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Czech quartet set to captivate Sechelt

The Vlach Quartet Prague, called a string quartet of world proportion and reputation, is about to take the Sunshine Coast by musical storm. Performing at the Raven's Cry Theatre, at 2:30 p.m.

The Vlach Quartet Prague, called a string quartet of world proportion and reputation, is about to take the Sunshine Coast by musical storm.

Performing at the Raven's Cry Theatre, at 2:30 p.m., Sunday as part of the Coast Recital Society (CRS) 2004/05 concert season, the Vlach Quartet embodies skillful, intense music making rooted in the rich traditions of Czech chamber music.

"It's a real coup for the CRS and our audience to be able to enjoy this quality of chamber music performance," said CRS artistic director Frances Wainwright. "The string quartet is one of the highest forms of musical expression - an intimate dialogue among four musicians. The Vlach players deliver a beautifully distinctive sound. This promises to be an unforgettable musical experience."

The Vlach Quartet is led by violinist Jana Vlachov (daughter of their late founder Josef Vlach), with violinist Karel Stadherr, violist Petr Verner and cellist Mikael Ericsson. Their engagement in Sechelt comes mid-way in a North American tour.

The reviewer for the Los Angeles Times praised their "vaunted middle-European style of impassioned, dark and richly-blended sound. It was Dvork's Quartet No. 13 that afforded them their greatest opportunities. From feathery sweetness to gutsy earthiness, from joy in homecoming to sadness over years of absence, the players painted a huge, symphonic landscape."

Fortunately, that Dvork quartet is on the Vlach's Sechelt program, along with Mozart's Quartet No. 17 in B flat major (The Hunt), and Five Pieces for String Quartet by the Czech composer Erwin Schulhoff.

The Vlach Quartet Prague has a busy international touring schedule. Their concerts are recorded and broadcast throughout Europe, and they boast an impressive discography including a 15-CD project with Naxos to record the complete chamber works of Antonin Dvork.

All members of the Quartet are active soloists and also form a core of the prestigious Czech Chamber Orchestra.

Single tickets are available. Call Mary Lea Bell at 604-886-8330 to inquire about ticket availability.

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