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Offline Jo498

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Haydn: String Quartets
« on: September 25, 2014, 08:44:05 AM »
I didn't find a general thread, only on op.76 (and two "polls" pitting Haydn vs. Mozart and Beethoven, respectively), so I'll start this rather than polluting other threads.
It has been a while that I listened (and sometimes bought) extensively (around the "Haydn year" 2009), so most of this is based on recollections not on recent listening and usually not on exact A-B-comparisons. But I just list a few discs I find recommendable and sometimes comment briefly.

op.1 Petersen/Capriccio Almost by default as this is the only recording outside complete cycles. Admittedly I only know the Angeles (and a few single ones), but the Petersens play this with such verve and variety that one might forget the rather slight character of the music.
op.2 Only know the Angeles from the complete set, but they are pretty good here (as in all the early ones).
op.3 is very probably not by Haydn and I do not know all the pieces (the Kodaly did them, but I have only one of the discs). The famous "Serenade" op.3/5 was recorded by many famous ensembles; a very nice one is contained in the Janacek Quartet Box by Polygram/DG

op.9 Now we get to the first 4 standard movement pieces. Again, these are not often recorded outside complete sets. The Angeles is again pretty good. For a more weighty (sometimes slow) alternative I like Festetics/Arcana (there may be an older Festetics recording which I do not know). The Buchberger sounds a little rough, but lively.
op.17 See op.9 ;) except that I have not heard the Buchbergers here

op.20 Now we are getting to the undisputedly great pieces which are more frequently recorded. The Angeles is decent, but not varied enough, a little on the "light and pretty side". The Hagen Quartet did a very good recording on modern instruments. I also have the "classic" Tatrai from the '60s, but not listened enough to that one. In the "HIP" department I prefer Mosaiques to Festetics (who are not pleasant sounding and rather sluggish at times). I was not impressed by the Kodaly/Naxos in 4-6 (too harmless and too slow)

op.33 Another cornerstone, often called the beginning of the mature classical style. I accumulated 6+ recordings. There is a very fierce and sometimes scratchy recording by the Apponyi Quartet (which are the first chairs of the Freiburger Barockorchester); the young Spanish Cuarteto Casals is even faster in some movements, actually a little to breathless for me. OTOH there is an older recording by the Viennese Weller Quartet which may be a little to genial and I was slightly disappointed by the Auryn (despite gorgeous sound), they never really let it rip. Als have the Buchberger and Angeles, but do not remember too much about them. So I do not really have a favorite... I do in the most famous op.33/3, a live recording by the Smetana Quartet (aura/ermitage) and there is also a good one on a Recital with the Jerusalem.

op.42 pass

op.50 The fleet Amati/Divox on modern instruments and Festetics/Arcana with a darkish, serious interpretation on old instruments.
(I have never heard the famous Tokyo as it has been oop for ages and gave away the Nomos/cpo, although the latter is quite good, if a little dry)

op.54 These are not so well served, unfortunately. I find the Festetics uneven (too heavy and slow in the first one, much better in the second one). One of the best may be Juilliard (which I have as LP transfers) that has never been on CD; I don't remember to much about the Angeles and the Endellion.
op.55 I think I liked Festetics better here than in op.54. If one can live with Brainin's vibrato and mannerism, the Amadeus is also quite good in op.54/55 IIRC.

op.64 a wonderful set, but again, except for the ubiquitous #5 not so well-served. One of the best is still the mysterious "Caspar da Salo" on cheapo labels like PILZ. The Festetics did them twice, but the earlier one sounds rather dry and the latter is often rather slow. Angeles is quite good. I got one half of Mosaiques, but never really around to comparing them with Festetics. A good 4-6 with the Orlando may be found cheaply with luck.

op.71 an opus I do not know all that well, for no particular reason... The Griller Qt is often recommended. It is certainly very lively, but sometimes a little messy, too
op.74 see op.71, except that there are of course, lots of recordings of the "Rider"

op.76 certainly the one best served on disc. I have probably heard fewer recordings in comparison to some others. Mosaiques is very good here, on modern Instruments Carmina or the "classic" Tatrai. And probably many others.

op.77 Mosaiques again for HIP, maybe the Amati on modern instruments, but this is again an opus where I never really did comparisons.

good recitals:
Hagen/DG with op.1/1, 64/5 and 74/3
Jerusalem/harmonia mundi with op.77/1, 64/5 and 76/2, and maybe even more interesting op.20/5, 33/3 and 76/5

Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline The new erato

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Re: Haydn: String Quartets
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2014, 09:10:17 AM »
I have the Juillard op 54 on a LP, haven't heard them for years, but they were the one's responsible for turning me on to Haydn.

