photography, San Miguel de Allende

Czech this out

The Janáček Quartet continued the celebration of its 75th anniversary by performing exhilarating compositions from its namesake Leoš Janáček, as well as Antonin Dvořák and Béla Bartók, at Casa Europa in Centro on Wednesday night.

“Of course, we are the second generation,” said Milos Vacek, first violinist, with a sly grin.

That explains the youthful vitality, seasoned with the wisdom of veteran performers and the intuitive interplay of long-time partners.

Their performance was transportive, to say the least. At times it felt cinematic, film noir cinematic. Deeply cerebral, psychologically probing, introspective. A crisp roller-coaster of a conversation between melody and dissonance.

The finale, Dvořák’s “American Suite” was a low-elevation drone flight across the continent (the continent of 1895), inferencing the vast Western expanses and hustle of bustling cities, masted ships in harbor and prairie schooners in search of new lands.

The musicians are (from left) Miloš Vacek, first violin; Vítězslav Zavadilík, 2nd violin; Břetislav Vybíra, cello; and Jan Řezníček, viola.