Author Topic: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style  (Read 761 times)

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Offline hvbias

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Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« on: September 10, 2020, 04:35:42 AM »
For a long time I haven't explored Haydn much outside of Mosaiques, Festetics and London Haydn Quartet. Recently I've been picking up discs from Auryn and they are usually very good.

I haven't heard much of these in older style interpretation... for me it always seemed odd to hear Haydn in this style with more vibrato but I thought lets explore. I am looking for some suggestions here for exceptional must hear performances, either complete cycles, incomplete or individual discs are fine. Last night I listened to a bunch of Pro-Arte Quartet, aside from some often make the hair on the back of your neck piloerection intonation problems the performances were rather superficial and unmemorable.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2020, 04:37:28 AM by hvbias »

Offline Daverz

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2020, 06:42:43 AM »
For a long time I haven't explored Haydn much outside of Mosaiques, Festetics and London Haydn Quartet. Recently I've been picking up discs from Auryn and they are usually very good.

I haven't heard much of these in older style interpretation... for me it always seemed odd to hear Haydn in this style with more vibrato but I thought lets explore. I am looking for some suggestions here for exceptional must hear performances, either complete cycles, incomplete or individual discs are fine. Last night I listened to a bunch of Pro-Arte Quartet, aside from some often make the hair on the back of your neck piloerection intonation problems the performances were rather superficial and unmemorable.

They are all 20th Century interpretations of course, no matter what the period instrument people may claim.  But here are some of my favorite pre-HIP recordings:

First, a super bargain must be pointed out, the complete quartets with the Dekany and Fine Arts Quartets:

MP3: https://www.amazon.com/Haydn-Complete-String-Quartets-VoxMegaBox/dp/B00YRDOGKQ

FLAC:

https://us.7digital.com/artist/dekany-quartet-and-fine-arts-quartet/release/haydn-complete-string-quartets-the-voxmegabox-edition-4524105

https://open.qobuz.com/album/0047163598524

The Panocha Quartet did Ops. 33, 55, and 76.

https://www.supraphonline.cz/album/473537-haydn-smyccove-kvartety-c-4-6
https://www.supraphonline.cz/album/206-haydn-smyccove-kvartety-op-55-c-1-3
https://www.supraphonline.cz/album/1537-haydn-smyccove-kvartety-op-76-c-1-3
https://www.supraphonline.cz/album/167-haydn-smyccove-kvartety-4-6

The Weller Quartet did Op. 33.

https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/7938135--the-weller-quartet

The Juilliard Quartet did Op. 54 and Op. 20.

The Griller Quartet did Ops. 71 and 74.



The Tokyo Quartet did Op. 50 (I'm not familiar with their Op. 76).

https://www.amazon.com/Haydn-Preussische-Quartette-Prussian-Quartets/dp/B001KW976A

Then there are the infamous Op. 64 recordings by the Caspar da Salo Quartet.  Infamous because this is a fake name attached to very good performances in pre-HIP style by an unknown group.

The Hungarian Quartet made some wonderful LPs that are among the best of the old style of Haydn playing.

I don't know the sets by the Tatrai Quartet(probably the most recommended of the old complete recordings), the Schneider Quartet, or, more recently, the Lindsays.




« Last Edit: September 10, 2020, 08:21:24 AM by Daverz »

Offline amw

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2020, 06:58:46 AM »
The Tatrai Quartet recordings are not good. They might have interesting ideas I haven’t listened to, but they simply didn’t play in tune.

I’ve heard the Angeles and Kodaly Quartets are pretty good and have never heard any samples to contradict that. The Lindsays are decent, but again, intonation problems (not as severe as the Tatrai). I don’t know the Schneider Quartet either but I think they’re probably okay.

