The London Haydn Quartet: Catherine Manson (violin), Michael Gurevich (violin), James Boyd (viola) & Richard Lester (cello)
CD - 2 discs
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.
Haydn’s remarkable Opus 20 quartets are rightfully regarded as landmarks in the history of the string quartet.
Throughout the six contrasting quartets the composer employs compositional techniques that were to shape and define the genre.
We witness a deviation in style from the lightness and wit of his previous quartets to a mood of emotional intensity and darker musical imagery. The six Opus 20 works are all individually exquisite masterpieces and demonstrate a composer at the height of creative maturity. They display an astonishing consistency of excellence and a huge variety of form and style, contrasting dynamics and relentless energy. Increasingly polyphonic textures are infused with a sense of drama, and the cello is often freed from its basso continuo roots to a position of prominence.
The London Haydn Quartet is the ideal advocate for these works and gives elegant, radiant and exhilaratingly assured performances.
Haydn: String Quartet In E Flat, Op. 20/1 - 1. Allegro Moderato
Haydn: String Quartet In E Flat, Op. 20/1 - 2. Menuetto: Allegretto
Haydn: String Quartet In E Flat, Op. 20/1 - 3. Affettuoso & Sostenuto
Haydn: String Quartet In E Flat, Op. 20/1 - 4. Presto
Haydn: String Quartet In C, Op. 20/2 - 1. Moderato
Haydn: String Quartet In F Minor, Op. 20/5 - 1. Allegro Moderato
Haydn: String Quartet In F Minor, Op. 20/5 - 2. Menuetto
Haydn: String Quartet In F Minor, Op. 20/5 - 3. Adagio
Haydn: String Quartet In F Minor, Op. 20/5 - 4. Fuga A 2 Soggetti
Haydn: String Quartet In A, Op. 20/6 - 1. Allegro Di Molto & Scherzando
Haydn: String Quartet In A, Op. 20/6 - 2. Adagio Cantabile
Haydn: String Quartet In A, Op. 20/6 - 3. Menuetto: Allegretto
Haydn: String Quartet In A, Op. 20/6 - 4. Fuga A 3 Soggetti: Allegro
1st September 2011
“Using gut strings, classical bows and a bare minimum of vibrato, and making a point of using the Artaria edition of the works that Haydn himself supervised for publication in 1801, their performances often seem strikingly austere, and will not be to all tastes; they sometimes have a rawness that harks back to the early hair-shirt days of the period-instrument movement”
Awards Issue 2011
“provocative interpretations - of enthralling magnitude.”
“The young ensemble plays on authentic gut strings with classical bows. Their thin, supple tone brings out Haydn's melodic line...The commitment of this string quartet to one composer pays off. Their wiry, period tone suits Haydn's melodious, down-to-earth writing. They capture [his] urbane wit and complex intelligence”
“this recording maintains their historically informed, period instrument approach. Once again, preparation has been meticulous...The almost vibrato-less playing is immaculate in intonation and subtly responsive to shifts and contrasts of Haydn's invention.”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.