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Haydn: String Quartets

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Daverz:

--- Quote from: Jo498 on December 01, 2014, 04:42:17 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.

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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.

Mandryka:

--- Quote from: Jo498 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?

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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.

Jo498:
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...

amw:
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).

Mandryka:

--- Quote from: Jo498 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...

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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.

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