Other non-HIP recordings (cannot say with confidence whether all of these are “20th Century”):
Op.1 - Petersen Quartet (their only Haydn recording no idea why)
Op.2 -
Op.9 -
Op.17 -
Op.20 - Hagen Quartet, Pellegrini Quartet, Doric Quartet
Op.33 - second the Panochas, wish they’d recorded the lot; will add the Parkanyi Quartet
Op.50 - Amati Quartet, Tokyo Quartet (much praised but I don’t like it personally), Nomos Quartet
Op. 54 - second the Juilliards
Op. 55 -
Op. 64 - Doric Quartet (fairly recent release)
Op. 71 - Auryn Quartet first recording, from the 90s
Op. 74 -
Op. 76 - Takacs Quartet and second the Panochas. I should probably get the Panocha op.55 at some point as well
Op. 77 -
Random selections - the Emerson Quartet from the Deutsche Grammophon Emersoncube, where I think they recorded about 8 or 9 quartets from different opuses, all pretty good

Offline Daverz

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2020, 07:18:14 AM »
Op.33 - second the Panochas, wish they’d recorded the lot

All 6 are here:

https://www.supraphonline.cz/album/473537-haydn-smyccove-kvartety-c-4-6

EDIT: It says "4-6" in the title, but it's all 24 movements of Op. 33.
EDIT 2: However, I could not find the remainder of Op. 76 on their site.
EDIT 3: Found it here: https://www.supraphonline.cz/album/167-haydn-smyccove-kvartety-4-6?artistId=486
« Last Edit: September 10, 2020, 08:06:22 AM by Daverz »

Offline Daverz

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2020, 07:50:29 AM »
Adding to my list the Endellion Quartet in Ops. 54 and 74.



They also have a new Haydn disc out that I haven't heard:


Offline hvbias

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2020, 08:14:45 AM »
All very good information thanks. Are any of Hungarian Quartet's recordings available on digital?

I forgot about The Lindsays, I like their recording of Seven Last Words of Christ even if the intonation isn't perfect, it's got some zest.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2020, 08:21:59 AM »
I am looking for some suggestions here for exceptional must hear performances, either complete cycles, incomplete or individual discs are fine.

The only one I’ve every thought about is op 20 and there are quite a few I think you should hear - maybe start with London Haydn, Salomon, Ulbrich, Chiaroscuro, Tatrai and Pro Arte.

Apart from that a long long time ago I became a bit infatuated with op 77and found a lovely thing, the Vegh Quartet live on Orfeo. Pro Arte is wonderful in Op 77/1.

The most memorable quartet I’ve heard was in a concert, the Hagen doing op 33 Joke. No recording as far as I know.

There are some other odd ones which may be worth a listen, for example Lindays doing op 54/2 in the second movement. Many years ago they gave a bunch of Haydn concerts in London which I went to and really enjoyed, these have been released on CDs, but it’s so long now I can’t remember which were the high points. Op 20/4 maybe.

Op 33 has always been a bit of a problem for me - maybe I just don’t much like it. I’ll try Panocha sometime. I’ve completely lost interest in op 76, when I used to listen to it I remember enjoying Carmina Quartet, but frankly I think anyone can make this music sound OK. Op 50 is another one which I can’t listen to any more.

I’m obviously not a Haydn lover!
« Last Edit: September 10, 2020, 08:45:22 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Daverz

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2020, 08:24:24 AM »
All very good information thanks. Are any of Hungarian Quartet's recordings available on digital?

I see some on the streaming sites, but I don't know where they came from.  LP rips, perhaps.  They were on Vox/Turnabout LPs.

https://www.discogs.com/HaydnHungarian-String-Quartet-String-Quartet-Op-76-No-2-Quinten-String-Quartet-Op-76-No-5/release/9507805

https://www.discogs.com/Haydn-Hungarian-Quartet-Dek%C3%A1ny-Quartet-3-String-Quartets/release/11501779
« Last Edit: September 10, 2020, 08:29:25 AM by Daverz »

Offline Jo498

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2020, 08:33:42 AM »
op.33 Cuarteto Casals/hm (a bit hyperkinetic, though)
op. 76 Carmina (Denon), Eder (only 2-4 easily available, but they recorded all of then in the 1980s for Telefunken/Teldec), Tokyo/Sony (didn't like them too much) probably Alban-Berg but I have not heard the latter. (Only an older recording of op.74/3 and 76/3; they also recorded op.77 and op.33/3)

The Auryn has done all, available separately (still expensive), well played and recorded (I have opp.17 and 33) but they are not the last word in excitement (neither are Kodaly or Angeles)
I thought, amw also liked the Leipzig's Haydn, they are even more expensive than Auryn and being already well-stocked, I have not heard any of them.

