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Martinu: String Quartets

Martinu: String Quartets

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Long available only in a larger box, the only available digital-era set of Martinu’s string quartets, recorded in 1990 by a native Czech ensemble.

Martinu composed seven quartets over the course of his career, from the First in 1918 to the Seventh in 1947. This chronological range therefore mirrors the development of his music, from Debussy and Franck-accented Bohemianism in the First to a more up-to-date French influence on the Second from 1925, which arrives in the finale at the kind of chugging accumulations of motoric energy that became his trademark.

The direct emotional appeal of all seven quartets is vividly brought to life by the Stamitz Quartet in a recording first issued in 1990, and which still has very few rivals on disc. Established in 1985, the Stamitz Quartet quickly became known as leading interpreters of Czech repertory. ‘I can heartily recommend this comprehensive traversal of the unpredictable, occasionally highly impressive works that make up the corpus of Martinu’s Quartets.’ (MusicWeb International)

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