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Haydn: Complete String Quartets Box set

4.3 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Haydn: Complete String Quartets
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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Genre: Classical Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
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Release Date: 15-MAY-2001

Amazon.com

A massive set--67 string quartets on 21 discs in a budget-priced, shelf-friendly, compact box. So the obvious question is: do you need it? The equally obvious answer is a resounding "yes" if you love these endlessly inventive quartets and if you appreciate superbly played performances that capture both the letter and the spirit of Haydn's genius. The Angeles String Quartet isn't as well known as some ensembles that have recorded complete Haydn sets, but they are superior to all, with the arguable exception of the Tatrai Quartet. They demonstrate technical polish and rich, warm sound that's never cloying. And they give these works the forward-moving impetus they need within a classical framework, eschewing both anachronistic Romanticism and the mechanical astringency of period specialists.

The Angeles Quartet is unique in its mastery of early as well as late works, in tune with Haydn's stylistic development and sensitive to the attractions of each of these remarkable pieces. So they infuse the visionary slow movements of the late quartets with the appropriate depth and at the same time revel in the muscularity of the Opus 76 No.2's catchy Menuetto, the humor of the "Joke" Quartet, Opus 33 No.2, and the power of the Allegro con spirito of Opus 76 No.1. Most impressive is their way with the early quartets--no small matter when you consider that the contents of the first six discs precede the Opus 20 set generally considered as signaling the maturity of the form. The Angeles make even the earliest quartets, five-movement divertimentos for four strings, a habit-forming delight. Their playing here is full of exuberance, wittily playful and rough, peasantlike by turns. The sonics are outstanding, too, well-balanced, warm, and lifelike. An indispensable recording. --Dan Davis

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Str Qt in E flat, Op.0: I. Presto
  2. Str Qt in E flat, Op.0: II. Menuetto
  3. Str Qt in E flat, Op.0: III. Adagio
  4. Str Qt in E flat, Op.0: IV. Menuetto
  5. Str Qt in E flat, Op.0: V. Finale: Presto
  6. Str Qt in B flat, Op.1 No.1: I. Presto
  7. Str Qt in B flat, Op.1 No.1: II. Menuetto
  8. Str Qt in B flat, Op.1 No.1: III. Adagio
  9. Str Qt in B flat, Op.1 No.1: IV. Menuetto
  10. Str Qt in B flat, Op.1 No.1: V. Presto
  11. Str Qt in E flat, Op.1 No.2: I. Allegro
  12. Str Qt in E flat, Op.1 No.2: II. Menuetto
  13. Str Qt in E flat, Op.1 No.2: III. Adagio
  14. Str Qt in E flat, Op.1 No.2: IV. Menuetto
  15. Str Qt in E flat, Op.1 No.2: V. Presto
  16. Str Qt in D, Op.1 No.3: I. Adagio
  17. Str Qt in D, Op.1 No.3: II. Menuetto
  18. Str Qt in D, Op.1 No.3: III. Presto
  19. Str Qt in D, Op.1 No.3: IV. Menuetto
  20. Str Qt in D, Op.1 No.3: V. Finale: Presto

Disc: 2

  1. Str Qt in G, Op.1 No.4: I. Presto
  2. Str Qt in G, Op.1 No.4: II. Menuetto
  3. Str Qt in G, Op.1 No.4: III. Adagio Ma Non Tanto
  4. Str Qt in G, Op.1 No.4: IV. Menuetto
  5. Str Qt in G, Op.1 No.4: V. Presto
  6. Str Qt in C, Op.1 No.6: I. Presto Assai
  7. Str Qt in C, Op.1 No.6: II. Menuetto
  8. Str Qt in C, Op.1 No.6: III. Adagio
  9. Str Qt in C, Op.1 No.6: IV. Menuetto
  10. Str Qt in C, Op.1 No.6: V. Finale: Presto
  11. Str Qt in A, Op.2 No.1: I. Allegro
  12. Str Qt in A, Op.2 No.1: II. Menuetto
  13. Str Qt in A, Op.2 No.1: III. Adagio
  14. Str Qt in A, Op.2 No.1: IV. Menuetto
  15. Str Qt in A, Op.2 No.1: V. Allegro Molto