Very good anthologies: Hagen/DG (op.1/1, 64/5, 74/3) and Jerusalem/hm (64/5, 77/1, 33/3, 20/5, 76/2+5)

I have one cheapo CD by the Hungarian Qt. with 64/5 and 77/2, recording very early stereo from the late 50s or so. I think they had 2-3 LPs worth or so?
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 Jo498

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2020, 08:49:02 AM »
I think I have read that the studio recording is not quite as crazily fast as the live recording. But I think it is still faster than any other of the half dozen I have heard, incl. the pretty fast HIP Apponyi (Freiburger) Qt. It works well in some quartets but in others, e.g. the first movement of #3 "bird" which is one of my favorites, I find them too hectic and graceless.
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 hvbias

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2020, 09:03:22 AM »
I see some on the streaming sites, but I don't know where they came from.  LP rips, perhaps.  They were on Vox/Turnabout LPs.

https://www.discogs.com/HaydnHungarian-String-Quartet-String-Quartet-Op-76-No-2-Quinten-String-Quartet-Op-76-No-5/release/9507805

https://www.discogs.com/Haydn-Hungarian-Quartet-Dek%C3%A1ny-Quartet-3-String-Quartets/release/11501779

Thanks, I have a turntable that I use seldomly so I'll keep my eye out.

The only one I’ve every thought about is op 20 and there are quite a few I think you should hear - maybe start with London Haydn, Salomon, Ulbrich, Chiaroscuro, Tatrai and Pro Arte.

Apart from that a long long time ago I became a bit infatuated with op 77and found a lovely thing, the Vegh Quartet live on Orfeo. Pro Arte is wonderful in Op 77/1.

The most memorable quartet I’ve heard was in a concert, the Hagen doing op 33 Joke. No recording as far as I know.

There are some other odd ones which may be worth a listen, for example Lindays doing op 54/2 in the second movement. Many years ago they gave a bunch of Haydn concerts in London which I went to and really enjoyed, these have been released on CDs, but it’s so long now I can’t remember which were the high points. Op 20/4 maybe.

Op 33 has always been a bit of a problem for me - maybe I just don’t much like it. I’ll try Panocha sometime. I’ve completely lost interest in op 76, when I used to listen to it I remember enjoying Carmina Quartet, but frankly I think anyone can make this music sound OK. Op 50 is another one which I can’t listen to any more.

I’m obviously not a Haydn lover!

I'm fond of the Op. 20 quartets as well, No. 3 in particular is one of my favorites. It's what I went to first when hearing Auryn Quartet, and they did not disappoint.

I plan to hear more of The Lindsays, their intonation for the most part doesn't bother me much.

op.33 Cuarteto Casals/hm (a bit hyperkinetic, though)
op. 76 Carmina (Denon), Eder (only 2-4 easily available, but they recorded all of then in the 1980s for Telefunken/Teldec), Tokyo/Sony (didn't like them too much) probably Alban-Berg but I have not heard the latter. (Only an older recording of op.74/3 and 76/3; they also recorded op.77 and op.33/3)

The Auryn has done all, available separately (still expensive), well played and recorded (I have opp.17 and 33) but they are not the last word in excitement (neither are Kodaly or Angeles)
I thought, amw also liked the Leipzig's Haydn, they are even more expensive than Auryn and being already well-stocked, I have not heard any of them.

Very good anthologies: Hagen/DG (op.1/1, 64/5, 74/3) and Jerusalem/hm (64/5, 77/1, 33/3, 20/5, 76/2+5)

I have one cheapo CD by the Hungarian Qt. with 64/5 and 77/2, recording very early stereo from the late 50s or so. I think they had 2-3 LPs worth or so?

Excitement would be low on my list of adjectives to describe Auryn Quartet. But from what I have heard (Op. 20, Op. 74) there is a real rightness to their interpretations that gives me the impression they know and have considered this music quite deeply.

Among their "large" cycles of recordings (Schubert, Beethoven and Haydn) the Haydn seems to be the most consistently excellent.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2020, 09:07:42 AM by hvbias »

Offline Que

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2020, 10:39:20 PM »
I haven't heard much outside of HIP either, but the Panocha Qt's Haydn is very good.

