Hero & Leander Opus 33 Victor Herbert
The young and talented musicians of the Pavel Haas Quartet take a strident approach to the music of Prokofiev
Repertoire: String Quartets Nos 1 & 2; Sonata for Two Violins
Artists: Pavel Haas Quartet
Label: Supraphon SU 3957-2
Prokofiev’s string quartets are elusive and secretive, not usually territory where eager-to-please young string quartets tread – so respect to the extraordinary Pavel Haas Quartet for illuminating this niche repertoire. And what a sound its players make! Their strident physicality is the perfect foil for Prokofiev’s wartime Second Quartet, with its defiant adoption of gutsy Kabardian folk material. But the First Quartet’s neoclassical delicacies allow the quartet some melting moments inside delicate textures, before they hit the manic Finale with punk intensity. Add in the rarely heard Sonata for Two Violins, and this sounds like an instant classic to me.