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Kucharsky String Quartet
Nicola Tait Baxter
Notes on the performers
Firmly established as a quartet with a genuinely unique and fresh voice, the newly formed Kucharsky Quartet are performing and enchanting audiences with their luxurious sound, imagination and polish. Their performances have been described as “impressive, deeply moving and electrifying, their fresh and inspiring performances leaving no dust on well-known string quartet music.” It is no wonder that they are gaining a reputation as an exciting ensemble to hear.
The quartet have twice performed at Buckingham Palace, for private events hosted by members of the Royal Family and in music societies in and around London. Individually the players have performed in most of the top London ensembles and orchestras as well as performing as soloists worldwide.
Antonín Dvořák (1841 – 1904)
String Quartet No 12 in F, Op.967 “American”
- Allegro ma non troppo
- Molto vivace
- Finale : vivace ma non troppo
The String Quartet in F major, Op. 96, nicknamed the American Quartet, is the 12th string quartet composed by Antonín Dvořák. It was written in 1893, during Dvořák’s time in the United States. The quartet is one of the most popular in the chamber music repertoire.
Dvořák sketched the quartet in three days and completed it in thirteen more days, finishing the score with the comment “Thank God! I am content. It was fast.” It was his second attempt to write a quartet in F major: his first effort, 12 years earlier, produced only one movement. The American Quartet proved a turning point in Dvořák’s chamber music output: for decades he had toiled unsuccessfully to find a balance between his overflowing melodic invention and a clear structure. In the American Quartet it finally came together. Dvořák defended the apparent simplicity of the piece: “When I wrote this quartet in the Czech community of Spillville in 1893, I wanted to write something for once that was very melodious and straightforward, and dear Papa Haydn kept appearing before my eyes, and that is why it all turned out so simply. And it’s good that it did.”
Alexander Borodin (1833 – 1887)
String Quartet in D major
- Allegro moderato
- Scherzo Andante
- Notturno Andante
- Finale, Vivace
Musically speaking, the Quartet in D Major was the beginning of the end for Borodin. It was written when he was in his late forties and at exactly the period when finding time for music was becoming nigh on impossible. As a successful chemist (in Russia, they refer to one particular reaction – that of silver salts with carboxylic acids and halogens – as the ‘Borodin Reaction’) he felt compelled to devote more and more of his time to his important scientific work, at the expense of his music.
Nevertheless, when he was forty-eight, and just one year after the composition of In the Steppes of Central Asia, he found himself with a free summer to compose. In between visiting the odd festival – and his friend Liszt, to whom he dedicated In the Steppes of Central Asia – he composed his String Quartet No. 2. As with most things Borodin wrote, it is not short of tunes, something that proved a blessing when the writers of the musical Kismet came to use his music. The jaunty second movement
provided them with ‘Baubles, Bangles and Beads’, while the third stumped up the show-stopping ‘This is My Beloved’.