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Haydn: String Quartets Op.76 Nos. 4, 5, & 6

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 25, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Quatuors à cordes Op.76 "Erdödy" : n° 4 "Lever de soleil" - n° 5 & n° 6 / The Lindsays

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Allegro Con Spirito
  2. Adagio
  3. Menuetto (Allegro)
  4. Allegro, Ma Non Troppo
  5. Allegretto - Allegro
  6. Largo (Cantabile E Mesto)
  7. Menuetto (Allegro Ma Non Troppo)
  8. Presto
  9. Allegretto - Allegro
  10. Fantasia: Adagio
  11. Menuetto (Presto)
  12. Allegro Spirituso


Product Details

  • Orchestra: The Lindsays Quartet
  • Composer: Franz Joseph Haydn
  • Audio CD (July 25, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Asv Living Era
  • ASIN: B00004TKG8
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,824 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
The Op 76 set of 6 string quartets marks the summit of Haydn's chamber music. Composed between 1796-1797 and dedicated to Count Erdody, it shows Haydn at the absolute peak of his powers, creatvity and imaginations. When the English historian and musician Dr Charles Burney first heard the quartets in 1799, he came out with these paens of superlatives which the works fully deserves: "They are full of invention, fire good taste, and new effects, and seem the production, not of a sublime genius who has written so much and so well recently, but one of the highly cultivated talents, who has expended none of his fire before."
The quartets receive superb performances from the Linsays String Quartets, the leading British chamber music ensemble of our day. Indeed, they do full justice to Haydn's creative imagination, visions, breaths and humour. They may not possess the tonal sheen and glamour of their counterparts, say the Alban Berg Quartet, yet they illuminate the score from within and constantly penetrate to the heart of the music. The largo of op 76 no. 5, the real core of the whole set, serves as a template for the rest. The Lindsays faithfully observes the cantabile e mesto, giving the movement a rapt intensity and depth of feeling, yet never ever indulging in sentimentality. The same could be said of the famous 'Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser' poco adagio cantabile from the 'Emperor' quartet. Taken the set as a whole, the first movements breath with majestic gravitas, the slow movements sings. The minuets truly dance, exuberantly and sometimes rustically. The finales are either invigorating (as those of nos 2, 5, and 6) or given mesmerizing pathos when required (as those in nos 1, 3, and 4).
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...Haydn Quartets, especially #s 4 and 5.I would rank the opus 76 set in descending order as follows: 5,4,3,2,1,6. #s 2-4 are especially difficult to rank because #4 contains the best single movement of the set (its first movement) excepting #5/2, but if one considers entire quartets, I would rank #s 2 and three marginally above #4. It is similar to ranking Beethoven's piano concerti 4 and 5-I prefer #5 slightly in toto
but consider the first movement of #4 his greatest piano concerto movement.
The Lindsays play this set ideally, I think. They play with great energy/drive and great analytic/interpretive skill, always probing surfaces to reveal depth/meaning beneath //Rudolf Serkin or Claudio Arrau. In this respect they are similar to the Quartetto Italiano in #s 3 and 4, The Amadeus and Tokyo in all six, and the Emersons in #s 2 and 3. My favorite #4 -by a hair-remains the lp only (alas) Prague City
Quartet on Crossroads. But do obtain this Lindsay set of the opus 76. Then onto the next best set (I think),
the opus 64s.
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