Alice Herz-Sommer, Dvořák, Jeremy Young, Kreutzer Sonata, Paul Lewis, Petr Prause, Piano Quintet No 2 in A major, Talich Quartet, Talich Quartet with Jeremy Young, The Lady In Number 6, Vertavo Quartet
Talich Quartet with Jeremy Young
RNCM Concert Hall
9 January 2014
This was the evening concert of the first day of the RNCM Chamber Music Festival, which this year focused on Czech music.
The artistic director of the festival, Petr Prause, is also a key member of the Talich Quartet, where he plays cello. Here they played what is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful pieces of music in the world, Dvořák’s Piano Quintet No 2 in A major, accompanied on piano by Jeremy Young. I have to confess to being fairly enamoured with Dvořák’s work since hearing the Vertavo Quartet and Paul Lewis perform it in November last year. It has spellbinding melodies, intense emotion.
Smetana’s String Quartet No 1 and Janáček’s String Quartet No 1, the so-called ‘Kreutzer Sonata’, preceded Dvořák’s masterpiece. The latter work was by no measure lacking in intense emotion either, or a chequered history come to that, being a work inspired by Tolstoy’s novella, which itself took its inspiration from Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 9. I remember as well that Danny Huston was in top form in the 2008 film.
The festival ‘Ma Vlast’ (My Country) featured three days of concerts, master-classes, talks, and a beautiful film, The Lady In Number 6, a portrait of the wonderful, inspirational, indefatigable, Alice Herz-Sommer (1903-2014). To watch her face as she speaks of Beethoven…