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Penguin Guide, January 2009

The Fourth and Fifth Quartets come from the period 1937–8 and are close to the Double Concerto for two string orchestras, piano and timpani. The Fifth is the darker of the two, and in its emotional turbulence it comes closer in spirit to Janáček’s Second Quartet. The Seventh, subtitled Concerto da camera, is less concentrated in feeling. It is finely crafted and very much in Martinů’s neoclassical vein, if less memorable and spontaneous. Anyway, they are all well played and recorded and can be confidently recommended.

Michael Beckerman
The New York Times, June 2003

"BOHUSLAV MARTINU, the Czech composer, who died in 1959, was someone modernists loved to hate. His music is simultaneously predictable and adventurous, deeply analytical and brilliantly intuitive. His best qualities are evident in a complete survey of his string quartets, played by the Martinu Quartet on Naxos CD's. The latest, Vol. 3, offers the Quartets Nos. 4, 5 and 7... compellingly performed here... The new century should be Martinu's time. His quartets, lacking an explicit political angle, may never be as popular as Shostakovich's, but they are powerful works that bear repeated hearings and deep reflection. Anyone who does not know them risks missing one of the great treasures of 20th-century chamber music."

Scott Morrison, June 2003

"After living with the three-CD set of the seven Martinu string quartets, played by the eponymous Martinu String Quartet, I am prepared to insist that they are among the major quartets written in the twentieth century. And the three on this volume, the last in the series, show no let-down of quality... The performances by the Martinu String Quartet, as in the earlier issues, are idiomatic, clean, graceful - in word, they're superb. I spent a lovely Saturday afternoon recently listening to all seven quartets in sequence; what a joy!

Thank you again, Naxos, for making these performances available."

The New Yorker, February 2003

"Finally! Naxos blesses us with the first decent-sounding CD transfers of the legendary Josef Lhevinne's complete studio recordings, a slender yet priceless legacy that belongs in every, and I mean every serious piano collection...It's not just Lhevinne's spectacular technique that amazes, but his sense of style, his diamond-like sonority, his unassailable authority and command...Absolutely essential, especially at Naxos' rock-bottom price."

Jan Smaczny
BBC Music Magazine, February 2003

"The Martinu Quartet, one of the most promising of a generation of young Czech quartets founded in the Eighties, understands this repertoire completely. Both the competing complete sets, by the Panocha and Stamitz Quartets, have much to recommend them, but the Martinu Quartet, in nearly every particular, goes a stage further."

Kevin Sutton
MusicWeb International

"The performances here are above reproach. The Martin? quartet plays vigorously, and with a fine sense of ensemble. They are simply ravishing in tone and expression in the slower movement.

Keith Anderson, as usual, provides excellent program notes and the sound quality is of the first order. For fans of Martin?­Ýs music, this disc is worth the investment."

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