Dvorak: Chamber Works, Vol. 2 [7-CD Set]

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This second volume of miscellaneous chamber works contains all of the music that is not a formal quartet, quintet, or sextet. In includes the piano trios, the wonderful Terzetto for two violins and viola, works for solo instrument and piano, pieces for piano four-hands, and all of those little, undefinable works, some of which (such as the Bagatelles for two violins, cello, and harmonium) are magnificent. As a taste of just how good Dvorák could be even in his slightest works, try out [a] sample, from his Serenade for Flute, Violin, Viola, and Triangle. One of the lesser-known big works is the cycle From the Bohemian Forest for piano four hands, from which the popular Silent Woods for cello and piano derives. But there’s much more than that, including a rather jolly “Witches’ Sabbath”.

The performances are all excellent, although I do wish Supraphon had retained the Suk Trio in the piano trios, fine as the Guarneri Trio Prague undoubtedly is. The piano duo of Igor and Renata Ardasev does very well by the Slavonic Dances, the Legends, and From the Bohemian Forest. Indeed the Slavonic Dances feature prominently in this set, not just in their original keyboard form but in their several arrangements for solo strings and piano. Josef Suk plays the major works for violin, and you don’t get much more authoritative than that, though he is ably seconded by Pavel Sporcl filling in the gaps. Members of the Panocha Quartet take on the pieces for multiple strings with their usual sovereign brilliance.

The sonics, whether analog or digital, are pretty much excellent, making this set an obvious and fool-proof way of getting your Dvorák chamber music collection up to snuff in one easy shot.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: SU4138-2

  • UPC: 099925413828

  • Label: Supraphon

  • Composer: Antonín Dvořák

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Guarneri Trio Prague, Panocha String Quartet, Panocha String Quartet members

  • Performer: Alfred Holecek, Graham Melville-Mason, Igor Ardasev, Jan Simon, Jaromír Klepác, Jaroslav Kulhan, Jiri Barta, Jiri Panocha, Jirí Válek, Josef Suk, Karel Untermüller, Michal Kanka, Miroslav Ambros, Miroslav Sehnoutka, Pavel Sporcl, Pavel Zejfart, Petr Jiríkovsky, Renata Ardasev