When the most prominent critics across the board concur in the opinion that an album is extraordinary, it certainly deserves to be released on vinyl. Although Smetana’s chamber pieces are few in number, each of them – personal, many a time harbouring a bold autobiographical statement – constitutes one of the cornerstones of Czech chamber music. Smetana wrote his two quartets in the twilight of his life, when he was afflicted by deafness.
String Quartet No. 1, “From My Life”, is a programme work: “My aim was to depict in tones the course of my life ... the piece is of an intimate nature; therefore I deliberately wrote it for 4 instruments, which should converse as though within a close circle of friends...” Owing to its being composed in an unconventional manner, String Quartet No. 2 comes across as a 20th-century work.
The Pavel Haas Quartet’s award-winning album has been released by Supraphon for vinyl fans and lovers of perfect sound on a top-quality LP (180g virgin vinyl, DMM cutting), supplemented by a HiRes digital version.