As a teenager Antonin Dvorak was apprenticed to a butcher and throughout his life his music never lost a kind of full-bodied beefiness, a kind of earthiness. His final string quartet is a piece that gives the listener a feeling that it's feet are firmly planted on the ground.
Written in his homeland after returning from a stay in the United States, the piece is based on several of Dvorak's other works: the finale on a symphonic work titled The Hero's Song, and the slow movement on a Christmas choral piece. Perhaps more than any other chamber work, Dvorak's last string quartet has the golden glow of nostalgia about it.
The entire work, performed by the St Lawrence String Quartet from a Music in the Park Series concert given just last week, received well-deserved bravos. That performance is in this week's Regional Spotlight.