Martinu: String Quartets No 3 And 6, Etc / Martinu Quartet

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This second installment in Naxos' ongoing series of the complete Martinu quartets confirms the favorable impression made by Volume 1. String Quartet No. 3 is a brief work rich in timbral effects (col legno, trills, pizzicato) that strikingly recalls Schulhoff's First Quartet from the same period (1920s), and it receives an excellent performance featuring remarkably clean rhythms in the tricky outer movements. Quartet No. 6 comes from 1946, and it clearly reveals its affinity to the style of the symphonies that Martinu composed at the same time. Indeed, its opening is almost a transcription of the first pages of the Third Symphony, while the slow movement alternates dreamy moments of pure texture with simple, folk-like themes, a concept Martinu also employs in the celebrated late Nonet.

Here the playing doesn't have quite the polish that the Panocha Quartet brings to the music (on Supraphon), but it's still a very good performance, and the same holds true of the fillers: the charming Duet for Violin and Cello, and the zesty and quite substantial Three Madrigals for Violin and Viola, a masterpiece of its type. The very clear, close sonics capture every nuance but steal a bit of the music's atmosphere. Fortunately the Martinu Quartet's high standards easily withstand the scrutiny. [1/16/2003]
--David Hurwitz,

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: 8553783

  • UPC: 730099478328

  • Label: Naxos

  • Composer: Bohuslav Martinů

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Martinu String Quartet, Martinu String Quartet members

  • Performer: Jan Jisa, Jitka Vlasánková, Lubomir Havlak, Petr Macecek