Offline Daverz

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Re: Haydn: String Quartets
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2014, 02:06:20 PM »
op.50 The fleet Amati/Divox on modern instruments and Festetics/Arcana with a darkish, serious interpretation on old instruments.
(I have never heard the famous Tokyo as it has been oop for ages

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Haydn: String Quartets
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2014, 08:35:08 PM »
I didn't find a general thread, only on op.76 (and two "polls" pitting Haydn vs. Mozart and Beethoven, respectively), so I'll start this rather than polluting other threads.
It has been a while that I listened (and sometimes bought) extensively (around the "Haydn year" 2009), so most of this is based on recollections not on recent listening and usually not on exact A-B-comparisons. But I just list a few discs I find recommendable and sometimes comment briefly.

op.1 Petersen/Capriccio Almost by default as this is the only recording outside complete cycles. Admittedly I only know the Angeles (and a few single ones), but the Petersens play this with such verve and variety that one might forget the rather slight character of the music.
op.2 Only know the Angeles from the complete set, but they are pretty good here (as in all the early ones).
op.3 is very probably not by Haydn and I do not know all the pieces (the Kodaly did them, but I have only one of the discs). The famous "Serenade" op.3/5 was recorded by many famous ensembles; a very nice one is contained in the Janacek Quartet Box by Polygram/DG

op.9 Now we get to the first 4 standard movement pieces. Again, these are not often recorded outside complete sets. The Angeles is again pretty good. For a more weighty (sometimes slow) alternative I like Festetics/Arcana (there may be an older Festetics recording which I do not know). The Buchberger sounds a little rough, but lively.
op.17 See op.9 ;) except that I have not heard the Buchbergers here

op.20 Now we are getting to the undisputedly great pieces which are more frequently recorded. The Angeles is decent, but not varied enough, a little on the "light and pretty side". The Hagen Quartet did a very good recording on modern instruments. I also have the "classic" Tatrai from the '60s, but not listened enough to that one. In the "HIP" department I prefer Mosaiques to Festetics (who are not pleasant sounding and rather sluggish at times). I was not impressed by the Kodaly/Naxos in 4-6 (too harmless and too slow)

op.33 Another cornerstone, often called the beginning of the mature classical style. I accumulated 6+ recordings. There is a very fierce and sometimes scratchy recording by the Apponyi Quartet (which are the first chairs of the Freiburger Barockorchester); the young Spanish Cuarteto Casals is even faster in some movements, actually a little to breathless for me. OTOH there is an older recording by the Viennese Weller Quartet which may be a little to genial and I was slightly disappointed by the Auryn (despite gorgeous sound), they never really let it rip. Als have the Buchberger and Angeles, but do not remember too much about them. So I do not really have a favorite... I do in the most famous op.33/3, a live recording by the Smetana Quartet (aura/ermitage) and there is also a good one on a Recital with the Jerusalem.

op.42 pass

op.50 The fleet Amati/Divox on modern instruments and Festetics/Arcana with a darkish, serious interpretation on old instruments.
(I have never heard the famous Tokyo as it has been oop for ages and gave away the Nomos/cpo, although the latter is quite good, if a little dry)

op.54 These are not so well served, unfortunately. I find the Festetics uneven (too heavy and slow in the first one, much better in the second one). One of the best may be Juilliard (which I have as LP transfers) that has never been on CD; I don't remember to much about the Angeles and the Endellion.
op.55 I think I liked Festetics better here than in op.54. If one can live with Brainin's vibrato and mannerism, the Amadeus is also quite good in op.54/55 IIRC.

op.64 a wonderful set, but again, except for the ubiquitous #5 not so well-served. One of the best is still the mysterious "Caspar da Salo" on cheapo labels like PILZ. The Festetics did them twice, but the earlier one sounds rather dry and the latter is often rather slow. Angeles is quite good. I got one half of Mosaiques, but never really around to comparing them with Festetics. A good 4-6 with the Orlando may be found cheaply with luck.

