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Thread: Haydn String Quartets. Help!

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    Senior Member crmoorhead's Avatar
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    Default Haydn String Quartets. Help!

    I'm just browsing the Naxos CDs available on Amazon for Haydn string quartets. I'm a bit out of my depth here. Any recommendations? I see that the top 50 string ensembles only has quartets from Op. 76. Is it worth trying anything outside that? If that is my first buy, what other works should I consider. Ideally I am looking for a good selection without having to buy a complete works boxed set. Thanks!

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    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    Start with the late ones on naxos, then work your way back. I have them all, and I like them all.
    I treat my music like I treat my pets. It’s something to own, care about and curate with attention to detail. From a blog by hjr.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crmoorhead View Post
    I'm just browsing the Naxos CDs available on Amazon for Haydn string quartets. I'm a bit out of my depth here. Any recommendations? I see that the top 50 string ensembles only has quartets from Op. 76. Is it worth trying anything outside that? If that is my first buy, what other works should I consider. Ideally I am looking for a good selection without having to buy a complete works boxed set. Thanks!
    These are the Haydn SQ. Opus Nos. I favor--Opp. 20, 33, 50, 54, 64, 71, 74, 76, 77. I don't think it matters where you start.

    Good buys--Mosaiques/Op. 20 (Naive), Lindsay/Op. 50 (ASV), Endellion/Opp. 54 & 74 (Virgin), L'Archibudelli/Op. 77 (Sony).
    Last edited by Vaneyes; Jun-12-2011 at 01:12.

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    Try the Aeolian String Quartet Recordings. You wont be disappointed

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    I also like the Opp. 33, 74, and 77. And I highly recommend the Kodaly Quartet recordings on Naxos. There might be some that are a lot better, but you won't be disappointed by the Kodaly Quartet, and the price is right.

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    Start where I started-- Op 76. Vaneyes has listed the masterpieces, if I could add to that save Op 33 for last since it is more galant style than the other string quartets, at least to my ears.

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    Quote Originally Posted by haydnfan View Post
    Start where I started-- Op 76. Vaneyes has listed the masterpieces, if I could add to that save Op 33 for last since it is more galant style than the other string quartets, at least to my ears.
    76 with Tokyo is what I started today with. 76s you recommend?

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    Quote Originally Posted by haydnfan View Post
    Start where I started-- Op 76. Vaneyes has listed the masterpieces, if I could add to that save Op 33 for last since it is more galant style than the other string quartets, at least to my ears.
    It seems unlikely to me that I am unique in wanting to follow a sense of artistic progression in this music - without necessarily including the four part divertimenti he composed before Opus 17. That opus is 'transitional', so I'll accept starting with Opus 20. I'll even accept skipping from Op. 33 to Op. 50, and from there to Op. 64; but no more skips. You'll hear nothing but damn good music.

    I feel compelled to recommend the Tokyo for Op. 50, and the Peterson any time you find it, but even the Kodaly (excellent enthusiasm, poor ensemble) don't butcher the music too badly.

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    In the 50s., the Schneider SQ recorded on LP all Haydn's quartets. If you see any of them, get it. IMHO it was one of the best version ever. Also I strongly recommend the 6 Op.50 by the old Tokyo SQ on DGG.

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    Senior Member crmoorhead's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies. They have been very useful!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaneyes View Post
    76 with Tokyo is what I started today with. 76s you recommend?
    That is one of my favorite ones. My favorite HIP recording is the Buchberger Quartet (not as polished as Mosaiques nor as wild as Festetics but well balanced). For MI recordings on the serious side I like the Tatrai Quartet, on the light side the Kodaly Quartet ain't bad... but I have not heard the Auryn Quartet yet, and I have high expectations from them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hilltroll72 View Post
    I feel compelled to recommend the Tokyo for Op. 50, and the Peterson any time you find it, but even the Kodaly (excellent enthusiasm, poor ensemble) don't butcher the music too badly.
    The Tokyo Quartet is the best... and out of print. Has been for awhile. I also really like the Nomos Quartet in Op 50.

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    Quote Originally Posted by haydnfan View Post
    The Tokyo Quartet is the best... and out of print. Has been for awhile. I also really like the Nomos Quartet in Op 50.
    ArchivMusic has reissued the Tokyo set on CD-R. Last I knew they don't ship overseas, but a middle-man is available (me).

    I also see one copy listed by an Amazon Marketplace Seller - at an extortionate price.

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    I got the Tokyo's op.50 on original DGG vinyls, and made it copied to CD. But the box is very rare and difficult to find.

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    Been listened to the Kodaly Box set exclusively, shuffled around it for years. As early as in Op.17 the quartets have envolved into memorable piece. The Kodaly had in a nickname for some pieces, and that make it easier to see stand out piece. My favorite Haydn's are:

    -"Sunrise" Op.76 no.4 in Bb
    -"Fifth" Op.76 no.2 in Dm
    ... and all the rest of op.76

    -"Bird" Op.33 no.3 in C
    -"Sun" Op.29 no.2 in C

    The only other CD I get is Jerusalem SQ 2 volume by Harmonia Mundi. Interesting selection of quartet there.




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