Disc: 3

  1. Str Qt in E, Op.2 No.2: I. Allegro Molto
  2. Str Qt in E, Op.2 No.2: II. Menuetto
  3. Str Qt in E, Op.2 No.2: III. Adagio
  4. Str Qt in E, Op.2 No.2: IV. Menuetto
  5. Str Qt in E, Op.2 No.2: V. Finale: Presto
  6. Str Qt in F, Op.2 No.4: I. Presto
  7. Str Qt in F, Op.2 No.4: II. Menuetto
  8. Str Qt in F, Op.2 No.4: III. Adagio
  9. Str Qt in F, Op.2 No.4: IV Menuetto: Allegretto
  10. Str Qt in F, Op.2 No.4: V. Allegro
  11. Str Qt in B flat, Op.2 No.6: I. Adagio
  12. Str Qt in B flat, Op.2 No.6: II. Menuetto
  13. Str Qt in B flat, Op.2 No.6: III. Presto: Scherzo
  14. Str Qt in B flat, Op.2 No.6: IV. Menuetto
  15. Str Qt in B flat, Op.2 No.6: V. Presto

Disc: 4

  1. Str Qt in C, Op.9 No.1: I. Moderato
  2. Str Qt in C, Op.9 No.1: II. Menuetto: Un Poco Allegretto
  3. Str Qt in C, Op.9 No.1: III. Adagio
  4. Str Qt in C, Op.9 No.1: IV. Finale: Presto
  5. Str Qt in E flat, Op.9 No.2: I. Moderato
  6. Str Qt in E flat, Op.9 No.2: II. Menuetto
  7. Str Qt in E flat, Op.9 No.2: III. Adagio
  8. Str Qt in E flat, Op.9 No.2: IV. Finale: Allegro Molto
  9. Str Qt in G, Op.9 No.3: I. Allegro Moderato
  10. Str Qt in G, Op.9 No.3: II. Menuetto
  11. Str Qt in G, Op.9 No.3: III. Largo
  12. Str Qt in G, Op.9 No.3: IV. Finale: Presto
  13. Str Qt in d, Op.9 No.4: I. Moderato
  14. Str Qt in d, Op.9 No.4: II. Menuetto
  15. Str Qt in d, Op.9 No.4: III. Adagio Cantabile
  16. Str Qt in d, Op.9 No.4: IV. Finale: Presto

Disc: 5

  1. Str Qt in B flat, Op.9 No.5: I. Poco Adagio: Theme And Vars
  2. Str Qt in B flat, Op.9 No.5: II. Menuet: Allegretto
  3. Str Qt in B flat, Op.9 No.5: III. Largo Cantabile
  4. Str Qt in B flat, Op.9 No.5: IV. Finale: Presto
  5. Str Qt in A, Op.9 No.6: I. Presto
  6. Str Qt in A, Op.9 No.6: II. Menuetto
  7. Str Qt in A, Op.9 No.6: III. Adagio
  8. Str Qt in A, Op.9 No.6: IV. Finale: Presto
  9. Str Qt in E, Op.17 No.1: I. Moderato
  10. Str Qt in E, Op.17 No.1: II. Menuet
  11. Str Qt in E, Op.17 No.1: III. Adagio
  12. Str Qt in E, Op.17 No.1: IV. Finale: Presto
  13. Str Qt in F, Op.17 No.2: I. Moderato
  14. Str Qt in F, Op.17 No.2: II. Menuet: Poco Allegretto
  15. Str Qt in F, Op.17 No.2: III. Adagio
  16. Str Qt in F, Op.17 No.2: IV. Finale: Allegro Di Molto

Disc: 6

  1. Str Qt in E flat, Op.17 No.3: I. Andante Grazioso
  2. Str Qt in E flat, Op.17 No.3: II. Menuet: Allegretto
  3. Str Qt in E flat, Op.17 No.3: III. Adagio
  4. Str Qt in E flat, Op.17 No.3: IV. Allegro Di Molto
  5. Str Qt in c, Op.17 No.4: I. Moderato
  6. Str Qt in c, Op.17 No.4: II. Menuet: Allegretto
  7. Str Qt in c, Op.17 No.4: III. Adagio Cantabile
  8. Str Qt in c, Op.17 No.4: IV. Finale: Allegro
  9. Str Qt in G, Op.17 No.5: I. Moderato
  10. Str Qt in G, Op.17 No.5: II. Menuet: Allegretto
  11. Str Qt in G, Op.17 No.5: III. Adagio
  12. Str Qt in G, Op.17 No.5: IV. Finale: Presto
  13. Str Qt in D, Op.17 No.6: I. Presto
  14. Str Qt in D, Op.17 No.6: II. Menuet
  15. Str Qt in D, Op.17 No.6: III. Largo
  16. Str Qt in D, Op.17 No.6: IV. Finale: Allegro

