Paradoxically, Dvorak is most remembered for two works inspired by his visit to the United States, his Symphony "From the New World" and his String Quartet No. 12, "The American." The latter has gotten a fresh new reading by the Tokyo String Quartet, along with Smetana's seminal First String Quartet, "From My Life" (Harmonia Mundi HMU807429).
Both works have had deserved popularity for their singingly memorable, expressively lyrical, yet robust thematic material, the clarity of structure and exemplary status as among the best in later romantic string quartet craft.
The Tokyo String Quartet give a fittingly impassioned reading of the works--flowing, emotive without erring on the overdone side, beautifully phrased and balanced. These are some of the finest performances I've heard of the two masterpieces. They are very much recommended.