Magazine article Gramophone

Haydn: String Quartets-Op 50 No 1

Magazine article Gramophone

Haydn: String Quartets-Op 50 No 1

Article excerpt

Haydn

String Quartets--Op 50 No 1;

Op 76 No 1; Op 77 No1

Modigliani Quartet

Mirare [F] MIR231 (64' * DDD)

As recently as the March issue I was pondering the thought processes involved in choosing a 60-plus-mmute recital of Haydn's string quartets, given the astonishing standard and variety he achieved throughout over half a century of pioneering work in the genre. On that occasion, the Matangi Quartet took the thematic route, grouping three quartets under the title 'Haydn's Nature'. On this disc the Modigliani Quartet select the first work as numbered from three of the later sets of quartets--Opp 50 (published in 1787), 76 (1799) and 77 (1802)--which seems as good a criterion as any.

The recording is less spacious than is often the case (compare, for example, the Takacs Quartet in their benchmark set of Op 76), the wooden surfaces of what looks like a medium-size concert hall at La Grange au Lac, Evian-les-Bains, offering a somewhat drier resonance from these beautiful-sounding 17th- and 18th-century instruments. …

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