was tied to his obsessive love affair with the singer Kamila Stösslová, and thus had great personal meaning for him, although unfortunately he died before he could ever hear it performed. As he wrote to her, "I have succeeded in writing a piece in which the earth begins to tremble. Here I can find a place for my most beautiful melodies." Likewise, the ravagingly beautiful First String Quartet ("Kreutzer Sonata", 1923) was inspired by another passionate love story, Tolstoy's tale of love's destructive power. This is electric stuff.
While Janacek was never QUITE as "folksy" as Dvorak, he often dipped into Moravian folk tunes and transposed Slavic-inspired stories into music. The "Pohádka" (Fairy Tale) for cello and piano was based on Russian poet Vassily Zhukovsky's epic poem of the Kashchei, Ruler of the Underworld (Stravinsky later took up this same story in the "Firebird" Suite). Like the Sonata for Violin and Piano, this piece reminded me a lot of Bartók's early adaptations of Hungarian folkmusic, even with the liberal dose of Janacek's distinctive idiom.
This is a lucid and intense performance by the Vlach Quartet. "Budget" be damned. Five stars.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa3bea3c0) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa39da540) out of 5 stars If you like Bartok... Jan. 2 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I'm a Janacek fan with a working cd player, and I certainly haven't got money to burn. I'd just like to proffer a rather more enthusiastic review. First, these works are widely considered to be masterworks in the string quartet repertory. Second, the Vlach Quartet's rendering is in my view excellent, though I don't claim to have heard other performances: certainly, this ensemble has received very good reviews from professional critics. Third, the sound quality is about as good as my working cd player will permit! Nice liner notes, too, and attractive fillers (I mean the violin sonata and the pohadka). In short, an excellent choice for anyone with an eye for a bargain and a taste for hardcore string quartets (late Beethoven, Bartok, Shostakovich, Berg...). And if you like this sort of stuff, maybe you'll also like Purcell's Fantasias, Bach's Cello Suites, Reich's Different Trains, and/or Ram Narayan on sarangi. Though did I hear you say you don't know what a sarangi is?
4 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa39d5c60) out of 5 stars Poor Janacek June 17 2009
By Albert C. Goncalves - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Though I remain neutral towards the rest of the material on the CD, the performance and interpretation of Janacek's string quartet I found to be exceptionally poor. The performance seemed to lack both the technical and emotional aspects of the work; the players often seeming to on the verge of losing hold of these admittedly demanding works. I would highly recommend the Hagen Quartet's interpretation of the two string quartets and urge anyone interested in the work of Leos Janacek, at the very least, to simply look and listen elsewhere.
3 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa39dabc4) out of 5 stars Excellent service Dec 12 2008
By Shirley A. Billings - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This was a Christmas present for my granddaughter so I have not reviewed it but the delivery service and condition were excellent.
2 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa39daed0) out of 5 stars 4 interesting pieces from the czech composer Dec 27 2000
By Kristopher Kincaid - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
if you're a janacek fan with very little money and a working cd player this may be the disc for you. i'm not overly familiar with the composer's work myself and wouldnt exactly say this disc made me a convert but it is well worth a listen. not exactly my cuppa tea since i generally listen to string quartets when i'm trying to brood over the meaning of life and whatnot but still these are some pleasant, high energy pieces well played by prague's very own vlach quartet. sound recording is alright, it aint mind-blowing but what exactly do you expect for this price?

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