Disc: 7

  1. Str Qt in E flat, Op.20 No.1: I. Allegro Moderato
  2. Str Qt in E flat, Op.20 No.1: II. Menuet: Un Poco Allegretto
  3. Str Qt in E flat, Op.20 No.1: III. Affettuoso E Sostenuto
  4. Str Qt in E flat, Op.20 No.1: IV. Finale: Presto
  5. Str Qt in C, Op.20 No.2: I. Moderato
  6. Str Qt in C, Op.20 No.2: II. Capriccio: Adagio
  7. Str Qt in C, Op.20 No.2: III. Menuet: Allegretto
  8. Str Qt in C, Op.20 No.2: IV. Fuga A Quattro Soggeti: Allegro
  9. Str Qt in g, Op.20 No.3: I. Allegro Con Spirito
  10. Str Qt in g, Op.20 No.3: II. Menuet: Allegretto
  11. Str Qt in g, Op.20 No.3: III. Poco Adagio
  12. Str Qt in g, Op.20 No.3: IV. Allegro Di Molto

Disc: 8

  1. Str Qt in D, Op.20 No.4: I. Allegro Di Molto
  2. Str Qt in D, Op.20 No.4: II. Un Poco Adagio E Affettuoso
  3. Str Qt in D, Op.20 No.4: II. Menuet Alla Zingarese
  4. Str Qt in D, Op.20 No.4: IV. Presto E Scherzando
  5. Str Qt in f, Op.20 No.5: I. Moderato
  6. Str Qt in f, Op.20 No.5: II. Menuet
  7. Str Qt in f, Op.20 No.5: III. Adagio
  8. Str Qt in f, Op.20 No.5: IV. Fuga A Due Soggetti
  9. Str Qt in A, Op.20 No.6: I. Allegro Di Molto E Scherzando
  10. Str Qt in A, Op.20 No.6: II. Adagio
  11. Str Qt in A, Op.20 No.6: III. Menuetto
  12. Str Qt in A, Op.20 No.6: IV. Fuga A Tre Soggetti: Allegro

Disc: 9

  1. Str Qt in b, Op.33 No.1: I. Allegro Moderato
  2. Str Qt in b, Op.33 No.1: II. Scherzo: Allegro
  3. Str Qt in b, Op.33 No.1: III. Andante
  4. Str Qt in b, Op.33 No.1: IV. Presto
  5. Str Qt in E flat, Op.33 No.2 'The Joke': I. Allegro Moderato, Cantabile
  6. Str Qt in E flat, Op.33 No.2 'The Joke': II. Scherzo: Allegro
  7. Str Qt in E flat, Op.33 No.2 'The Joke': III. Largo Sostenuto
  8. Str Qt in E flat, Op.33 No.2 'The Joke': IV. Finale: Presto
  9. Str Qt in C, Op.33 No.3 'The Bird': I. Allegro Moderato
  10. Str Qt in C, Op.33 No.3 'The Bird': II. Scherzo: Allegretto
  11. Str Qt in C, Op.33 No.3 'The Bird': III. Adagio
  12. Str Qt in C, Op.33 No.3 'The Bird': IV. Rondo: Presto

Disc: 10

  1. Str Qt in B flat, Op.33 No.4: I. Allegro Moderato
  2. Str Qt in B flat, Op.33 No.4: II. Scherzo: Allegretto
  3. Str Qt in B flat, Op.33 No.4: III. Largo
  4. Str Qt in B flat, Op.33 No.4: IV. Presto
  5. Str Qt in G, Op.33 No.5: I. Vivace Assai
  6. Str Qt in G, Op.33 No.5: II. Largo E Cantabile
  7. Str Qt in G, Op.33 No.5: III. Scherzo: Allegro
  8. Str Qt in G, Op.33 No.5: IV. Finale: Allegretto
  9. Str Qt in D, Op.33 No.6: I. Vivace Assai
  10. Str Qt in D, Op.33 No.6: II. Andante
  11. Str Qt in D, Op.33 No.6: III. Scherzo: Allegretto
  12. Str Qt in D, Op.33 No.6: IV. Finale: Allegretto
  13. Str Qt in d, Op.42: I. Andante Ed Innocentemente
  14. Str Qt in d, Op.42: II. Menuet
  15. Str Qt in d, Op.42: III. Adagio E Cantabile
  16. Str Qt in d, Op.42: IV. Finale: Presto

