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CD Review

Josef Suk

Hyperion 67448

Chamber Music

  • Piano Quartet in A minor, Op. 1
  • Four Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 17
  • Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 8
The Nash Ensemble
Hyperion CDA67448 73m DDD
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There is some lovely music in this disc and I would certainly recommend it to all chamber lovers. Josef Suk can always be counted upon to produce good, well crafted and melodious music and these three compositions certainly live up to that description.

The A minor Piano Quartet is a sunny and exuberant work all around. With its joyous, dotted rhythms and sprightly step, the music comes across as very refreshing indeed. The Nash Ensemble are obviously past masters in such works and they provide a wonderfully varied interpretation with a rollicking final movement that shows the panache and understanding of the group.

The next work is the Four pieces for violin and piano. Here both Marianne Thorsen and Ian Brown play with exemplary prowess throughout and the pieces are wonderful listening on a hot summer afternoon as I can most amply verify!

Finally there's the more substantial Piano Quintet in G minor. This is an expansive but brisk work which comes across as being quite inspired. Indeed, the dedication to Suk's mentor and father-in-law, Dvořák could not be more appropriate as the work burns with the melodic flame of the great Czech national composer. The Nash Ensemble are pure advocates of this masterpiece in the chamber repertoire.

Jan Smaczny produces detailed and crisply informative notes for this production and the recording is wonderfully clean and natural sounding. A first class disc from Hyperion and maybe we can ask for more Suk, the orchestral tone poems, perhaps?

Copyright © 2004, Gerald Fenech

Trumpet