Dvořák: Piano Quintet in A major, Op 81; String Quintet in E flat major, Op 97

Reviewed on Wed 18 Jan, 2017

In the String Quintet, the two violas draw the centre of gravity down to the mid-range, yet without compromising the music’s lightness and grace.

Everything comes together on this new recording of Dvořák Quintets. The Vogler Quartet, plus guests, find a perfect balance between the rustic charm of the music’s folk roots and the subtle sophistication that Dvořák applies. In the String Quintet, the two violas draw the centre of gravity down to the mid-range, yet without compromising the music’s lightness and grace. Rhythms are cleanly articulated, perfectly balancing the rich tone of the ensemble. CPO veteran Oliver Triendl joins the ensemble for the Piano Quintet, integrating seamlessly into the string textures. The recorded sound is warm but detailed, with every note clearly heard. The only exception is the piano in the famous Dumka, where generous pedalling runs the textures into a satisfyingly even flow. Listeners who prefer wild, rustic abandon in these works will be better served elsewhere, but for those who like Dvořák’s chamber music situated in the recital hall, this is the ideal choice.
–Gavin Dixon