REVIEWS
 
 
Franz Schubert - String Quartet in G major D887, Quartettsatz in C minor D703
 
This refined Czech Ensemble gives a finely nuanced, warmly expressive reading…..With demonstration quality sound, and a welcome coupling, this performance deserves to be heard.
 
Classical Music Magazine
   
 
 
Franz Schubert - String Quartet in G major D887, Quartettsatz in C minor D703
This is a commanding release....the Wihan’s unmannered playing unfolds naturally... as a consequence the performances gain an expressive power that lets Schubert speak for himself. An outstanding release.
 
International Record Review
   
 
 
Franz Schubert - String Quartet in G major D887, Quartettsatz in C minor D703
A tribute to the art of ensemble playing............... It is all impeccably played.
 
The Strad Magazine
   
 
Franz Schubert - String Quartet in G major D887, Quartettsatz in C minor D703
 
This is playing of the highest quality from the Czech quartet. Their tempo for the opening movement is unusually broad, which allows you to savour to the full the harmonic richness of this extraordinary music.
 
The Sunday Times
   
 
Franz Schubert - String Quartet in G major D887, Quartettsatz in C minor D703
 
Assured performances.….fiercely committed playing…. The strong and positive Wihan certainly deserve to be heard.
 
Michael Cookson Music Web
   
 
Franz Schubert - String Quartet in G major D887, Quartettsatz in C minor D703
 
If this is one of the finest examples of Schubert’s mastery as a composer of chamber music, so too the performance of the Wihan Quartet is worthy of that mastery. Aided by one of the best and most atmospheric recordings imaginable, this disc can be welcomed with the utmost enthusiasm.
 
Terry Barfoot MusicWeb
   
 
Franz Schubert - String Quartet in G major D887, Quartettsatz in C minor D703
 
These are excellent studio accounts .............caught with excellent sound balance ......their playing is impeccable and virtually faultless whether live or from studio.
 
Musical Pointers
   
   
 
Franz Schubert - String Quartets - No.13 "Rosamunde" and No.14 "Death and the Maiden"
 
... a fascinating disc .....Here is the Wihan, in a live recording in Prague, at its most restrained and understated. And quite frankly the music, especially the melancholic Rosamunde Quartet, is the beneficiary.
 
Glasgow Herald
   
 
Franz Schubert - String Quartets - No.13 "Rosamunde" and No.14 "Death and the Maiden"
 
Not many modern quartets capture the sense of veiled but intense melancholy the Wihan quartet finds....leader Leos Cepicky’s fine –featured phrasing stands out – he can home in on details and nuances like any good Lieder-singer. For anyone who finds the Takacs Quartet just too extrovert this could be the answer.
 
BBC Music Magazine
   
 
Franz Schubert - String Quartets - No.13 "Rosamunde" and No.14 "Death and the Maiden"
 
The STRAD recommends
 
Compelling coupling of two of Schubert’s best-knownquartets. The Wihan achieves the tantalising expressive ambivalence that is the nirvana of all Schubert interpretatio
 
The Strad
   
 
Franz Schubert - String Quartets - No.13 "Rosamunde" and No.14 "Death and the Maiden"
 
... these are two of the finest accounts of this music that I have ever encountered: virtuosic, eminently stylish and exceptionally sensitive to the blend ofhaunting lyricism and sweeping intensity that stamps the music.
 
International Record Review
   
 
Franz Schubert - String Quartets - No.13 "Rosamunde" and No.14 "Death and the Maiden"
 
There have been fine recordings of these two haunting quartets but none that I have enjoyed more than these beautiful performances. The Wihan take their time with the D minor, Death and the Maiden — even the demonic presto finale is given more space than usual — but this allows Schubert’s marvellous harmonies and expressive part-writing to register fully and possess the listener. In the A minor, too, though the opening allegro ma non troppo is quite brisk, the players always let the music breathe — nowhere more so thanin the slow movement’s magical moments of return. The Sunday Times
 
The Sunday Times
   
Antonin Dvořák - String Quartets Op.61 and Op.96
This is the finest recorded performance I have encountered to date [Op.61]
 
BBC Music Magazine
 
Antonin Dvořák - String Quartets Op.61 and Op.96
"The Wihan are consummate instrumentalists in the great Czech tradition, as they show by their richly expressive account of the long, elaborately wrought C major quartet."
 
The Sunday Times
Antonin Dvořák - String Quartets Op.61 and Op.96
'....a fresh and refreshing view while still clearly in the great Czech quartet tradition. The C Major quartet is a good place to start, to experience some of the beauty, spirit and emotional aspects of the music which the Quartet captures so well."
 
Dvorak Society Newsletter
Antonin Dvořák - String Quartets Op.61 and Op.96
Matchless Artistry '... the finest of bravura chamber performances.'

'In the Dvorák quartets under review, however -- Opus 61 in C major and Opus 96 in F major -- the Talich and Wihan players (Leos Cepický and Jan Schulmeister, violins, Jirí Zigmund, viola and Ales Kasprík, cello) wipe the floor with other ensembles, though several of their contemporaries are most impressive. Such high artistic demands are met to the full and sound engineer Eric James with producer Jeremy Hayes have done the Wihan Quartet proud. An unqualified recommendation.
 
