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Thread: Haydn - string quartets

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Haydn - string quartets

    It has taken me several years of listening to chamber music to finally realise how wonderful Haydn's string quartets are. But I have not explored many. I know and love:

    The Sun op 20 no 4
    The Joke op 33 no 2
    Razor op 55 no 2
    The Lark op 64 no 5
    Fifths op op 70 no 2
    Sunrise op 76 no 4

    Any other recommendations? Particularly from earlier opuses. I am not keen on Emperor.

    Many thanks

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    54-56 (Hob. 69-71, Op. 71) are all great. I share your enjoyment of The Lark.

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    I am listening right now to the Op. 64 Quartets, right now I am on No. 1 in C Major. I love it very much, and I like all the Op. 64 Quartets (I see the Lark on your list).
    Fifths Quartet is actually Op. 76, No. 2- I got to play this quartet and it is my favorite of Haydn's. Chilling and tense first movement, with a beautiful second movement, a scherzo filled with contrast, and the last movement, which although mostly in a minor key I think of as light and cheery.

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    Op33 is a great selection of string quartets. A mixture a little like Op18 from Beethoven. Something in there for all ears. Put the CD on and fall into the music. I would not recommend the earlier Op 17 and 20 string quartets. In comparison with later works these are definitely "earlier works" if you know what I am saying.

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    Senior Member Haydn67's Avatar
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    Looks like you've already started listening to the Opus 20 ("Sun") quartets. I like most of them as well. Otherwise, you might find the opus 50 or "Prussian" Quartets quite enjoyable....Have you gotten to the Piano Trios yet? So much to satisfy there also, especially as played by the Beaux Arts Trio. Marvelous!
    Last edited by Haydn67; Sep-14-2017 at 03:03.

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    Senior Member Pugg's Avatar
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    I am not keen on Emperor.
    Unbelievable, one of the most gorgeous pieces Haydn wroth.
    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    "Mahatma Gandhi"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haydn67 View Post
    Looks like you've already started listening to the Opus 20 ("Sun") quartets. I like most of them as well. Otherwise, you might find the opus 50 or "Prussian" Quartets quite enjoyable....Have you gotten to the Piano Trios yet? So much to satisfy there also, especially as played by the Beaux Arts Trio. Marvelous!
    Thanks. Never listened to a Haydn trio...

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    For some reason I don't care for the variations

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    Quote Originally Posted by juliante View Post
    For some reason I don't care for the variations
    in reply to pugg

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    Is there a good recording of op 33?
    Quote Originally Posted by whispering View Post
    Op33 is a great selection of string quartets. A mixture a little like Op18 from Beethoven. Something in there for all ears. Put the CD on and fall into the music. I would not recommend the earlier Op 17 and 20 string quartets. In comparison with later works these are definitely "earlier works" if you know what I am saying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by juliante View Post
    Is there a good recording of op 33?
    I like the Lindsays second foray through Haydn's quartets, including Op.33. It was Stephen Chakwin who pointed these out to me in the "Third Ear" guide. I've found him to be a very good guide to Haydn's music. The Kodaly on Naxos aren't bad, but the Lindsays usually have the edge in power, freedom, and insight. I disagree with the poster who dissed Op.20, I thought it was up on the same level as the later quartets, or near enough, Chakwin starts his survey of masterpieces at that point. Maybe Op.17 is a bit early, I don't know, I'm trusting Chakwin and haven't looked at the early quartets. So that's all of Op. 22, 33, 50, 54,55, 64, 71,74, 76, 77, at least, that are "not to be missed", and hear them played by the Lindsays it at all possible, otherwise the Kodaly will do. (When's the big Lindsays box coming out )
    Last edited by Mal; Sep-14-2017 at 14:42.

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    Senior Member Haydn67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juliante View Post
    Thanks. Never listened to a Haydn trio...
    I was never a fan of Haydn, until I discovered his Piano Trios, and couldn't believe the turn around in my affections. I then moved on to his String Quartets and experienced further enjoyment. But it didn't stop there. I found his Piano Sonatas absolutely captivating as well, despite the fact I had previously never been a big fan of the piano....Eventually, I connected with Mozart's chamber works, and found a treasure trove there too, though I do find Haydn somewhat more fulfilling overall.

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    I also have the Beaux Arts Trio box set of Haydn, and rate it very highly, but be careful. Gramophone says, "Frankly, most of the works on the first three discs, here, almost all dating from the 1760s, or even earlier (which for a late developer like Haydn means pre-puberty), are no more than agreeable background music."

    https://www.gramophone.co.uk/review/...43-piano-trios

    I agree with this estimation, and might add disk 4 to the background music category. So for the first four disks I found about 1 out of 4 were up to the standard of his Op.20 and after string quartets. With the last five disks about 3 out of 4 are first class. So have patience!

    "Six of the nine discs here contain well over an hour of glorious, enriching music, much of the playing is extraordinarily felicitous, and the recording has Philips's customary warmth and refinement... £70 or so may seem a lot to fork out all at once; but, as RL suggested back in 1979, this is a set that should last a lifetime.'"

    That price has gone way down in today's buyer's market. Just looked on amazon.com and it's now available new at $26.38!
    Last edited by Mal; Sep-14-2017 at 18:59.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal View Post
    (which for a late developer like Haydn means pre-puberty),




    How do we know when Haydn went through puberty?

    In 1760 he was nearly 30, about the same age as when Mozart wrote the quartets dedicated to Haydn . . .
    Last edited by Mandryka; Sep-14-2017 at 21:14.

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    Quote Originally Posted by juliante View Post

    Any other recommendations? Particularly from earlier opuses. I am not keen on Emperor.

    Many thanks
    You're not getting much help here, and I don't know the quartets with opus numbers smaller than op 20. If you're interested in op 20 I can enthusiastically recommend the Chiaroscuro Quartet, which to me was a real revelation. The op 20 fugues are tremendous.

    The Emperor is a strange thing because of the repetition, it reminds me of Schubert. In fact I've not heard it for years and years, I'm not crazy about it.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Sep-14-2017 at 21:07.

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