Disc: 11

  1. Str Qt in B flat, Op.50 No.1: I. Allegro
  2. Str Qt in B flat, Op.50 No.1: II. Adagio Non Lento
  3. Str Qt in B flat, Op.50 No.1: III. Poco Allegretto
  4. Str Qt in B flat, Op.50 No.1: IV. Finale: Vivace
  5. Str Qt in C, Op.50 No.2: I. Vivace
  6. Str Qt in C, Op.50 No.2: II. Adagio Cantabile
  7. Str Qt in C, Op.50 No.2: III. Menuetto: Allegretto
  8. Str Qt in C, Op.50 No.2: IV. Finale: Vivace Assai
  9. Str Qt in E flat, Op.50 No.3: I. Allegro Con Brio
  10. Str Qt in E flat, Op.50 No.3: II. Andante Piu Tosto Allegretto
  11. Str Qt in E flat, Op.50 No.3: III. Menuetto: Allegretto
  12. Str Qt in E flat, Op.50 No.3: IV. Finale: Presto

Disc: 12

  1. Str Qt in f#, Op.50 No.4: I. Allegro Spirito
  2. Str Qt in f#, Op.50 No.4: II. Andante
  3. Str Qt in f#, Op.50 No.4: III. Menuetto
  4. Str Qt in f#, Op.50 No.4: IV. Fuga: Allegro Moderato
  5. Str Qt in F, Op.50 No.5: I. Allegro Moderato
  6. Str Qt in F, Op.50 No.5: II. Poco Adagio
  7. Str Qt in F, Op.50 No.5: III. Menuetto
  8. Str Qt in F, Op.50 No.5: IV. Finale: Vivace
  9. Str Qt in D, Op.50 No.6 'The Frog': I. Allegro
  10. Str Qt in D, Op.50 No.6 'The Frog': II. Poco Adagio
  11. Str Qt in D, Op.50 No.6 'The Frog': III. Menuetto: Allegretto
  12. Str Qt in D, Op.50 No.6 'The Frog': IV. Finale: Allegro Con Spirito

Disc: 13

  1. Str Qt inG, Op.54 No.1: I. Vivace Assai
  2. Str Qt inG, Op.54 No.1: II. Allegretto
  3. Str Qt inG, Op.54 No.1: III. Menuet
  4. Str Qt inG, Op.54 No.1: IV. Vivace
  5. Str Qt in C, Op.54 No.2: I. Vivace
  6. Str Qt in C, Op.54 No.2: II. Adagio -
  7. Str Qt in C, Op.54 No.2: III. Menuetto: Allegretto
  8. Str Qt in C, Op.54 No.2: IV. Adagio
  9. Str Qt in E, Op.54 No.3: I. Allegretto
  10. Str Qt in E, Op.54 No.3: II. Largo
  11. Str Qt in E, Op.54 No.3: III. Menuetto: Allegretto
  12. Str Qt in E, Op.54 No.3: IV. Finale: Presto

Disc: 14

  1. Str Qt in A, Op.55 No.1: I. Allegro
  2. Str Qt in A, Op.55 No.1: II. Adagio Cantabile
  3. Str Qt in A, Op.55 No.1: III. Menuet
  4. Str Qt in A, Op.55 No.1: IV. Finale: Vivace
  5. Str Qt in f, Op.55 No.2 'The Razor': I. Andante
  6. Str Qt in f, Op.55 No.2 'The Razor': II. Allegro
  7. Str Qt in f, Op.55 No.2 'The Razor': III. Menuetto: Allegretto
  8. Str Qt in f, Op.55 No.2 'The Razor': IV. Presto
  9. Str Qt in B flat, Op.55 No.3: I. Vivace Assai
  10. Str Qt in B flat, Op.55 No.3: II. Adagio Ma Non Troppo
  11. Str Qt in B flat, Op.55 No.3: III. Menuetto
  12. Str Qt in B flat, Op.55 No.3: IV. Presto

Disc: 15

  1. Str Qt in C, Op.64 No.1: I. Allegro Moderato
  2. Str Qt in C, Op.64 No.1: II. Menuet: Allegro Ma Non Troppo
  3. Str Qt in C, Op.64 No.1: III. Allegretto Scherzando
  4. Str Qt in C, Op.64 No.1: IV. Finale: Presto
  5. Str Qt in b, Op.64 No.3: I. Allegro Spirito
  6. Str Qt in b, Op.64 No.3: II. Adagio Ma Non Troppo
  7. Str Qt in b, Op.64 No.3: III. Menuet: Allegretto -


Product Details

  • Performer: Brian Dembow, Kathleen Lenski, Sarah Parkins, Steven Miller
  • Composer: Franz Joseph Haydn
  • Audio CD (May 15, 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 21
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Philips
  • ASIN: B0000501PC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,033 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's The Angeles String Quartet Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Most reviews of this impressive set give a definate "thumbs up" for the performance. Penguin gives it 3/3 stars while ClassicsToday rated this work a perfect 10/10 for artistic quality/sound quality and Gramophone also rates it high (2/3 circles). Additionally, this quartet scored a Grammy Award in 2002 for "Best Chamber Performance." Many find these performances here to be among the best offered for complete sets.