Music & Vision
Antonin Dvořák - String Quartets
'their playing has a delightful freshness and spontaneity as well as robustness and muscularity. Their warmly lyrical interpretations of the slow movements of both quartets is also most impressive'
 
The Schubertian
Antonin Dvořák - String Quartets
'no other version outshines the Wihan in either work'
 
MusicWeb International
Beethoven's Late String Quartets
"The Wihan is a top notch ensemble....the ensemble's sound is exceptionally well balanced and clearly projected....these are readings for which the Wihan must command serious attention."
 
Fanfare, USA
Beethoven's Middle String Quartets
"I admire their cultured sound, the blend, their tonal beauty, (especially the cello) and the fresh look at the ensemble textures."

Fanfare, USA
Paganini - Caprices for solo violin, Op. 1 Nos. 1-24 (complete)
"The sound recorded in the Domovina Studio in Prague, is rich and detailed, and when heard upon my present system (Harbeth P3ESR Special Edition speakers, Rega Saturn CD player and Exposure 2010S integrated amplifier) is not only a fabulous audiophile demo recording, it is simply drop dead gorgeous."Audiophile Audition
 
Audiophile Audition
Paganini - Caprices for solo violin, Op. 1 Nos. 1-24 (complete)
"... a fascinating and enthralling disc, full of wonderfully virtuoso and musical playing......the textures are so varied and the playing so magical that one can play the disc from start to finish and then go back to the beginning again."
 
MusicWeb International
Beethoven's String Quartets LIVE - 2 DVDs
"There is little to add, in fact, to my comments on this performance in the CD version, except to say that it is additionally atmospheric to watch them in action in such lovely surroundings.

the slow movement is gloriously expressive ..... The finale is technically astonishing from all four players. By emphasising the charm of the finale’s main theme, the Wihan succeeds in bringing out the contrasts found in this piece more than most. A most rewarding reading.

The “extra” is a fascinating and expertly produced and directed subtitled Czech film that outlines the Wihan Quartet’s origins via recollections from the players themselves, as well as giving rehearsal footage and character portraits of each player."

 
MusicWeb International
Beethoven's String Quartets LIVE - 2 DVDs
"... the relentless rhythmic bite of the Grosse Fuge is leavened by a lyricism that reveals the sheer beauty that exists alongside the power. There is so much character in these performances: deep feeling, devoid of superfluous sentiment, pervades the Adagio ma non troppo of the ‘Harp’ Quartet, and humour flows through the second movement of op.59 no.1, signified by the gentle grin on the face of the leader.....this is a rare example of the recording gaining from being on DVD."
 
The Strad
 
Beethoven's Early and Middle String Quartets
"These sets complete the Wihan Quartet's outstanding live recordings of complete Beethoven quartets, ....their incisive, often dangerous playing gives vitality to their virtuosic interpretation."
 
The Observer
Beethoven's Middle String Quartets
"The Wihan Quartet's live accounts of the Beethoven Quartets are ever stimulating and searching, as this three-disc set underlines. The youth of the quartet surfaces in enthusiasm and a questing, fresh approach that should not be undervalued. The recording reminds me of the techniques used for the Quartetto Italiano's Beethoven cycle - harsh at times but fully revealing of all detail...there is true beauty married to total concentration.

The second "Razumovsky", the E-Minor, is given a gritty, determined reading. The first movement oozes energy, while the sublime second is one of the finest things I have heard the Wihans do. The contained ecstasy, the concentration and the tonal finesse are all present and add up to a reading that exudes a maturity far beyond the quartet members' years. The excellence of Leos Cepický's first violin is of particular note: sweet-toned, and with superb articulation."

 
MusicWeb International
Beethoven's Middle String Quartets
"When I reviewed the Wihan Quartet's recordings of Beethoven's late quartets earlier this year, I declared myself impatient to hear the promised subsequent releases that would make up the whole set. The playing is again full of rich colours...What's most impressive, however, is the intelligent shaping of each work, both in terms of large-scale form and internal balance. This ensemble really listens to itself and thinks profoundly about this great art."
 
October 25, Steven Pettitt, The Sunday Times
The Wihan Quartet are four amazingly talented players from the Czech Republic and their music seems steeped in all things Bohemian and Moravian. Their sound is full, rich and strong with a marvellous attention to balance and phrasing. They produce music of a strong vibrant colour like a bountiful Prague spring and they set the old chapel alight with the fervour of their music. >>> more (Local Secrets Website)
 
Cambridge Summer Music Festival, July 23 2009, Mike Levy, Local Secrets, Cambridge
“...in trying to follow the sonata first movement of Dvorak’s String Quartet No 9 in D minor, which opened the Wihan’s beautifully accomplished recital, I had again that feeling of one’s whole self being put into a state of attentiveness, as though one were never more oneself than at such moments.” ..>>> more
 
Greenwich String Festival, April 26 2009, The Sunday Times
“...the players exposed the bold colours of Martinu’s String Quartet No 2 with vividness.....the slow movement of Dvorak radiated warmth”
 
The Strad
“...the hall was packed full...and no wonder...[the programme was] delivered vigorously yet also delicately inflected...passionate...so many points to admire.”
 
Musical Opinion
“...the polished style of the players showed immediately....it was a delight to hear the clear shaping of the themes and the well judged contrasts of phrasing.”
Watford Observer
“...brilliant performance...musical warmth....a convincing balance between intimate and grand expressions”
 
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“with a full house ....the evocative adagio and syncopated scherzo, was played with technical excellence by the Czech players. Libor Novacek (piano) joined the quartet for Brahms Piano Quintet ...the performance was greeted with rapturous applause and foot stamping .....for many this was the finest concert for many years at the festival or the winter series”
 
The Courier, Leamington Spa
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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