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30.3.12

Elias Quartet a Welcome Guest

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Charles T. Downey, Elias Quartet, at Library of Congress, proves well worth discovering
Washington Post, March 30, 2012

available at Amazon
Haydn / Schumann, Elias Quartet
Live, Wigmore Hall

(released on May 8)
The Czech music week at the end of the Kennedy Center’s Music of Budapest, Prague and Vienna festival continued, unofficially, Wednesday night at the Library of Congress. The Elias Quartet, formed in 1998 at Manchester’s Royal Northern Music Conservatory, made its Washington debut at the venue’s free concert series, playing an all-Czech program with American pianist Jonathan Biss.

With a couple of live recordings at the Wigmore Hall (on that venue’s private label) to its name, this talented string quartet is well worth discovering. Opening with Josef Suk’s “Meditation on the Old Czech Chorale ‘St. Wenceslas,’ ” the group found all the pathos and shimmering beauty in what could easily be an overly sentimental trifle. [Continue reading]
Elias String Quartet with Jonathan Biss (piano)
Library of Congress

Josef Suk, Meditation on the Old Czech Chorale 'St. Wenceslas' (for string orchestra or string quartet)
Janáček, String Quartet No. 1 ("Kreutzer Sonata"), played here by the Janáček Quartet
Janáček, In the Mists
Dvořák, A major piano quintet, op. 81

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