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Mendelssohn // The 3 String Quartets op.44

Talich Quartet,

A lively yet sensitive, generously coupled disc

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Here is a set of brilliant but not dazzling performances of Mendelssohn’s Op 44 Quartets: that is to say, they illuminate the music but never blind the listener with empty demonstration of the player’s virtuosity. This outstanding reissue offers terrific playing and outstanding sound. The interpretations are spontaneous enough to seem live.

String Quartet no.4 in E minor, op.44 no.2


  • Allegro assai appassionato 6’58
  • Allegro di molto 3’40
  • Andante 6’48
  • Presto agitato 5’57

String Quartet no.5 in E-flat major, op.44 no.3


  • Allegro vivace 8’52
  • Assai leggiero vivace 4’13
  • Adagio non troppo 8’39
  • Molto allegro con fuoco 8’24

String Quartet no.3 in Dmajor, op.44 no.1


  • Molto allegro vivace 9’01
  • Menuetto : un poco allegretto 5’34
  • Andante espressivo ma con moto 5’21
  • Presto con brio 6’34

“Typically feisty playing from this outstanding Czech Quartet who project the quasi-orchestral opening of the D major with vigour and provide plenty of passion and urgency for the darker E minor. An incredible bargain”

The Talich Quartet, a Bohemian soul


‘The Conservatory of Europe’ – that used to be the nickname of Bohemia. At the heart of central Europe, a people dedicated itself wholly to the art of melody. In the nineteenth century, when Czech musicians were recognised as great composers as well as performers, they gave birth to a repertory steeped in traditions, its inspiration passed on from generation to generation.


Václav Talich, a conductor of genius, was one of the most prominent central European artists in the following century. In 1964, Talich’s nephew Jan founded the string quartet that bears his name. In 1975 it became a chamber ensemble of the Czech Philharmonic, a distinction that quickly gained it international recognition. France became its second home, and thanks to the Calliope label it made some of the great benchmark recordings in the quartet discography, from Mozart to Janáček. La Dolce Volta has since taken up the torch and pursues an adventure too exciting to be interrupted.


For half a century now, even though the bows have changed hands, the quartet’s personality has displayed marked stylistic continuity: spontaneous expressiveness, delicious unpredictability of attack, telling accentuation of folk rhythms, absolute precision and, equally, a sensation of miraculous fragility. Throughout the years, the Talich Quartet has remained the ambassador of a prodigious musical history, nourished by the memory of the torrents and castles of Bohemia, of tales and legends, and of the passions of the Czech people even before it was established as a nation in the aftermath of the First World War. The quartet’s multi-award-winning recordings mirror their interpretation of Janáček’s Second Quartet, ‘Intimate Letters’: the most enchanting of conversations in music.

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