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Janáček & Haas - String Quartets

Composer Pavel Haas
Leoš Janáček
Performer Escher String Quartet
Period Modern
Catalogue Number BIS-2670 SACD
EAN 7318599926704
Format SACD Hybrid

This hybrid disc plays on both CD and SACD players
SACD Surround - SACD Stereo - CD Stereo

Release date Jun 2023
Total time 76'01

Autobiographical and achingly beautiful
While the concept of the programmatic and autobiographical quartet seems to have been introduced by Beethoven, nowhere has it been taken up more forcefully than in the Czech lands, as the works presented here attest.

Leoš Janáček’s first quartet, subtitled ‘Kreutzer Sonata’, is based on a novella by Leo Tolstoy, which deals with such subjects as marriage, adultery and murder, all of which are &&&evoked here by highly expressive music. The second quartet, the last major work he completed, is subtitled ‘Intimate Letters’. The special feature of this unique and miraculous quartet, full of love songs and eruptions, is the intense and euphoric expression of the composer’s inspirational and unrequited passion for a young woman.

Pavel Haas, who studied with Janáček in Brno in the 1920s, composed his second string quartet subtitled ‘From the Monkey Mountains’ in 1925. Although the composer claims that he intended to evoke ‘pleasant summer holidays in the country’, it seems that the work also evokes a love story. A surprise is in store for us in the final movement, entitled ‘A Wild Night’: percussion is added to the string quartet and contributes to the jazzy atmosphere. It is played here by the Scottish virtuoso Colin Currie.
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  Leos Janácek
  String Quartet No. 1, "Kreutzer Sonata" 18'34
01 I. Adagio - Con moto 4'15
02 II. Con moto 4'20
03 III. Con moto - Vivo - Andante 4'13
04 IV. Con moto - (Adagio) - Più mosso 5'46
  String Quartet No. 2, "Intimate Letters" 25'38
05 I. Andante - Con moto - Allegro 5'54
06 II. Adagio - Vivace 5'54
07 III. Moderato - Adagio - Allegro 5'49
08 IV. Allegro - Andante - Adagio 8'01
  Pavel Haas
  String Quartet No. 2, Op. 7, "From the Monkey Mountains" 31'45
09 I. Landscape 10'10
10 II. Cart, Driver and Horse 4'40
11 III. The Moon and I 8'05
12 IV. A Wild Night 8'50
  Album total 76'01
ComposerHaas, Pavel
Janácek, Leos
String quartetEscher String Quartet
PercussionCurrie, Colin

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