Antonin Dvorak, DVORAK: String Quartets Op 96, ‘American’ and Op 106

Gavin Borchert

By Gavin Borchert

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Is this Dvorak’s catchiest quartet of all?

One of the most popular quartets in the repertory is Dvorak's "American" quartet, so named because he wrote it during his three-year stint in the U.S. (teaching in New York City, spending summers in Iowa) and because of the folksong-like catchiness of the tunes. The Op. 106 quartet is his last, equally rich in melody if not so light in tone. A slight hint of gospel hymn style, perhaps a reminiscence of his American stay, finds its way into this quartet's slow movement. The Vlach Quartet of Prague, compatriots of the composer, naturally have a special way with this music.