Haydn: String Quartet, Op. 64 No. 1 in C major, etc.

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Haydn: String Quartet, Op. 64 No. 1 in C major, etc.



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String Quartet, Op. 64 No. 1 in C major

String Quartet, Op. 64 No. 2 in B minor

String Quartet, Op. 64 No. 3 in B flat major



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Franz Joseph Haydn: String Quartet No. 48 in C major, Op. 64, No. 1, Hob.III:65

I. Allegro moderato

II. Menuetto: Allegretto ma non troppo

III. Allegretto scherzando

IV. Finale: Presto

Franz Joseph Haydn: String Quartet No. 49 in B minor, Op. 64, No. 2, Hob.III:68

I. Allegro spiritoso

II. Adagio ma non troppo

III. Menuetto: Allegretto

IV. Finale: Presto

Franz Joseph Haydn: String Quartet No. 50 in B flat major, Op. 64, No. 3, Hob.III:67

I. Vivace assai

II. Adagio

III. Menuetto: Allegretto

IV. Finale: Allegro con spirito

Gramophone Classical Music Guide


“The so-called Lark (No 5), with its soaring opening melody and moto perpetuo finale, is perhaps the most immediately fetching of all Haydn's quartets. But No 6 is at least as fine, with its intimate and intensely argued opening movement, its poignant, exquisitely textured Andante and a finale full of instrumental fooling and insouciant contrapuntal virtuosity. Of the other works, No 2 is one of Haydn's most astringent pieces, from its tonally deceptive opening to the mordant, unsettling humour of the finale. Quartets Nos 3 and 4 return to a more familiar vein of sociable wit. Both are endlessly subtle and surprising in their arguments, with cantabile slow movements of peculiar candour and eloquence.
Quartet No 1, the least favoured of the six is certainly the plainest in its thematic ideas. But it's an absorbing, immensely sophisticated piece, exploring an astonishing range of textures; the recapitulation of the leisurely first movement opens up marvellous new harmonic vistas, while the central development of the finale is a canonic tour de force. The Kodály Quartet has rightly won plaudits for its wonderfully civilised playing; mellow and lyrical, far removed from the highly strung brilliance cultivated by many modern quartets. Ensemble and intonation are first class, tempos generally spacious, with broad, natural and beautifully matched phrasing.
It's at its very finest where Haydn is at his most searching; and the Quartets Nos 2, 5 and 6 each receive outstanding, deeply considered performances. In one or two movements the Kodály's penchant for slowish tempos leads to a slight dourness. Against that, it brings a deliciously lazy Ländler lilt, enhanced by the first violin's portamentos, to the Trio of No 6, and a grave, inward intensity to each of Haydn's slow movements. The recording, made in a Budapest church, is resonant and less intimate than is ideal in this music.”

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