JANACEKANDHAAS STRINGQUARTETS

The Herald - Arts - - Arts - KEITH BRUCE

Pavel Haas Quar­tet Supraphon £13.99 Qual­ity and con­sid­er­a­tion is the usual recipe at Orkney’s St Mag­nus Fes­ti­val, but the 2005 event came with a sur­prise: no­body knew who had won the Premio Paolo Bor­ciani com­pe­ti­tion un­til the four­some ar­rived hot-foot from Italy. The four young Czechs were a sen­sa­tion, but their Janacek – In­ti­mate Let­ters – was their best. It is as fine here, and part­nered with the sec­ond quar­tet, From the Mon­key Moun­tains, by Janacek’s pupil, one Pavel Haas, who died in Auschwitz in 1944. Much more of a rar­ity, the Haas is a won­der, full of orig­i­nal colours, sparklingly played and recorded, and fea­tur­ing our own Colin Cur­rie on the per­cus­sion in the last move­ment.

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