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The Delmé String Quartet has established an impressive international reputation/

Hear what the critics have to say:

"It was possible to forget the existence of everything except the sound of four gorgeous instruments spiralling upwards".
'The Times' (Edinburgh Festival)

"The Delme Quartet's insight into the composer's creativity is such that if the players were paid according to the quality of their interpretations, the BBC probably couldn't afford them".
'The Listener'

"A performance of breathtaking beauty. When playing is of this calibre the listener is directed away from the performance and into the work".

'Daily Telegraph'


See letter below from DrPh Jarmil Burghauser



This site was last updated on 12 November 2013

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Letter from DrPh JARMIL BURGHAUSER after The Delme Quartet's performance in Prague October 1996

Dear Madame, Dear Friends

Allow me to address you with this a little unusual letter (unusual at least for me whose habits do not include writing private laudatory lines on music performances unless they express my gratitude for interpreting my compositions where of course I cannot write a public review.

Since I was not asked to procure a review of the quartets festival, I only sent to Hudebni rozhley a short feuilleton as a contribution to the nonsensical discussion whether a musician who is not born Czech can fully understand and interpret Czech music.  I stated that in your marvellous interpretation of Dvorak's G major as a whole, especially its finale, was given in such a profoundly founded and musically sovereign way that I never heard even by the most renowned Czech ensembles. I know that my friends in Czech quartet ensembles will feel this a little offending, but I cannot help tell my opinion.

That finale makes even devoted Dvorakians a little uneasy, being not in accordance with the standard formal pattern, but I always felt that the movement must be taken not as a purely  absolute music but much more as a contemplating, smiling and pensive glance back to his previous life of a composer standing at the threshold of his old age.

A thanksgiving to life with all its small and great sorrows and joys, satisfactions as well as let-downs, but also an indomitable will to continue the way forward (viola's repeated calls "Dvorak, onaway!" after the lyrical reminiscences in the violins.)

I always had had this concept of the sense of the movement, but only your interpretation did a full justice to it. I fear that just the Czech interpreters sometimes are misled by the general (and completely false) view of Dvorak the peasant, Dvorak the naive musician, Dvorak the folklore-Brahms, and maintain the inclination towards dance-rhythmicisation, superficial colouring, cheap pointing.

Mike Beckerman once wrote a clever article on "the Master's little joke: Antonin Dvorak and the Mask of Nation.". In fact, Dvorak was everything but a simple man, and he was able to daringly but masterfully choose every stylization he found proper for his aims.  For me he is not only a great musician, but one of the greatest Czech philosophers, deriving his exact,  in fact the best hierarchic ranging of supreme values of existence - God, Love, Fatherland - not from books but from own life's experience.

Not only that, of course. From the first bars of your interpretation of the work I was completely fascinated by your mastery of sound, by the refinement without effeminacy, the diapason of expression from the most lyrical to the most dramatic moments, supreme equilibrating of agogics, of detail and overall line.

Allow me to prefer to end the letter before to become too lyrical - and simply to thank you for the extraordinary enjoyment you gave me.