Antonín Dvořák’s American String Quartet is a prime contender for a top slot on the all-time hit list of classical masterpieces – and rightly so, as this new recording by the Leipzig String Quartet demonstrates. Here it is heard along with the same composer’s magnificent String Quintet, and the outstanding bassist Alois Posch joins forces with the Leipzig musicians on what promises to be a favorite album for all chamber music fans. And such a program calls for the finest SACD sound, of course in 3D!
Whether the quartet’s pentatonic melodies really and truly are New World influences will have to remain an open question. But when Ivo Bauer intones the first theme, a unique atmosphere unfolds and continues into the mercurial rousing finale. The melancholy second movement presents a magnificent atmospheric picture, and when toward the end the two violins of Stefan Arzberger and Tilman Büning melt into sixths, no heart remains unmoved. In the last movement our impression may be that we are hearing galloping straight from the Wild West – or is it a steam
Like the American String Quartet, the opulent quintet holds in store a wealth of catchy melodies; just listen to the sweetly intensive first violin solos in the slow movement! And the cello too, relieved of all its bass duties thanks to foundational support from the double bass, repeatedly soars up in magical cantilenas. In the fast movements Matthias Moosdorf and Alois Posch create suspenseful drive with bass impulses, and their fellow musicians follow the beat with audible
And so the Leipzig musicians once again are on target with a benchmark recording. And MDG’s threedimensional 2+2+2-recording also leaves no audio wish unfulfilled. The whole ensemble is heard with fascinating intensity and clarity in the concert hall of the living room. The big sound of the bass lends the overall sound an appealing, almost orchestral dynamic breadth. And it all comes with an applause guarantee!