Not Schubert this Sunday, but the Pavel Haas Quartet with Pavel Nikl playing the Dvořák String Quintet No. 3 in E flat, the “American”, on their 2107 CD.
The BBC Music Magazine each month has a short feature in their ‘Rewind’ series, in which ‘great artists talk about their past recordings’. This month, it is Veronika Jarůšková, talking first about the PHQ making their first CD. And later,
Many years passed and then a tragedy happened to our viola player, Pavel Nikl: his wife died. We had to find a new viola player because it was not possible for Pavel to continue; he had two small children and he became mother and father – he left Prague and went to his parents to take care of the kids. But in 2017 we reunited for the recording we did of the Dvořák ‘American’ Quintet. He came in as second viola and it was very special. We recorded it in the Rudolfinum, the Czech Philharmonic Hall, which is always special, because it’s Dvořák’s hall. You can feel Dvořák in every corner. So it was wonderful and very emotional too, on the other hand, because there is the small moment in the Quintet, kind of like a prayer. So we were all thinking about Pavel’s wife who was not with us any more, and there was some kind of connection. It almost felt as if the roof of the Rudolfinum opened and there was light; it was very special. It wasn’t about the playing any more, it was just about sharing something; it’s very hard to put it into words.
Not put into words, but put into music. There is no performance video, but you can stream the CD from Apple Music, etc. And Supraphon have also provided the four movements of the Quintet on YouTube, 1, 2, 3, 4.