Author Topic: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style  (Read 758 times)

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Offline amw

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2020, 07:05:41 AM »
Pretty good but rough intonation wise, if that’s something that bothers you. Also sometimes a little bit idiosyncratic in their interpretations but they usually still work pretty well. I have their recordings of op.54, 55, 64, 76 and though not my top choices I still listen to them reasonably often.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2020, 07:45:48 AM »
I have/had the Buchbergers in op.9 and 33+42 and would also say rough but energetic. The Kodaly have a more pleasant sound and I still think that of the three (or four, but I have never heard Aeolian) cheap sets the Angeles seems the best overall.
If money is no concern, I'd go for separates, e.g. according to amw's list and fill the gaps with Kodaly (or if you are rich) Auryn.
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 MusicTurner

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2020, 07:57:52 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

Regarding non-HIPs: am no specialist, but the Borodin4 did a late 2CD recording of opus 33, and I regret that I sold it. In the main, I substituted the Buchberger4 complete set with the Angeles4 complete set. I also have the old Fine Arts4 set of 21 selected quartets, on LPs.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2020, 07:59:31 AM by MusicTurner »

Offline Scion7

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2020, 08:26:54 AM »


I've been quite happy with these boxed-sets over the years.
Sure, they could have Philips or DG surfaces as an improvement.
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Offline André

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2020, 08:48:38 AM »
Thanks for the advice(s).  :)

I have a dozen discs by the Kodalys, Tatraí, L’Archibudelli and Festetics, from op 51 onwards. I’m still without at least 1/2 of the works, and without a consistent artistic POV. That’s why I am considering investing in a complete set. Slimbox if possible (space has become a real issue  ::)) and not out of reach financially. The Angeles and Buchbinder sets are tempting in that respect.

Again, thanks !

Offline Scion7

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #25 on: September 13, 2020, 08:55:10 AM »
"20th Century Style" would almost certainly be all the recordings.

The earliest recordings were by the Hungarian Léner Quartet and the Belgian Pro Arte Quartet, both founded at the beginning of the century, or thereabouts - then recorded in the Twenties.  Their members being born in 1880's or 1890's, they might have had a thread back to 19th century performance mannerisms, depending on who their teachers were and what performances they might have attended in their youths.
This is a question for the scholars to answer.

For all practical purposes, only the mind's eye can imagine what a Haydn quartet would have sounded like during his time - hopefully they followed the score and played well.  Unless we put Gurn in the DeLorean and rev him up to 88 mph to send him back to find out . . .
« Last Edit: September 13, 2020, 08:59:07 AM by Scion7 »
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Offline Jo498

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #26 on: September 13, 2020, 11:15:48 AM »
op.20 and op.33 are essential works (in fact these two sets are probably the most important ones historically whereas one could pick any set of the later ones). Fortunately these are not too hard to get separately and also in rather different approaches. For op.33 I would also mention the Weller (late 60s Vienna) and Casals (modern HIP influenced)
Choices get rather slim for separately available op.1,2,9 and 17. Again, make no mistake, op.9 and 17 are not really early pieces, only a few years before op.20 and contemporary with pieces like the "Mourning" symphony. I am not sure if all/most of the Buchberger was available as twofers. I have their op.9 and quite like it. Angeles (box only) is very good in the early pieces, I think. Kodaly is o.k. (I heard one disc of their op.17)

opp.1 and 2 are really early (probably before 1760) and have been put in a different volume in the more recent Haydn edition, separate from the "real" string quartets (seems a bit silly, but I am not a musicologist and they have of course reasons like the different form usually in five movements and that the bass was maybe a violone, not a cello or whatever). Not essential, but evertheless, they are charming works and sometimes more than merely charming (e.g. the wonderful "duet" adagio in op.1/3).
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)

Online Daverz

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #27 on: September 13, 2020, 11:32:00 AM »
Thanks for the advice(s).  :)

I have a dozen discs by the Kodalys, Tatraí, L’Archibudelli and Festetics, from op 51 onwards. I’m still without at least 1/2 of the works, and without a consistent artistic POV. That’s why I am considering investing in a complete set. Slimbox if possible (space has become a real issue  ::)) and not out of reach financially. The Angeles and Buchbinder sets are tempting in that respect.

Again, thanks !

To fill in your collection, I would recommend the Vox Box that I mentioned earlier.

https://classicselectworlddigital.com/collections/vox-mega-boxes/products/haydn-complete-string-quartets-dekany-quartet-fine-arts-quartet-24-hour-digital-download

EDIT: Oops, these are MP3.  I should have known since they didn't specify.  I downloaded their "Big Haydn Symphony Box" for $0.99.  Still, cheap and lots of interesting collections.

(Haven't tried this site, but they don't require a subscription to download like Qobuz.  Amazon also has it, but not sure how to get lossless from them without subscription).