op.71 an opus I do not know all that well, for no particular reason... The Griller Qt is often recommended. It is certainly very lively, but sometimes a little messy, too
op.74 see op.71, except that there are of course, lots of recordings of the "Rider"

op.76 certainly the one best served on disc. I have probably heard fewer recordings in comparison to some others. Mosaiques is very good here, on modern Instruments Carmina or the "classic" Tatrai. And probably many others.

op.77 Mosaiques again for HIP, maybe the Amati on modern instruments, but this is again an opus where I never really did comparisons.

good recitals:
Hagen/DG with op.1/1, 64/5 and 74/3
Jerusalem/harmonia mundi with op.77/1, 64/5 and 76/2, and maybe even more interesting op.20/5, 33/3 and 76/5

The BIG thing which is missing from this are the Pro Arte Quartet recordings, some of the best Haydn ever recorded.
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Haydn: String Quartets
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2014, 04:42:17 AM »
I am aware of the Pro Arte. Problem is: a) historical sound and b) the presumeably best sounding remaster is a comparably expensive download from Pristine of 8 single "discs" (always mixing works between early/middle/late), each at 7 EUR or even 9 for FLACs. I listened to some of the examples and admittedly I am not yet sure what's so extremely great about them apart from liveliness, lean sound and, especially considering the vintage, decent transparency.
I do no think I am going to pay  ~ EUR 60 for mere downloads to get the whole lot. Are there any numbers particularly well done by the Pro Arte?

As I am working my way through the huge "Haydn's House" Thread (now on p.131 of 400+) I'd like to comment on some SQ comments there.
There seems to be some confusion whether the Buchberger Quartet plays on old instruments. They don't. They may have fleet tempi and adopted some HIP manners (I do not really think so from the two sets I have heard), but they are not a HIP Ensemble.
I am also puzzled by some controversies regarding the Festetics and the Mosaiques quartet as the only HIP groups to have recorded a considerably body of Haydn. While the QM is more lush sounding and probably more secure in intonation, they are both clearly on the rather slow side (especially in faster movements), more detail than long lines and rather "warm" and earthy sounding. Although I could only compare them in some of op.64 and op.20 from these experiences I think the QM is preferable. However, they only did (except maybe op.64) the opus numbers (20,33 and op.76/77) where there are good alternatives on modern instruments, so for me (so far) the Festetics are indispensable in e.g. op.9,17 or 50.

While I like it and find it a welcome contrast, I do not share the full enthusiasm the Apponyi's (and Casals) op.33 have received. They are a little too far in the hectic and breathless direction for me.
Probably the most convincing HIP recordings I have heard is (so far only one disc of the three, but I will get at least another one) is the Schuppanzigh Quartet. They are much leaner and quicker than QF and QM, but not as thin and scratchy sounding as the Apponyi, and combine fiery playing with attention to detail.

Admittedly, I had not even known about the newish "London Haydn Quartet" on hyperion before I read about them in GMG. As to be expected ;) there seems some controvery about their qualities compared to the Festetics. I wonder how people regard their series now that a few more vols. are out?



Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
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Offline Daverz

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Re: Haydn: String Quartets
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2014, 09:03:07 AM »
As I am working my way through the huge "Haydn's House" Thread (now on p.131 of 400+) I'd like to comment on some SQ comments there.
There seems to be some confusion whether the Buchberger Quartet plays on old instruments. They don't. They may have fleet tempi and adopted some HIP manners (I do not really think so from the two sets I have heard), but they are not a HIP Ensemble.

Compared to the Mosaiques and Festetics Quartets, the Buchbergers sound rather austere and plain, which is perhaps why they are mistaken for playing on "original" instruments.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Haydn: String Quartets
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2014, 11:10:09 AM »
I am aware of the Pro Arte. Problem is: a) historical sound and b) the presumeably best sounding remaster is a comparably expensive download from Pristine of 8 single "discs" (always mixing works between early/middle/late), each at 7 EUR or even 9 for FLACs. I listened to some of the examples and admittedly I am not yet sure what's so extremely great about them apart from liveliness, lean sound and, especially considering the vintage, decent transparency.
I do no think I am going to pay  ~ EUR 60 for mere downloads to get the whole lot. Are there any numbers particularly well done by the Pro Arte?

