String Quartets of Schubert, Dvorak (2017)

Dvorak, Schubert

Dragon Quartet

Dvorák wrote his String Quartet opus 96 in just three days while on holiday in Spillville, a little colony of Bohemian emigrants in Iowa. He stayed there in the pleasant company of farmers, friendly priests and hearty housewives, among whom he could speak his native language. It has been suggested that this may explain the relative simplicity of the work. About his stay in Spillville Dvorák wrote: ‘As far as my new Symphony, the F-major String Quartet and the Piano Quintet (written here in Spillville) are concerned – I would never have written them in this way if I had not seen America’.
The themes of the four movements seem to originate from Bohemian or American folk tunes, in view of the fact that they are based on the pentatonic scale F-G-A-C-D. The second movement suggests a melancholic negro spiritual, as if the Bohemian Dvorák is writing to get his own homesickness out of his mind. The sparkling third movement (Scherzo) imitates the rhapsodic warbling of an American bird, the Scarlet Tanager. The quartet closes with a rondo in which echoes are heard of the church music of ‘Bohemian’ Spillville, which Dvorák and his wife regularly took part in. And do we also hear a steam train speeding along in the distance?

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Dragon Quartet

The Dragon String Quartet, formed in 2012, is an ensemble of four celebrated,
young Chinese musicians: first violinist Ning Feng, second violinist Wang
Xiaomao, violist Zheng Wenxiao and cellist Qin Liwei.
Ning Feng and Qin Liwei, both internationally established Chinese soloists,
came up with the idea of forming a string quartet after a series of concerts that
brought them together. Wang Xiaomao is concertmaster of China National Ballet
Orchestra, Zheng Wenxiao is Principal Viola of Bavarian Radio Symphony
Orchestra (Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks).
The Dragon String Quartet performs around the world regularly, introducing
the masterworks of string quartet to the audiences, rediscovering rarely
performed but outstanding pieces, and promoting contemporary works,
especially the great pieces created by Chinese composers.
• Ning Feng plays a 1721 Stradivari violin, known as the ‘MacMillan’,
on private loan, kindly arranged by Premiere Performances of Hong Kong,
and plays on strings by Thomastik-Infeld, Vienna.
• Li-Wei plays a 1780 Joseph Guadagnini cello, generously loaned by
Dr and Mrs Wilson Goh

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String Quartets of Schubert, Dvorak (2017)

Dvorak, Schubert

Dragon Quartet

    Audiophile Audition [Best Of The Year] -

(...) debut recording of a powerhouse Chinese ensemble (...) This could be the group that moves into the spot vacated by the now defunct Tokyo String Quartet. It is a tremendous debut and very well recorded.


Wat we horen is strijkkwartetspel op hoog niveau. Virtuoos, fraai van klank (...)

Mit ihrer ersten CD liefern die vier Musiker des Dragon Quartet eine erstklassige Leistung ab. Ihre in jeder Hinsicht stimmige Interpretation zeigt, dass man auch häufig gespielte Werke immer wieder aufs Neue entdecken kann. (...) Schon nach den ersten Takten von Schuberts Streichquartett weiß der Hörer, dass die Solisten des Dragon Quartet genau wissen, was sie da tun. (...) Auch das ‚Amerikanische’ Quartett von Dvo?ák steht seinem Vorgänger hinsichtlich der Stimmigkeit der Interpretation, der Ausgewogenheit des Klangs, der Brillanz der Virtuosität und nicht zuletzt der Schönheit des Klangs in nichts nach. (...) Vielversprechender kann ein Debut kaum sein.

    Music Emotion

Zeer fraaie uitvoering.

    Diapason -

La dynamique, l’intonation et la cohésion sont en tout cas superlatives.

    De Volkskrant -

Schubert springt bij de Chinezen tevoorschijn als een gespierde dichter. En Dvorák toont zijn weemoed zonder effectbejag.

    Nederlands Dagblad

Ze geven een levendige, op en top muzikale interpretatie van deze muziek.

    The Guardian

If you don’t already have recordings and want this combination, these are fresh, played with pinpoint accuracy, well paced and free from excessive vibrato (noticeably in the opening bars of the Schubert). If “Death in the Maiden” feels a little cool for some tastes, the Dvorák is a delight.

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    Opus Klassiek

Ze kennen hun Dvorák en hun Schubert, en ze spelen ... de sterren van de hemel. (...) een opname die klinkt als een klok.

Aart van der Wal

String Quartets of Schubert, Dvorak (2017)

Dvorak, Schubert

Dragon Quartet

Cables: van der Hul
Digital Converters: Horus
Editing Software: Pyramix
Mastering Engineer: Jared sacks
Mastering Room: Grimm LS1
Microphones: Bruel & Kyaer
Mixing Board: Rens Heijnis custom made
Producer: Jared Sacks
Recording Engineer: Jared Sacks
Recording location: Renswoude, The Netherlands
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD256

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39417: String Quartets of Schubert, Dvorak
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Quartet in D minor - Allegro
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Quartet in D minor - Andante con moto
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Quartet in D minor - Scherzo
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Quartet in D minor - Presto
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Quartet no. 12 in F Major - Allegro ma non troppo
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Quartet no. 12 in F Major - Lento
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Quartet no. 12 in F Major - Molto vivace
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Quartet no. 12 in F Major - Finale
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