CZECH QUARTET SET TO CAPTIVATE SECHELT - The Coast Reporter February 11, 2005
The Vlach Quartet Prague, called "a string quartet of world proportion and reputation," is about to take the Sunshine Coast by musical storm. Performing at the Raven's Cry Theatre, 2:30 p.m., Sunday as part of the Coast Recital Society 2004-2005 concert season, the Vlach Quartet embodies skilful, intense music-making which is rooted in the rich traditions of Czech chamber music. According to CRS Artistic Director, Frances Wainwright, "It's a real coup for the CRS and our audience to be able to enjoy this quality of chamber music performance. The string quartet is one of the highest forms of musical expression - an intimate dialogue among four musicians. The Vlach players deliver a beautifully distinctive sound. This promises to be a unforgettable musical experience."
The Vlach Quartet is led by violinist Jana Vlachov?? (daughter of their late founder Josef Vlach), with violinist Karel Stadherr, violist Petr Verner and cellist Mikael Ericsson. Their engagement in Sechelt comes mid-way in a North American tour. The reviewer for the Los AngelesTimes praised their "vaunted middle-European style of impassioned, dark and richly-blended sound. It was Dvor??k's Quartet No. 13 that afforded them their greatest opportunities. From feathery sweetness to gutsy earthiness, from joy in homecoming to sadness over years of absence, the players painted a huge, symphonic landscape." Fortunately, that Dvor??k quartet is on the Vlach's Sechelt program, along with Mozart's Quartet No. 17 in B flat major (The Hunt), and Five Pieces for String Quartet by the Czech composer Erwin Schulhoff.
The Vlach Quartet Prague has a busy international touring schedule. Their concerts are recorded and broadcast throughout Europe, and they boast an impressive discography including a 15-CD project with Naxos to record the complete chamber works of Antonin Dvor??k. All members of the Quartet are active soloists and also form a core of the prestigious Czech Chamber Orchestra.