Recorded in the Dvorak Hall of the Rudolfinum, Prague, 18-19 May (Op. 97) and 26-27 June 2017 (Op. 81).
Seven years after they triumphed with Dvorak's quartets (SU 4038-2, op. 96 "American" and op. 106 –
Gramophone Award "Recording of the Year"), Pavel Haas Quartet are back to Dvorak. For the occasion of
recording his quintets, they have invited two guests: the pianist Boris Giltburg (winner of 2013 Queen
Elizabeth Competition), as well as one of the PHQ founding members, violist Pavel Nikl. Antonin Dvorak
composed his Piano Quintet No. 2 while staying at his beloved summer house in Vysoka in the late
summer of 1887. The renowned critic Eduard Hanslick responded to its performance in Vienna
enthusiastically: "It is one of his most beautiful works. A genuine Dvorak." The String Quintet op. 97,
albeit only six years younger, presents a completely "different Dvorak". After the Symphony from the
New World and the "American" quartet, the string quintet is the composer's third work written in
America. Besides drawing inspiration from the music of the Native American tribe of the Iroquois which
he heard in Spillville in the summer of 1893, he built the third movement around a theme that he had
previously considered using in a proposal for a new American anthem.
And Hanslick's testimonial? "This is probably the simplest, most natural and happiest music composed
since Haydn's times. The ear enjoys it with an easy-going attitude and the spirit is not bored for a single
moment." Pavel Haas Quartet is at home in Dvorak's music – to quote the Sunday Times, "In this
repertoire, they are simply matchless today."