Stay away from the Kodály Qt (Naxos). There is not really wrong with them, it's just very uneventful.

Q
« Last Edit: September 10, 2020, 10:43:33 PM by Que »

Offline amw

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2020, 11:07:34 PM »
All 6 are here:

https://www.supraphonline.cz/album/473537-haydn-smyccove-kvartety-c-4-6
Good to know, thanks.

I thought, amw also liked the Leipzig's Haydn, they are even more expensive than Auryn and being already well-stocked, I have not heard any of them.
The main appeal of the Leipzig Quartet is the purity of their sound and intonation, so when one member of the quartet has persistent intonation issues (the first violin) in many of the more recent volumes of the series it makes them somewhat less appealing. All of the volumes that I know of are currently on Deezer so they can be sampled if desired.

I am currently listening to versions of Op. 50 no. 1 by the Kodaly, Fine Arts & Angeles Quartets in order to comment on them and realising it'll be a useless exercise as all it has done so far is confirm to me that I really love Op. 50 no. 1, and none of these recordings are bad enough to distract me from that.

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2020, 03:52:29 AM »
The Dorics have recorded Op.76 as well as Ops 20, 33 (new) and 64.  If I can't get the Chiaroscuros I like the Dorics the best - modern, unaffected, post-HIP playing (although I note ther personnel changes with each recording).

Random selections - the Emerson Quartet from the Deutsche Grammophon Emersoncube, where I think they recorded about 8 or 9 quartets from different opuses, all pretty good

Under 'random' this collection of 6 assorted quartets by the Quatuor Hanson is really good


Quatuor Hanson; Ops 50/6, 76/2, 54/2, 33/5, 20/5, 77/2

Offline Daverz

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2020, 05:53:28 PM »
Listened to the Panocha Op. 33 No. 4 and Carmina Op. 76 No. 1.  I think both should please.

Listening now to the Budapest in Op 76 No. 1.  I think I got these files of Op. 76 from Symphonyshare or Concertarchive.  They are rips from Odyssey LPs of live recordings from the LIbrary of Congress.  Decent mono; the ear adjusts, as they say.  Plenty of rubato (though nothing offensive)  for those who want to explore older styles of Haydn playing.  I also have some CDs of this set that were "unofficial" releases on "United Archives", but I haven't had a chance to compare.  I see Beethoven and Mozart CDs online, but no "official" CD release of these Haydn recordings.




Offline Irons

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2020, 11:43:52 PM »
Reading hvbias original post the Amadeus Quartet came to mind especially in relation to vibrato. Norbert Brainin is often accused of possessing a too pronounced vibrato but in the Haydn recordings (Op. 54,55,64,71,74) I do not notice anything amiss and I do not like excessive vibrato (or none at all). The Amadeus are from another age and it shows, that is no barrier from me liking their Haydn a lot.   
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2020, 01:05:49 AM »
Some of the Amadeus recordings are pretty good, e..g. op.54/55. I did find Brainin hard to bear in the "lark", though, when I did some comparing a few years ago.
They also did 7 last words op.76+77;DG finally had one big box but several earlier ones with different combinations/selections (so I don't have op.76/77 but these are probably the ones where one has the broades selection of recordings anyway).
It's still an approach that will appear somewhat dated to some of today's listeners.
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 mc ukrneal

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2020, 02:27:12 AM »
For every rec you get here, you will find someone who doesn't recommend it.

I like Haydn Quartet (Hyperion), Angeles, Endellion, Kodaly, Takacs, Amadeus, and I'm sure several others I've forgotten about. I can easily live without Mosaiques, Festetics, Jerusalem, and others I have likely forgotten. There are so many choices - it's the process that is fun here.
Be kind to your fellow posters!!

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2020, 05:46:04 AM »
For every rec you get here, you will find someone who doesn't recommend it.


Right? I came in to recommend the Kodály Quartet only to see Que dismiss them as "uneventful". I think it's a great set!

Offline André

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2020, 06:51:42 AM »
I wrote in « Buchberger » in the search window. I got a reply saying I might have meant « beefburger » instead  ::).

So, any opinion on the Buchberger Quartet set ?