"Elastic lightness and skillful technique…meticulously prepared phrasing
and crystal clear intonation. Enormous intensities and highly concentrated
interpretation in Bartok's String Quartet No. 3 and Smetana's String Quartet
No. 1 "From My Life" was packed with energy and spirit."
The Hába Quartet brought out the stirring feelings, the endless passion
with penetrative intensity. The impressively variable sound, the folkloristic
melodies as well as the romantically expressive passages made the listening
a great experience. It was by no means a routined performance of practiced
notes putting together, but rather a portrait of the unusual work with impeccable
intonation paired with high empathy. (Janacek String Quartet No. 2
The 4 outstanding members of the quartet proved themselves to be real
masters of subtle sound accomplished with every technical importance of the
contemporary music. For instance, the fragile elements of the Mexican Carrillo,
or the vital, intimate character of the Czech Hába. …Lively dialogues (Grandjean)
were performed by the Hába Quartet with noble musicality and endlessly refined
Again, there was an inspiring program, which shows off the vivid characters of the excellent Hába Quartet.
The ensemble demonstrated their dynamic quarlities with finest nuances in
these compositions (Mozart, Liszt, Reger and Hába) and performed very
The Hába Quartet performed a concert in the Weisenauer Synagogue with
intelligent and variable ensemble technique. The compositional accomplishment
was clearly demonstrated in 3 string quartet works (Sekles, Haas, Krása).
Time and space seemed to be melted away in this micro-twisted, dynamically
loaded continuum. In which the highest tension lies even between the smallest
changes, and this was due to the brilliant interpretation of the Hába Quartet.
The audience loved the swinging music of the strings, their breathy pianissimo,
their energetic forte and the fantastically coordinated ensemble playing with
The interpreters are the reason why this CD makes one feels so thrilled right
from the beginning. The Hába Quartet performed both master pieces with such
intimacy and passion along with unbelievable freshness and obsession, as if
they are really pouring their hearts out and that it is about their own destiny.
Of course: these sounding autobiographies offer them an ideal scope to play
with. The Bohemian and the Moravian, life and love, nostalgia and reverie - all
these are swinging among these two pieces…Bedrich Smetanas String Quartet
No.1 "From My Life" (1876), was part of the reason why he was so famous,
although the piece was considered first unplayable. This music, inspired from
youthful ardor and hopeful vigor, full of lyrical melodies, with a swinging Polka as
2nd and an enthusiastic love song as 3rd movement, plus a dramatic Finale…
The interpreters had the opportunities in Smetana as well as in Janacek to show
existential feelings, musical expressions and technical finesse, which were all
breathtakingly and competently fulfilled in this brilliant new CD recording. The
playing from Sha Katsouris, Hovhannes Mokatsian, Peter Zelienka and Arnold Ilg
was enhanced through clear contour, sensible colors and an unmistakable grasp
of the original features and richness of both tone poems. Brilliant!
Western Chamber Music in China
(…) The Hába Quartet performed works of Mozart, Hába, Beethoven, Brahms,
Schubert, Smetana as well as Janácek in their 4 concerts in China, including
one in the Yifu International Conference Center in Beijing. Everywhere, the
audience acclaimed enthusiastically. The 4th performance in Hubei Theater in
Wuhan took place just one evening before the Chinese government had
announced the public event prohibition due to the SARS disease - but even
under this circumstances, 700 hundred people showed up. On their way back to
Beijing airport with a night train, people were already wearing masks. At the
airport, infrared detectors were used to prevent people with higher temperature
to continue their flight.
During their stay, the 4 musicians did not only gave performances, but also
dedicated themselves to chamber music coaching, a few times even in front of
more than 300 listeners. Furthermore, they worked with 3 string quartets in
Wuhan Music Conservatory to help them preparing for the National String
Quartet Competition in Shanghai. (…)
Benefit Concert with Karlheinz Böhm
A CD was produced from the live recording of the concert
"Karlheinz Böhm reads LENZ from Georg Büchner"
with music from the string quartets from Alban Berg, Joseph
Haydn and Robert Schumann, played by the Hába Quartet
I would like to welcome all of you and open tonight's concert of the
Hába Quartet's "4 times Four" series with words from Confucius:
"Every note comes from the heart". Music has always been
considered as a form of expression, which does not only help us to
show and exchange our feelings and to communicate with each
other, but also functions as a transmit of messages. This hasn't
changed either in our modern world, in which music is also strongly
influenced by cultural complexity.
I am very pleased, that the Hába Quartet is supporting the work of
my organization "People for People" in Ethiopia, which has
becoming a lifetime duty for me in the last two decades. This
support also encourages us further to help and provide the poor
and the homeless to have a more humanely environment.
I hope that today's music will "speak to many hearts" and would like
to thank the musicians and the organizer, especially the St. John
parish, for their hospitality, commitment and participation. I'm sure
it would be a wonderful evening.
With very sincere greetings, also in names of people in Ethiopia.
The quartet has a rather international cast, but sounds like a native Czech
ensemble to these ears. Comparing this recording of the Janácek work with a
number of others, mostly Czech, the Hába Quartett has nothing to fear in the
Smetana’s well-known Quartet No. 1 receives a dramatic performance, not
shortchanging the romantic elements in the work. The Hába Quartet captures
well the contrast between the polka rhythms earlier in the finale with peaceful
and poignant ending. …Janácek’s Second Quartet, one of his most personal
utterances, also receives sterling treatment by the Hába Quartett. One
appreciates anew the solo passages, as is also the case with the Smetana, and&
special praise is due to the violist…The ensemble playing, too, is impeccable…
Tempos for the most part are normal, but the quartet is not afraid to stretch
things a bit to make a greater effect. This is indeed a personal view of a very
personal work, which is carried off completely successfully… The effect is more
powerful than I have ever heard it. This is a winning account of one of the
twentieth century’s greatest chamber works, an account that ranks up there with
the Skampa and Talich renditions…