Leamington Czech Music Festival, Pump Room, May 2-6

OUTSTANDING and astounding inadequately describe the success of this weekend of Czech music - Leamington's biggest musical event for years. ... So who was the magician of the weekend? It was leader of the Martinu String Quartet, Lubomir Havlak (violin), whose enthusiasm and virtuosity added so much to their performance. They are an extraordinarily well-disciplined group, and were joined by Vaclav Vonasek in the Grand Quintet in Bb for Bassoon and String Quartet by Rejcha to bring their major contribution to the Festival to a fitting conclusion.

... CD String quartets of T.Svoboda

The Martinu Quartet does a fantastic job performing all these works. Given the Czech heritage of Mr. Svoboda, this quartet brings an understanding and passion for Czech music to each of these pieces. Their sound is excellent and their interpretation leaves nothing to be desired (other than to hear more). This disc is a bit of a cliffhanger, though. I must now hear the remaining 4 quartets! I wish that the 6 quartets from 2002 - 2006 were released as a set (not unlike Peter Maxwell Davies Naxos Quartets) but I am glad that I have the earlier works as a reference for Mr. Svoboda?s output. I anxiously await Volume 2 of this collection!
    - Jay Batzner - August 6th, 2007 - Sequenza21/

Hudební rozhledy

Dreissigste Jahrestag Martinů Quartetts.
Viz Hudební rozhledy. The concert commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Martinu Quartet on 17 Jan was beyond any doubt one of the leading events of this Czech Chamber Music Association concert season – historically as well as artistically. The interpretational style of the Martinu Quartet is defined by perfect attack, excellent intonation, coordination of rhythm as well as expression with idiosyncratically modeled, long-spanned phrasing. Their playing literally “breathes” like a homogenous organism.

CD Martinů Streichquartette Nr.3,6,Naxos,Pizzicato-Luxembourg,Dezember 2002

Dem Martinu-Quartett, schon vom Namen her ein Fürsprecher des Komponisten, gelingt es hervorragend, die Vielschichtigkeit von Martinus Musik wiederzuspiegeln… Emotionen und Stil werden hier mustergültig zusammengebracht und erreichen durch das phänomenale Spiel der vier tschechischen Musikern eine ungemeine Dichte. Ein interpretatorischer Geniestreich und ebenfalls eine aufnahmetechnische Meisterleistung.

Diapason, Paris

Flashes of brillance and high-spirited exuberance, without sacrificing the richness of sound worthy of the best Czech quartets of recent decades.

The Strad, August 2004

The Martinu Quartet played...with such extraordinary homogenity of sound and technical ease that their reading sounded deceptively laid back. ... Here again the Martinu players showed their gift for finding the emotional heart of a piece. This was an exquisitely crafted and profoundly moving performance.

The Globe and Mail, Toronto

A long-established Czech quartet of the old school with the kind of rich, heady sonority that provides profound satisfaction on its own Haydn`s Op.74, No.3 there were chords of such breathtaking resonance, so perfectly in tune.…

The New York Time, Sunday

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.

Luxemburger Wort

From Paradise to Sweeping Fire: High Carat Chamber Music. The homogeneity is unbeleivable....In performance, as if wrapped in velvet, of Schubert`s Quartet No. 13, both in action in unison and replies, it was possible to hear four virtuoso players who respected each other with rare empathy. If you have the possibility, dear reader, to hear the Martinu Quartet, drop everything and for God`s sake, go to their concert!

The Birmingham Post, October 6, 2003

...their namesake´s Quartet No. 2. Fired by an enthralling and quite irresistible energy, this ebullient music, especially the seemingly spontaneous twists and turns of its outer movements that are all part of a logical formal structure, was controlled by both Martinus (composer and players) with thrilling aplomb. And in the brooding melancholic Andante we heard the voice of true Bohemian poetry.

Norrköpings Tidningar, Sweden 4.12.1999

It showed that a very prominent string quartet was invited. Such a master quartet as the Martinu Quartet has not as far as I know performed in Norrköping since the LaSalle Quartet and they were here about 20 years ago

Swaledale Festival 2001 Darlington and Stockton Times

...the festival started in grand style with an exuisite performance from the internationaly-renowed Martinu quartet. The sound ...was beautifully clear, with the instruments achieving both individual clarity and harmonious blend. ...Beethoven´s last quartet, in F major, op.135. .., the core of this performance came in the Lento assai which achieved a stunning serenity. Martinu´s String quartet no.7, ...I found it playful and most enjoyable work.

Strad, CD Martinů Quartets 3,6, December 2002

Sound quality has a real bloom: this is a worthy tribute from the Martinů Quartet to its namesake.


Leoš Janáček

Streichquartett Nr.1 (Kreutzer Sonate)

Streichquartett Nr.2 (Intime Briefe)