Off topic for the thread: My other go-to set is the Mosaiques, but it is not complete.   Buchberger is very good, but despite the use of modern instruments, they are quite HIP.  In fact, they sound more austere than either the Mosaiques or the warm sounding Festetics. 
« Last Edit: September 13, 2020, 12:35:45 PM by Daverz »

Offline Irons

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #28 on: September 13, 2020, 10:44:09 PM »
Right? I came in to recommend the Kodály Quartet only to see Que dismiss them as "uneventful". I think it's a great set!

They are the CD equivalent of the LP Aeolian Quartet. A safe pair of hands.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #29 on: September 14, 2020, 07:23:28 AM »
So, any opinion on the Buchberger Quartet set ?

I love the cover art on their individual volumes, eg:

 

 

Offline André

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2020, 08:07:57 AM »
Nice covers indeed!

................................
My first ever set of Haydn SQ, almost 50 years ago was a 3 LP Vox Box of op 76 with the Fine Arts Quartet. Love at first listen ! So much so that I bought another such set, their ‘Haydn quartets’ by Mozart. They have long gone the way of the dodo, so  my appreciation is based on rather dim memories: creamy sounding playing (esp. in the Mozart works), very good sound.

Online Daverz

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2020, 01:56:13 PM »
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 ?

The Buchbergers are HIP on modern instruments.  To my ears -- between them, Festetics and Mosaiques -- they use the least vibrato, or maybe it just sounds more austere on modern instruments.  They do not make any concessions for warmth of tone.  I think their tempos and interpretive decisions are generally excellent, and sonics are up to date.

If you want a complete HIP set, but with warmer tone, go with Festetics.  To me they don't sound like a HIP group at all.  This may partly be the rich recorded ambiance.

If you want HIP, but don't demand completeness, Mosaiques.  Good sound, if not as rich as the Festetics get.

If you want completeness, but not HIP, Dekany and Fine Arts Quartets.  Good analog stereo.

Offline hvbias

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2020, 02:46:32 PM »
I ended up buying all of Auryn in one go since I really liked them in Op. 20 and 74, so this will keep me occupied for some time.

Another highlight was Flonzaley Quartet in the Lark Quartet, I really like that sweetness in tone you sometimes hear in the first violinist in those really old groups.

Offline Irons

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #33 on: September 17, 2020, 06:35:34 AM »
The Buchbergers are HIP on modern instruments.  To my ears -- between them, Festetics and Mosaiques -- they use the least vibrato, or maybe it just sounds more austere on modern instruments.  They do not make any concessions for warmth of tone.  I think their tempos and interpretive decisions are generally excellent, and sonics are up to date.

If you want a complete HIP set, but with warmer tone, go with Festetics.  To me they don't sound like a HIP group at all.  This may partly be the rich recorded ambiance.

If you want HIP, but don't demand completeness, Mosaiques.  Good sound, if not as rich as the Festetics get.

If you want completeness, but not HIP, Dekany and Fine Arts Quartets.  Good analog stereo.

That is most interesting. I am coming from the opposite direction, many recordings of the "old school" but would like performances in a more current style of playing. Invested in the London Haydn Quartet on Hyperion which frankly I didn't like one bit. Today I have ordered the Festetics in Op. 64 & 65 which hopefully proves more agreeable.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #34 on: September 17, 2020, 07:47:37 AM »
I still haven't heard the London Haydn Quartet although they got pretty good press. I was fairly saturated with Haydn already when these came out, so I hesitated and still do (from the examples I was also not really convinced by the slow first movements in some of op.9+17 that are usually played "moderato" with an implied allegro but not by LHQ). For me the best Haydn quartets on historically instruments I have heard are the anthology discs (I have 2 of 3) with the Schuppanzig Quartet, followed by the Quatuor Mosaiques (who did opp.20,33,51(7 last words), 64,76,77), followed by Festetics for the pieces not covered by Mosaiques.
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 #35 on: September 21, 2020, 03:52:56 PM »
Between Mosaiques and Festetics tempo wise I find Festetics is more consistent. Mosaiques play some of the slow movements a bit too briskly for me. As a whole, entire cycle if asked for one desert island cycle I'd answer Festetics before someone could finish their sentence :)

« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 03:57:14 PM by hvbias »

Offline Jo498

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Re: Haydn's String Quartets and the 20th century interpretation style
« Reply #36 on: September 21, 2020, 10:34:52 PM »
I think both Mosaiques and Festetics are sometimes not lively enough in fast movements, e.g. the outer movements of op.54/1, and especially the Festetics are usually better in slow movements. It's been a while that I did any comparing and I could only directly compare these two in op.20 and one half of op.64 but in op.20 Mosaiques was so much better that I got rid of the Festetics.
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 vers la flamme

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I have one of the London Haydn Quartet discs (I believe the most recent, op.71 and op.74) and I really enjoy it, though I have heard some people criticize it, I think the idea is that it's too Baroque and maybe too uniform an ensemble sound.