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Album: Prokofiev, String Quartets 1&2/ Pavel Haas Quartet (Supraphon)

A slight astringency of tone is all that keeps the Pavel Haas Quartet a notch below the Jerusalem and Belcea Quartets.

Here is a performance of tremendous musical energy: robust, well characterised and exact. The textures in Prokofiev's "First Quartet" are clean and attractive, while the "Second Quartet" brings the melancholy timbre of the cello to the fore. Most successful, however, is the "Sonata for Two Violins", where the uncanny match of sound between Veronika Jaruskova and Eva Karova is exploited to dramatic effect.