As I am working my way through the huge "Haydn's House" Thread (now on p.131 of 400+) I'd like to comment on some SQ comments there.
There seems to be some confusion whether the Buchberger Quartet plays on old instruments. They don't. They may have fleet tempi and adopted some HIP manners (I do not really think so from the two sets I have heard), but they are not a HIP Ensemble.
I am also puzzled by some controversies regarding the Festetics and the Mosaiques quartet as the only HIP groups to have recorded a considerably body of Haydn. While the QM is more lush sounding and probably more secure in intonation, they are both clearly on the rather slow side (especially in faster movements), more detail than long lines and rather "warm" and earthy sounding. Although I could only compare them in some of op.64 and op.20 from these experiences I think the QM is preferable. However, they only did (except maybe op.64) the opus numbers (20,33 and op.76/77) where there are good alternatives on modern instruments, so for me (so far) the Festetics are indispensable in e.g. op.9,17 or 50.

While I like it and find it a welcome contrast, I do not share the full enthusiasm the Apponyi's (and Casals) op.33 have received. They are a little too far in the hectic and breathless direction for me.
Probably the most convincing HIP recordings I have heard is (so far only one disc of the three, but I will get at least another one) is the Schuppanzigh Quartet. They are much leaner and quicker than QF and QM, but not as thin and scratchy sounding as the Apponyi, and combine fiery playing with attention to detail.

Admittedly, I had not even known about the newish "London Haydn Quartet" on hyperion before I read about them in GMG. As to be expected ;) there seems some controvery about their qualities compared to the Festetics. I wonder how people regard their series now that a few more vols. are out?

Try Pro Arte op 64/6 or op 77/1 to start with maybe. Or maybe their op 50s. I think op 33 is a tough nut to crack, and I share your reservations. No one has made me love op 33, though Weller come close.  I agree with you about QM over Festetics in op 20 and I can see why you may prefer them in op 64. But they wouldn't be a choice for me in either of those sets of quartets.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2014, 11:29:42 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Haydn: String Quartets
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2014, 12:33:58 PM »
Thanks for the lead.
As I probably mentioned somewhere I love the Smetana (live) and Jerusalem in op.33/3 and I find a lot to like about the Apponyi and Casals although both tend to be somewhat hyperkinetic, missing the leisurely charm of some movements. I'd have to re-listen to Weller and Auryn but they may be not energetic enough (at least that's what I remember). And apart from #3 op.33 will overall not be my favorite opus, but it's great music nevertheless.

My choice for op.20 altogether would probably be the Hagen, but I like to have also one historical instrument recording for each opus.
My overall choice for op.64 is probably still the dark horse "Caspar da Salo" (whoever actually plays on these discs). Of course there are plenty of choices for the "Lark" but not much for the rest (and I really like the b minor, B flat major and E flat major pieces from this opus). I might at some stage give op.64 with the Auryns a try...
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline amw

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Re: Haydn: String Quartets
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2014, 01:11:34 PM »
The Leipzig Quartet has six extremely fine Haydn recitals on MDG, containing Op. 51 and works from Op. 20, 33, 50, 64 and 76.

The London Haydn Quartet is competitive with the Mosaïques in Op. 33, but not so much Op. 20, which is too slow (regardless of whether or not this represents Haydn's true intentions). They are probably the best choice available for Op. 9 and 17.

The Buchbergers offer interesting 'alternative' readings in all quartets and reasonably good primary readings in the under-recorded Op. 54/55. And it's Brilliant, so dead cheap. I like the Takacs Quartet in general, as well. Also 2nding the recommendations for the Hagen and Schuppanzigh Quartets (+ Nomos Op. 50 which I am quite fond of).

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Haydn: String Quartets
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2014, 01:44:18 PM »
Thanks for the lead.
As I probably mentioned somewhere I love the Smetana (live) and Jerusalem in op.33/3 and I find a lot to like about the Apponyi and Casals although both tend to be somewhat hyperkinetic, missing the leisurely charm of some movements. I'd have to re-listen to Weller and Auryn but they may be not energetic enough (at least that's what I remember). And apart from #3 op.33 will overall not be my favorite opus, but it's great music nevertheless.

