Magazine article Gramophone

Haydn: Six String Quartets

Magazine article Gramophone

Haydn: Six String Quartets

Article excerpt


Six String Quartets, Op 33

London Haydn Quartet

Hyperion (F) (two CDs for the price of one) CDA67955

(134' * DDD)

Op 33 on gut strings and from contemporary editions

The London Haydn Quartet reach the landmark Op 33 in their survey of Haydn's string quartets played from editions of the composer's own time. In this case the 1782 printing by Schmitt of Amsterdam (which actually appeared shortly after the more commonly used one by Artaria in Vienna) has been selected for its 'rare visual fluency that seems to suit this colourful music'. Perhaps the most obvious difference to the general listener is the ordering not only of the works themselves but also of the movements within them: the set opens not with the B minor as has become customary but with the joke Quartet in E flat (No 2); in every case here the scherzo is placed second, whereas we're used to it being a more moveable feast these days. So if you know Op 33, certain things are bound to disconcert you (but not in a bad way) right from the beginning. …

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