Acclaims

The ensemble generates a sure sense of tonal warmth at all times modified by the dictates of the music. They know when to press the rhythms in Dvořák’s Op.87 Piano Quartet, as well as they know how to inflect the native dance rhythms embedded into the music. There’s a compelling intensity and narrative drive to the opening movement, reflecting an excellent balance between the strings and the piano, and an expressive depth that admits moments of vehement declamation in the slow movement. The grazioso element in the third movement, with its Dumka insinuations, also breaks out once or twice into more volatile moments and the finale is taken with agile, but musically adroit, shape. The movement’s rustic trajectory is counterbalanced by its sophisticated control. To all these demands, and more, the ensemble responds with consistent intelligence.

… With an attractive multi-language booklet – attractive in layout, colour design and information – and performances this good, I hope Supraphon keeps on with an exciting programme of recording for this excellent ensemble….

Jonathan Woolf· MusicWeb International

…These are tremendous performances of tremendous music…

…Serving the music with supreme skill are the remarkable Josef Suk Piano Quartet…

…Up until this point, my reference recording has always been the one led by Josef Suk, with his piano trio augmented by Josef Kod’ousek. It logically couples the two Dvořák Piano Quartets and remains a superbly idiomatic, sensitive and compelling performance. But whisper who dares, this new performance is even finer in terms of technical address and unanimity of ensemble. The individual and collective playing of the Josef Suk Piano Quartet is nothing short of staggering in its attack, accuracy, clarity and cohesion. I did wonder if just occasionally lyrical warmth was being sacrificed in the name of such brilliance but then listen to the heart-felt lyrical phrasing of the 2nd subject in the finale or indeed the meltingly beautiful opening to the slow movement with playing of touching simplicity from cellist Václav Petr…

…The liner points out that Suk gave his Piano Quartet – written under the direct influence of the other work – the marking of Op.1 even though it was by no means his first major work. However, it should be considered the first work which truly reveals the compositional path he was to tread. Again, this is music which positively crackles with dynamic energy………For sure, you do not hear the harmonic complexity or striking originality of the mature composer but it is a hard-hearted listener who will not respond to the bravura writing. Certainly, the superb Suk Quartet players respond with another performance of complete conviction. Listen to the very opening gesture in both performing and compositional terms. This is a composer and players laying down music with thrilling authority…

…The purity of the intonation when the string players are in unison at the octave is staggering…

…As I wrote in my opening sentence – a tremendous performance of tremendous music. The more I listen to this disc the more I believe that to be true. All discs by this hugely talented ensemble are eagerly awaited…

Nick Barnard· MusicWeb International

…All four musicians are steeped in the Czech tradition, which in terms of the string players means warmth and an unfettered ease that is very engaging. Climaxes are full-throated but never overstated – just listen to the way the first movement of Dvorák’s Second Piano Quartet ebbs and flows, one moment surging forwards, the next brought down to the quietest of dynamics…

…The players relish, too, the dancing inner section, and their way with the close of the movement is poised indeed…

Harriet Smith· Gramophone

…they play with huge sound, loving detail and the kind of conviction and authority that comes from personal connection.

Kate Molleson· The Guardian

The Josef Suk Quartet lights up the night at the Villa Mosconi-Bertani

The international chamber music festival at the Villa Mosconi-Bertani in Verona is proud of its collaboration with the Salieri-Zinetti di Sanguinetto competition and invited the winner of its 2013 prize to perform: the Josef Suk Piano Quartet.  The result was a very special evening concluded by the young Czech ensemble with a strong performance of Brahms, specifically his Quartet No. 1, Opus 25 in G minor…

… The Suk ensemble also shined in Mahler’s Quartet in A minor and the Rondo by the Trieste composer Giulio Viozzi…The individual sections were all in perfect balance: each tone had its importance in the entire artwork of tonal shades…

… Chamber music performed by the Josef Suk Piano Quartet reaches beyond its own boundaries through its variety of orchestral colours, in which the individual voices bend and intertwine to evoke the inexhaustible variety of sonorous tones and their blending…The turbulent climate expressed in parts of Opus 25 has a strong impact and a dramatically defined tone. Perfect phrasing does not leave the listeners in doubt and the tension remains constant even in moments of deep intimacy…The endless applause from the audience prompted an astonishing final encore:  Lento from Quartet No. 1 by Josef Suk, the composer who gave his name to the entire intimate evening.

Gianni Villani· L´Arena.it

It is astonishing when music manages to describe intangible feelings or convey tragedy, in this case the tragedy of war and extermination camps. The Remembrance Day celebrations at the Teatro Verdi on Tuesday presented a concert with a programme not heard before but which definitely merited a performance; the audience was left with a sense of wordless awe. Prague’s Josef Suk Piano Quartet brought a warm and vibrant force to the stage. Young artists, radiating strong humanity supported by flawless technique and general expression, all performed in one voice full of unrelenting emotion…

…. The programme continued with the Quartet for Violin, Viola, Cello and Piano composed in 2001 by Peteris Vasks, selected to express respect and honour the memory of the wrenching tenderness in which the atrocities of mass murder are the image of an endless drama.  The mastery of the performers was again surprising: the transition of the melodies from the cello to the viola and finally to the violin without disrupting the continuity was a feat more mature in its technique and expressiveness than the artists’ age would indicate.

Valentina Silvestrini· PORDENONE

For the 120th season, the Czech Chamber Music Society selected a young chamber ensemble of exceptional quality, granting the audience an extraordinary musical experience.The quartet’s concert on 18 October 2014 in the Martinů Hall of the Liechtenstein Palace opened with Piano Quartet No. 3 in E minor, Op. 60, by Johannes Brahms. The Suk Quartet presented an exquisite level of technical mastery in their interpretation of the bleak Wertherian atmosphere of the piece interspersed with bright, melodious landscapes, particularly in the string solos in the slow third movement before returning to the original mood of the quartet in which the brilliant piano part almost constantly enlivens the ingeniously woven musical tapestry…

… Particularly in the charming and diverse slow movement, the strings gave rise to a rich, cultured and singing tone, contrasting in the next movements with the wild and almost dancelike character required by Dvořák’s imaginative score enriched by folklore elements. This perfectly prepared and presented performance was met with extraordinary success that the young Josef Suk Piano Quartet richly deserved.

Jiří Teml· Hudební rozhledy

What immediatly positively affected the Jury of the International Competition “Premio Trio di Trieste” 2013 were the perfectly concordant musical ideas among all components of the Ensemble Taras, now called Josef Suk Piano Quartet, and its well-balanced string sound in relation to the piano voice. Josef Suk Piano Quartet is exactly an “ensemble” according to what this term means in Chamber Music: just what our Competition always looks for in each edition!

I find it’s extremely infrequent to listen to strings playing in such a brilliant, rich and technically perfect way. In addition, the pianist’s original concept of chamber music (never uninspired, always looking for the appropriate timbre for each music page) together with the strings player’s qualities, gives a soul and a new life into each musical phrase and captivate the audience’s attention.

Looking into the future, I think that the Josef Suf Piano Quartet will have a great success thanks to both technical preparation and musical creative originality!

prof.ssa Fedra Florit· Artistic Director of the “Premio Trio di Trieste” Competition and Member of the 2013 Jury