Album: Dvorak, Old World, New World (Deutsche Gram)

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The Independent Culture

Composed in Spillville in 1893, Dvorak's American Quintet is the centrepiece of the Emerson String Quartet's triple-disc with viola player Paul Neubauer.

The Emerson's big-boned, high-gloss sound makes heavy weather of the Tenth and Eleventh Quartets, and the dynamics are sometimes brash. Cypresses (B.152) has some stunning moments, though the finest readings are of the valedictory Thirteenth and Fourteenth Quartets, the last strongly Brahmsian. Conspicuous by its absence is the American Quartet, which the group recorded in 1990.