Dvořák, Suk & Janáček works for String Quartet
The Wihan Quartet has been described by International Record Review as: ‘ one of the best quartets in the world today.’ In 2015 the Quartet celebrated 30 years since its formation, and over the years it has developed an outstanding reputation for the interpretation of its native Czech heritage, and of the many classical, romantic and modern masterpieces of the string quartet repertoire. Due to personal reasons, the charismatic and much loved viola player, Jiři Zigmund, retired from the Wihan Quartet in 2014. The Quartet was very fortunate to find an excellent viola player in Jakub Čepicky, son of Leoš and this is the first CD the Quartet have recorded with Jakub.
The Quartet’s recording of Dvorak Op.34/Op.105 was chosen as a ‘Recording of the Year’ by MusicWeb International and BBC Music Magazine said of their Dvorak Op.61 recording: ‘This is the finest recorded performance I have encountered to date’. The Wihan’s recent release of Schubert G Major received an ‘outstanding’ from International Record Review and a ‘recommended’ from The Strad. The Sunday Times said of the recording: ‘This is playing of the highest quality from the Czech quartet. Their tempo for the opening movement is unusually broad, which allows you to savour to the full the harmonic richness of this extraordinary music.’
“This is an immediately appealing disc: great Czech quartets by Dvořák, Suk, and Janáček, played by a great Czech quartet, the Wihan… This disc features excellent, rather close-up recorded sound. The CD booklet notes are clearly written and informative. No one who finds this combination of Dvořák, Suk, and Janáček alluring is likely to be disappointed by these carefully crafted and powerful performances.” Richard Kraus, musicweb-international.com
“I enjoyed this CD very much and it represents a good sampler of the Czech repertory as performed by a fine Czech quartet. The Wihan Quartet has been around for thirty years, but this is their first CD since the retirement of viola player, Jiři Sigmund, in 2014. His place has been taken by Jakub Čepický, son of the leader, and, on the evidence of this CD a fine, warm-toned musician… The recording quality is excellent throughout, and notes are informative. An excellent recording of great quartets.” Michael Wilkinson, musicweb-international.com
"The Wihan Quartet is one of the most experienced and admired of chamber ensembles. The present recording offers three classics from the Czech repertoire and also furnishes evidence of the development of the ensemble with the recent appointment of a new viola player, Jakub Cepicky... The Wihan Quartet gives a deeply considered ensemble performance. The sweetness of tone achieved in the Adagio is remarkable and the first movement has irresistible impetus." BBC Music Magazine
"Right from the off in Dvorak's late G major Quartet you can tell that the Wihan Quartet are taking an inflected route. They draw a crescendo over the demi-semiquaver figure for the violins more vividly than do the Pavel Haas Quartet on their Supraphon recording... the Wihan play sensitively and their fill-ups are especially imaginative." Gramophone