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Dvorak: Quartet No. 12, Op. 96 "American"; Smetana: Quartet No. 1 "From My Life"; Tokyo String Quartet

Notes & Reviews:

On their valedictory release, the world-renowned Tokyo String Quartet presents a pair of the group's favorite chamber works that offer a glimpse into the private world of two Czech composers. Antonín Dvorák and Bedrich Smetana - although they were sometimes regarded as musical opposites in their homeland - together came to represent the quintessential sound of 19th-century Czech music.

San Francisco Classical Voice
Still one of the best quartets in the world.

Gramophone Magazine, July 2013
The beauty of these performances lies in their immaculate voicing, their keen sense of tonal perspective and the way the quartet leans this way or that at the behest of a particular phrase or gesture. Neither effete nor especially idiomatic, they promote a rare musical intelligence.

International Record Review, May 2013
This is recommendable for fans of the Tokyo Quartet's finely chiseled approach.

MusicWeb International, 13th September 2013
The Tokyo Quartet offer great warmth and sensitivity, and an immediacy and intimacy which draws the listener in...I definitely give the thumbs-up to this recording.

Sunday Times, 12th May 2013
Does the Tokyo's superb playing of Dvorak's "American" lack the authentic Czech bite?...the playing is so fine, the glow of the four Stradivarius instruments so beautiful, such doubts hardly register. What matters is that these musicians perform the music con amore. The tragic conclusion of the Smetana... is devastating.

American Record Guide, September/October 2013
In Dvorak's American Quartet the Tokyo Quartet is highly stylized: clean, exact, and exceedingly mellow. In the Smetana I very much appreciated how these players hear every single harmonic shift and enunciate them in the most effective way. And III is the one outcry on the album, really emotional, tender, and gorgeous. One has to like the highly sophisticated, note-perfect, elegantly suave, European style of the Tokyo Quartet to really like this performance.


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