My choice for op.20 altogether would probably be the Hagen, but I like to have also one historical instrument recording for each opus.
My overall choice for op.64 is probably still the dark horse "Caspar da Salo" (whoever actually plays on these discs). Of course there are plenty of choices for the "Lark" but not much for the rest (and I really like the b minor, B flat major and E flat major pieces from this opus). I might at some stage give op.64 with the Auryns a try...

I heard the Hagen play 33/2 in a concert very well. You may be interested to try the two op 33 that the Janacek Quartet recorded - I'd be curious about what you think, though I know that you will not find it energetic enough. It may have compensating virtues though.  I like what they do a lot - they are my favourite ensemble so I'm a sucker for mostly everything they recorded.

I wonder what the Haydn people here think Haydn was up to with op 33. I mean is he doing anything exciting and bold? Is op 33 top drawer Haydn?

For op 20 I prefer Tatrai and Ulrich to Hagen. The PI thing with Haydn hasn't effected my listening much - in Mozart more so.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2014, 02:02:50 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Haydn: String Quartets
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2014, 02:11:49 PM »
I actually have the Janacek DG box. I didn't mentioned it, because while beautifully played they are only two. And I find them rather slowish, especially the first movement of 33/3.

op.33 clearly is top drawer, #3 is for me one of the best Haydn quartets and its first movement one of the best sonata allegro movements from his oeuvre But they are almost all very terse/condensed pieces and they are emotionally rather neutral (even the b minor), unless comical. Very far from the often highly emotional op.20. And op.50 is often comparably concentrated and intellectual, but somewhat more expansive.

Right now checking the online bits of op.9 with the "new london". This is really slow in the first movements, but comparably flowing in the adagios (they wake up for the finales, though). Not sure if I'll be happier with them than with the Festetics. The latter also sound more "gritty". The New London seem somewhat detached emotionally, but of course, this is just the one minute examples from the online shop. I might get this or op.17, but before I will listen to the ones I have (I do not know the op.9/17 all as well as some others). It's certainly not something that cries "buy me" like the Schuppanzigh.
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The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
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Offline MickeyBoy

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Re: Haydn: String Quartets
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2014, 05:08:18 PM »
Enthusiastic review of the Festetics set:

http://cdhotlist.com/



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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Haydn: String Quartets
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2014, 06:39:10 PM »
Enthusiastic review of the Festetics set:

http://cdhotlist.com/

Hi, Mick!

I'm already a fan! Interested to see what some of our other members think of that review. :D

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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Haydn: String Quartets
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2014, 06:41:44 PM »

I wonder what the Haydn people here think Haydn was up to with op 33. I mean is he doing anything exciting and bold? Is op 33 top drawer Haydn?

Depends what excites you, I guess.

Opus 33

Read down to the bottom for some more musicologically oriented material, as opposed to historical. :)

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Haydn: String Quartets
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2014, 10:25:01 PM »
I actually have the Janacek DG box. I didn't mentioned it, because while beautifully played they are only two. And I find them rather slowish, especially the first movement of 33/3.

op.33 clearly is top drawer, #3 is for me one of the best Haydn quartets and its first movement one of the best sonata allegro movements from his oeuvre But they are almost all very terse/condensed pieces and they are emotionally rather neutral (even the b minor), unless comical. Very far from the often highly emotional op.20. And op.50 is often comparably concentrated and intellectual, but somewhat more expansive.

Right now checking the online bits of op.9 with the "new london". This is really slow in the first movements, but comparably flowing in the adagios (they wake up for the finales, though). Not sure if I'll be happier with them than with the Festetics. The latter also sound more "gritty". The New London seem somewhat detached emotionally, but of course, this is just the one minute examples from the online shop. I might get this or op.17, but before I will listen to the ones I have (I do not know the op.9/17 all as well as some others). It's certainly not something that cries "buy me" like the Schuppanzigh.

Yes I knew you would say that about the Janacek Quartet's Haydn. The thing I remember most about how the Hagen played The Joke in concert was precisely how emotionally interesting they made it, particularly the skow movement of course. So it can be done!

Anyone heard The Lindsays do op 33? I just played their slow movement of The Joke and it's very tender and moving and concentrated. This could be THE ONE!
« Last Edit: December 01, 2014, 10:39:25 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Haydn: String Quartets
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2014, 09:09:40 AM »
The Leipzig Quartet has six extremely fine Haydn recitals on MDG, containing Op. 51 and works from Op. 20, 33, 50, 64 and 76.
They seem to be doing half of each opus. Listening to the online bits they remind me a little of the Auryns. Very beautiful well-balanced sound, but they could go a little more rustic or explosive at times, I guess. E.g. in the first forte statement after the tentative beginning of op.33/1.