However, there is some disagreement if the "ambience" of the recording sessions was ideal for the intimate dialog of chamber music. As compared to other recordings (Mosaiques, Kodaly, Takacs), the Philips recording here is best described as "spacious" and thus has a slight lack of immediecy. The effect is approximately akin to sitting in the 20th row of a medium-sized hall. Personally, I do not care for the sound-engineering here. It took slightly more effort to follow the separate instruments in these recordings than others. My guess is the engineers kept the settings from the first sessions to keep continuity through the cycle (versus the Naxos/Kodaly set which kept refining the settings). While no major reviewer (like Penquin) commented negatively on this aspect of sound quality, it baffles me why not. I agree with other reviewers here on Amazon who gave lower marks for sound. But it really is relative and what is important to you. For most people this probably will not be an issue and the outstanding performances will stand far and above any sound quality nuances. But regardless, before you spend $100-150 on such a set, it is wise to give it a "test drive" first on your sound system. Check your library like I did.
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This set is really quite exceptional. All of the works which have been verified to have both been composed by Haydn and which were originally written as string quartets are contained in this set. As an earlier review notes, the performances are from the Döblinger as edition edited by H.C. Robbins Landon for the complete Haydn edition, and in some cases the articulations and notes can be quite different from most of the "standard" available editions. If you're following along in the bound volumes of Dover scores (reissues of the Eulenburg editions) you'll find a lot of discrepancies. All of this minutia aside, the playing of the Angles Quartet is really quite good, and they do a good job of adapting their sound to the differing eras of the quartets. I think that many people will spend much of their listening in the sets prior to Op. 33, as these are much less familiar territory for the serious collector, concertgoer, and even quartet player. Op. 9 are particularly interesting, and the Op. 1 have many charms to offer. I whole-heartedly recommend this set for the countless hours of discovery that it will engender, and for the sheer excellence of the performances.
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An incredible recording.
In this day of more string quartets performing better than ever, the Angeles String Quartet stands out as a goose-bump-producing superior group. Their technique is, as you would expect, top-drawer. What really shines is their musicianship and interpretations of these works.
The standing joke of playing Haydn quartets is "No one should perform the Haydn string quartets. They are too easy for beginners and too difficult for professionals." Boy, have they created a wonderful collection! Their interpretations are beautiful, without being sappy (for example, no cheapshot glissandos); expressive yet simple. And they adapt their sounds across the range of quartets. (Listen to the slow movements of the Op1#1 and Op77#2 -- wow!)
For you string players who use the Peters editions, be prepared for surprises. Dynamics and articulations are often different, particularly in the earlier quartets, and the "licks" are just different. For example, in last movement of Op17#5 (I think) the Peters edition has an 8 bar first fiddle phrase. Ms Lenski plays a very different 6 bar phrase.
This is a buy of the decade. Don't pass it up. Even you old grizzled string players who meet once a week to play quartets will be dazzled by these recordings.
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A beautiful recording of all the Haydn quartets, executed with sparkle and style. Acoustically, the engineering emphasizes a grand, spacious sound that was obviously too "echo-y" for some reviewers, but is neverthless full, resonant and beautiful to listen to. The recording aesthetic is similar to the Takacs recordings of Haydn.

This is, of course, a modern instrument interpretation, similar to what you'd find in the Endellion, Takacs, or Emerson recordings. The group avoids ostentatiously inappropriate inserts of period styling that groups like Hagen can occasionally fall victim to. Within the modern instrument paradigm, the styling is unquestionably classical, with an elegantly American sense of beauty when the players tactfully warm phrases, achieving intensity and depth without ever succumbing to romantic excess. In most cases, the players are able to keep their egos from subverting interpretation, avoiding the epidemic of tastelessly fast tempi plaguing other quartets itching for applause.

Without doubt, the most impressive achievement in this recording is simply the staggering quantity of music played. The most common failing of professional quartets is to burn out and slip into a sort of autopilot, "gig" mode when condemned to play less challenging works. Somehow the Angeles quartet avoids this fate and never loses their enthusiasm, maintaining a refreshing sense of wit, charm, and emotional sincerity even in the most lightweight of the early quartets while still providing excellent insight into the intellectual weight of later works. This is a truly a remarkable achievement!

Some Op 2 quartets are omitted since they are seen as reductions of other works rather than original quartets.
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