But why ALWAYS op.76/2-4 (my fav is #5) and the 7 last words?!? I think the 7LW has been recorded more often than any complete opus except op.76 and 77. Sure, it is a cool piece, but not even a real string quartet.
I also think I'll refuse to buy another quartet recital disc with the "Lark"...

Quote
The Buchbergers offer interesting 'alternative' readings in all quartets and reasonably good primary readings in the under-recorded Op. 54/55. And it's Brilliant, so dead cheap.
I probably should do a survey of my op.54/55 (Angeles, Festetics, Amadeus, as well as Endellion in op.54, Smithsonians in op.54/1+2 (annoyingly lacking #3, a 42 min. disc from the late 80s) and Panocha's op.55) and get the Buchberger as well. I find it puzzling that these pieces seem to fall by the wayside or that many ensembles only record one half, they are among the most original ones.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Haydn: String Quartets
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2014, 09:20:05 AM »
They seem to be doing half of each opus. Listening to the online bits they remind me a little of the Auryns. Very beautiful well-balanced sound, but they could go a little more rustic or explosive at times, I guess. E.g. in the first forte statement after the tentative beginning of op.33/1.

But why ALWAYS op.76/2-4 (my fav is #5) and the 7 last words?!? I think the 7LW has been recorded more often than any complete opus except op.76 and 77. Sure, it is a cool piece, but not even a real string quartet.
I also think I'll refuse to buy another quartet recital disc with the "Lark"...
I probably should do a survey of my op.54/55 (Angeles, Festetics, Amadeus, as well as Endellion in op.54, Smithsonians in op.54/1+2 (annoyingly lacking #3, a 42 min. disc from the late 80s) and Panocha's op.55) and get the Buchberger as well. I find it puzzling that these pieces seem to fall by the wayside or that many ensembles only record one half, they are among the most original ones.

The essential op 54s are Juilliard and maybe Linday.
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Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Haydn: String Quartets
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2014, 10:38:56 AM »
The essential op 54s are Juilliard and maybe Linday.

And the Endellion and the Ysaye.



Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline amw

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Re: Haydn: String Quartets
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2014, 02:39:14 PM »
They seem to be doing half of each opus. Listening to the online bits they remind me a little of the Auryns. Very beautiful well-balanced sound, but they could go a little more rustic or explosive at times, I guess. E.g. in the first forte statement after the tentative beginning of op.33/1.
MDG is making them record everything while they're still at their peak. I'd prefer it if they went back to record the missing ones (agree on 76/5) but no idea if there are more Haydn recordings planned or they're busy learning some other corner of the standard rep that's already been recorded several hundred times.

As a rule they play Haydn as though he were Mozart, an approach which in this case works quite well for me (but then I have alternatives). Volume 2 is probably my favourite.

Quote
I probably should do a survey of my op.54/55 (Angeles, Festetics, Amadeus, as well as Endellion in op.54, Smithsonians in op.54/1+2 (annoyingly lacking #3, a 42 min. disc from the late 80s) and Panocha's op.55) and get the Buchberger as well. I find it puzzling that these pieces seem to fall by the wayside or that many ensembles only record one half, they are among the most original ones.
Indeed. The Salomon Quartet has also recorded 54/55 (downloads currently discounted, though for some reason 54 is £6 and 55 is £4...)

For me the main problem with the Buchbergers is Hubert Buchberger. He has lots of interesting ideas and is the leader of the quartet, so we can't get rid of him, but his intonation at times is just far enough off to annoy me. Apparently without being noticeable to most other people. I can look past it, but if you have perfect pitch, I suspect you won't be able to so easily.

Offline amw

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Re: Haydn: String Quartets
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2014, 02:48:27 PM »
Jerusalem/harmonia mundi with op.77/1, 64/5 and 76/2, and maybe even more interesting op.20/5, 33/3 and 76/5
I listened to 40 seconds of the 'Largo cantabile e mesto'. Not exactly what I am looking for. (The rest of the album might be perfect though >.>)